Regarding New Size Of Duncan Hines Cake Mix

Baking By dawnybird Updated 19 Nov 2016 , 12:45am by tootiefruity

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dawnybird Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 5:30pm
post #1 of 21

I like to use doctored cake mix recipes and have always used DH. I'm curious: since they have decreased the size of their mixes from 18.25 ozs to 16.5, won't that change the recipes calling for DH? I've been buying two and measuring out 18.25 ozs. What do the rest of you do?

20 replies
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poohsmomma Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 7:40pm
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I add 1/3 cup of mix to the box I'm using. That makes up the diff.

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Apti Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 9:16pm
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I use several of the Cake Mix Doctor basic recipes as my "go-to recipes".
Here's my email and the response from Anne Byrn, author of "The Cake Mix Doctor".

"Good morning, Ms. Byrn.
As you probably know, Betty Crocker reduced their mix sizes recently. Even though Duncan Hines said they would NOT follow suit, they have.

A member of the forum received confirmation this morning:
"Ok ladies I just got off the phone with a rep from DH and he said yes, they have reduced their Classic line from 18.25 to 16.5 in an effort to remain "cost competetive". He said only the Classic line but those are the ones I use. He had a long story to tell about the reason they are doing this: to keep from raising their prices. I understand that but I would rather pay a little extra than have the sizes cut!"

What impact will these changes have on the recipes printed in your books? Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you."
"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 - - clicking on Anne's cake mix. They are a little larger than the conventional cake mix.

Thanks for your interest, and let's keep in touch!"

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dawnybird Posted 2 Jul 2012 , 12:03am
post #4 of 21

Thanks for the tips! Anyone else do anything different?

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TheCakeChick Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 11:45pm
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The Chocolate Midnight cake from the Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor is my standard chocolate cake.  I use DH devil's food instead of dark chocolate fudge cake mix.  I noticed that all of a sudden my cakes weren't coming out right.  When I would take the cake out of the oven, it would shrink inwards and end up maybe 1" thick.  I believe it's because I was still using 1 cup of mayo and 1 cup of water, not realizing the cake mix had been reduced in volume.  I am very upset by this!!!!  This used to be the perfect size for a 1/4 sheet cake or 2 dozen cupcakes.  Now it's not enough.  I guess I will do what others are doing and add from another box to make up the volume difference.  You're killing me, Duncan Hines!!!!!  (Oh, and for the record, the dark chocolate fudge cake mix has also been reduced to 16.5 oz.)

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waggs Posted 29 Nov 2012 , 1:43am
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AI just purchased dh cake mix and they had 2 different boxes. One was called classic and had the smaller amount and the other was I think called decadent , I threw the box out before I saw this, but anyway , that one had the 18.25 amount in it. I'm wondering if they are now keeping the larger one and renaming it to charge more.

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IHeartCupcakes Posted 29 Nov 2012 , 3:57pm
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I still use the same WASC recipe and havent noticed a difference when using the 16.5oz box.

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kfr33man Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 1:41am
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I have not had any problems with the smaller package size and the WASC recipe....UNTIL TODAY!!  I am soooo mad.  I thought I messed up the first batch of cupcakes, so I made a second batch.  Guess what???  It's the mix!  The cupcakes turned out very dense and had a horrible spong-like consistancy.  I have been a professional baker for over 3 years using DH's in my WASC recipe, and I have never had a problem before.  The cake mixes were bought within the past 4-6 weeks, and I will be throwing them all way.  I will NEVER buy DH's brand cake mix again.  I have many scratch reicpes, but my customers LOVED the WASC cake recipe.  I guess I'm going back to scratch.

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bradysnurse Posted 24 May 2014 , 8:50pm
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Absolutely, it makes a difference. After using these mixes for 40 years, I feel like I have been betrayed by an old friend. I blamed my new stove when cakes stopped rising enough or weren't even baked through if I made one of my favorite  bundts  from them. Even had a technician come check my stove.

I have started adding 1/3 cup of a mix to any now and those 2 oz. do make a difference. I would go back to the 1 1/3 c. water if just making a regular one as the old boxes stated.

     I have sent a letter to CH customer service, stating- I will never again pay regular price, only sale price from now on since I need to add extra mix. Hope everyone else will do the same.

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dooley08 Posted 25 Jun 2014 , 6:44pm
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I am wanting to make a July 4th checkerboard cake using a 10" x 2' square pan.  How many boxes of cake mix will it take to do each color?  I am using red, white and blue of course.  Would I place icing between each strip of color?  I would like to use cream cheese icing. I am determined to make this cake.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will be making it next Wednesday for Friday.  Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

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Crazy-4-Cakes Posted 25 Jun 2014 , 7:50pm
post #11 of 21

I use the WASC recipe as a base for all my cakes. I use a scale and still weight out the original size that the recipe was designed for. I haven't had any noticeable differences since everything is still the same except I am buying more cake mixes!

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shannonann Posted 26 Jun 2014 , 9:45am
post #12 of 21

ADooley08-I use one box mix for one 10" round layer that is a little less than 2" tall. So one box mix would produce one very thin 10" square layer, IMO. I'm not sure how much cake of each color you want to have, but maybe this will help you figure out how many mixes you need.

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lcubed83 Posted 26 Jun 2014 , 2:12pm
post #13 of 21

Fill your square pan with water to the level you would the cake batter.  Then measure to see how many cups of batter you need.  I recently used Duncan HInes mixes, and got about 4.5 cups of batter per mix.

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Connie1027 Posted 26 Jun 2014 , 2:30pm
post #14 of 21

Icubed83 - that's a really good tip! And thanks for sharing the 4.5 cups / mix. Very helpful!! :)

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dooley08 Posted 9 Feb 2015 , 3:10pm
post #15 of 21

Thank you for the advice.  I hate they changed the size of the cake mixes.  I will give this a go.

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dooley08 Posted 9 Feb 2015 , 3:14pm
post #16 of 21


    Thanks for all your suggestions.  You must bake a lot.  I just bake regular cakes.  Nothing fancy.

Have a great week.

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remnant3333 Posted 9 Feb 2015 , 4:15pm
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I used to buy books that used cake mixes but now I refuse to buy any of those books anymore. What is to say that the DH or BC box cakes will not reduce their cake sizes again? Pretty soon the books that use cake mixes will be no good any more due to the corporations who are just plain GREEDY.


I  read that ConAgra who owns Duncan Hines that the CEO made yearly salaries of  13,452,000.00 (Million)+ a year and that was a (2001)few years ago. I read this at CEO compensation revisited/ Stophumane Watch search online. I guess they wanted a bigger salary since they obviously do not make enough. Never thought I would see the day that a brain surgeon who goes to college for a lot longer than a CEO and they probably make less money than these CEO people. 

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mom3tcb Posted 1 Jan 2016 , 8:27pm
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They have now decreased the box size AGAIN.  It's now only 15.25 oz.  Makes me so angry!!  I'd rather pay more than them decrease the size!!

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Sweetpeazmom Posted 20 Sep 2016 , 12:41am
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Yes they are at it again.  As mom3tcb stated above, Duncan Hines has decreased the size of their cake mix AGAIN.  I hadn't been buying cake mix for a while because I haven't been baking much this year and so I was trying to use all of my stocked up cake mix. Originally, they ALL had 18.25 oz.  Then they changed the Classic line to 16.5 oz., while the Signature line stayed the same 18.25 oz.  Then they change the Signature line to 16.5 oz. as well.  When they did all of that, Duncan Hines said that they changed the formula and that it would still make the same amount of cake even though you had less in the box (which we all know was a lie.)  Now they have changed the Classic line to 15.25 oz. (That's 3 oz. less than the original) and the price is higher.  But that's not all . . . the newest box says 10 servings unlike the previous boxes, which stated 12 servings.  But it gets worse . . . now per serving you have more calories, more sodium, and more sugar.  (of course when I eat cake, I'm generally not concerned about the sugar or calories, but these things let me know that the ratio has changed.  So how is this going to affect the texture?)

Here's the old box  ---     160 Calories    1g Sat Fat   240mg Sodium   17g Sugar --- 1/12 of package (16.5 oz.)

Here's the new box ---    170 Calories    1g Sat Fat   320mg Sodium   19g Sugar ---1/10 of package (15.25 oz.)

I am so frustrated.  Why can't Duncan Hines just leave things alone?  I too, would gladly pay a little more just to have the original amount and original formula. 

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Apti Posted 20 Sep 2016 , 1:26am
post #20 of 21

In 2010 I was enraptured with the recipes in the 1999 book by Anne Byrn:  The Cake Mix Doctor.    Soon after beginning my hobby with cake decorating/baking, the mixes got smaller.  Ms. Byrn said to add 1/2 c flour, 1/8 c sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to the new, smaller mixes.    That has worked well until just recently when it became painfully obvious that DH has changed formulations again.   I started teaching cake decorating at a local adult school and made a batch of my former, five-star recipe:  Basic Sour Cream White Cake.   ooops.......       It is not the same as the consistent, lovely recipe I've used for 6 years.   [VERY sad emoji]

A double batch  of cupcakes (48) were so bad I had to pitch 'em.   I used the recipe for a wedding cake this weekend and used vanilla flavored simple syrup which worked well.   I've never, ever needed simple syrup before, but it saved the wedding cake.  Even knowing the recipe was not as good, there was no way I was trying a brand new recipe for a wedding.

I'll have to practice with new scratch white recipes until I find a keeper.

So far, the Basic Sour Cream Chocolate recipe seems to be the same.   Fingers crossed

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tootiefruity Posted 19 Nov 2016 , 12:45am
post #21 of 21

Dawnybird...I just saw your post from July 2012 regarding the DH cake mixes. I knew that they had changed the contents to 16.5 oz back then, but just recently, I would say sometime around or before May of 2016, they changed it again to 15.25 oz. It's my understanding from something I just recently read while trying to find a solution to why my cake was bubbling up and then sinking, that they have added additional leavening agents to the mix to make them look fuller. Additional reading also told me that is the reason I've experienced air pockets and blow outs in my fondant, even before May. In May, i was in the process of a wedding cake when the baking issue started. A lot of it I knew was something they had done to the mix, but I also found that my oven was starting to act up. Therefore, if anyone reading this reply has a problem with their WASC cakes bubbling, sinking, or raising up over and spilling out of the pan, the mix is the problem. As least it is with the Duncan Hines mix. I have found a replacement for the mix here on CC. So you will need to search for Homemade Yellow Cake Mix (Substitute 18.25 oz Betty Crocker Box). Hoping to find this for Duncan Hines mixes. Best of luck everyone. Have a fabulous Holiday season...Fran

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