Best Cake Mix Cupcakes

Simply add instant pudding, sour cream and chocolate chips to a box of cake mix for the best semi-homemade cupcakes!

This elevated cupcake from a box of cake mix recipe is super moist and packed full of delicious flavor. 

Best cupcake made from a box mix sitting on a white plate on a red napkin with white polka dots

Cake Mix Cupcakes Recipe

Dense and rich with chocolate or vanilla flavor this is the kind of bakery quality cupcake you crave. The good news is this dessert recipe is super easy to make at home!

Just like our Best Moist Chocolate Cake, we use a box of Devil’s Food cake mix to make chocolate cupcakes or butter golden cake mix to make doctored yellow or white cupcakes. Adding instant pudding and sour cream makes this cake mix cupcakes recipe amazing.  

We prefer how the semisweet chocolate chips enhance a chocolate cupcake when compared to white chips in a white cupcake.

Save this Recipe
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Enter your email and I’ll send this recipe right to your inbox! Plus, I’ll send you new recipes every week!

Golden butter cake pairs well with instant vanilla pudding and sour cream, but white chocolate chips seem to sink faster and stick to the wrapper more so than traditional chocolate. The white and yellow cake mix also doesn’t seem to rise quite as well as chocolate. 

Chocolate cupcake with icing on top in a confetti party liner on a white plate

When we do make the enhanced yellow cupcakes we pair with chocolate icing or Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting.

A couple more rich and unique individual treats we like to serve at birthday parties are Black Bottom Cupcakes and Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Box of cake mix – we always use Duncan Hines because my mom knows about cake quality and she said so. 
  • Instant Pudding – adds sweet moisture with a hint of a spongy texture that is really enjoyable.
  • Sour Cream – makes the cake have a moist, creamy and somewhat silkier texture to every morsel.
  • Vegetable Oil – helps make the cupcakes moist and rich.
  • Eggs – give tender structure and flavor while adding a richness.
  • Water – helps activate the instant pudding mix and adds liquid to stir everything together.
  • Chocolate chips – add even more rich chocolate flavor. For a chocolate cupcake we use semi-sweet chips and for white cupcakes we use white chocolate chips.
Ingredients to make chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes from a box mix

How to Make the Best Cupcakes From a Box Mix?

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 18 cupcake liners in baking pans.

Using an electric mixer blend together cake mix, small box of instant pudding mix, sour cream, vegetable oil and warm water.

Chocolate cake mix in a mixing bowl with egg, instant pudding mix and sour cream

Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. Be careful not to over mix.

Add chocolate chips and fold in by hand.

Semi sweet chocolate chips being poured into cupcake batter

I like to use a large and medium cookie scoop to evenly fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 to 7/8 full.

Keep in mind the cupcakes will rise as they bake, so don’t fill to the top.

Cupcake cake batter in cupcake liners in pan with batter scoop laying beside it

Medium sized cupcakes bake in 18 minutes in our convection oven. Larger cupcakes take longer to become set in the center.

Pan of 12 moist chocolate cupcakes in a baking pan on a white countertop

Allow to cool and remove from the metal pan before icing.

We just use a can of chocolate icing. Enjoy and store in an air tight container.

Can Cake Mix Be Used For Cupcakes?

Yes – a box of cake mix can be mixed up to make 18 – 24 cupcakes. Adding a few ingredients like a box of instant pudding and sour cream will add a lot more flavor while saving significant time.

What Box Mix Makes the Best Cupcakes?

Duncan Hines is recommended as the best cake mix to use at popular cake making and decorating classes.

Moist yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting made from a box mix

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • When making chocolate we like the Devil’s Food cake mix the best, but other chocolate mixes can work fine too. 
  • The chocolate cake mix is just a lot more forgiving if you forget an ingredient (a friend told me so).
  • The chocolate cupcakes always seem to be a bit more moist and rose a bit better than the white cupcakes.
  • Do not mix up the pudding before using, just add the powder to the dry cake mix.
  • Mix up dry ingredients and then add eggs and sour cream. Avoid adding water and oil and waiting to finish the recipe as the pudding may begin to set up and change the consistency.
  • I use a can of icing, but I do find that different brands will make a thicker layer and set up higher (Duncan Hines) or lay more flat and run off the edges easier (Betty Crocker). I always use a butter knife and stir the can of icing well before spreading on the cupcakes.

Freezing & Storage Instructions

We like to store iced cupcake in a cupcake carrier with a handle. This container is great for traveling or moving things around before a party.

The easiest way to store and freeze extra cupcakes is without icing in a self sealing bag in the refrigerator or freezer. Allow to warm up to room temperature, add frosting and enjoy!

More Easy Dessert Recipes:

Pumpkin Carrot Cake starts with a box mix and is perfect in the fall and during the holidays.

Cream Puff Cake is so creamy with a vanilla filling and beautiful with chocolate syrup drizzled on top.

Texas Brownies are another super rich chocolate dessert with icing that is delicious.

Close up chocolate cupcake made from a box mix on a white plate

Best Cake Mix Cupcakes

Servings 18 cupcakes
Author: Jennifer
This elevated cupcake from a box of cake mix recipe is super moist and packed full of delicious flavor. Simply add instant pudding, sour cream and chocolate chips for the best semi-homemade cupcakes!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 box Devil's food cake mix
  • 1 3.4 ounce box instant chocolate pudding
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Mix together cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, sour cream, water and vegetable oil.
  • Add chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Fill cupcake liners 7/8 full. Bake for 18 – 25 minutes until set.
  • Allow to cool and then cover with frosting or icing.


Calories: 273kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 3gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 214mgPotassium: 186mgFiber: 2gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 108IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating