Easy Vegan Duncan Hines Yellow Cake

All the humans in my household love delicious, minimal-effort foods without killing animals, and once in a while we pay attention to our health too ;) At least this way this cake has zero cholesterol and far fewer calories, but we don't fool ourselves into thinking it's a health food!

We've made variations of this recipe, each with different results (different texture, different flavor, rises less or more), but this is our original effort and still a favorite. It rises some, but not a whole lot, so it's extremely moist and dense with a melt-in-your-mouth feel. In fact, we pour all the batter into one 9.5 inch round cake pan (silicone, made by Lekue).


1 package Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake mix
6 tablesoons (3/8 cup) cold water
6 tablespoons (3/8 cup) corn starch
a little vegetable oil (to oil the pan)
a little flour (to flour the pan) -- optional for silicone pans
1 tub Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Classic Chocolate frosting -- optional

AND either

1 cup water
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce


1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (we use canola)


Preheat the oven. The box recommmends 350 for metal or glass pans, 325 for dark or coated pans. They don't mention silicone; we use 350.

Oil the pan with a thin layer vegetable oil, then flour lightly.

Mix together the 6 tablespoons cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth.

Mix the corn starch mix, cake mix, water, and apple sauce or oil in a large bowl. Before we moved, we used to blend and beat just like the package said (blend at low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds, then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes). We now use metal tablespoons (not measuring spoons, just dining spoons with longer-than-average handles) and elbow grease. It turns out lumpy, which scared me at first, but the cakes always turn out smooth and good. Another human--our main cook--found that using two spoons, held in one fist facing away from each other, works better than one spoon.

Dump the batter into your pan/s and stick in the oven. You can use the baking time chart on the box, but we just test it every so often. Using the batter for one 9.5 inch round cake, we've found it usually takes around 40 - 50 minutes.

Frost if desired.

Cut and eat away. Guard ferociously against jealous humans and cats.

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Sep 07, 2012
my favorite cake recipe
by: Aura

I am so greatful for the Easy Vegan Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Recipe. I use it all the time a bake a cake now, as my little baby girl is allergic to dairy, eggs, nuts. She will be 2 y.o. in 2 weeks and I am making her a checkerboard Toy Story cake.I also bake the same cake for her brother. Everyone loves the cakes, at first they were not sure about it, but after the first bite..it was pure joy..I love to bake..and this is the official recipe for me. THANKS!!!!!!

Apr 26, 2010
Are we supposed to cook it past when it tests done?
by: Wendy

Well I had high hopes - again - and this cake is sweet and looks good, but it kinda turns to paste in your mouth as you eat it, rather than maintaining a crumby texture. Maybe it will get better as it cools, it is still kind of warm, but I doubt it - boy 6 TBSP seems like a LOT of corn starch. I wonder if flax seeds or Ener G egg replacer would yield a little less dense of a cake?
I may test this box cake again with a different egg replacer - BTW I used oil not applesauce as I was going for flavor, not health. Not sure if that makes a difference or not.
Thanks for the post!

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