Question For The Box Cake Mix Users

Decorating By lolobell Updated 23 Feb 2009 , 12:32am by sweettreats36

lolobell Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 8:15pm
post #1 of 39

Hello again!!

I was wondering if there was really any difference between Pillsbury/Duncan Hines/Betty Crocker box cake mixes? If you all have a preference to one in particular and why?

THANKS
Marianne

38 replies
smbegg Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 8:44pm
post #2 of 39

There are differences. Pilsbury has pudding in the mix and is very lumpy ( I have found). I use Duncan Hines because I have always had good luck with them. I also use the extender recipe with them. If you are going to use an enhancer recipe, I wouldn't use the mix with pudding mixes.

I think that it is just a personal preference. What you start baking with is usually what you end up using.

Stephanie

mcdonald Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 8:47pm
post #3 of 39

I won't use any other mix than Duncan HInes.... the others just don't bake up the same. I think Pilsbury is the worst (at least I have had bad experiences with them). I think I have seen where a lot of people on this site prefer Duncan Hines but like the previous post said, a lot of it is personal preference..... and some buy whatever is on sale...

tracycakes Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 8:52pm
post #4 of 39

I have always used Pillsbury. I have tried DH and BC and they just didn't work for me. I always sift my mixes (after reading that tip on CC) and they work great for me.Looks like you may just need to try them all and see how they work.

CakeMakar Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 8:56pm
post #5 of 39

I buy whatever flavor I like. . . no matter what the brand. I've never had problems with any of them. I really love the Butter Recipe Chocolate & White. My husband loves the Triple Chocolate Fudge. I like the French Vanilla as well. I find all the strawberries to soft to use straight from the box so I usually use the 3D recipe when it's requested.
I do try to bake from scratch when they're paying me for the cake, because I just feel bad using a box if they're paying me to make a good cake. There have been times when I've tried a new recipe and it failed and have no choice but to use a box because I need it NOW. I use the Dark Chocolate cake and the Versatile Buttercake almost exclusively for my chocolate & yellow cake.

j-pal Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 9:00pm
post #6 of 39

I have a preference for Betty Crocker, but also use DH for certain flavors that BC doesn't have. As several have already said, you're probably just going to have to try a few and see what you prefer. My least favorite is Pillsbury... they bake up with a lot of bubbles and don't taste as good to me. Good luck!

mjandros Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 9:02pm
post #7 of 39

I believe it's a matter of personal preference. I swear by Betty Crocker's super moist mixes (oil recipe, not butter), while others prefer DH or Pillsbury. I find that BC always comes out moist, while DH is dry and Pillsbury is somewhere in between. Maybe the different climates have something to do with the finished product on a particular brand ....I don't know for sure but I know what works best for me.

lolobell Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 9:54pm
post #8 of 39

Thank you so much everyone. I just got the Cake doctor book so I'm messing with that too. I just happened to have a good coupon for a pillsbury cake mix but have never used them so wondered. I hate to try something different seeing as it's for my nephew. I have tried making my own from scratch and for some reason they always turn out so dense, dry and just not appealing.
So, I guess I'll give them all a whirl! As always, you guys are the greatest! As always, I appreciate your comments and keep them coming if you think of anything else. icon_smile.gif

Caths_Cakes Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 9:28pm
post #9 of 39

i really love the betty crocker cake mixs, the batter is a little lumpy, but once its baked its perfect, its always very moist and sooo yummy icon_smile.gif And i find that they are great for carving, especially the Devils food cake.

muddpuppy Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 7:20pm
post #10 of 39

I only used Bc, except for the DH devils food, it seems to rise higher for some reason... I like that.. lol

panchanewjersey Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 7:37pm
post #11 of 39

You can usually try to get cake mixes for a dollar so many groceries. You really should try to make a box of it from each one. I personally think that if you try it for yourself you'll never really know. But one thing for sure box mixes are the moistest cakes and have the perfect texture, maybe not for carving but for reg cakes. Anyways what works for one doesn't always work for all. And like I said they're pretty cheap so just try and see.

4kids Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 12:24am
post #12 of 39

I used to believe in Duncan all the way. Now that I am expecting child number five, I believe in whatever is on sale!!! I usually doctor them up so much, I don't think it matters since it's just my dry ingredients.

bartar01 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:29pm
post #13 of 39

I also tend to grab what's on sale, since my "customers" have been just friends and family anyway, and that's what they prefer icon_surprised.gif)

I hadn't heard the trick about sifting the mix. Definitely have to try it! Thanks to you all, I learn great stuff here!

mommarivera Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:41pm
post #14 of 39

I have always used DH. For some reason that is the only one I have had any luck with. I think it rises better

kakeladi Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 3:55pm
post #15 of 39

Always have been, always be Betty galicon_smile.gif
I have tried the other 2 now & then but always come back to BC

butterfly831915 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 4:08pm
post #16 of 39

Depends on the flavor for me. I like pills for white, dh for choc, and betty for yellow.

newmansmom2004 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 4:14pm
post #17 of 39

I had read a thread similar to this a couple days ago (maybe it was this one) so when I went to the store Friday I was looking at box mixes. Do you know our HUGE new grocery store only sells about 3 Pillsbury mixes? I don't know how many Pillsbury makes, but there were tons of DH and BC mixes on the shelves and only 3 Pillsbury. And I had to look hard to find those. Maybe that's why I've never used one. I typically will use DH when I use a box mix.

LaSombra Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 4:20pm
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolobell

Thank you so much everyone. I just got the Cake doctor book so I'm messing with that too. I just happened to have a good coupon for a pillsbury cake mix but have never used them so wondered. I hate to try something different seeing as it's for my nephew. I have tried making my own from scratch and for some reason they always turn out so dense, dry and just not appealing.




I don't use a mix but just wanted to help with the scratch if you need. If it's turning out dense, it might be because you're under-mixing the butter/sugar mix...it should be mixed for several minutes, until it's fluffy. Or, you could be over-mixing the rest. You don't want to mix it very much once you start adding flour because the more you mix, the more the gluten (flour proteins) will firm up.

Anyway, I'm tempted to use a mix for white cake in order to make a pink champagne cake sometime cause I can't seem to get it as light as this one bakery does it...I think cake mixes come out much lighter...delicate, etc.

kcw551 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 4:26pm
post #19 of 39

I have tried them all and really like Pillsbury the best. My store doesn't stock that many Pillsbury flavors either and sometimes I have to buy the others, but the trick for me is the freezing. I bake the cakes ahead of time and freeze them. Then ice them up while they are still a bit frozen. It makes them super moist! I make the monthly birthday cakes for work and you would think these people were eating gourment cakes they way they rave about the taste. They swear they are made from scratch and are always asking for my recipes, which I won't give them since it's my secret. icon_smile.gif

yellobutterfly Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 4:47pm
post #20 of 39

I prefer DH overall, but the only DH I can find that is chocolate is devil's food, and I want a milder standard chocolate...so I use BC Triple chocolate or chocolate fudge, whichever I can find. Used a pilsbury the other day cause it was the only german chocolate mix I could find at that store - wasn't happy with it, I was lumpy, and the mix smelled alittle (but it wasn't expired)...and it baked up very lumpy, didn't rise as high as the other brands, and had airholes moreso than the others...ugh!

sayhellojana Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 4:59pm
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolobell

I have tried making my own from scratch and for some reason they always turn out so dense, dry and just not appealing.




I very rarely bake from a box, and when I do it's usually to try a flavor combo (ex: pink lemonade) and then convert it to scratch. My theory with scratch cake recipes - either really, really great or really, really horrible. Sounds like you got a few bad ones. If you need any help with scratch baking I would be more than happy to share recipes,etc

And, I like DH white mix because it's only 86 cents at Walmart! haha

Jayde Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 5:16pm
post #22 of 39

I use BC only. DH has a weird sort of medicinal aftertaste that I dont care for, and PB is lumpy like a PP suggested.

With that being said, I sift the mix before I mix wet with dry. I use half oil, half melted sweet cream butter. The water I replace with a weird buttermilk substitution, that my great grandfather has in one of his old cookbooks. I also use the extender with the sour cream, no yogurt, and the extra egg, flour, sugar, and salt. I do end up adding like 1/4 c. of water, just because if I dont the mixture is suuuper thick.

I always bake with the flower nail in the middle, even in my 6-inch pans, and at 325 instead of 350.

I get rave reviews every time. The sour cream and the sifting gives a tighter crumb like scratch cakes, but it is super moist, and not too sweet because of the fake buttermilk.

Jayde Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 5:19pm
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaSombra

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolobell

Thank you so much everyone. I just got the Cake doctor book so I'm messing with that too. I just happened to have a good coupon for a pillsbury cake mix but have never used them so wondered. I hate to try something different seeing as it's for my nephew. I have tried making my own from scratch and for some reason they always turn out so dense, dry and just not appealing.



I don't use a mix but just wanted to help with the scratch if you need. If it's turning out dense, it might be because you're under-mixing the butter/sugar mix...it should be mixed for several minutes, until it's fluffy. Or, you could be over-mixing the rest. You don't want to mix it very much once you start adding flour because the more you mix, the more the gluten (flour proteins) will firm up.

Anyway, I'm tempted to use a mix for white cake in order to make a pink champagne cake sometime cause I can't seem to get it as light as this one bakery does it...I think cake mixes come out much lighter...delicate, etc.





She is very right, NEVER overmix once you get your dry ingredients into your wet. I put ALL of my wet ingredients in first and mix thoroughly. The I add the dry in 3 batches, just mixing on low until just combined. After I add the last of the dry mix, I scrape down the sides and the bottom, and mix for another 20 seconds. Overmixing with give you a tougher/chewier cake, even with a box mix.

butterflyjuju Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 6:20am
post #24 of 39

I prefer Pillsbury. Every time I use a DH it falls apart. And the BC are so crumbly and hard to ice and dry for me. My aunt was a decorator for 20 years or so and she could only use DH.

elainec Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 4:09pm
post #25 of 39

I enjoy baking scratch cakes or doctored DH cake mixes. THe DH works best with the humidity here in Alabama! icon_biggrin.gif

ntertayneme Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 4:30pm
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcw551

I have tried them all and really like Pillsbury the best. My store doesn't stock that many Pillsbury flavors either and sometimes I have to buy the others, but the trick for me is the freezing. I bake the cakes ahead of time and freeze them. Then ice them up while they are still a bit frozen. It makes them super moist! I make the monthly birthday cakes for work and you would think these people were eating gourment cakes they way they rave about the taste. They swear they are made from scratch and are always asking for my recipes, which I won't give them since it's my secret. icon_smile.gif




You sparked my curiosity on this one as I use Pillsbury myself. The store I frequently shop at doesn't carry a lot of this brand either. I went to their website and these are the flavors available in their Moist Supreme type:

  Classic Yellow
  Classic White
  Devil's Food
  Strawberry
  Banana
  Lemon
  German Chocolate
  French Vanilla
  Dark Chocolate
  Golden Butter Recipe
  Butter Recipe Chocolate
  Funfetti
  Pineapple
  Chocolate

They also make a reduced sugar type that I wasn't even aware of!

nefcook21 Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 5:44am
post #27 of 39

I agree with butterflyjuju. I use only Pillsbury, in the flavors I can get them. DH & BC seem to be too soft and crumbly.

My big grocery store only carries the Pillsbury in white, DF, GC, yellow, strawberry and funfetti. So i usually just get whats on sale in the other flavors I need.

I think it is just a personal preference.

kcw551 Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 11:01pm
post #28 of 39

Thanks for checking into this, Cheryl. I knew that Pilsbury use to sell more flavors than what I had been finding at the store. I will have to check out some other grocery stores to see who has the most flavors. I really do prefer to just use them, instead of the others. But to each their own, and as long as you are happy with whatever brand you use, then go for it! Right?

SJEmom Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 10:28pm
post #29 of 39

i am pretty novice at this, but I have been using the DH cake mixes (Devil's Food and Classic Yellow) for my cakes, but I follow the recipe on the side of the box for making "pound" cake by adding in pudding and an extra egg. They come up sooooo yummy and moist, but also solid so that I can shape them and often can frost without any crumbs after a short time in the freezer. My DH who would often prefer bakery cakes just bought me a cake decorating book and requests that I bake a cake because they are so yummy.

Larrimore Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 6:54pm
post #30 of 39

I love Pilsbury and Duncan Hines...Betty Crocker seems to be a bit dry

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