Triple Chocolate Devils Food Cookies

filed under: Chocolate Cookies on July 10, 2013

I remember the first time I met my husband’s grandma Carol.  We had been dating a little over a year and I was still very eager to impress all his family members.  (and failing miserably, buts that’s another story)  I remember being very anxious and nervous and wishing I had brought flowers or something as a gift.

We arrived at a home smelling of freshly baked cake and smiles around.  I was in shock, it appeared that his grandma had baked for us!  Carol was a busy wife and grandma (taking care of her wheelchair-bound husband) and it was such a precious gesture on her part.


Triple Chocolate Devils Food Cake Mix Cookies!

“Thank you so much, Carol!  This is delicious!  And thoughtful.  And delicious!  Did I mention delicious?  I cant believe you took the time to bake for us today.  It just means the world to me!”

I couldn’t stop gushing.  Her act of confectionery kindness had taken all my nervousness away.  I was starting to feel welcomed by Chad’s family.  He just might be a keeper! 😉

I was chatting with some of soon-to-be-hubby’s extended family while devouring the fantastic cake and mentioned just how good I thought it was.  Someone leaned over and whispered into my ear as if to share a deep dark family secret.

“It’s from a box.”

Devils Food Cake Mix Cookies

A box?  Wasnt all cake from a box? (This was many years ago, long before I had ever baked a cake!) I was silenced and confused.

That moment changed me.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they would tell me that.  I could not figure out why it was even significant!  Never mind the fact that I had no clue that cake could even be made without a box, I just thought it was so unnecessary to point it out.

It hurt me.  I can only imagine how Carol would have felt had she heard.

Did the source of the ingredients decrease the value of the gift?

Fast forward to 2013.  There is still ongoing baking war in terms of box vs. scratch.

People dismiss and reject others that do not profess to be 100%, from-scratch bakers.  Magazines, authors, publishers, fellow bloggers all esteem that “from scratch” is the only way to bake and that anything less is unacceptable.  If you cannot prepare (and create!) quality from-scratch recipes then your value as a baker is significantly diminished.  I too have been sucked into the “from scratch is best” way of thinking.  You will see that if I ever share recipes on my blog that involves a box mix I find a way to explain it or give a list of excuses why as if trying to defend myself.

These days it’s pretty common knowledge that you will not be considered for any awards or publication if you embrace the “lazy” way.  People look down their nose at box cakes and actually sneer as they discovered that a  .99 box was the entire ingredient list.  Then there are those folks who pride themselves on instantly being able to determine if synthetically chemically flavored preservative laden box mix was served or if the ingredients were from scratch!

Why is there in innate fear of proclaiming the use of boxed cake mix?

When did it become shameful to admit that Betty Crocker had a hand in your confectionery masterpiece?


Devils Food Cake Mix Cookies

I get it.  I get it.  From-scratch is better for you.  It’s sometimes cheaper.  It’s more easily personalized.  Some think it tastes better.  Some think the crumb is better.  You are a real true, honest-to-goodness, original and accomplished baker if you make it from scratch.

And in all honesty, I am not concerned as to why people choose box vs. scratch.  What does concern me is the intent behind it.

I know there is no way I can win this particular baking war, but I would like to try and wage at least one small battle.

My goal is simple.  Look beyond the cake.  Yes, taste and appearance is of utmost importance and I fully support you embracing what you love best.  But its almost as if we have missed a small step in the directions.

Remember the big picture.  The giving, sharing, and devouring of cake together is a wonderful gift.  It is a time to celebrate people and make memories.

I can’t think of a single time I ever made and decorated a cake to simply devour it all myself in private.  To not photograph it or show it to family or share it with friends.

Cakes are made to be shared.

At that glorious moment when a surprised birthday girl cuts into a beautiful pink cake or when a tired neighbor opens the door only to see a sinfully decadent chocolate cake in front of a friendly face… in that moment it surely does not matter if the cake was a box or from scratch.  What matters is that you touched someone’s heart.

That you brought them joy.

That you now have a lifelong memory based on a generosity of spirit and a willingness to serve.

That is what matters, right?

Devils Food Cake Mix Cookies

That being said, I proudly share with you today a far-from-scratch recipe that I have come to love.  It’s over the top and rich and easy and wonderful.  There is an obscene amount of white chocolate chips and that is just the way I like it.  (You can certainly decrease the amount you use to accommodate your tastes.)

I share it with you in the hopes that it brings you as much joy as it has brought us.  But if you just cant beyond the fact that I used a box mix, I understand.   I can’t help but think that maybe somewhere along the line though, you may miss a blessing.

Triple Chocolate Devils Food Cookies
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

I share it with you in the hopes that it brings you as much joy as it has brought us. But if you just cant beyond the fact that I used a box mix, I understand. I cant help but think that maybe somewhere along the line though, you may miss a blessing.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Triple Chocolate Devils Food Cookies
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 box Devils Food Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  1. Pour dry ingredients into medium bowl.
  2. Add oil and eggs and mix until well combined.
  3. Stir in all chips.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop out small balls of dough. This recipe makes 18-24 cookies, so I had three cookies sheets prepared.

  5. Place eight dough balls on each cookie sheet. (If you would prefer a smoother appearance for your cookie, go back and roll each cookie between your hands.)

  6. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.



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  • Tara @ Unsophisticook says:

    While I prefer to bake from scratch when possible, I am certainly not above using a box! It’s what I grew up on too. Loved the story behind this recipe, Amanda!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks beautiful! How are those five awesome kids of yours???

  • Arlene says:

    I love your blog. I too agree with you about scratch vs box mixes. I do both. I once spent so much time and money (melting chocolate bars etc) making a cake from scratch only to have it turn out dry and awful, before having company that evening. I thankfully had a box mix in the cupboard which I begrudgingly pulled out to make, to save dessert. My husband said, what’s the big deal, Betty Crocker doesn’t spend millions of dollars to have cake that turns out bad. It made me feel better about using that mix.

    I have made your recipe for cookies, in fact, it’s one recipe for cookies my grown daughters ask for every Christmas holiday. The only difference is I use peanut butter chips and chocolate chips, and save about 1/4-1/2 cup of the peanut butter chips to melt with a tiny amount of I think milk, which after the cookies are cooled, you drizzle over the tops. It’s like a Reeses peanut butter cup in a cookie!

  • Erin {Lemon Sugar} says:

    I’m a total advocate for from-scratch baking, but this blogger has never turned down a box mix, either! My most requested cupcake is actually a doctored-up cake mix!

    I think as long as we eat real, whole, natural foods MOST of the time, an occasional convenience food is a-ok.

    And “Crocker, please?” You’re awesome. 🙂

  • Kristen says:

    I just shared a recipe on my blog that had cake mix AND Cool Whip – obviously, I’m the devil incarnate 😉

    • Rachel says:

      Sounds amazing to me! 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      I am going to draw red horns on your avatar! 😉

  • Rachel says:

    “Never stare into a gift horse’s mouth”. Is a good saying to live by. I bake both. If I’m feeling adventurous then I bake from scratch, but ain’t nothing wrong with some Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines!

  • Paula says:

    These cookies sound and look divine. As an avid baker, people seldom bake for me. I think they are afraid that if it is not from scratch, the quality or thought appears not to be there. Truth very best white cake (which everyone loves) starts with a box, as does my strawberry cake. Others I make are totally from scratch, but these two happen to just taste the best.
    Anyway….what I wouldn’t give for someone to bake for me..from a box. I don’t care. If it comes from the heart, it is the thought that counts. The thought. That means everything to me.
    So, I will make these, for me. And I will share…maybe. 🙂

  • Claudia Hall Christian says:

    When did we get to a place where people lack the personal responsibility to follow their own convictions and not hoist them on someone else. Gaah! It’s so easy to make a chocolate cake from scratch I can’t imagine why anyone would care if it was from a box or scratch. People who are upset can just whip up what they want in the time it takes to complain about your choices. Just. so. dumb.

    Bake on, my friend, you’re doing awesome! 🙂

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says:

    My favorite cake recipes ever actually is a combo of cake mix and flour, salt, etc. It’s a beautiful combo of both box and scratch haha.

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet says:

    I always say there is a time and a place for cake mix and pre-made cookie dough! I love this reminder of WHY most of us head to the kitchen in the first place. Baking has always been more about love and sharing than ingredients, to me, so I completely agree.

  • Rose @ says:

    The only really nasty comment I ever received on my blog was because I start with box mixes and the person who left the comment thought I was just the scum of the earth …. and when I say nasty, it was the worst I could imagine, including some really foul language. BUT, I proudly use box mixes in almost all of my cakes and even post the recipes on my site. My customers also know that my cakes start from a box and they don’t mind at all…. if I’m happy and my customers are happy – I don’t think it really matters what anybody else thinks!

    • Amanda says:

      And you sure do amazing things with those cake mixes girl! 🙂

  • Gail says:

    I know my limitations. There are some things I can do and they taste (even if they don’t look lol) really good, and other things which I leave to mass production (like meringue – cos I’m too chicken to try) or a box mix (any cookies or brownies – mine from scratch are dry, crumbly and lacking). I love making bread but find my pastry isn’t so good any more so I buy it frozen.
    Make with love and serve with confidence 🙂

  • Anne M. says:

    So beautifully put!!!
    Thanks for this post. I have only tried twice to back a cake from scratch, and both times it tasted awful. Box mixes are for people like me who love to be able to bake a cake AND eat it, too! 🙂

  • Becky @ So Very Blessed says:

    When I made my Cake Batter Puppy Chow with a boxed mix, somebody commented talking about the evils of boxed cake mix and when I read it, I just sat there with my mouth agape for I-don’t-even-know-how long. I had NO idea why people would have issues with box mixes! Now, I have been properly educated and I still love the stuff (I love from scratch, too!). 😉

    I love your heart for people, Amanda. You see through the drama and issues and you look for the heart behind everything. That is exactly the lens I want to see the world through. I love this post.

  • anastassia says:

    i’m a trained chef, and my aunt is a trained professional baker and we both use boxed mixes at home sometimes, and cool whip, and various other premixed items. because sometimes you have to, and sometimes you’re tired and just want to make someone a gift. the other part of it is that we were raised on these items and crave the taste of childhood. yes i can make you the most amazing tomato basil bisque with grilled cheese on homemade sourdough bread, and sometimes i want Campbell’s tomato soup with packaged white bread and american cheese and there should be no shame there. that said, i’m off my soap box and i’m going to make these cookies for my friends at work tomorrow. (who don’t care how i achieved the baked goods so long they are being handed to them with a smile)

  • Patti @ Bakeify says:

    These look fantastic. And the variations are only as limited as the number of boxed cake mixes out there! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Ann says:

    I have never had one person ask if I made their cake from scratch. I don`t know of too many that would now the difference anyhow. I have made both and prefer box mixes hands down. Scratch cakes are too unpredictable..sometimes dry, sometimes the crumb is too coarse and sometimes you just don`t have the ingredients in your pantry. I always make cookies from scratch though but after seeing your recipe, that will change. Thank you!

  • nessa says:

    Such a fabulous post! I usually use a mix because I prefer the process and result, but that doesn’t give me the right to hate on box mixes! It’s all about personal preference, and using box mixes is perfectly fine. Thanks for this post Amanda 🙂

  • kathleen reynolds says:

    Here here! Well said! Couldn’t agree more!

  • Kara says:

    I use any type of cake mix for these cookies and they always turn out great! I even tried your orange and lime cake the other day and then made another batch into cookies. And the new pink lemonade cake mix made into cookies… Oh my sinful!

  • Linda V @ Bubble and Sweet says:

    My stand by dessert is Brownies from a box served with shop bought ice-cream. I’ve never had anyone turn it down in all the years I have been making it. Although I can bake from scratch well and enjoy it, sometimes I just want something delicious and yummy without all the fuss. Your cookies look delicious by the way.

  • Deborah Stauch says:

    You sure can stir things up girl! I love reading all of the comments on both sides. Please start another war about the evils of food coloring. It’s my favorite argument. lol! Keep up the great work and kiss that adorable baby for me. Lazy. I can’t BELIEVE that would even cross anyone’s mind but they are so very wrong.

    • Amanda says:

      lol Good idea! Nice to see you pretty lady!

  • Betsy @JavaCupcake says:

    I have a thing with pie crusts. I always use them from a box. Always. I just can’t do it from scratch. And every time I post a recipe, I always find myself justifying why I’m using them. Making excuses as to why it’s not “from scratch”.

    So yeah, I guess I’ve been sucked in to the vortex.

    Thanks for the reality check, Amanda!

    *running to kitchen to see if I have anything in a box*

    • Colleen says:

      I don’t think very many folks make pie crust from scratch. The ready mades are so convienient and, honestly, taste great. If someone makes me a pie, (pecan please, thanks!) I’m not gonna ask them if they made the crust from scratch! I’m gonna eat it!

  • Rachael says:

    I popped on over after Heather ( mentioned this post and I’m really glad I did. I don’t bake (mostly due to not having an oven right now), but I will very happily polish off any kind of baked goodness placed in my vicinity – I couldn’t give two hoots whether it’s from box or from scratch, as long as it’s tasty and shared with good peolpe (or even not if I’m honest, mostly just the tasty part… 😉 ) I loved reading about your husband’s grandma baking for you – a really sweet story.

  • Sue {munchkin munchies} says:

    I promise if you share some cookies with me, I won’t ask if they’re from a box, and I won’t care! 🙂 These cookie look DELICIOUS!

  • Laurie says:

    I love box cakes! They are so tasty and fluffy. It always seems like from scratch cakes are dense and less flavorful but maybe I’m doing something wrong. It doesn’t really bod well for the clean eating life style I long for though! lol Thanks for standing up for us Crockers! And for the recipe.