I am not afraid to admit to liking and using store brought cake mixes. The convenience of them can't be argued. I also like them for the fact that they are great confidence boosters for beginning bakers as they are virtually fool proof.
Along with the required fat, liquid and eggs I always add a few other goodies to packet mix cakes. A very liberal dash of vanilla, buttermilk instead of milk, grated chocolate or chocolate bits.
A friend swears by adding raspberry lollies to store brought white cake mix.
Store brought cake mixes are terrific time savers too. Last weekend was hectic what with catching up with work friends, wedding dress shopping, a cousin's 30th and 'helping' the fiance write job applications. Sunday evening rolled around and I still needed to bake a cake for a colleague's birthday.
Thank goodness for packet cake mixes and store brought icing.
I love vanilla essence. Of course a second drop was added just before I poured the cake batter into the baking pan.