Alexandria is an amateur baker and cook who loves making things from scratch and experimenting with flavors.
Fix Your Mix
I usually prefer baking things from scratch, but sometimes using boxed mixes is just easier. Boxed mixes come with all the dry ingredients already combined perfectly for you and you just have to add the wet stuff, normally eggs, oil, and water in no particular order.
Sounds easy but what if you mess up and add 4 times as much water or any other wet ingredient for that matter? The easy 1, 2, 3 instructions don't tell you what to do if you stray from their recipe and it can cause a panic. Never fear, from personal experience I've discovered some tips to make sure that your baked goods come out perfectly even with a little extra ingredients added.
Too Many Eggs
First thing once you've realized your baking blunder (hopefully they haven't made it to the oven yet!) assess the situation. If you've added an extra egg then your baked goods will probably just come out more cake-y. When you've mixed everything thoroughly check the consistency of your batter. It most likely should be thick but runny enough to pour out of the bowl by itself without much aid when tilted. If it seems a bit too runny (like if you added two or three extra eggs for instance) then add a tablespoon of flour and mix and repeat until it has the consistency you want.
Extra Oil or Water
If you've added to much oil or water to your mix then you'll need to compensate with extra dry ingredients. You'll need to add some additional flour to even out your mix. Just eyeball how much you need or add it by tablespoons to be cautious until the texture is right.
Depending on how much extra wet ingredients you added, perhaps 3x as much needed or more, you should also add a dash of flavoring to complement your mix. If it's brownies or chocolate cake, add cocoa powder. I recommend Nesquik flavored powders because they have sugar already mixed in to help keep the ingredients leveled out. About a tablespoon per unit of flour you added should do. Check the consistency to make sure it's not too runny and then bake them.
Bake a Bit Longer
Bake your tasty treat according to the instructions on the box. If you added extra water or oil then you will want to bake them an extra 5-10 minutes to make sure they aren't soggy in the middle. Use a toothpick or clean knife and insert it into the middle and two far ends of your baking pan every 5 minutes past the instructed cook time to see if they're done. The utensil should come out clean when they're done or with traces of fluffy crumbs or fudge-y streaks if there's chocolate morsels in there but nothing resembling uncooked batter!
The reason I say to check the sides as well as the middle is because sometimes ovens don't cook evenly (like mine :P). Also If you haven't mixed or poured the ingredients into the pan evenly (sometimes we're in a rush and it happens) then some places may cook more quickly than others. Leaving your dessert in for a few minutes longer will normally allow all of it to get cooked splendidly without any of it getting burnt, you just have to be diligent about checking the oven frequently.
If you've accidentally strayed from the instructions on the back of the box don't panic and hopefully with these tips you're treats will come out well with no trace of your little mistake!
Nesquik is perfect for a glass of chocolate milk but if you've flubbed up your brownie mix it can help level out the sweetness and flavors too.
Questions & Answers
Question: What can I do if I added too much water to my brownie mix and I do not have extra flour?
Answer: You can try baking your brownies for a little longer if you don't have any extra flour. However, the flavor and texture won't be as good.
Question: What kind of flour do I use if I’ve added too much water to my boxed mixes of baked goods?
Answer: Just all purpose flour will do unless you are making something gluten free etc. Cake flour would also work well for cake mixes.
Question: What should I do if I use too much sun flower oil and I don’t have any flour to mix?
Answer: You will need to compensate for the extra oil with dry ingredients otherwise the texture will be off. If you dont have any type of flour you could try a blend of other dry ingredients such as sugars and starches but I'm honestly not sure how that would taste. If you're making something chocolate, you can substitute cacao powder in place of flour.
Question: I used 3/4 c of oil instead of 1/2. Should I also add a bit more of the dry ingredients along with the flour to compensate for the extra oil?
Answer: Yes, you should just add dry ingredients by the tablespoon until the consistency seems right.
Question: What if you add too much water to frosting mix?
Answer: If you add too much liquid to a homemade frosting recipe your best course of action is to guesstimate how much extra liquid you added and to add the same ratio of dry ingredients. Do this gradually to ensure the texture is right however, it really depends on the frosting recipe. If using store bought frosting you shouldn't need to add anything to it.
Question: Adding too many flavors?
Answer: Are you asking what to do if you added too many flavors to your recipe? That is a bit more complicated. The same principles apply as far as texture. Extra vanilla extract (a liquid) can be balanced with some extra flour or cocoa powder (dry ingredients) but as for the flavor that might not be fixable depending on the situation. Hope that helps.
Beth Webster-Duerr from Henrietta, New York on February 07, 2019:
While making brownies from a mix, i mistakenly reversed the measurements for water (1/4 c.) and oil (2/3 c.). Looks different, more like cake, and rose a little more in the middle, but with 5 extra minutes in the oven, turned out rather well. A little heavy, but still edible. :)
floris on August 27, 2018:
this was very helpful
Riley on August 01, 2018:
Thank you so much I put a half cup of water instead of veggie oil and three tablespoons of oil but the brownie still tastes so good thanks to you
Lauren on June 27, 2018:
Thank you so much! I added too much water to my fondant mix and I didn’t know what to do. Thanks!
Nessa on July 03, 2017:
Bobs redmill gf chocolate cake called for 2/3 cup of water plus 2/3 cup milk. Batter very runny !
I wonder if it was a typo?
Alexandria Taberski (author) from Loveland, CO on May 08, 2017:
I'm glad these tips helped. It's tough to get boxed mixes to taste perfect if you add too much water but they can be salvaged!
Rosemary lane on May 07, 2017:
added by accident an extra cup of liquid to a cake mix. kept wondering why the batter was so watery...... anyhow I added about 6 tbs of flour and 4 of chocolate milk powder ( a chocolate cake) and baked the cupcakes about 5 minutes longer.... tasted OK and looked great!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on January 01, 2016:
Alexandria, I've been trying to make brownies last year and haven't managed them to turn out what it looks like in that photos. In September, they were more like brownie bites from leaving it on the counter. Then last week, it was half-soft, half-hard, when I put them in the fridge. This is useful for when I try it again this spring, hopefully with better luck.
Miranda Ricks on August 19, 2015:
Thank you so much, I thiught my brownies were a bit too runny, then I found out that I put 1 3rd cups instead of 1 4th! A bit of flour foxed it right up.
Alexandria Taberski (author) from Loveland, CO on July 07, 2015:
You're welcome, I hoped this helped:)
alexa on July 07, 2015:
Thank u so much my mom would of gotten mad! Haha