Dense, luxurious, moist, rich – chocolate cake is probably the dessert served in paradise. It’s a simple formula that has tons of variations, even when pursuing a convenient boxed cake mix. But which is the best brand to choose for a boxed chocolate cake mix?
There are countless brands to choose from, so where does the hunt even begin? Professional baker Alana Al-Hatlani has done some of that research to narrow down the search. Fortunately, this assessment factors in multiple traits, from density to how cleanly the cake cuts. evaluated boxed chocolate cake mixes by Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Duncan Hines. So, here are the brands to pursue when craving a quick fix of chocolate cake.
Each brand of boxed chocolate cake mix had its strengths – and some weaknesses
Research suggests digging into a big forkful of chocolate gives consumers a dose of endorphins and serotonin, hormones associated with happiness and feeling at ease. But that bite should taste good and feel good to make. Al-Hatlani baked each cake mix and noted several qualities like taste and texture. Each brought and took something away from the table, but one brand stood out as a particularly sweet victory in the quest for quality chocolate cake.
When prepping and baking the mixes, Al-Hatlani found that the Pillsbury Moist Supreme devil’s food cake domed nicely in their round pans and came out of them easily. When slicing – after the layers were stacked – it did not cut so cleanly. When all was said and done, it boasted a moist center and “nice” flavor, though the outside was dry and crumbly.
The recommended boxed indulgence
The Betty Crocker mix received a similar assessment. The cakes were noted as especially smooth when baked and came away cleanly from their pans. The consistency earned praise, but the baker felt the taste fell short of what an eater would want to satiate their chocolate cravings.
That left the Duncan Hines entry. At last, out of the box came a mix that baked well, settled smoothly, offered a spongy texture that stood the test of gravity and poking – and the box offered clear cooling instructions, unlike Pillsbury’s, notes Al-Hatlani. When it came time to serve, cutting was easy and clean and the taste was equally satisfying. In fact, the baker suggests, the cake alone without icing could have been enough. Al-Hatlani also provided the steps taken to bake each of these boxed cake mixes, so if anyone else is craving chocolate now, it’s possible to recreate these tests – in the name of science, of course.
Do you agree with this assessment? Which boxed cake mix brands do you usually use?