I like to make a lot of things from scratch, cake included. However, there are times when a box mix just needs to be relied upon for sanity, like the times when you have three kids and they all want to help with the cake. Which would be most times lately.
If you are lucky enough to have one near you, run, don’t walk—okay, you know what?--drive, sensibly, but get thee to Trader Joe’s and feel free to buy their cake mix. It is AWESOME. No weird chemicals, no bad stuff: it truly has only what you’d use if you did pull out the measuring cups and spoons. If I didn’t love Trader Joe’s so much, I might try to pass it off as my own, but instead I fully cop to using this. They only stock a chocolate and yellow mix, and chocolate and white frosting mixes (never tried the white though), so it’s not like I’ll never make a cake from scratch, but these are some bona fide go to pantry items, if you ask me.
The only hard part is not eating it all like a piggy. I finally had to own up to the fact that my tasty, tasty birthday cake was going to sing its siren song to me every night until I ate the whole thing, so I plopped it into the trash last night. :)