Duncan Hines Classic Cake Mixes

Smaller Duncan Hines Cake Mix

Smaller Duncan Hines Cake Mix

Everything is getting smaller these days. I could live with smaller cans of coffee and smaller ice cream containers, but smaller Duncan Hines cake mix? Duncan Hines announced that they will be cutting the package sizes of their popular Classic cake mixes from 18.25 oz to 16.5oz. You may already be seeing the new packages on your local grocery store shelves.

Last year Betty Crocker reduced their cake mix sizes, and now Duncan Hines is following suit. In what they term a “cost competitive” move they have reduced their cake sizes in all their Classic line products. Duncan Hines cake mixes have been a staple to many bakers for alot of years. The Duncan Hines brand has been around since the late 1950’s. The cake mixes were first developed by Nebraska Consolidated Mills in Omaha, Nebraska; eventually the Duncan Hines brand was sold to Proctor and Gamble, and now it’s owned by Pinnacle Foods, which has its headquarters in Parsippany, NJ. Many of us use Duncan Hines mixes as a base for our cakes. As a cake decorator, I don’t want to see a shrinking cake! So, what are we to do?

There are a few options available. The first option is to use a cake extender recipe. As the name implies, a cake extender increases the size of a cake box mix. There are a few recipes on the web, but this one by “Bunny Woman” is my favorite:

Cake Mix Extender
1 cup cake or all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1-2 tsp flavoring
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup water or milk or flavored coffee creamer

Add these ingredients to your standard cake mix. This extender will increase the volume of the batter to 1.5 times its original size. If you use one box of cake mix for a 9″ x 13″ pan the cake will rise to about 1.5 inches high. With the extender you will get a cake that is 2″ high.

Another option is to buy Duncan Hines cake mix in bulk. Pinnacle Foods and BakeMark USA have launched a new line called Duncan Hines Professional, which offers cake mixes in 50# bags. The mixes come in white, yellow and devil’s food flavors. You can find out more information on www.DuncanHinesProfessional.com. A fifty pound bag would make approximately 45 cakes so this would be for a serious cake decorator!

A third option is to buy the new cakes mixes by Anne Byrn of The Cake Mix Doctor. In November, Anne Byrn debuted her new cake mixes, “Anne’s Cake Mixes.” Flavors include Old Fashioned Yellow and Deep-Dark Chocolate, and they contain no artificial ingredients, trans-fat or preservatives. The cake mixes are 21-26 oz. per box. They’ve been shown on QVC and are now available in Bed, Bath and Beyond stores. You can get a listing of available stores at http://www.cakemixdoctor.com/annes-cake-mix/.

Anne Bryn is the author of many different cake recipe books, which I often use when I make my cakes. She recently tested her recipe, Darn Good Chocolate Cake, using the smaller Duncan Hines cake mix. The cake turned out fine, but she cautioned that you need to watch the cooking time because, with less dry mix, it’ll take less time to cook the cake.

I’d be interested in hearing from my readers about what successes or failures they’ve had with the new 16.5 oz. Duncan Hines cake mixes. And make sure you stock up on the 18.25 oz. mixes before they disappear from the shelves!

Filed under: Cake Decorating 101