Foodie Tuesday idea: Cake Mix Dessert Party. No one will know it wasn’t all from scratch!

 Happy Tuesday!
As I mentioned in yesterday's post I hosted a “dessert night” for my birthday for a ton of neighbors at my house on Sunday. 
I like doing dessert nights for a few reasons:
  • A) It's easier than providing food and less pressure (They aren't coming to get full, they are coming to have a treat.)
  • B) It's cheaper than cooking and providing food (They are coming for a snack, so you don't have to make/buy nearly as much.)
  • C) Prep is easy (Most desserts don't need to be served hot, so you can have everything completely done the day before.)
  • D) Who doesn't like desserts?!

There's just one teensy little problem…
And I'm probably the only person in Utah who hates to.
It doesn't matter whether it's a cake from scratch or frozen dinner rolls, I hate it.
But I won't get into that.
I'm usually all about doing potluck parties or asking certain people to contribute a dish or two. HOWEVER…since it was my birthday I felt it inappropriate to ask everyone to bring a dessert (“hey! Come over to my house for my birthday!…oh, and will you provide the food while you're at it?”)
So I needed it to be CHEAP, EASY, and GOOD.
Problem solved!
Cake Mix Dessert Party
I made everything with a cake mix! 
I price-matched them for $0.77 last week so I stocked up. BIG TIME.

I made: 

(don't worry, all the recipes are at the bottom of the post…)

White Chocolate Fudge Bars

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Muffins

Triple Fudge Cookies

Lemon Cake Bars
And I did cheat on a few. I made Mint Oreo Cream Cheese Truffles (which AREN'T from a mix but are even easier, if you can imagine…) 
and some cut up Dunford Donuts that my husband bought on impulse on Saturday from Costco.
I also made mini brownies (brownie mix baked in mini cupcake tins…I don't recommend these, they are impossible to get out of the tins! But so cute…)
…and Mimi Funfetti cupcakes with pink pearl sprinkles but forgot to take a picture! You can kind of see them in the photo above.
I also put out my leftover veggie tray from Friday night (no shame in that!), and some of my neighbors brought amazing treats such as mint brownies, an incredible caramel streusel thing, strawberry shortcake, and that gorgeous chocolate cake below:

I'm guessing those were NOT made with cake mixes. And yes, they were all delish.

I served water bottles so we didn't have to worry about cups. SUPER easy. We even served those adorable tiny water bottles for the kids (you can get them from Costco).

NOTE: (I know I said I wasn't going to ask my neighbors to bring anything. On the email we said, “Desserts won't be turned away, but are NOT necessary.” So some people brought some anyway just to be nice.
The food was cinch. The decorations were even easier:
  • I covered a Costco folding table with the only table cloth I own (I really need to get some cuter ones…), 
  • Hung lanterns I've had since our wedding in 2007 (told you I never throw anything away…), 
  • Moved a jar of fake lemons and a bottle from  my kitchen counter onto the table, 
  • Set up a big frame thing from a project I'm working on (more on that in future posts), 
  • Put out some of my trusty pomander balls
  • Made an easy sign for our front door on my computer and taped it to scrapbook paper (so I can reuse the paper in the future)
  • Made some easy food labels on the computer so people knew what they were eating,
  • Laid out a few sheets of coordinating scrapbook paper on the table to add some color to my bland table cloth like so:

…and there you go!
Other than frosting the cupcakes, cutting the bars and donuts (I didn't want them to dry out), and putting everything out on the table, it was all baked, done, and ready to go. So easy.

We moved our kitchen table out of the way so there would be more room for people to mingle in the kitchen. No matter how many chairs you set up, people always linger where the food is!

Now here's what you've all been waiting for….THE RECIPES! Enjoy 🙂

*Most of these recipes came from the “101 Things To Do With A Cake Mix” Cookbook. Love that thing.

White Chocolate Fudge Bars
1 Chocolate fudge cake mix
2 Eggs
1/3C Oil
3/4C white chocolate chips (I didn't have any so I just chopped up some white almond bark. It added an amazing crunch to the bars. Mmmm….)

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil. Stir in chips. Press into greased 9×13 pan, bake 14-16 minutes. Top with favorite frosting or powdered sugar. I drizzed chocolate almond bark over the top and added powdered sugar. You can also drizzle caramel ice cream topping too. 

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Muffins 
(see recipe HERE). This time I used a spice cake mix instead of carrot.

Lemon Cake Bars

1 Lemon cake mix
1 Egg
1/2C butter, melted
3 3/4C Powdered sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
8oz Cream cheese, softened
1t Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix cake mix, eggs, and butter. Press into greased 9×13 pan. Mix together powdered sugar, beaten eggs, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Spread over bottom layer. Bake 30-40 minutes or until top layer turns golden brown.

Triple Fudge Cookies
(see recipe HERE). I used a triple fudge cake mix and rolled the balls into sugar before placing on the baking sheet.

Oreo Cream Cheese Truffles

1 package of Oreos (any flavor. I did mint this time, but regular and strawberry are both awesome.)
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
Dipping chocolate (I prefer Almond Bark)

Completely pulverize the package of Oreos in a food processor or blender. Make sure the frosting in the Oreos is really crushed down and mixed in well. Once it's crushed well, add the cream cheese. You may have to do this little chunks at a time. But just add until it is well incorporated and you don't see any big blobs of cream cheese. Roll the mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet. Refridgerate for at least 1 hour. Coat in chocolate (I like Almond Bark, it has a great crunch to it when it dries. I get mine at Walmart), place on wax paper on the cooking sheet, and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Drizzle white almond bark over the truffles for a fancy-schmancy look. 

Told you these were all easy! It was an enormous success. We couldn't even count all the people that came, and it totally made my birthday even more fun.
So next time you have a gathering make it EASY on yourself. Host a cake mix dessert party and you won't be disappointed 🙂
Happy eating,


  1. AvatarLauren says

    I was directed to your site from google when looking up cake mix recipes and was excited when I found it but boy didn’t that excitement dissipate quickly when I was bombarded with advertisements EVERYWHERE on your website. Definitely won’t be returning it is VERY offputting!

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