Avery Keller - Staff Writer
Mya Alfonso - Staff Writer
In honor of National Chocolate Cake day on January 27th, we made 4 of the top cake mixes from your local grocery store. Duncan Hines, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, and Kroger. They were all fairly cheap, and we were surprised by this. All of the recipes called for 3 eggs, 1 cup of water, and ¼ cup of oil. When tasting the cakes, we taste tested the cakes on taste of batter, texture, taste of cake with and without frosting. We halved the recipe, but added an egg to make bring it more of a fudgy texture. For frosting we used a home recipe made with butter, cocoa powder, water and powdered sugar.
Before even making Duncan Hines we assumed it was going to win. It was the most expensive at $2.13 and the best quality. However, it took a sad loss last minute by half a point. When making the batter this one was the most fluffy of all the batters and got scored at 8.5. It was also the lightest in color and we would definitely recommend treating yourself to just the batter. It cooked well for about 30 mins and came out of the oven looking tasty. We let them cool and then tried it without frosting. Duncan Hines got the best texture, rating at a 9 and tied with Pillsbury on taste . The texture was pretty dense but it wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t terrible. We didn’t think it was any better with the frosting so we scored it at a 9 again. Overall it was scored at 34.5 losing by half a point.
Pillsbury surprisingly took first. It costs around $1.85, and was pretty easy to make. When we ate a little of the batter, it tasted pretty good, it was so light and fluffy, and just melted in your mouth. Although it was so delicious, it didn’t go the extra mile, so we scored the batter at a 9. Then we put the cakes in the oven and waited 30 minutes. We could’ve cooked them longer, but we like them a little on the doughy side. When tasting the cake without frosting, we found it was a little too spongy, but still delicious. It deserved a 7.5 on texture, and a 9 on taste without frosting. We added the frosting and that just gave it the wow factor we were looking for. The frosting seemed in the little air pockets of the cake which was amazing. The Pillsbury cake with frosting resulted in 9.5, so the total points out of 40 was 35, beating Duncan Hines by half a point.
The Betty Crocker was average, it only cost $1.48 and just didn’t exceed the limit on cake mixes. The batter was incredibly slimy and was pretty hard to eat, it had the consistency on an egg. That deserve nothing more than a 4. We stuck it in the oven and took it out 25 minutes later. The texture was just dry. It was still chocolate cake, but after trying Duncan Hines and Pillsbury, it just seemed like a let down. We scored the texture section a 7. Without frosting, it was about a 6. We added the frosting which made it way better. Adding the frosting upped the score 1 point, resulting in a 7 and Betty Crocker ended in a 24/40.
With Kroger, from the beginning we knew it was probably going to be the best. This was because it was the cheapest and the cheapest quality. However, when we made the batter it was pretty bad, but it wasn’t the worst of them all. We rated it at a 4.5 because when tasting it, it was super grainy and didn’t have much flavor at all. After baking for about 25 mins we tried out the cake without the frosting we scored it at a 6. It wasn’t very good, and it didn’t have much flavor which was a let down. We thought that since the frosting was so good, it would taste better with the frosting but sadly, it didn’t. It actually tasted worse scoring at a 5.5 bringing Krogers final score to 22.5.
Overall, it was fun making the cakes and surprised by the ending results, with Pillsbury coming up on top. We highly recommend trying out Duncan Hines and Pillsbury, or even making all 4 cakes because you get the satisfaction of eating as much as you want. In the end, chocolate cake mixes are easy to make and good to eat.