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Cake Basics: Mixes and Ready-Mades We Like

Our Favorite Cake Mixes

If you have a favorite family recipe, or just enjoy baking scratch cakes, our hats are off to you! However, if that’s not your scene, it’s good to know that many of the problems traditionally associated with boxed cake mixes have been eliminated. It used to be the main reason to take the extra time to make a cake from scratch was that mixes created cakes that were more tender and crumbly than cakes made from scratch. It was difficult to cut a “mix” cake into a creative shape, because the crumbs would infiltrate the frosting. Not today! We have tested and tasted all the boxed mixes on the market and can share with you our favorites.

The overall winner for great taste and ease in cutting and frosting is the Betty Crocker™ Super Moist Cake Mix™. A close second was the Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme Cake Mix™. Both have plenty of pudding in the mix, and they really are delicious.

If you are in the mood for something really different, make a Rice Crispies™ Treats “cake.” The shapes will work equally well, and it tastes delicious with frosting.

Our Favorite Ready-Made Frostings

In order to achieve that “bakery perfect” smoothness on your cakes, use a standard recipe for butter cream frosting. The downside of this type of frosting is that it generally tastes quite sugary, and uses either lard or shortening to give it a “stiffer” consistency. What’s the favorite of ShindigZ staffers? Not only is ready-made frosting easier, we think it tastes creamier and less sugary. Try Pillsbury’s™ Creamy Supreme™ frosting, or even Cool Whip™. Ready-made may not give a bakery-smooth finish, but they were all very tasty to eat! For best results, refrigerate the frosting first, and keep it chilled while decorating.

We Also Like Paste

We like paste colorings in frosting. They won’t thin your frosting like liquid colors can, and they usually give quite vibrant results with little effort. Admittedly, some strong colors can be difficult to achieve without changing the taste of the frosting. Look for “no taste” pastes, or start with a ready-made that already contains some of the desired color: for example, use pink (strawberry, raspberry) to obtain fire-engine red, and dark chocolate for a head start on black frostings.

Once you’ve selected your recipes or mixes, frostings and colors, why not take a spin around ShindigZ Party’s Birthday Candles and Cake Accessories pages for more ideas? We think you’ll be glad you did!

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