adventures in gluten free baking (king arthur flour gluten free yellow cake mix review)

With C’s 3rd birthday quickly approaching, I have been keeping an eye out for gluten free cake options (I think I’ve mentioned that she’s gluten sensitive as well). Luckily, corporate america has not left me wanting. Main stream brands have been coming up with their own gluten free mixes to rival the little guys.

A few weeks ago, I tried Betty Crocker’s chocolate gluten free cake mix and made some cupcakes. And, while they very much resembled cupcakes, I wasn’t blown away by the taste or texture, and wouldn’t waste my calories on it. They were a bit gummy and chewy for my tastes. I could definitely tell that rice flour was a main ingredient. C mainly ate the frosting off the top of those. My mom tried Betty’s vanilla cake mix with better results – C actually ate some of the cake as well with those.

Today, the day before C’s party, I decided to give King Arthur’s brand a try. I’ve never used their wheat based products, so I didn’t have a frame of reference for comparison for gluten-y products. I saw it on the grocery store shelf and passed it over at first glance. It was 50% more expensive than Betty’s box. However, at second glance, I saw that the weight and yield are twice that of Betty’s. For example, I got 12 meager cupcakes from Betty’s box, where as King Arthur produced 24 robust cupcakes. I probably could have easily stretched it to 30 cupcakes. So King Arthur was a better value (Betty Crocker ~$5 for 12 cupcakes, King Arthur’s ~$8 for 24-30 cupcakes).

Needing cupcakes for the birthday celebration tomorrow, I pulled out the box of King Arthur’s gluten free yellow cake mix. The first thing I noticed while preparing this mix was that the instructions are detailed and very specific. I think the calculated method of preparation helped the batter turn out less runny than Betty’s did. This batter held up really well and was actually quite thick! While spooning it in to cupcake papers, the batter retained its shape, lumps and all.

As I mentioned previously, I got 24 of these bad boys out of the box. Great value! These smelled delicious while baking and browned really nicely!

The batter actually held its shape far better than I expected – making me wish I had tapped the pans a bit before putting them in the oven. The cupcakes rose where the lumpy spots from spooning the batter were, leaving some uneven mounds. They rose quite a bit – filling the cupcake papers half way would have given me perfect cupcakes.

We taste-tested one for the sake of our guests (oh, the sacrifices we make). Overall, the baking results were great. The cupcakes turned out light, fluffy and moist. They were also very tasty! Ben, C & I polished one off, then C asked for another! Considering there was no frosting on them yet, I’d call it a success. And I’m sold! King Arthur, you did a great job on this product.

Here’s the finished product, frosting and all. In the end, it actually worked out well that the tops were uneven. I used them to strategically place the Hello Kitty rings.

 C helped with the frosting a bit – although mostly she just licked the bowl. :)

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

Note:  I was in no way influenced by the company to promote this product. Although I would have loved a sample product to review, this one I paid for myself – and I would do it again!

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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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