Celebrity chef Duff Goldman.
Duff Goldman's Easy Advice For Elevating Box Cake Mix

Celebrity baker Duff Goldman recognizes that boxed cake mix has untapped potential. His tip is to add your favorite spices and ingredients to upgrade to a boxed cake mix easily.

Add a teaspoon or two of pumpkin pie spice, masala chai spice, or Chinese five-spice. If you'd like a single flavor to stand on its own, go for nutmeg, cinnamon, or cardamom.

A teaspoon of lemon zest imparts a zip of citrus. Consider the flavors in your box mix — if vanilla is present, try tempering it with ½ a teaspoon of almond, maple, or rum extract.

Pecans, walnuts, or almonds are nice additions to pre-made spice, chocolate, or carrot cake mixes. You could also incorporate a ½ cup of chopped chocolate, raisins, or toffee bits.

As for the more dense mix-ins, a common hack is to mix one 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree into one box of cake mix, but make sure you nix the other wet ingredients.

You can also imitate this hack by adding a cup of applesauce to a box cake mix. The cake's texture will change slightly, but it'll still be a moist and flavorful dessert.