Do you know Marie Antoinette never actually said that? (History nerd fact.)
Marie Antoinnette didn't really say those famous words.
I’m not a natural born baker. Don’t get me wrong, I love to bake, especially when I have the time, but made from scratch cakes aren’t always at the top of my to-do list.
Thankfully more and more companies are making gluten-free baking mixes. If you, walk down the baking aisle at Whole Foods, search on Amazon, or google ‘gluten-free baking mixes,’ the choices can even be a little overwhelming. These mixes can also be costly so you don’t want to spend lots of money on ‘not so edible’ cake mixes. It’s hard to know which one to go with when they’re all staring at you from the shelf.
A couple of months ago, I had a bunch of girls over to celebrate a fellow gluten-free friend’s birthday. Of course, gluten-free cake is a must for a birthday celebration! I decided to bake two cakes, using two different brands because, well, why not?
My first cake was Pamela’s Classic Vanilla Cake Mix. Pamela’s brand is a family favorite, especially when making chocolate chip cookies, Sunday morning pancakes, or communion bread (yes, that’s right, communion bread).
When I lived on a high school dorm, I often made Pamela’s cakes for dorm parties and advisory birthdays. Pamela’s is one of the pioneers of GF baking mixes. I enjoy her cakes, but they can be a little on the dry side…my solution for this, lots of icing! Pamela’s also makes an icing that you make, adding butter, but I find it too much effort for not that great of icing. (I would rather make homemade or use Betty Crocker’s, which are now labeled gluten-free.)
Pamela’s is easy to make and not many additional ingredients. It bakes correctly if you follow the instructions, but no matter how much I try to flatten out the batter in the cake tin, it still tends to come out unevenly high in the center, which sometimes affects baking time and baking consistency. After a few days sitting on the counter, the cake becomes a little dry. (Solution: heat in the microwave for about 7 seconds, not too long or the cake will melt.)
Pamela's cake with chocolate frosting: Don't judge the cake by its decorator.
I won’t turn down a slice of Pamela’s cake, but I think I’ve found something better and simpler…
The second cake for the festivities came from the mother of ‘glutenful’ baking, Betty Crocker. Betty’s gluten-free line of baked goods, which hit shelves last year, offers a-mazing brownies and chocolate chip cookies. I love the brownies but the jury is still out on Crocker’s cookies. (I go with Pamela’s if I’m making GF cookies from a mix.)
So I tried the expert and went with Betty Crocker’s gluten-free Devil’s Food cake mix. This cake was so easy to make and cooked perfectly. With both Pamela’s and Betty’s cake mixes you need to use a mixer, but it’s worth it. The cake was perfectly moist and flavorful. Very chocolatey but not too sweet. I normally prefer yellow cake over chocolate, but this devil’s food cake is my new cake of choice. It was delicious. Of course we all had some of both, but my heart was with the chocolate. (It looked prettier too.)
Betty Crocker Cake: M&Ms make everything look better.
As I mentioned before, I just used Betty Crocker icings for the two cakes. So easy. Making your own icing is fun too, but it means two more times cleaning the mixer. (Why do I hate washing that dish so much?)
Two pieces are better than one!
What are your favorite gluten-free baking mixes? Recommendations or hesitations?