No More Dh Mixes! Rant/vent - Long!

Decorating By butterflywings Updated 14 Jul 2008 , 7:23pm by Muse

butterflywings Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 1:34am
post #1 of 18

I've mentioned a couple of times that I am making a 3 tiered football themed cake for a police officer's surprise party Friday night. I've been baking up my tiers today, so that I can tort and ice tomorrow, then decorate & assemble friday morning. Everything is going along nicely, just like normal. Got the 14" square (dark choc. fudge) baked quite well (biggest layer i've ever made btw). It's cooled, wrapped and sitting in the freezer waiting for tomorrow. The top tier, the football is french vanilla, and again no problems. The middle tier 10" square - THE FREAKIN' MIDDLE TIER!!! GAH!!! It's supposed to be french vanilla, too. I did everything exactly like I always do, cake mix, pudding mix, 1/2 c oil, 1/2 c water, 1 c sour cream, 4 eggs. bake 325*, homemade bake strips... THE MIDDLE FREAKIN' SANK!! Well, it never really rose much. I never once opened the oven... GAH!! I thought, ok, well, it's a 3" pan I can torte, maybe not lose much. But then, when I turn it out of the pan (I only cool in pan for about 7-10 minutes and use homemade pan release) this HUGE chunk stuck to the bottom. GGRRRRR!!! So, I run up to the store, by more ingredients, come back and mix it all up and do it over again. As I'm cleaning up, I realize that the first mixes were DH and I usually use Betty Crocker. That is the ONLY difference this time, so it HAS to be the problem. And, when we cut a corner off to taste it, since it's not going to be used for anything now, the texture is crumbly and kinda dry, even though I used pudding and it's spongy looking. YUK! And even though its french vanilla, it doesn't really taste good either.

Thanks, but I'll stick to BC from now on.. she's never ever let me down!

17 replies
butterflywings Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 2:33am
post #2 of 18


The 2nd attempt at the middle tier just came out of the oven (used Miss Betty) and it came out PERFECT!!

Anyone else had bad experiences with DH mixes or is it just me?

indydebi Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 3:03am
post #3 of 18

I stopped using DH as my main mix 20+ years ago. Too "light and fluffy" and when I'm flippin' a 14 or 16" cake, I need firm and solid!

I only use DH when they have a flavor that Betty does have and those are usually for smaller tiers anyway.

wgoat5 Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 3:12am
post #4 of 18

I use Pilsbury for the white

DH for the dark chocolate.. and I am not a fan of french vanilla... I'd rather add french vanilla pudding to a white mix and use whole eggs.. tastes better... the french vanilla to me tastes "fakey" is all I can explain my feelings towards it LOL

I'm glad it worked for you in the end icon_smile.gif

Muse Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 3:54pm
post #5 of 18

I've never had a problem with DH, although I do agree that the French Vanilla does taste a little funky. The first time I made it and tasted it I thought it had gone bad or something.


butterflywings Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 4:26pm
post #6 of 18

yeah. that was my experience last night with the DH french vanilla... the batter had a really "spicy" taste too it... more like a spice cake than french vanilla... that should have been my clue.. the BC french vanilla doesn't taste like that.. its smooth... creamy.. like french vanilla ice cream almost.

poshcakedesigns Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 11:27pm
post #7 of 18

I use both DH and BC and never had any problems with either. And I used the 'doctored' version too. Not sure what the problem could have been.

Thanks for the heads up on the french vanilla glad I haven't bought that one.

Muse Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 3:43pm
post #8 of 18

I made the DH french vanilla into cupcakes last night. Aside from the fact that they rose to fabulous proportions and then deflated upon cooling, I altered the mix enough to the point that it was edible. I used the mix, 4 eggs, 1/3 c. oil, 3/4 c sour cream, 1 1/3 c. milk/half and half, 1/2 tsp butter flavor, 1/2 tsp Wedding Bouquet. Much much better! Now if only I can keep them from deflating...

TonyaBakes Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 3:53pm
post #9 of 18

I have had that probelm with both DH and BC in the past. I think it's just certain batches of the mix something goes wrong on the factory end. I have a cabinet full of mixes I always keep on hand -just incase- lol! Not really sure what it is I'm just glad it's few and far between!

sarahpierce Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 3:58pm
post #10 of 18

I'm sure this will cause a huge stir, but I use Wal-mart brand cake mix. Everyone raves over the texture and taste. The devils food is really good. And they are cheaper. I've never had a problem with them rising. I sent my DH out to buy cake mixes for the last cake I did and he bought BC. I had thin sunken layers. He apologized after I gave him "the look".

poshcakedesigns Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 4:01pm
post #11 of 18
Originally Posted by sarahpierce

I'm sure this will cause a huge stir, but I use Wal-mart brand cake mix. Everyone raves over the texture and taste. The devils food is really good. And they are cheaper. I've never had a problem with them rising. I sent my DH out to buy cake mixes for the last cake I did and he bought BC. I had thin sunken layers. He apologized after I gave him "the look".

I use their butter recipe when I'm making cakes for church or home. Not a bad tasting cake.

cerobs Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 4:10pm
post #12 of 18

O.K. it's not me then I made a cake over the weekend for a wedding. The top tiers was chocalate the same receipe you use. I use bubble straw and wooden dowel.

cerobs Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 4:12pm
post #13 of 18

O.K. it's not me then I made a cake over the weekend for a wedding. The top tiers was chocalate the same receipe you use. I use bubble straw and wooden dowel.

kansaslaura Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 4:22pm
post #14 of 18

I caught an episode of America's Test Kitchen (on PBS) and they were testing cakes. They put out several different mixes and homemade, all were yellow. Here are their conclusions:


Yellow Cake Mixes
from the Episode: Lemon Layer Cake

Can any come close to homemade?

While we here at Cook's Country prefer the rich flavor of a homemade cake, we know that many cooks invite
Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker into their kitchens to help speed up the proceedings. But does it matter which cake
mix you buy at the supermarket? Can any compete with homemade? We bought eight boxed yellow and gold cake
mixes and headed into the test kitchen to find out. We served the plain, unfrosted cakes to 22 tasters, who rated
each cake for flavor, texture, and overall appeal.

Our tasters weren't fooled by these mixes. All eight cakes had an unnaturally uniform crumb and extremely light, fluffy
texture. Cake mixes are formulated to maximize the volume of air and moisture the batter can hold, which results in a
very moist, tender, and delicate cake. Ingredients such as shortening, emulsifiers (mono- and diglycerides as well as
lecithin), xanthan gum, and cellulose gum give cakes made from boxed mixes their distinctive texture.

Without these ingredients, a from-scratch cake doesn't rise as much and you end up with a tighter, more irregular
crumb, which is able to withstand a heavy coating of frosting. Fluffy boxed cakes almost collapse under the weight of
a rich frosting. Several of the cakes in our tasting were particularly fluffy (more like cotton candy than cake) and were
downgraded by tasters.

The flavor of a boxed cake mix, even one that calls for the addition of butter, won't fool an observant taster, either-
but some came surprisingly close. Tasters said that the cakes made from top-rated mixes tasted like butter and
vanilla. Other mixes had an obvious artificial smell and flavor, which landed them at the bottom of our ratings.

The four top-rated cakes (three Betty Crocker mixes and one Pillsbury) all fall under the umbrella of General Mills; the
two Duncan Hines mixes followed, with the two "independents," the Jiffy and King Arthur Flour mixes, bringing up the
rear. Our conclusion: Betty Crocker knows how to make an appealing cake mix, Duncan Hines less so, and forget
about the "alternative" brands you might find at the supermarket. The mixes are listed below, with tasters' comments,
in order of preference.


1. Betty Crocker Super Moist Butter Recipe Yellow Cake Mix $2.49
This cake, which calls for a stick of butter, was praised for its "rich butter flavor" and "moist and tender"
texture. Very "vanilla-y."

2. Betty Crocker Super Moist Golden Vanilla Cake Mix $1.69
Tasters appreciated the "very smooth," "nicely spongy" texture of this cake. Its flavor was deemed "mild but
very good."

3. Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic Yellow Cake Mix $1.39
This cake was "extremely tender and moist, with a very even crumb." So sweet "there's no need to add icing,"
quipped one taster.

4. Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow Cake Mix $1.69
With its "nice flavors of butter and vanilla," this cake was deemed the best-tasting. However, some tasters
complained about the "chalky," "mushy" texture.

5. Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Butter Recipe Golden Cake Mix $1.79
Some tasters detected hints of "coconut and lemon," while others complained about a "chemical"
aftertaste. This cake was substantially darker than the others.

Recommended with Reservations

6. Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic Yellow Cake Mix $1.69
One taster likened this sample to a "spongy Twinkie," while other panelists were more generous and praised
its "nice and light" crumb.

Not Recommended

7. Jiffy Golden Yellow Cake Mix $.89 (makes only one 9" cake)
"Tastes like the box it came from," said one taster. Overall, this cake mix was panned for its insipid,
stale flavor and "dry and terrible" texture.

8. King Arthur Flour Vanilla-Butter Cake Mix $4.95
This mix contains fewer additives than the rest, but tasters were not impressed by the cake's
"grainy,""crumbly" texture and strong "almond extract" aftertaste.

Zmama910 Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 4:34pm
post #15 of 18

*Knock on wood* I use DH & I've never had any cakes sink or go flat. But I read on a few recipes, that they suggest you use anything BUT DH, because they say if you over mix DH (more then 4min) it will go flat when you take it out of the oven?!?!

GrandmaG Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 4:37pm
post #16 of 18

Wow! Thanks Laura for that info. I've definitely learned from that!

justfrosting Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 4:37pm
post #17 of 18

DH has caused more than one or two explictive words come flying out of my mouth.

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I hate that Wiltons name is on the box.

Muse Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 7:23pm
post #18 of 18

This last cupcake batch is the only time I have had any problem at all with DH. So I am apt to believe that it was a fluke. If it happens 2 or 3 more times, then it's time for Plan B.

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