Last week I was hungry for spice cake. I needed something quick to make, because I had a Daycare child here and didn't feel comfortable being in the kitchen for more than a few minutes at a time. So I decided to try improvising and used a yellow cake mix and just added 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 teaspoons ginger and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. I made the cake as directed on the package. I baked it in a 9X13 cake pan. It turned out fantastic! I'm not much for frosting, so I got a can of spray whipped cream to top it with. YUM!
Another way to use cake mix, You take any flavor cake mix and bake according to directions. Let cool and then crumble into a big bowl. Add any flavor of frosting and mix well. Roll into half-inch balls and chill in refrigerator for about an hour. Melt down baking chocolate (like Ghiardelli's) and dip each ball into the chocolate and then re-refrigerate until chocolate is set. If you use the right kind of chocolate it shouldn't melt on your fingers and can be kept at room temperature for a good while. I found this recipe on Baby Center, in the Cooking for your Family group. I haven't tried them yet but they sound good. You could probably put them on sticks if you wanted to, that might make it easier to decorate them. You can roll them in crushed nuts or candy, add sprinkles or drizzle another chocolate over them. I've heard of people making them with white chocolate, and almond bark.
There are cookies you can make using a cake mix as well. I'll have to go looking for some of them. It's always nice to be able to put together something a little bit different, without all the hassle of a from scratch recipe. And it seems that every now and then cake mixes go on sale, sometimes 10 for $10 or something. Of course I'm going to keep making things from scratch most of the time, because I like knowing exactly how much sugar, salt and fat things have. I like that there are no artificial preservatives. But there are times when I just need/want something quickly and mixes fit the bill.