Boxed yellow cake mix can be used for more desserts than just sheet cake or cupcakes. Soft yellow cookie rounds, ladyfingers and shortcake cups can be prepared in advance and frozen. Pull them out as needed, add ready-to-serve ingredients and you can have a dessert plated in ten minutes or less, not counting advance preparation time.


Gobs

Despite the less than elegant name, gobs are a delicious treat that takes just minutes to make. Prepare yellow cake mix according to package directions. Use a flat-bottom ladle to pour the cake batter onto cookie sheets, as if making pancakes. Each pour should form a three- to four-inch diameter circle. Make no more than six pours per cookie sheet to prevent the edges of each cake round from running together.

The baking temperature listed on the package should be the same, but the baking time will be more flexible, since the cakes should be removed from the oven when the bottom edge of each round turns golden brown. If a toothpick inserted into each cake comes out clean, they are done. Once cooled, you can freeze the cake rounds in a single flat layer in gallon-size plastic freezer bags. The cake rounds should be thawed to room temperature before use.

You can use whipped topping for a light filling, or substitute whipped butter-cream frosting for a richer dessert. Watkins Online.com has recipes for fillings for chocolate, pumpkin and vanilla gobs. Spoon the filling onto one cake round and top it with a second one. You can drizzle gobs with chocolate syrup, caramel sauce or any clear fruit sauce of your choice, and place the gob in the freezer until ready to serve.


Ladyfingers

If you do not have ladyfinger pans you can use corn-shaped corn muffin pans. Fill each section just two-thirds full of prepared yellow cake mix batter to prevent them from running over. Follow package directions on temperatures, but test with a toothpick to determine how long to continue to bake. When it comes out clean, take the pan out of the oven.

If you turn the pan over on waxed paper or parchment, they will be less likely to stick while cooling. Laying a cool, damp cloth over the pan while it cools to room temperature helps loosen the cakes, preventing them from crumbling. You may have to strike the pan with a spoon or your hand before gently lifting it off the cakes.

You can use a pastry tube or cookie press with icing tip to fill the ladyfingers with butter cream or jam. If you use a 1/2-inch diameter dowel rod to poke a hole into the end of each ladyfinger without going through the other end, it will make them easier to fill. After you squeeze frosting or jam into each ladyfinger, store them side by side on sheets of waxed paper in gallon-size plastic, zipper-style freezer bags. Two ladyfingers on a plate, drizzled with raspberry and chocolate syrup, make an elegant dessert.


Shortcake

You can pour prepared yellow cake mix into shortcake pans or use the same cake rounds used to make gobs. You can spoon your favorite jam into each shortcake cup and top with the same type berries or sliced fresh fruit, and top with whipped cream or your favorite pudding mix. If you heat additional jam until it liquefies into syrup, it can be drizzled over each shortcake before serving. If desired, you can also grate chocolate, nutmeg or citrus peel over each shortcake.