Make That Cake Mix a Masterpiece: 23 Upgraded Dessert Recipes
It’s almost unbelievable that these stunning desserts all came from box mixes. There is absolutely no shame in reaching for a box. We are busy people and sometimes you just need a quick cake for that last-minute dessert emergency. With a few extra ingredients and a bit of creativity, you’ll have everyone believing you spent hours in the kitchen with these gorgeous desserts. From milkshakes, cookies, bars and even a couple cakes, here are 23 desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth with the greatest of ease.
1. Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars: If these aren’t gooey enough for you, nothing ever will be! Yellow cake mix topped with coconut flakes, butterscotch and chocolate chips will have you singing a sweet, sweet song. (via Averie Cooks)
3. Mini Tea Cakewiches With Green Tea Frosting: Yes, it’s a “tea” sandwich made with jasmine and green tea and a white cake mix, these tasty bits are absolutely adorable all covered in sprinkles. Tea anyone? (via Brit + Co.)
4. Coconut Cupcakes: A simple vanilla cake mix is topped with a divine buttercream frosting made with coconut milk and lime zest for a light dessert perfect for warmer weather. (via My Baking Addiction)
7. Homemade Twinkies: Twinkies are amazing little logs of preservatives that no one wants to admit to eating, but now you can make your own, dare we say, “healthier” version with yellow cake mix. (via Averie Bakes)
10. Cake Batter Milkshakes: Here’s a three ingredient recipe that will have all the boys in your yard. Use a funfetti cake mix for these creamy milkshakes, or add cake mix to your goods the next time you make ice cream for cake batter flavor! (via Cooking Classy)
14. Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies With Vanilla Cream Frosting: You are never too old to enjoy a pretty pink cookie with thick white frosting and pink sprinkles. (via Averie Cooks)
16. Gooey Red Velvet Brownie Cake: Who knew you could bake a cake and a batch of brownies together in the same pan? Top that with a thick cream cheese frosting that has the consistency of no-bake cheesecake, and you have a dessert worth drooling over. (via Beyond Frosting)
17. Pastel Confetti Cake: One of the best things about spring is all the colors! Six layers of colored cake covered in jumbo sprinkles will make for a stunning centerpiece at your next spring jam! (via Brit + Co.)
20. Take 5 Cupcakes: Chocolate, peanut butter, pretzels and caramel… you cannot go wrong with that combination. The chocolate cake mix makes for a thick enough batter to load up with candy bar pieces. (via My Baking Addiction)
21. Golden Oreo Blondies: Perfect with a cold glass of milk, these rich brownies have three layers — cookie dough, blonde Oreos and a yellow cake batter to top everything off. Oh dear. (via Life With the Crust Cut Off)
22. Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars: The base layer is oats and cake mix, and the top is a delicious, creamy blend of coconut flakes, seasonal berries and white chocolate. (via Averie Cooks)
23. Pina Colada White Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies: Even though Cinco de Mayo is over, there is no reason you can’t keep the party going with these delicious coconut/pineapple flavored cookies. (via Averie Cooks)
How do you upgrade your boxed cake mix? Let us know in the comments below!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com