I’m not sure if it’s the nesting or having a bit of rare time to myself before the d-day (or b-day) but I’ve been doing a lot of baking recently. It started with my Gordon the Tank Engine cake for Scrip’s third birthday and since then there’s been my favourite banana loaf (which was meant to be frozen for guests post-baby but got gobbled up pretty quickly by the three of us), wholemeal and white bread (have discovered how easy it is with a dough hook – no kneading!), homemade pizza and then trialling some Betty Crocker packs which were sent for review.
When the brand got in touch I’d heard of the name and even seen the packs in supermarkets but never really considered giving them a go. No particular reason – but I suppose I generally only bake cakes for special occasions and never consider that there are some good shortcuts out there. But there certainly are.
I tried the Red Velvet Cake, Cream Cheese Buttercream icing and White Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. My mum and dad trialled the Devil’s Food Cake and Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Icing. After some careful and considered taste testing (it’s a hard job…) here’s what we thought:
- The mixes really are so simple to prepare. With just a few clear instructions and a couple of added, store cupboard ingredients (such as vegetable oil and water) you can make a great looking cake or batch of cookies and cut out a lot of the time and fuss
- They seem foolproof, even for non-cake bakers – so would look impressive for a special occasion
- The readymade icing was easy to spread straight from the pot, had a nice, thick consistency and tasted good. There was also a good amount for a generous cake topping The chocolate fudge was the favourite for flavour – the Cream Cheese had a tang to it but balanced out the sweet Red Velvet well
- The Devil’s Food Cake went down the best of all with one of my parents’ neighbours saying it was the nicest chocolate cake she’d ever tasted! (See the note below about some tweaks they made)
- They’re good value – at around £2.25 for cake mixes and icing and £1.50 for the cookie mix – and easily storable for when you need them
- You can also find more recipe inspiration on the Betty Crocker site.
The not so good
- I felt there was a slightly artificial/sweetner after-taste – so they were a little less like homemade cakes and a little more like shop-bought ones.
Some tips to enhance the flavour
We also found some interesting tips online to help enhance the flavour of the cakes and in fact my mum and dad tried some of these, so they’re worth exploring. For the Devil’s Food Cake they did the following:
- Substituted half a cup of melted unsalted butter for the oil, added an extra egg and substituted milk for the water.