Danielle1218 Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 2:57pm
post #1 of

Maybe this is on here somewhere else, but I couldn't find it.

So I see this week, Pillsbury has made the change to a 15.25 oz box of mix, down from 18.25. This quite irritates me. First off....I bought 10 boxes at Walmart last week and they were 18.25, bought 10 yesterday. WHen I got home I thought to myself...wow, this box looks smaller..........and sure enough it is.

So now my question is......what the heck do I do now? I know exactly how much cake mix to make for every pan I have and now it will be less. I saw on a different website that someone suggested adding 7-8 tbsp to the smaller mix to make it come out with the same volume.

Has anyone done this? I really hate wasting a cake mix on a failure I could avoid.

Comments.........please!!

83 replies
Apti Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 3:21pm
post #2 of

Unfortunately, this is old news. All of the big-name cake mix providers have downsized their mixes to 15.5 or 16.5 oz.

Here is information I've read so far:

Some people simply weigh out the missing amount (2 or 3 ounces), from another box mix and add to the smaller box mix amount.

Some people continue using their doctored recipes and simply ignore the smaller size.

Some people may follow the advice of Anne Byrn, the author of the Cake Mix Doctor. I contacted her by email and this was her response:

"Thanks for your email. It is really distressing that food companies think they can keep reducing the size of products. For the past few years the mixes have lacked the structure, and I have advised cooks to add a little flour to the dry cake mix to ensure the cake will have structure and not sink while cooling.
I, too, would rather pay a little more and keep things consistent.
Let's let the dust settle, and I will be interested to try my recipes with the smaller DH mixes.
In the meantime, it's a good idea to add a little flour (up to 1/2 cup), a little sugar, if desired, and a half teaspoon of baking powder to the smaller cake mix before adding other ingredients.
Or, check out my cake mixes on my website - www.cakemixdoctor.com - clicking on Anne's cake mix. They are a little larger than the conventional cake mix. "

jason_kraft Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 3:31pm
post #3 of

There's nothing stopping people from paying more to get the same amount of mix, it would just be split over multiple boxes now.

Danielle1218 Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 4:08pm
post #4 of

I would much rather pay more money for an 18.25 box than get ripped off. Do these companies not realize how many recipes start with a box of 18.25 cake mix? Grrrrrr!

jason_kraft Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 4:11pm
post #5 of

Unfortunately most consumers shop by shelf price instead of unit price, so if Pillsbury raised their shelf price instead of reducing box size they would lose significant market share to competitors with smaller boxes and lower shelf prices.

gmfcakes Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 4:47pm
post #6 of

That is so true Jason and up until I met my husband I always looked at the price, but now I look at the per oz price or per unit on the price tag, he is a math geek. icon_biggrin.gif

Danielle1218 Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 6:36pm
post #7 of

Well I had some leftover icing to get rid of so I made a batch of cupcakes with the "new" smaller box. I didn't do anything different....but they did all sink about 5 minutes after they came out of the oven. They have never done that before...so there is a difference even if they and Betty Crocker/Duncan Hines claim that there is not. Pillsbury batter is very thick, Betty Crocker very thin.

I just pisses me off. I would rather pay more money than get cheapened by 3 oz.

Booooooooo!!!!

kakeladi Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 8:56pm
post #8 of

..... bought 10 yesterday. ... this box looks smaller ....... sure enough it is......what the heck do I do now?

As another poster said, just measure out 2 or 3 oz from another box. Store the unused dry mix in the fzr until needed.

Danielle1218 Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 10:01pm
post #9 of

I do not shop for unit price when shopping for something like a cake mix. The big execs @ Pillsbury, Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker dropped the ball on this one

And......BTW......who started this stupid idea anyway?? Keeping up with competitors? That is a bull**i* statement if I ever heard one. They are obviously the first to do it. And....BTW.....Tops and Price Chopper brand are still at 18.25oz. I might just start using them instead and to hell with Pillsbury....who I have been very LOYAL to.

Danielle1218 Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 10:03pm

To Kakeladi.....I thought about doing the same thing...measure out 3 oz from another box, but then again....that defeats the point of having the "convenience" from a box mix. GRRRRR......

Spat..... (That is me spitting on these companies........LOL)

kelleym Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 11:45pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

There's nothing stopping people from paying more to get the same amount of mix, it would just be split over multiple boxes now.



It's not quite that simple. They have reformulated all the cake mixes with additional leavening so that the cakes made with the mix do not appear to be smaller. So it's not just an issue of less mix, it's less of a different product. A Dallas baker recently did a side-by-side analysis, taste and appearance, and there IS a difference.

I am also highly irritated. When Betty Crocker went this way, it was inevitable that Pillsbury would follow as they are made by the same parent company. But I had held out a foolish hope that it would not happen. Pillsbury is my mix of choice.

LKing12 Posted 14 Jul 2012 , 12:07am

Duncan Hines has done it too! I contacted Pinnacle Foods, the parent company, and registered my feelings. They told me they had reformulated the mix but that I should get the same product. I told them wrong. I usually use two mixes in a half-sheet pan and it took three and there still was a difference. The consistency is more "spongy". What's worse is that the new mixes went up sixteen cents! Soon a cake mix will make a very generous cupcake!

kelleym Posted 14 Jul 2012 , 12:09am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

There's nothing stopping people from paying more to get the same amount of mix, it would just be split over multiple boxes now.


It's not quite that simple. They have reformulated all the cake mixes with additional leavening so that the cakes made with the mix do not appear to be smaller. So it's not just an issue of less mix, it's less of a different product. A Dallas baker recently did a side-by-side analysis, taste and appearance, and there IS a difference.

I am also highly irritated. When Betty Crocker went this way, it was inevitable that Pillsbury would follow as they are made by the same parent company. But I had held out a foolish hope that it would not happen. Pillsbury is my mix of choice.



I just bought the last 4 cases of 18.25 oz Pillsbury White from Amazon. Someday I'll have to switch to the smaller boxes, but that day won't come any time soon. icon_evil.gif

Apti Posted 14 Jul 2012 , 3:19am

Ah...what the heck.... Just think of this as a new challenge, ladies and gentlemen. We all continue to learn new cake techniques and recipes on a daily basis from the wonderful people on CakeCentral and Wilton.com.

Talk to your great-grandma and get her to tell you about the first time she ever used a box mix to prepare a cake, and she'll tell you how guilty she felt and how it tasted "different". But, guess what? A LOT of women switched from scratch to cake mix.

The history behind this Betty Crocker commercial from 1950 is that General Mills started first with a cake mix that only required water, NOT water AND eggs. However, they were so concerned that the consumer housewives wouldn't feel it was a real cake, that they took out the dried eggs and made "fresh eggs" a requirement for the mix. This gave the housewives the feeling that THEY made the cake, not Betty Crocker.
(Reference: The Cake Mix Doctor, Anne Byrn, page 20, "Cake Mix History")

1950s BETTY CROCKER SPICE CAKE MIX COMMERCIAL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcrCyypYEuI

Danielle1218 Posted 14 Jul 2012 , 12:54pm

To Apti.............that really doesn't make me feel better. My cakes come out "ok" I suppose....guess I will have to tweak it a bit........but cupcakes were absolutely awful....and I mean AWFUL!!!!

So I guess Pillsbury, Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines got their way.....I will have to buy MORE cake mixes to increase the amount of batter I am putting in the pan AND I will have to buy more to "experiment" with..........oh yeah, so now I will have to buy more eggs and oil. Thanks alot greedy corporate America.

Apti Posted 14 Jul 2012 , 2:49pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielle1218

To Apti.............that really doesn't make me feel better.




Me either, Danielle. I was just trying to put a good face on the inevitable.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jul 2012 , 2:50pm

I doubt greed was the factor here...input costs have been rising significantly (energy, health care, raw materials) and if a business does not factor those increases into the price of their products (and pay attention to what competitors are doing so they don't fall behind) they will no longer be in business. You should be doing the same thing if you run a baking business.

As for being forced to modify recipes, this is again a cost of doing business (or the cost of a hobby) if you rely on someone else's product as an input, especially if said input is farther along the supply chain than raw materials. We deal with this in the IT world all the time, every time Microsoft patches components of their operating system we have to retest all business applications that rely on their software.

SoFloGuy Posted 14 Jul 2012 , 3:00pm

This really sucks. I just noticed all my recent ones I bought are still 18.25 oz, but I'm sure soon I will see the smaller ones.

The problems is that one brand decided to make theirs smaller and all the other ones did too so that they could keep up with the competition price wise.

They really don't care about any one or group of bakers. They mainly sell to the occasional baker who makes a cake every few months that won't notice a big difference in a 2 layer 8 inch cake.

I assume they had to reformulate it a bit because you would still need to use 3 eggs, and probably the same amount of oil or butter.

inspiredbymom Posted 14 Jul 2012 , 3:19pm

I am so sad to hear this! Pillsbury is my go to mix! Does anybody know if they screwed up the bulk mix? I was thinking about looking into that before, but was afraid that there would be a difference in the taste, etc. Now, it will not matter if I tried it because it's going to be a mess anyway! I'll have to redo the "tastings" for the 4 brides I have scheduled for next year because it will not be the same. icon_sad.gif Bummed.

Danielle1218 Posted 15 Jul 2012 , 3:14am

Pardon my negativity..........but it is bullshit........plain and simple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

icer101 Posted 15 Jul 2012 , 4:47am

Hi, do , as i have done since all this change. Make all cakes from scratch. I am having a ball trying different recipes. If we all do this, then, maybe they will wake up and go back to the old way. That was my thinking. lol!!

inspiredbymom Posted 15 Jul 2012 , 4:21pm

I went to the store yesterday and found some other things to try too. It's just that I don't have much free time to play and don't want to try out something new on someone I don't know. I also don't want all of that cake around here. Sounds bad doesn't it? All I have to do is look at the stuff and I gain weight! Now I'll have to taste test again. Ugh! icon_sad.gif

SoFloGuy Posted 15 Jul 2012 , 5:53pm

Another thing that sucks is that I could get about 20 cupcakes from the old size and when I run into these smaller boxes it will yield a few less.

kakeladi Posted 15 Jul 2012 , 9:52pm

We all keep talking about cake mixes....BUT........ who has noticed that we no longer (for some time now) get a 1/2 gallon of ice cream... It's now a pint and a 1/2 icon_sad.gif

kelleym Posted 15 Jul 2012 , 10:40pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

We all keep talking about cake mixes....BUT........ who has noticed that we no longer (for some time now) get a 1/2 gallon of ice cream... It's now a pint and a 1/2 icon_sad.gif




Not true in Texas - Blue Bell ice cream is still 1/2 gallon icon_smile.gif
http://bluebell.com/the_little_creamery/still_a_half_gallon.html

jason_kraft Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 4:18am

Costco's Kirkland ice cream is also still a half gallon. I still prefer Thrifty's (from Rite-Aid) even though it's 1.75qt.

Walkinmomma Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 11:30am

I found on Food.com two recipies for homemade white and yellow cake mix(substitute for 18.25 oz Betty Crocker cake mix). Lets try this and see if it works in place of the box mixes. If it does then we send a message this is not ok to Pillsbury, Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines. I don't think they realize what percentage of their sales are related to people like us who use the mixes as the base for our recipies. Maybe we need to send the message to their bottom line. Not to mention the change to the formula but have you noticed the huge price increases?

Annie8 Posted 18 Jul 2012 , 2:52am

I haven't tried adding 3oz of mix to see if it works yet, but will do so. My concern is the oil, eggs, and water is exactly the same as it was for the bigger box so I suspect this won't work. I am so disappointed in this change.

SoFloGuy Posted 18 Jul 2012 , 3:06am

Ugh. I saw the new smaller box today where I shop. I just finished making rainbow cupcakes and a large old box only made 17. So this new smaller one will make only 13 or so which really sucks.

gscout73 Posted 18 Jul 2012 , 3:58am

That explains why the last few times I've used mix they were sub-par and sank, even the cupcakes sank. I live in an apartment so I no longer have the room to store an abundance of dry ingredients, so for smaller batches the boxes are convenient.

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