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My boyfriend wasn't looking at the store and picked up a "Butter yellow" cake mix instead of "Golden Yellow." Do we have to make it with butter or can we just leave it out and just use oil instead? Or do we have to go buy the right cake mix. We don't want to be left with a box of cake we won't use

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How are you supposed to prepare the cake? If it involves creaming, you can't use oil, you need a solid fat. (Shortening, margarine or taste-free lard will work in place of the butter). – rumtscho Jul 30 '12 at 23:15
@rumtscho Generally a boxed cake mix does not require creaming. You just put the mix in a bowl with water, fat and eggs and mix it up. The cake mix is specially processed such that all the dry ingredients dissolve very quickly into the water and help create an emulsion with the fat and eggs without a significant amount of mixing. – Mike Deck Jul 31 '12 at 16:18

For a boxed cake either type of cooking fat should render a similar result. The final flavor will be a little different, but it shouldn't make a huge difference and probably won't be much different than a mix that calls for oil in the first place.

If you wanted to keep the flavor similar while avoiding dairy you could try using butter flavored shortening instead of oil.

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