Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cake mix and frosting mix review

I'm dying to get back into the kitchen. I haven't made a single baked good in close to 6 weeks! I can hardly stand it. So I sent Alex to get me a gluten-free cake mix and some frosting, because I can stand in the kitchen long enough to throw some stuff into the mixer.
Alex came back with the new Wholefoods 365 brand gluten-free chocolate cake mix, which I've been interested to try since all their products use the same rice-potato-tapioca flour mix that I do. I've been weary of mixes since trying one or two of Bob's Red Mill, since they use bean flours in theirs and I can't stand bean flours. Just because I can't have wheat flour doesn't mean I have to eat something gross! Alex also picked up the Cherrybrook Kitchen's vanilla frosting mix. I was really excited to try both these products.
When Alex brought them home I looked at the back of each box to see what I needed. The cake mix needed 5 T of butter, 2 eggs, and 1 1/2 c buttermilk or yogurt. Check (or, check once I turned some milk with lemon juice). The frosting mix? TWO AND A HALF CUPS OF BUTTER, and 2 T or rice/soy/cow milk. Wait a second. I checked the ingredients for the frosting, and the only things in it are confectioners sugar and vanilla flavor. So basically I'm paying $4 for a box of powdered sugar. Or, Alex is, but still. What a rip off.
So I mixed up the cake, after letting the butter soften for too long (I forget its 95 degrees out), and the cake mix was a little runny but I cooked it anyway. It smelled good, and came out looking like cake. The box only makes one pan, either 8" round or square, and it doesn't rise a ton. I let it cool and mixed up the frosting.
The frosting didn't have enough vanilla flavor, so if you noticed the nice vanilla specks in the frosting in my cake above, forget it. I added that myself. There was enough frosting for the little cake, but I still felt totally ripped off as I made the frosting. If you don't know, how to make a butter cream frosting is use butter, milk or other liquid, and confectioners sugar. And chocolate or vanilla or whatever you want to flavor it with.
Once I was done frosting the cake, it was pretty ugly. I stuck it in the fridge to let the frosting harden a bit. We ate dinner (something delicious that Alex had made, like usual) and then had some of the cake. The frosting was good, buttery, but the cake is a little weird. It feels like theres soo much xanthan or guar gum. When you bite it it feels slippery in your mouth. It doesn't taste bad, but it doesn't have a strong chocolate flavor either.

End result? Absolutely don't waste your money on the frosting mix, and I'd skip the cake mix if you have another brand you like or better yet, make one from scratch!


  1. Hi, I've been using some recipes on your blog as my son is allergic to everything :) Wanted to post a good white cake mix that you can buy. It is by Namaste. Also, for his first bday we made a kickass frosting:

    1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar
    1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened (I used dairy free margarine)
    1 banana, mashed
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    milk to smooth (as needed)(I used rice milk -- just a splash)

    Thank you for your great blog!

  2. Anonymous5:43 AM

    Ice-cream with Vanilla flavor ummmmmmmmmm
    I like it very much.

  3. Jill-
    Oh yeah! I love namaste, I haven't gotten anything from them in a while since I really hardly ever buy mixes, but I've had both their spice cake mix and pizza mix and loved both of them. That looks like a great vegan recipe for once I get back into the kitchen on both feet and get back to my vegan-gluten free experiments! Thanks for reading!

  4. Jill-

    I've found the same problem with Pamela's Product frosting mixes as well. One package is hardly enough to cover a cake. Probably even cheaper to make it yourself.