No time to make whoopie pies and brownies from scratch? Save time with these delicious recipes made with box cake mixes

March 5, 2024

When my son was a child, I often looked for shortcuts in preparing meals and treats for my family.

I was working a full-time job as an editor, which usually overlapped with after-school activities and sports. There were many nights I had 15 minutes to get a meal ready before heading out to one of his games — or 15 minutes after the game when we were all starving. Rachael Ray’s 30-minute recipes and my slow cooker were major lifelines during that period.

During a recent foray through my recipe cards, I found recipes for desserts — whoopie pie, brownies and bars and cookies that made my life easier back then for those last-minute food sales, class parties or to feed the constant stream of his friends at our home. Are they as good as being made from scratch? No. Do they come together quickly? Yes.

Feel free to try different flavor cake mixes. I’ve made chocolate, vanilla, lemon and spice whoopie pies; lemon, strawberry, lemon and marble bars. Using a yellow cake mix creates blondies. The options for the cookies are endless, choose a cake mix flavor and whatever add-ins you’d like. One of my favorites are S’mores — chocolate cake mix with mini marshmallows and crumbled graham crackers added in.


Servings: 18 whoopie pies



One 15.25-ounce box cake mix

One 3.4-ounce box instant pudding mix

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs


3/4 cup salted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup marshmallow creme



Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), add the cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil and eggs.

Stir to combine then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat for 2 minutes.

Scoop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet with at least 2 inches between each cookie (I use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop).

Bake for 10-13 minutes. Let cool completely.


Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until smooth.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Stir in the marshmallow creme and refrigerate until ready to assemble the whoopie pies.

Lay half of the cookies upside-down (so the flat side of the cookie is on top).

Use a piping bag or a cookie scoop to transfer the filling onto the cookie halves.

Place the remaining cookies on top to form the whoopie pies.



1 box cake mix (any flavor)

1/3 cup oil

2 eggs


Mix your box of cake mix, eggs and oil well.

Spray an 8-by-8-inch pan with non-stick spray and add mix, making sure it is smoothed out and the same thickness across your pan so they cook evenly.

Bake at 350 F for about 18 to 22 minutes or until edges are slightly brown, beginning to stiffen and middle is not liquidy. Do not overbake.

Cool totally before slicing.


(Courtesy of The Cookie Rookie)

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Serves: 12


15.25-ounce cake mix (1 box)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil or substitute the same amount of melted butter


In a large mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, eggs, and oil.

Scoop the dough into balls and drop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake cookies at 350 F for 8-12 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes before eating or moving to a cooling rack.

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