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Chocolate Cake Mix: Semi-Homemade Two Ways

In partnership with The Pelicann, which makes CBD and hemp protein infused Cannamixes that are available for sale on their website and Amazon. FREE U.S. shipping available through all of August 2021 on This post contains affiliate links where I may make a small commission when you click to purchase, okay? thanks!

Cake mixes are a quick and convenient way to make semi-homemade baked goods without breaking out all the ingredients. Not everyone has time to bake from scratch, I get it. I'll show you how to transform a basic box mix into a showstopper! Get my recipes for Spicy Chocolate Cherry Donuts and Raspberry Cardamom Chocolate Mini Cupcakes below.

How to "Zhuzh" Up a Cake Mix for Creative Baked-From-Scratch Flavor:

Milk vs. Water: Fat equals flavor, using a milk of your choice, e.g. dairy milk, almond, coconut, oat milk, instead of water will give the cake mix a richer flavor.

Oil vs. Butter: Vegetable oil or coconut oil bakes a softer, more moist cake crumb. Butter bakes a denser cake crumb.

Spices + Add-Ins: Gives it extra flavor dimension, texture and complexity by adding in complementary spices and flavors. Spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and chai work well with chocolate and vanilla. Chopped nuts and dried fruits add texture and flavor. Try apricots and pistachios, cherries and cayenne, figs and walnuts.

Room Temperature Eggs: Bring your eggs to room temp before mixing into the batter to incorporate better flavors. Cold eggs just don't blend as well. Submerge cold eggs in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes to bring them to temp before cracking into the bowl. Always use large eggs in baking, egg size matters!

Recipe: Spicy Chocolate Cherry CBD Donuts

I used The Pelicann's decadent double chocolate cake mix as the base. One pink cake mix bag comes pre-infused with 50mg of CBD and makes exactly two donuts. With each donut at 25mg of CBD, which is quite a lot for one dose, I felt the warm, calming, buzzy effect onset quickly after consuming. The best way to describe the feeling is that my head was vibrating at lo-fi frequency and body was very relaxed. The CBD in the mix does have a slightly bitter aftertaste so the decadent chocolate glaze, chili powder, and cherries help balance the flavor so it's not as prominent on your tastebuds.

CBD Dosing: I generally recommend 5mg to start and increase depending on how you feel. If you're new to CBD, eat 1/4 a donut and wait 30 mins to an hour to see how you feel before eating more. 

Makes 2 donuts / Time to Prepare: 20-30 minutes


  • 1 bag Cannamix Chocolate Chip Cupcake Mix

  • 3 tablespoons almond milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne/chili powder (or less, to taste)

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dried cherries

  • Rainbow sprinkles for decorating (optional)

For Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup (35g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

  • 1/4 cup milk of choice, heated

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a non-stick donut pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the bag of Cannamix Chocolate Cake Mix, almond milk, cayenne powder, and cherries until well blended and smooth. Fill two of the donut pan wells with equal amounts of the cake batter. Bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the donuts comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely in the donut pan. While the donuts cool, make the glaze.

Make chocolate glaze: In a double boiler over medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips. In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar, salt and cocoa powder together. Add agave and slowly drizzle in a few tablespoons of the heated milk until you get a thick yet slightly runny glaze. Don't use all of the heated milk, reserve some for later. Pour the glaze into the double boiler with the melted chocolate, and stir until incorporated and you have a thick, runny chocolate glaze that's the texture of thin hot fudge. If the mixture is too thick, add more heated milk a little at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

Quickly dip the cooled donut into the hot glaze and set onto a baking rack. A completely cooled donut will be easier to dip, a warm donut is too soft and may break apart during dipping. Quickly decorate with rainbow sprinkles if using, the glaze will harden quickly and sprinkles won't stick. Store in a cool, airtight container.

Recipe: Raspberry Cardamom Chocolate Mini Cupcakes

For this recipe, I used The Pelicann's Power Chocolate Cupcake Mix which has hemp seed oil and contains 30 grams of protein derived from hemp seeds per bag. This mix in the blue bag does NOT contain CBD. What's the difference?

Hemp vs. CBD vs. Hemp Seed: The Hemp plant is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that is grown for a variety of uses and contains only trace amounts of THC. Federally legal CBD is a cannabinoid extracted from the hemp plant, but is not the same as protein-rich hemp seeds or hemp oil. Hemp seeds from the hemp plant are nutritious and rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, protein and minerals. Hemp seeds and hemp-derived CBD do not contain THC, or only small trace amounts depending on the extraction method. 

Makes 36 mini cupcakes / Time to Prepare: 30-40 minutes


For Raspberry Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon milk or cream of choice

  • 1/4 cup freeze-dried raspberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease mini cupcake pan or line with cupcake liners. In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix together 1 bag of Cannamix Power Chocolate Cupcake Mix, cardamom, milk, oil, and eggs until well blended and no dry streaks remain. Beat the batter on medium-high for an extra couple minutes to whip air into the batter for a fluffier cake crumb. Fill the cupcake pan about 3/4 of the way with batter and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the cupcake pan. When cool, remove and place on a baking rack to cool completely.

Make the raspberry frosting: In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar and salt together until light and fluffy. Powder the freeze-dried raspberries in a food processor and mix the powder into the butter sugar mixture until incorporated. Slowly drizzle in the milk/cream to smooth the frosting for a soft, silky texture. Transfer into a piping bag with decorative piping tip and decorate the cooled mini cupcakes. Use a piping tip with a large opening otherwise raspberry seeds will get stuck. Store in a cool, airtight container.


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Amazon link where I buy many of my ingredients & cookware:

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