Thread Number: 39003
Betty Crocker Downsizes Cake Mixes To 15.25 oz.
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Post# 578342   2/26/2012 at 08:57 (2,281 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Most of the rampant product downsizing which has occurred since the bottom fell out of the economy hasn't affected the way I cook. It doesn't bother me if a jar of peanut butter has 3 fewer ounces than before.  This one, however, has me spitting nails.  


I bring at least four cakes of one kind or another---many of them coffee cakes---to work each Monday for the break room.  Most of the recipes I use start with a standard 18 to 18.25 oz. cake mix as its base.  I go through a lot of cake mixes each month, so whenever they go on a super sale ($.79-$.89) at the grocery store, I usually pick up a couple of cases each of yellow, white, and chocolate mixes, plus a half dozen each of spice, lemon, carrot, butter pecan, etc.


I just broke open a case of Betty Crocker cake mixes (purchased two or three weeks ago) and when I was loading them into the panty, I noticed the boxes were a bit shorter than the others on the shelf.  I figured they just downsized the box.  But no, the company had downsized the amount of mix by 2.75 ozs., which I believe translates to about two servings.


I have at least a dozen really good recipes that start with a cake mix base, plus two "doctored cake mix" cookbooks.  Suppose I'll have to add a few tablespoons of flour and maybe a bit more baking powder to compensate.


I made a lemon poppy seed cake this morning using one of the 15.25 oz. boxes and it is noticeably shorter.  It resembles a bakery sheet cake and not the nice, tall cake I'm used to producing.


I certainly hope this is not adopted by Pillsbury, which is the other brand I purchase regularly.  I'm not a huge fan of Duncan Hines mixes, and have always stuck with Betty Crocker and Pillsbury; plus, they are usually the brands that go on sale.  


This example of product downsizing is going to have negative effects in a lot of kitchens.  G-R-R-R-R-R!!





Post# 578366 , Reply# 1   2/26/2012 at 09:24 (2,281 days old) by 58limited (Port Arthur, Texas)        
Suppose I'll have to add a few tablespoons of flour and

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Or, you can open one box and use it to top off the other boxes.

I get really mad about product downsizing too. I'll bet they didn't drop the price when the volume dropped. I would rather have them raise prices than drop product volume. Companies generally don't respond to customer complaints, probably because many people don't bother to complain or don't even notice the difference in product size. But, if I recall, Jimmy Dean sausage tried this and public outcry did in fact make them go back to their old size.

Post# 578400 , Reply# 2   2/26/2012 at 10:44 (2,281 days old) by gfm8959 (Long Island, NY)        
There's always scratch cakes...

There is a new cookbook for "1 bowl" cakes out called A Piece of Cake. The recipes are great and only take a few extra minutes to measure ingredients than when using a mix. Check out the reviews. There are also several recipes for making your own homemade cake mix w/ flavor variations.


Post# 578459 , Reply# 3   2/26/2012 at 15:36 (2,281 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
I'm with David on this one...

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I too would rather they raise the price than lower the product content. This is just plain robbery. If they were really serious in saving money they can make the boxes smaller. I've always thought that most manufacturers make package sizes far too big in comparison to what they actually contain. Seems that they're mostly interested in fooling the consumer, making them believe that they are purchasing actual product when in reality it's just air.

Post# 578460 , Reply# 4   2/26/2012 at 15:47 (2,281 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Haven't Made A Box Cake In Ages

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Much prefer making things from scratch as my mother and other females in the family do, but....

One assumes given the vast amount of testing that goes on in test kitchens on such products, you shouldn't have to add anything extra. Long as the batter fills the same size/amount of pans as before you should be good to go.

Baking a cake from scratch isn't that hard, once you get the knack of it you'll never go back to boxed. I recommend "The Cake Bible" to get you started. Very easy and simple pound cake (including lemon poppy seed)recipes as well.

Downsizing of packages is here to stay and only going to get worse. Suppose we should be happy on one level as it has kept prices from rising *very* much higher then they would have which in turn as kept the (official) inflation rate down.

Post# 578472 , Reply# 5   2/26/2012 at 16:17 (2,281 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
This is Pinko-commie talk!!!

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Oh, but you don't want government interfering with a business's god-given right to short-sell it's customers. That would be like socialism.  


Caveat Emptor is the phrase to the wise, although with lobbyists working hard to make sure we have as little say in these matters as possible, as with insurances and gas, who cares for the troubles of the "little people" who just want to bake a cake?


I'm a fancy schmancy pastry chef who makes everything at work from scratch but every once in a while I love to treat myself to a Duncan Hines or Betty's golden cake or brownies. Junk food is good.


The lose-lose here is that by doing this they damage what was a good relationship between a company and its customers. But I'm sure their "people" have already figured out that doing these underhanded changes periodically isn't going to hurt the stockholders. It's just going to take away a little bit from millions of consumers who are customers.


And that's the new math.

Post# 578480 , Reply# 6   2/26/2012 at 16:27 (2,281 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
It Has Nothing To Do With Republicans Or Anyone's Politi

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Companies run by conservative and liberal alike are doing the same thing. IIRC even the Hormel company has downsized "Spam".

It's simple economics, if costs go up for a thing you either must raise the price or find a way to offset. It isn't clear in this current economy consumers can or are willing to accept price increases especially with so many other choices, so we have downsizing with perhaps a small price increase.

Post# 578492 , Reply# 7   2/26/2012 at 17:21 (2,281 days old) by kimball455 (Cape May, NJ)        
Even Tuna

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Looking at older recipies I often see the 7 oz can of tuna. Tuna is now down to 5 or 5 1/2 oz and a lot of water. Back in the 1970 (ancient history) I could get 2 - 3 sandwiches from one can. Today, barely one. The pound of coffee has not been a pound of coffee for years.

This post was last edited 02/26/2012 at 20:06
Post# 578510 , Reply# 8   2/26/2012 at 18:05 (2,281 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Stretching A Can Of Tuna

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Have had tuna sald/sandwiches where the ratio of mayonnaise to fish was something like 5:1. *LOL* Almost like eating a "poor man's" sandwich, butter or mayo spread onto two slices of bread. *LOL*

Post# 578541 , Reply# 9   2/26/2012 at 20:20 (2,281 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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What are the measurements for the oil and eggs on the old size compared to the new down-sized box?

Post# 578546 , Reply# 10   2/26/2012 at 21:15 (2,281 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        
I just realized...

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As a friend pointed out to me that they now add Soy to Canned Tuna as a Filler. Bumble Bee, Star Kissed, (Not sure about Chicken of the Sea). Ingrediants : Fish,Contains Soy. I wonder if the Soy is Monsanto's GM Soy ? My God, They even have to screw with Tuna Now.

Post# 578584 , Reply# 11   2/27/2012 at 02:52 (2,281 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
I ran to the pantry as soon as I read Eddie's post on Tu

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I have Chicken of The Sea Fancy Albacore, it does list soy, put as part of the vegetable broth. For a second I thought they were substituting actual tuna for soy. Whew....well at least not yet.


As for the vanishing contents of cake mixes I was at the local Path Mark tonight and yes, Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines are selling less product, more air, for the same price. Pillsbury still had the same amount as before. So did the store brand.


Odd thing I saw at the checkout. You know those TV's they have showing you "tips", "recipes" and commercials while you load your items on the conveyer? Well it was giving a "tip" when preparing a cake mix, it recommended to add a cup of flour and a stick of butter to give it a "made from scratch" taste. I wonder if that had anything to do with what Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines are currently pulling?

Post# 578586 , Reply# 12   2/27/2012 at 03:07 (2,281 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
I just noticed something else...

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See how much harder it is to see the type font used in the net weight from the original version to the downsized one? Sneaky crooks.

Post# 578593 , Reply# 13   2/27/2012 at 04:13 (2,280 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Tuna Without Soy

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Supposedly Bumble Bee "Tonio" tuna packed in olive oil (the gold can) does not have soy. Will have to peep the labels when at the supermarket this week.

Checked the can of Progresso tuna in the cupboards and yes it contains soy and is only about 5oz. Drat, as one really liked Progresso tuna, it was one of the few that actually tasted and looked like tuna fish of old. Much of what one get's today rather resembles what one feeds a cat.


Yet another thing may have to make up from scratch. A few upscale supermarkets here (Fairway and Whole Foods mainly) sell rather nice tuna filets. Could slice that up and add olive oil to make salad or paste.

Post# 578603 , Reply# 14   2/27/2012 at 05:53 (2,280 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Petek--- The directions on the downsized box calls for the same amount of oil as an 18-oz. box (3 eggs; 1/2 cup vegetable oil), but less water (1 cup vs. 1-1/4 to 1-1/3).

Cakes from scratch: I used to make all my cakes from scratch, but have since switched to box mixes. I doctor the mix when appropriate (adding real shredded carrots and a bit of freshly-grated nutmeg to the carrot cake mix, for example). I make the frosting from scratch, which makes the final product "pop".

I realize it takes only a few extra minutes to measure out the flour, leavening, and butter for a from-scratch cake, but since I'm making four different cakes and trying not to spend the whole morning in the kitchen, I've opted for the perceived convenience of opening a box and dumping it in the mixing bowl.

Post# 578617 , Reply# 15   2/27/2012 at 07:46 (2,280 days old) by DaveAmKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Downsize, downsize, downsize...!

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Disappointing to see smaller packaging, in laundry detergent, and now that you've brought it to my attention cake mixes...

Restaurants, too, seem to be compensating for food that goes to waste, serving ever smaller portions, at ever increasing prices...

I should know, from a sandwich shop my in-laws regularly go to & took me to a couple times, being pretty skimpy on putting onions on my sub & having a whole tub of 'em, as if NO ONE likes onions or don't want a lot on their sandwich, whereas I love 'em (RED ONIONS, mind you!--Yum!) and had to beg two or more times to have a sufficient amount...!

(Hmmmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm...!)

-- Dave

Post# 578622 , Reply# 16   2/27/2012 at 08:28 (2,280 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

I use Duncan Hines, I wonder if they have been changed anything there? Gary

Post# 578623 , Reply# 17   2/27/2012 at 08:41 (2,280 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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I agree 100% that even the Solid Pack Albacore Tuna over the past 5-6 years is abosolutely nothing what it used to look like. It does resemble Cat Food. I've noticed it has a Yellow Tinge to it as well. And when it comes in water, you used to be able to drain off the water. But thanks to the soy, it thickens the water into a almost paste like with consistancy of syrup.
I guess I will go back to Pastene Tono in Olive Oil or Genova.
It is ashame what Big Business is doing to every Product these days. And I'm pretty sure that the average consumer does not ever read a label on food products. (I'm hoping I'm wrong)

Didn't mean to HiJack the thread.

Back to your regular scheduled program.

Post# 578650 , Reply# 18   2/27/2012 at 10:21 (2,280 days old) by Hunter (Colorado)        
saving time making cakes from scratch

If you want to save time making cakes from scratch, get yourself a digital kitchen scale and WEIGH the flour, sugar, etc. Obviously you'll need a cookbook that uses weights, such as The Cake Bible that Laundress mentioned or something Euro like _Delia Smith's Book of Cakes_ from UK (which is a great book).

I find that it is a real time saver. I don't bake if I have to sift, measure, sift again. PITA! But if you weigh then even if you sift it is weigh/sift.

Of course, I also buy flour by the 25 pound bag so that's a savings too.

What makes me crazy about the package shrinkages is that there is a fixed price we are paying for the PACKAGING - the box, the can, whatever. IF YOU PUT LESS STUFF IN IT PROPORTIONALLY I AM PAYING MORE FOR THE BOX. GRR..

Soy. It's nice to see other people avoiding soy. I try and avoid it whenever possible. The 'soy' in tuna is probably the veg broth.

Post# 578716 , Reply# 19   2/27/2012 at 14:12 (2,280 days old) by westie2 ()        

I had to go to our supermarket/Pharmacy at lunch and picked up so medicine and did look at the diffent cake mixes.  BD was the 15.25 Ducan Hines was 18.2 and so was Philsbury.  The stor prand Best Chice (which is very good and we use0 is still the 18.25 and then the low cost price Saver is 15.25.had burchased some cake mix from Aldi Saturday and the 3 boxes are 18.25 per box.



Post# 578718 , Reply# 20   2/27/2012 at 14:20 (2,280 days old) by westie2 ()        

i got to thinking about the cake mixes past and I was sure at one time it was add water only.  Sure enough women griped that they didn't add enough to make it home made.  So dried eggs were removed and the whole eggs were added as ingredients.  i think back then also the cake mix had solid shortening (lard ?) also blended in.  now it is add eggs and oil with the water.


here is a good timeline of the Betty Crockers cake mix.



Post# 578726 , Reply# 21   2/27/2012 at 15:09 (2,280 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I have to agree with others here, if it's worth making, it's worth doing from scratch.  A good basic cake is not that much harder to make, and the better stuff you can't make from a mix.   and extra 5 or 10 minutes to make from scratch is well worth it.  I've pretty much decided to avoid all processed, or prepared food, and feel much better for it.

Post# 578742 , Reply# 22   2/27/2012 at 16:36 (2,280 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Since One Always Used The "Cream" Method

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For making box pound cakes when one first started out baking as a wee slip of a thing, it wasn't that much of a stretch to step up to making the entire thing from scratch.

Homemade "Cake Mixes"

All one needs to to is measure out the dry ingredients (by weight is best) ahead of time and store. This can be anything from a covered bowel the day or so before to putting in a zip-lock bag for longer term storage. When you think about it that is all boxed cakes mixes are except they add things to increase shelf life both in the box and after the product is baked.

If one really wishes to get fancy and save time subsitute dry milk or buttermilk if the recipe calls for it then all one need do is "add water",along with eggs and so forth.

Personally cannot see spending the prices they want for boxed stuff when flour is on sale often enough and can be used for other things as well. If one bakes allot it also is much cheaper to purchase cake flour in large sacks from commercial vendors.

Mixing A Boxed Cake By Hand:

Whenever Mother Dear made a boxed cake (normally Duncan Hines) one always remembered reading the mixing directions that stated if doing the thing by hand to beat 200 (or was it 300?) strokes.

Post# 578743 , Reply# 23   2/27/2012 at 16:44 (2,280 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
I've Converted Many A Recipe To Weight

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Even when directions are given in volume. Professional bakers and cooks have used weight for measuring when baking for ages and there isn't any reason to stop now. For one thing you never know how accurate particular vessels are marked.

The Cake Bible gives pretty accurate standard weights for most flours, sugars and other common ingredients (and some uncommon as well). I've used them to scale flour and what not when baking bread various recipes including "The Bread Lovers Bread Machine Cookbook"

When Fanny Farmer set about writing one of the first printed cookbooks to be sold in the United States she had a heck of a time when testing various recipes, especially for baked goods. Women/cooks used all manner of measurements much of them depending upon what was used in the "old country" for themselves or their mothers, grandmothers, etc....

Post# 578747 , Reply# 24   2/27/2012 at 16:48 (2,280 days old) by Hunter (Colorado)        
the most lucid explanation I've seen..

...for why we use cup measures in the USA (and Canada? I don't know) is that, being frontier societies, scales and weights were heavy, and expensive. So folks used a 'teacup' for a measure. This evolved into our 8 ounce cup.

Logical, thought I.

Post# 578785 , Reply# 25   2/27/2012 at 19:21 (2,280 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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One question I'm wondering about is the difference between a cake baked from scratch vs. a cake made from a mix, or bought in a grocery store. From my limited experience years back, it seems to me that the cake mixes and grocery store cakes were noticeably lighter. But that is from very limited experience--I can only recall my mother baking one from scratch cake, which was a recipe that probably put a priority on "get it done fast". Plus it was baked with regular flour, not any sort of special cake flour. My own cake baking experience is pretty limited (and has been non-existent in recent years).

Post# 578794 , Reply# 26   2/27/2012 at 20:22 (2,280 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Generally Speaking

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Most cakes are made with cake flour which is lighter and has less gluten than "all purpose". Also there are certain cakes that should be dense versus very light, but in general commercial mixes and cakes made for mass production (for sale in supermarkets and so forth)have various was to make their products lighter.

Finally commercial bakeries use very controlled conditons most housewives could only dream about.

Post# 578843 , Reply# 27   2/27/2012 at 22:14 (2,280 days old) by Toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        

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I believe we use volume here because of the huge number of people that speak the same language.

In smaller countries it becomes a PITA to accurately and quickly translate "teaspoon", "tablespoon" "cup" etc. from country to country across languages and have them mean the same amount.

230ml are more universal and easily understood "over there!"

You wanna die with "not standard" ?
Greek recipes tend to be conveyed with measures such as

demi-tasse cups
wine glasses
water glasses
"sweets" spoon

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN in terms of quantity

So their "formal" recipes (by weight) are difficult for me (metrics); and their "casual" recipes (with non-standard measures) are not much better!

Post# 578907 , Reply# 28   2/28/2012 at 01:41 (2,280 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Oh, those crazy Greeks, LOL.

We are lucky to have today's detailed, well-written recipes. I own a cookbook made in South Dakota of "area recipes" from around 1900. Some of them have no directions whatsoever. Several of the yeast bread recipes are like that. I guess a young housewife was just expected to know the bread-making process.

Others are written in paragraph form, which makes it difficult to organize the ingredients you'll need to prepare the recipe.

This post was last edited 02/28/2012 at 03:03
Post# 578919 , Reply# 29   2/28/2012 at 02:20 (2,280 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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"We are lucky to have today's detailed, well-written recipes."

We probably are. And books/TV shows/whatever that teach why something is important can be quite useful. I was amazed at how much one can learn by watching Julia Child's old TV shows.

At the same time, however, it's easy to get trapped in a recipe prison where one does exactly what the recipe says, whether or not that recipe exactly matches one's needs/desires. And I wonder how well exact recipes age. Ingredients can and do change over the years, and thus an exact recipe from several decades ago might not work quite the same today.

Post# 578995 , Reply# 30   2/28/2012 at 11:26 (2,279 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

The true basics don't change, flour is flour, eggs are still eggs, and milk is still milk- though with varying amounts of milk fat.  Now if you use something like  evaporated milk the can size like many others have shrunk over the years, 1 recipe I make now needs a second can opened to reach the needed amount, but all in all the basics of baking are as they have been.


As to recipe prison - how so?  If you like something you make it if it no longer meets your needs why would you make it?  Just curious...

Post# 579001 , Reply# 31   2/28/2012 at 11:39 (2,279 days old) by mixfinder ()        
Easy Peasy

Mixes are sold by weight. The heaviest and cheapest ingredient is sugar. Soft flour is used along with special leavenings, diatastics and conditioners to create an airy cake regardless of how it is or isn't beaten or treated. Fat and sodium are cheap and easy preservatives as well as many other chemicals added as stabilizers. Bottom line, mixes have more calories because of a higher ratio of fat, flour and unhealthy sodium than homemade. Bekery cakes are even worse. Recipes are ratios and mixing instructions the template for okay, good or extraordinary cakes. In small recipes, variances are more tolerated than in quantity cooking where weights are almost always used. Modern flours don't require sifting and if so it can easily be done in a processor. Room temperature ingredients have more to do with successful outcomes than precise measurements. Rosy Levy Beranbaum uses a recipe grid which gives you a choice of cups, weight or metric. The template is in the text and its distracting to follow and easy to mix the measurement grid offerings of volume, metric and weight having a recipe failure. Rose also advocates slow and minimal mixing of the cake which makes them more dense than most American counterparts and certainly more so than mixes. I say cut the recipe hyperbole crap of modern TV chefs who puff themselves up with a million bowls, tools and steps which intimidate the novice cook. Clear the clutter, get a stand mixer and older Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook and you'll make wonderful cakes. I have 4 recipes, Hot Water Fudge, 1234 Cake, Chiffon Cake and Pound Cake that can be blended and adapted to make just about every cake ever heard of. The hugest failure is over baking and creating flavored styrofoam. All that said, adding 5 other packages or ingredients to a mix to make a dessert is something I can accept moving away from the purity of homemade. I like the effort, appliances, tools, and steps of making any recipe as involved as it can be combined with the the trill of the beat to test my mettle. As long as each baker is happy it is not mine to lecture, judge or offer input.

Post# 579045 , Reply# 32   2/28/2012 at 13:58 (2,279 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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When talking about "recipe prison" I was thinking about cooking in general...something I probably should have mentioned given that this thread started talking about cake mixes. Or else not brought up at all. (It was late when I posted the above, and I think my mind was partly distracted by the tuna talk above.)

With baking, one does often need to use an exact recipe. Which is possibly one reason I never really got into baking, apart from bread: everything needs to be exactly right, or else disaster hits.

Why make a recipe one doesn't like? No sense in that. But in recipes where things don't need to be exact, why not make small adjustments to match tastes/needs? Many people do, of course, but I have known of "recipe slaves."

Ingredient character changes are also probably less of an issue with baking than regular cooking. I'm not sure how much things have changed over the years...but I have heard many people mourning various changes. James Beard felt the character of meat had changed during his life (and not for the better). Back to baking, I've heard that buttermilk is a much different product now, and I think I've heard some people express a feeling that it doesn't work as well in a given recipe.

Post# 579047 , Reply# 33   2/28/2012 at 14:20 (2,279 days old) by Hunter (Colorado)        
regional differences even intra-USA

One thing that makes baking different, and might be why folks like mixes, is that there are regional differences in ingredients, even inside the USA.

When I moved to New England from the NYC area, I noted that sugar was quite different. The grains were larger and I found to get the same results I got previously, I had to put the sugar in a food processor for a moment or two.

Flour varies in protein depending on where it is grown; soft southern flour is better for cakes and (American) biscuits than northern harder flours.

Try to find good whipping cream. It is NOT full fat cream, but instead lower fat cream with gums in it as whipping aids. Meh. (Good thing I don't do dairy anymore).

Post# 579052 , Reply# 34   2/28/2012 at 14:30 (2,279 days old) by spiralator60 (Los Angeles)        
Buttermilk and Baking

I very much agree with John's comment about baking with buttermilk. What is widely available in stores today has a different "mouth feel" than the product of, say, 40 years ago. This creamy, or to some heavy, texture is what is described as what makes the finished cooked product as being "filling." The current product is to many a lot lighter in texture, to the point of being watery.

It dates me, I know, but buttermilk that used to be sold in glass bottles was notorious for the somewhat greasy film that it left inside the container, and drinking glasses. This was because of the high fat content, as well as the bits of actual butter, present in the liquid after churning cream.

Post# 579058 , Reply# 35   2/28/2012 at 14:51 (2,279 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Buttermilk Sold Today

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Is NOTHING like the stuff of old of old.

Rather than the by-product of churning butter out of cream, today's "buttermilk" is pasteurized, homogenized, then clutured thing for production on a vast scale. If one examines the labels on containers it most always clearly states "cultured" buttermilk.

Think it may be possible in the USA to find the real thing, but not sure. Know in parts of India traditional buttermilk is still easily found and sold.

And if you think real buttermilk is hard to find, forget seeking out clabber. Unless one owns a dairy farm it just isn't going to happen.

Post# 579066 , Reply# 36   2/28/2012 at 15:33 (2,279 days old) by mixfinder ()        
No Culture Left

Pastuerization wiped out naturally souring milk and cream. Fat is not a reason to add buttermilk but for drinking, "Bavarian" varieties have more fat. The acid in buttermilk works in concert with the leavening for more oven spring and to reduce gluten formation while mixing. In yeasted breads the culture medium in buttermilk makes a nice lunch for yeast bacteria to feed on.
Whipping cream can be as low as 31% and legal so that is what many store brands are. Heavy Cream is 36% butter fat and more often branded varieties. Restaurant Heavy cream is 44% butter fat and designed for high heat cooking so it thickens in a saute pan and won't curdle in extended baking times. Older cream whips better so look for shorter expiration dates if you need it right away. Cream whips much better at medium speed than high and if you add sugar before whipping the finish product is much more stable. Ultra Pastuerized cream does not whip as well because the high heat of pastuerization can cause fat cells to burst and then they cannot trap air.
Lord, I am with you. Regardless of baking or cooking I almost never use a recipe or a measuring device. It goes much faster, clean up is a breeze and I name it when it comes out of the oven. If you understand process and ratio you don't need a piece of paper to tell you what to do.

Post# 579073 , Reply# 37   2/28/2012 at 16:26 (2,279 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Professional Bakers/Cooks Measure By Weight

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For it makes dealing with ingredients easier, but allows the scaling of a recipe up or down faster and much more accurate. One key one has always found is that it's much better to do so via the metric system (grammes,milliliters, etc..) than pounds, ounces, etc.

If one understands what the proper ratios are for what one is making (cake, bread, pudding, whatever...), then it is merely a matter of plugging in the proper measure by weight of ingredients to get where one needs to go. This is how professional bakers can take a recipe for say pound cake and make enough batter for enough layers to make a wedding cake or several smaller ones.

The Cake Bible along with several other great books speaks to understanding ratios and proportions for baking.

Post# 579075 , Reply# 38   2/28/2012 at 16:32 (2,279 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Speaking of Pound Cake & Weights

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That is how the thing got it's name.

Original recipes for pound cakes called for flour, eggs, butter, and milk in measures of "pounds" depending upon size and or number being made.

Regarding standard weights:

Current American usage give eight ounces for a cup, two cups to a pint and four quarts makes a gallon. One pint of water weighs one pound.

However for the UK twenty fluid counces made an imperial pint, therefore the Imperial gallon was 25% larger than an American one.

But in the British empire, it took 20 (fluid) ounces to make an imperial pint, making the Imperial gallon 25% bigger than the American gallon.

Hence the common American claim that "a pint is a pound the world around" pitted against the English statement that "a pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter".

, 8 ounces make a cup, 2 cups make a pint, two pints make a quart, 4 quarts make a gallon. A pint of water weighs a pound.

Post# 579106 , Reply# 39   2/28/2012 at 18:16 (2,279 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
sometimes it pays to be a bitch

twintubdexter's profile picture
Concerning the downsizing craze that's used to cheat customers, recently I noticed a change in toothpaste. We all know the box and tube size has shrunk, but I began to have problems with the Crest Clinical stuff I like. The consistency of the paste started to get thinner and thinner. It became a race to see if I could get the brush in my mouth before the paste ran off (how I wish I had this problem with food on a fork). I sort of suspected that more water was being added to the mix. Think of it, a teaspoon of water added to millions of tubes saves a lot on manufacturing costs while the tube size remains the same. The net weight doesn't change much either.

I decided to email Procter & Gamble and they expressed their concern and asked me to send them the lot# on the box and also the receipt! I told them that this problem has existed for the last dozen tubes I've purchased and besides who keeps receipts for toothpaste?

They sent me 12 coupons for free large tubes worth about $50 so I was "pacified."

It only takes a second to find the email address on most packages so bitch, moan and complain.

Post# 579116 , Reply# 40   2/28/2012 at 18:41 (2,279 days old) by mixfinder ()        
Pound Cake

If you look at early recipes for poundcake no one had heard of kitchen scales. Lumps of butter the size of four eggs etc were how they were written. Clearly weighing ingredients is the most accurate but not always worth the bother. I recently bought a Taylor 4 cup measure that has a scale built in the base. Getting out the scale and dinking around with adding just tich more or take a bit out is slow and cumbersome compared to the dip and sweep method of measurement. In 98 percent of homebaking a single recipe the difference a scale would make is neglible since at least 98% of American recipes are written for volume measurement and then you'd be trying find new recipes or conversion charts. Not worth the time, mess and effort at my house. I can bake 6 cakes in the time it takes most people to get out the ingredients.

Post# 579163 , Reply# 41   2/28/2012 at 23:47 (2,279 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Kelly---While you're here, I have a question for you. Someone in this thread (Hunter, perhaps) heard a tip to improve a boxed cake mix: Add 1 cup of flour and 1 stick of butter to the mix. Have you ever heard of doing this? I would think adding a full cup of flour would mess with the ratio of sugar and leavening. And I suppose nothing is hurt by adding a stick of butter, LOL. I know you're a strictly-from-scratch man when it comes to cakes, but what's your take on this tip?

Aside: I have no rational explanation for my love of the boxed cake mix. I make all my own bread, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, even hamburger buns; but I almost always use a boxed cake mix these days.

Post# 579177 , Reply# 42   2/29/2012 at 00:27 (2,279 days old) by mixfinder ()        
Don't Mess With Me

I have no luck using Betty crocker with or without additions. Pillsbury are my favorite and they seem to put up with anything. I used to add a stick of butter and an extra egg and liked the more solid texture. When making wedding cakes I used a cake mix, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup oil and a package of Dream Whip along with a 1 1/4 cup water. It makes a light but stay together cake good for stacking. I haven't used a cake mix since the 70's so I can't say much about how they do now. I think Hunter's idea of adding the flour would bring the sweetness ratio in line and the extra butter is always a nice addition to the shortening used in cake mix. You can buy dehydrated shortnening and butter which is added to the dry ingredients. Its much like mixing up a cake mix because it's one bowl action. I buy cake flour in 50 pound bags, butter anyt time its on sale for $2.50 or less and baking powder in 3 pound jars because I burn through it in about three months. More if there are functions like the St Patrick's Dinner with dessert auction the church is doing. I always use Molina or any Mexican vanilla I can get my hands on. Keep baking and let us know what you learn.

Post# 579206 , Reply# 43   2/29/2012 at 06:27 (2,278 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I'm going to give the "add a cup of flour and a stick of butter" tip a try when I bake this weekend. I like moist, dense cakes, too. I make various cakes for work on a rotating basis, and this week the lineup includes Damn Good Coffee Cake (using a mix); Blueberry-Cream Cheese Coffee Cake (scratch); Lemon Poppyseed (mix); Chocolate Coca Cola Cake w/ Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (mix).

Below is a mix-based coffee cake recipe I get a lot of requests for. I've tinkered with this recipe for awhile and really like it in its current form, so it gets my "Damn Good" designation. When I retire, I plan to self-publish a series of Damn Good cookbooks. That ought to keep me off the streets and out of trouble, LOL.

The recipe for Damn Good Coffee Cake is in the frame following this one. Try it, you'll like it!

Post# 579207 , Reply# 44   2/29/2012 at 06:35 (2,278 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

1 18.25-oz. box yellow cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or very soft butter)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
4 large eggs

16 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13" x 9" baking pan.

2. Make filling/topping: Put flour, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in bowl of food processor. Process in 2-second pulses until butter is cut into flour. Pour mixture into a bowl. Stir in chopped pecans. Set aside.

3. In bowl of stand mixer, combine cake mix, sour cream, oil (or butter), sugar, water and eggs. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes.

4. Spread a little less than half of the batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the filling/topping. Repeat to use remaining batter and filling/topping.

5. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake emerges with no raw batter on it.

NOTE: You may use granulated sugar in place of brown sugar for the filling/topping if you prefer. However, this negates the "Damn Good" designation.

Post# 579254 , Reply# 45   2/29/2012 at 09:47 (2,278 days old) by Hunter (Colorado)        
yes, you will...

If you decide to bake and cook by weight you will need a new cookbook.

Personally I am a big fan of "Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course" And someone else on this thread mentioned _The Cake Bible_ if you are doing cakes.

(Also, I would love to take credit for the 'add flour' etc. to a cake mix but it wasn't me who said it).

Personally I'd also love a Thermomix, but at that price, I just can't justify it - not after spending money on some of the other stuff I spend money on !!

Post# 579355 , Reply# 46   2/29/2012 at 16:38 (2,278 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Whoops! My bad. The tip to improve a cake mix came from Louie. Thanks, Louie! I'm going to give it a try.

Post# 579392 , Reply# 47   2/29/2012 at 19:27 (2,278 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture
There's one thing I've been wondering about with cake baking. Is there any sort of standard temperature adjustment for the oven to compensate for different types of pans? With bread, for example, James Beard said that one should reduce the heat 25 degrees if one uses a glass pan vs. a metal pan. Is there in general some similar temperature adjustment for cakes?

Post# 579395 , Reply# 48   2/29/2012 at 19:41 (2,278 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
It's The Same

launderess's profile picture
For baking breads and cakes, at least according to what one has read.


Post# 579396 , Reply# 49   2/29/2012 at 19:44 (2,278 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Personally Only Use Vintage Pyrex

launderess's profile picture
Glass pie dishes when doing that sort of thing. All other baking is done in vintage Ekco metal pans one has had since a teen. Or failing that whatever vintage Ovenex bakeware one has nabbed off fleaPay. Even have one those those large three loaf pans with lids for baking Pullman bread. What one thought one was going to use it for at the time of purchase god only knows. *LOL*

This post was last edited 03/01/2012 at 00:11
Post# 579456 , Reply# 50   2/29/2012 at 23:43 (2,278 days old) by mixfinder ()        
Oven Personality

Baking temperatures depend a lot on the range. GM Frigidaires brown less so 350 might be fine. GE has more radiant browning so dropping the temps 25 degrees are better. Ranges that don't have top elements that cycle during baking are a crap shoot unless they have convection. It all depends on the personality of your oven regardless of pans. If things are baking too slow or falling adjust the temperatures upward. If they hump, pull from the edges and have brown crusts lower the temperature and then make note of it for furture reference.

Post# 579457 , Reply# 51   2/29/2012 at 23:46 (2,278 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
True, True.

launderess's profile picture
One of the best things to do is besides using a good oven thermometer is to bake up a test cake using a recipe one knows backwards and fowards that never fails.

Post# 579470 , Reply# 52   3/1/2012 at 00:48 (2,278 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture
Thanks for the insights about temperature and baking pans!

Post# 579475 , Reply# 53   3/1/2012 at 01:14 (2,278 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

Frigilux , my late dad would give  you a big kudos.  He first pointed this downsizing rip off, to me years ago , when " a three pound can of coffee" became 2lbs and X ounces.  alr

Post# 579493 , Reply# 54   3/1/2012 at 06:16 (2,277 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I checked my local Hy-Vee grocery store. Pillsbury cake mixes are priced the same and Betty Crocker, but still give you a full 18-to-18.25 ounces of product. The store brand (Hy-Vee) is also full-sized and about 12 cents cheaper.

I guess I'm a Pillsbury/Hy-Vee guy, now.

Also: Just found a recipe to make your own "cake mix" which can be sealed in zip-lock bags and stored in the freezer until you need them. Going to give that a try as well. The mix has butter cut into it, then you add water/eggs/oil when ready to prepare. I'm guessing one adds cocoa powder to get a chocolate cake.

Post# 579546 , Reply# 55   3/1/2012 at 12:00 (2,277 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

And speaking of buttermilk, what the hell is "fat free buttermilk"? It sells by the 1/2gal here in GA.

Post# 579555 , Reply# 56   3/1/2012 at 12:45 (2,277 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Frigilux, have you tried Krusteaz cake mix? They come in 5 lb. boxes, and though I've not used them myself, one of my friends claims they are good. I was told you can measure out enough for one cake at a time if that's all you want to make.

Post# 579678 , Reply# 57   3/1/2012 at 20:04 (2,277 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
I guess I'm a Pillsbury/Hy-Vee guy, now.

lordkenmore's profile picture
Until, I presume, they also downsize?

If this downsizing continues, we'll sooner or later have cake mixes that are only big enough to bake half a cupcake.

Post# 579720 , Reply# 58   3/2/2012 at 00:37 (2,277 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

HMMM-if the downsizing continues--we will be cooking our cakes in a toy Eazy-Bake oven.

Post# 579721 , Reply# 59   3/2/2012 at 01:08 (2,277 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture
There's something that might make those who are frustrated at Betty Crocker serving up smaller amounts better. Tonight I was at my usual grocery store, and I discovered they have organic cake mix. Quantity, at least on the one box I saw, was about what Betty Crocker has changed to. Price was something like 4 times higher.

On the other hand, the organic mix had nothing on the list of ingredients that I didn't recognize.

Post# 579729 , Reply# 60   3/2/2012 at 01:56 (2,277 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
The Media Has Taken Notice

launderess's profile picture
Post# 579730 , Reply# 61   3/2/2012 at 01:56 (2,277 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
But Wait, There's More!

launderess's profile picture
Post# 579731 , Reply# 62   3/2/2012 at 02:10 (2,277 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
There's Even A Website

launderess's profile picture
Why am I not surprised?


Post# 580046 , Reply# 63   3/3/2012 at 11:07 (2,275 days old) by mixfinder ()        
Big Boy!!

Krusteaz, a product of Centennial Mills and General Mills (Betty Crocker) both make commercial mixes. These products have more fat and different leavings to keep them moist and allow them to rise evenly when baking in large pans that taker olnger oven times. Both are pretty good at accepting alterations but Krusteaz is my favorite. I have represented both companies and their websites have lots of tips and recipes for using the products. Buying this way is also less expensive per slice or finished product. They are found in some discount stores like Sam's or Costco, AG Cash and Carry stores and most food service suppliers, sold under house labels like SYSCO or FSA.

Post# 580108 , Reply# 64   3/3/2012 at 17:26 (2,275 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
One Sees SYSCO Trucks

launderess's profile picture
All over the area delivering to commercial/restaurant and other professional kitchens including schools, nursing homes, hospitals.

Post# 580699 , Reply# 65   3/6/2012 at 02:05 (2,273 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

In the Rapid City South Dakota area-my Dad says there is a Sysco store there-you can go there and buy their items.I do see the sysco trucks out here-but no Sysco store.would like to see one.

Post# 839587 , Reply# 66   9/4/2015 at 18:48 (995 days old) by Magic_Clean (Florida)        
Duncan Hines

"Classic" cakes mixes just joined the 15.25 downsizing club.

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Post# 839592 , Reply# 67   9/4/2015 at 19:28 (995 days old) by Magic_Clean (Florida)        
A Downsized

Bundt Cake. Usually they rise to rim of pan. Otherwise, it seems to have baked nicely.

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Post# 839593 , Reply# 68   9/4/2015 at 19:36 (995 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
One more reason why I'm more & more opting to make my own from scratch as much as possible.

Post# 839622 , Reply# 69   9/5/2015 at 00:06 (995 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Yes,don't we all love the food makers convenient "GYP-YOU" downsizing!!!Just give me a standard measure of the stuff-you know like a pound or whatever--I am willing to pay for it.This nonsense has to stop!!!

Post# 839665 , Reply# 70   9/5/2015 at 07:29 (994 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Wow, almost three years have passed since cake mixes were downsized. Much love to Hy-Vee, whose store brand mixes are still 18.25 ounces. I use them exclusively, to great results. Guess if they haven't downsized them by now, they never will.

Post# 839695 , Reply# 71   9/5/2015 at 12:00 (994 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
What, still using a boxed mix?

ovrphil's profile picture
Just kidding, Eugene. After all the aforementioned suggestion to just bake from scatch(which is what I do)..glad you were able to find a box with 18.25oz of product that meets your needs or expectation. I can only add...I stopped buying Dannon yogurt when they downsized(calling customer care, I said, "I like more in the container, not less!" and their response was, "we have found that the current size is what most customers like". I wanted to say, "who, BABIES?"

5oz-5.5oz tuna is useless - I remember, too, the days when we could make two sandwiches with a can of tuna.

Not that I eat them anymore so much, but try finding a POUND or Family Size of potato chips. The potato chip bag sizes are beginning to match a lunch bag size.

As noted, most pre-packaged grocery items all contain less product, same or greater price following.

Ah well, same old mantra - do more with less to maintain or bolster profitability.
I think I need a cream-cheese carrot cupcake right about now. :-)


Post# 856026 , Reply# 72   12/10/2015 at 16:38 (898 days old) by Magic_Clean (Florida)        
Figured out a

"work" around for the content reduced cake mix. I used a 9"X 12" oblong pan instead of the usual and customary 9" X 13".

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Post# 856030 , Reply# 73   12/10/2015 at 16:58 (898 days old) by Magic_Clean (Florida)        

meant 7" X 12" pan

Post# 856031 , Reply# 74   12/10/2015 at 16:59 (898 days old) by Magic_Clean (Florida)        

meant 7" X 12" pan

Post# 856034 , Reply# 75   12/10/2015 at 17:23 (898 days old) by delaneymeegan (Mary Richards lived here)        

delaneymeegan's profile picture
The knee-jerk reaction is to assume that they are greedy bastards trying to make money by just putting less in the box, and probably charging more.

We have to remember, the world population continues to explode.
From 6.9 BILLION in 2010 to 7.4 BILLION July of 2015.
Food supplies aren't unlimited. That's way too many people.

By scraping a little here, and cheating a bit there, I think the food companies really do a disservice to society. It would be better to be up front about what they're doing and why.

We could tell Betty and Duncan to let those extra millions of people to 'let 'em eat cake' but, that might just exacerbate the problem.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO delaneymeegan's LINK

Post# 856038 , Reply# 76   12/10/2015 at 17:43 (898 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
I have used this modification when using a cake mix with excellent results.

To the average size cake mix add:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp, baking powder
Substitute milk for the amount of water that the mix calls for
Use melted butter instead of oil, ( I used 1 cube )
1 tsp. vanilla
Add 1 extra egg
Mix as per the package directions. You will have a noticeably larger amount of batter. I used 2, 9" Wilton cake pans, which are a little deeper than most average 9" pans. If you are using regular 9" pans I would suggest using 3 pans, otherwise it may overflow. This recipe made the highest 9" cake I ever got out of a cake mix and the cake tasted almost like homemade. I haven't tried it with a chocolate cake mix, but I think I would use 1/4 cup cocoa and 1/4 cup flour instead of the 1/2 cup flour as listed above.

Post# 856105 , Reply# 77   12/11/2015 at 06:58 (897 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

How many tablespoons in a cube of butter? I've seen butter sold in cubes when I'm in Seattle, but am not recalling if each is four or eight tablespoons.

In the upper Midwest, a pound of butter is divided into four sticks, each of which is eight tablespoons.

Thanks for posting your cake mix modification, Eddie. I want to give it a try.

Post# 856134 , Reply# 78   12/11/2015 at 10:40 (897 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
a cube or stick of butter = 1/2 cup or 8 tbls. I think that you could probably even put another 2 tbls. of oil in too if you wanted an extra moist cake. I remember that when ever my Mom made a cake mix she always put an extra splash of oil in and her cakes were always very moist. Anyway, the modification that I posted was the best results I ever got from a mix. Actually, it was reading your original post that got me curious for a way to make up for the new, smaller sized cake mixes. After some online searching and reading several different suggestions I came up with my formula. Hope it works well for you too.

Post# 856138 , Reply# 79   12/11/2015 at 11:49 (897 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

roto204's profile picture
It struck me as funny that the natural solution to downsized mix is to downsize the cake pan.

Funny at first, and then I cried. :-)

Post# 856153 , Reply# 80   12/11/2015 at 14:23 (897 days old) by Magic_Clean (Florida)        
Nate's disgraceful. Thanks Eddie for the 'upgrade' solution!

Post# 856166 , Reply# 81   12/11/2015 at 16:34 (897 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Does anyone know why the west coast butter/margarine is "cubes" where in the rest of the country it's "sticks"? I have never been able to figure out why something like that occurs--not that one is better than the the same vein, why are King size beds in California "California King" which are different than the norm (narrower but longer).

Post# 856251 , Reply# 82   12/12/2015 at 06:43 (896 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Downsize the Cake Pan?

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture

Then I'll have to buy new bake-ware!  And probably pay more for the smaller size, not to mention buying (more) junk made in China...!



-- Dave

Post# 856294 , Reply# 83   12/12/2015 at 13:50 (896 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture
Well you'll save on icing.

Post# 856302 , Reply# 84   12/12/2015 at 14:55 (896 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
I rarely bake cakes

mark_wpduet's profile picture
so I would have never noticed this...but please do not laugh. This will not affect me because of the way I make cake, but obviously it will in price. Sometimes I crave cake, but not often. I once came across a recipe for 321 cake where you mix one flavored mix with one angel food cake mix in a zip lock bag and shake. You then just add 3 tbs cake mix to 2 tbs water in a small bowl, mix and microwave for 1 min and you now have this single serve cake that I put vanilla ice cream over and it melts into the hot cake. OMG it's so good! Some people put frosting on it but I don't. I keep the zip locked cake in the freezer...Next time I think I'm going to try strawberry instead of chocolate. I've never tried store brand cake before. I've never been able to decide between Pillsbury, Duncan Heinz or Betty Crocker, they all are good. I know this is terribly unhealthy, but I eat this type of thing in moderation.

Post# 856399 , Reply# 85   12/13/2015 at 08:00 (895 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

polkanut's profile picture

I just looked at a devil's food cake mix that I have in the cupboard from Aldi's, and it's 16.5 ounces. undecided

Post# 919788 , Reply# 86   2/6/2017 at 20:36 (474 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Et tu, HyVee?

Well, they held out for five years. Unfortunately, the upper Midwest chain has downsized their cake mixes to 16.5 ozs. Oddly, they didn't follow most national brands down to 15.25.

The 18.25 oz. box, a standard for so many years, fades away into the the realm of kitchen-shortcut legend.

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Post# 919792 , Reply# 87   2/6/2017 at 20:51 (474 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

washman's profile picture

hi Frig!

Post# 919805 , Reply# 88   2/6/2017 at 21:50 (474 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Hi, Ben!

Post# 919806 , Reply# 89   2/6/2017 at 21:58 (474 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture
I wonder what kind of BS justification answer one would get if one were to call any of them and ask why they downsized their cake mixes?

Post# 919808 , Reply# 90   2/6/2017 at 22:11 (474 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Same as everyone else's responses

launderess's profile picture
Basically it allows for a lower or (relatively) same price, even though you are getting less product.

Almost everything one can think of in supermarket that isn't legally required to be a certain weight (dairy for example) has been downsized. If one bakes flour, sugar, and other ingredients now come in smaller packets. Local supermarket brand of sugar was the last hold out for "5lb" bags; now they too are around 4lbs.

If one cooks/bakes from scratch this throws off so many things as now often have to purchase two bags or boxes of flour if doing a large product because of that missing cup/pound or whatever.

Post# 919824 , Reply# 91   2/7/2017 at 00:31 (474 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
Memories.. reading thru this and seeing Kelly's postings.

Post# 919843 , Reply# 92   2/7/2017 at 05:49 (473 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I noticed Aldi's mixes are at 16.5. Better than most but no hecksher----yet.

Kelly, rest in peace, was wonderful to discuss cooking and baking. He had such a kind soul. AND,he was very good at fixing Mixmasters!

Post# 919848 , Reply# 93   2/7/2017 at 06:32 (473 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I thought of Kelly when I added the post above. Always enjoyed looking at his baked goods lined up on every square inch of counter space available to him. Never saw the man make a single pie or one cake or one pan of rolls; always in quantity.

Post# 919858 , Reply# 94   2/7/2017 at 07:50 (473 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Let them eat cake!

I don't use box cake mixes anymore either.

Post# 919863 , Reply# 95   2/7/2017 at 08:04 (473 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

washman's profile picture

Box mixes................bad


From scratch..........good

Post# 919896 , Reply# 96   2/7/2017 at 11:33 (473 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I think of Kelly frequently, miss his wisdom.  I think of his kindness when I use the toaster he gifted me when I could not find the one I wanted.  The one he sent was a perfect replacement.

Post# 919966 , Reply# 97   2/7/2017 at 19:45 (473 days old) by Ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

ovrphil's profile picture
Well I was fairly new here in 2012 and I didn't really become familiar with Kelly. So for you people who knew him. my sympathies.

Post# 919989 , Reply# 98   2/7/2017 at 21:42 (473 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Personally feel if am going to bother baking a cake

launderess's profile picture
Might as well do it from scratch. Once you master a basic white or yellow cake they are easy enough to whip out. Pound cakes are particularly easy, especially not now that mixers even up to professional grade/standards are easily enough found.

In the old days when making a cake from scratch meant endless beating and creaming by hand, (remember those old box cake directions to beat "300 times" by hand if no mixer was around?), can see a case for box cake mix.

Quite honestly there is so much "garbage" in today's box cake mixes it isn't that much different than buying store bought cake. Not a good bakery cake, but those things you get in supermarkets with shelf live measured in weeks.

Post# 919999 , Reply# 99   2/7/2017 at 22:36 (473 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
My GrandmotherWould not allow a mix

In our house, I loved going to friends houses who used mixes,LOL...She DID use canned biscuits, which I cant stand...Donald likes them better than scratch!!

Post# 920021 , Reply# 100   2/8/2017 at 05:55 (472 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I use so many cake mixes in recipes that call for one as the base: Coffee cakes, muffins, bars, cookies. Hans, you provided another excellent example with the Hornet's Nest Cake. At any rate, I go through 2-4 boxes of them every week when making treats for the break room.

Biscuits: Not a fan of the canned ones at all, although if you grew up with them it's probably a familiar, comforting taste. I've only ever made cream biscuits. 2 cups of self-rising flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1-1/2 cups of heavy cream and you're done! Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. Don't know if they are sanctioned by true Southerners, but I like 'em.

Post# 920063 , Reply# 101   2/8/2017 at 11:35 (472 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

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Hi frig!

Post# 920067 , Reply# 102   2/8/2017 at 11:52 (472 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Cream Biscuits

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are my go to recipe. Frig, try them with sour cream for an extra tang...


Post# 920070 , Reply# 103   2/8/2017 at 11:55 (472 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Hi, Ben!

Malcolm-- Do you replace all the heavy cream with sour cream or only part of it? Sounds good; I'd like to try it.

Post# 920113 , Reply# 104   2/8/2017 at 16:47 (472 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Sour Cream

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Use the whole 8oz container and add additional Creme as needed to moisten the mixture.
They are so easy and probably the best I have made!


Post# 920131 , Reply# 105   2/8/2017 at 18:19 (472 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Thanks, Malcolm. Will definitely give them a try.

Post# 920457 , Reply# 106   2/10/2017 at 00:31 (471 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Biscuits actually are difficult to get right

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What is wanted are light and fluffy layered goodness. What you often get are hard hockey pucks not fit to give a dog.

One of the worse sins in biscuit making is to push down and move the mold/cutter side to side. Everything else comes down to pretty much what recipe/what sort of biscuits.

My personally favorite are southern buttermilk biscuits made with White Lilly or similar "southern" flour. Sadly finding real buttermilk has become a challenge in these parts.

Now scones are a different matter..

Post# 920464 , Reply# 107   2/10/2017 at 05:26 (470 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I make what should probably be termed American-style scones. The slightly modified recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen. They are SO good, but different from, say, a traditional Scottish scone. Most scone recipes contain eggs; this one doesn't. At any rate, they disappear almost immediately when I make a double batch of them for Monday treats at work.

Post# 920480 , Reply# 108   2/10/2017 at 07:36 (470 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
"clotted cream"

and tea with those? Delicious!

Post# 920531 , Reply# 109   2/10/2017 at 15:02 (470 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Speaking of biscuits

Has anyone here had Mary B's frozen biscuits? My Aunt Doris used to get them, as she wasn't good at making her own. They weren't as good as my Aunt Julie's, but they were pretty tasty for a frozen product. I bought some a few years ago, but can't find them around here anymore. Wal-Mart & Kroger sell them in some areas (mainly the south), but not in this area. There are several varieties of them.


Post# 920643 , Reply# 110   2/11/2017 at 02:01 (470 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

BC now gives you the convenient money saving GYP YOU size!!!Look I want a Pound of sugar,cake mix,whatever--Just give me a POUND-standard measure-NOT these GYP YOU sizes-I will PAY for a pound or whatever-what most recipes are based on.Its time th food makers stop this NONESENSE!!!!!Fire the people at them that do this!!!!

Post# 920747 , Reply# 111   2/11/2017 at 15:14 (469 days old) by Imperial70 (******)        
so many good recipes that use basic ingredients

who needs betty crocker or duncan hines or whatever.

Post# 920860 , Reply# 112   2/11/2017 at 23:24 (469 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I have called companies and complained about this scam.  I called about Maxwell House coffee and was told that "people" prefer the smaller containers as they are easier to hold.  Bull.  Same issue with Charmin, I was told "people" like the narrower rolls, I recall when the paper was just about as wide as the holders, now there is an inch or more room on the roller.


I'd like to meet these "people" but we all know they do not exist.  Just an easy way to squeeze more profits for the stock holders at our expense.

Post# 920891 , Reply# 113   2/12/2017 at 04:52 (468 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I bought that "Cake Bible" you mentioned in a previous post.  Made a complete from scratch carrot cake a few weeks ago...thank the Lord for my KA stand mixer and KA food processor!  I intend to bake plenty more too.  A friend at work and I joke that we are going to start our own gourmet bakery because we both love to cook and bake.

Post# 949028 , Reply# 114   7/19/2017 at 23:06 (311 days old) by Magic_Clean (Florida)        
Five and half years later

since the start of this thread........Betty has come to her senses!

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 949063 , Reply# 115   7/20/2017 at 05:16 (310 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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I've noticed boxes of pasta ar3e getting back to a pound rather than 12 to 13 ounces. 

Post# 949065 , Reply# 116   7/20/2017 at 06:14 (310 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

It's good to see a full-size cake mix is available again---butter recipe, even. I've stopped bringing Monday treats to work, so haven't made cakes, caramel rolls, muffins or scones for awhile. A cake mix extender recipe I found worked well with reduced-sized mixes.

I'll have to check the cake mix aisle to see if these have made it to the upper midwest. Thanks for the heads-up!

Post# 949115 , Reply# 117   7/20/2017 at 12:58 (310 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I am wondering if this isn't a premium product that won't be marketed along with the existing cake mixes. I note, at least, some premium touches, like "No Artificial flavor" mentioned on the box. Thus the price might be higher than "regular" cake mix, and they might have decided to go back to a larger size as part of making it seem worth it.


Just speculation on my part, of course. I don't see this mix mentioned on their web site. I'll be interested in seeing what happens in the cake mix aisle.





Post# 949116 , Reply# 118   7/20/2017 at 13:09 (310 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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It's been a long time since I did any baking--I'm now pretty lazy cook, and plus I'm trying to avoid refined sugar as much as possible. A big cake sitting on the counter is a temptation I don't need.


But I have to admit...I almost feel like getting one of these mixes to try...


I must be strong. I must resist this!

Post# 949131 , Reply# 119   7/20/2017 at 15:09 (310 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
Lord Kenmore..........

This is how I deal with the urge to bake. I just take the cake or cookies or whatever to one of my volunteer gigs or church, and I claim the (usually) tiny remainder. Problem solved.

Just sayin'


Post# 949133 , Reply# 120   7/20/2017 at 15:13 (310 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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With the way everything is being downsized, it won't be long until we will be getting the Easy Bake size.

Post# 949163 , Reply# 121   7/20/2017 at 20:48 (310 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Here you go, Harley!

Post# 949199 , Reply# 122   7/21/2017 at 01:15 (310 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Earlier, I was at the store, and checked out the cake mix aisle. Alas, I didn't have a disguise with me--I hope no one I know saw me in the cake mix aisle, and think: he doesn't bake from scratch?!? LOL


There were a couple of Betty Crocker's new "Original Recipe" mixes: yellow IIRC and also a chocolate. As I speculated above, they seem to carry a higher price. I can't remember the numbers--I'll have to check again--but I'm thinking it was something like $3 vs about $2 list for standard mix. (Standard was also on sale, for roughly 1/2 the price of Original Recipe.) As I'd have guessed, it is once again an example of "pay more for fewer ingredients". The standard stuff has a long list of stuff that's not in the Original Recipe formula, such as food color.

This post was last edited 07/21/2017 at 01:51
Post# 949200 , Reply# 123   7/21/2017 at 01:20 (310 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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This is how I deal with the urge to bake. I just take the cake or cookies or whatever to one of my volunteer gigs or church, and I claim the (usually) tiny remainder. Problem solved.


A good idea, and something I've contemplated doing "someday." I don't have anyone to bake for at this time, and my current kitchen is so bad it drains ambition. But when circumstances are different, I'll be at least willing to consider the idea.

Post# 949202 , Reply# 124   7/21/2017 at 01:50 (310 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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If you don't want to be tempted with a whole cake, why not chill the finished cake well so it will cut cleanly. Then cut it into individual slices and wrap them well in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze them. Then when you get a craving for cake just take one of these treats out of your freezer and let it thaw and enjoy. You will also have a treat to offer impromptu guests.

Post# 949203 , Reply# 125   7/21/2017 at 02:04 (310 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

Interesting idea freezing pieces of cake! I hadn't really ever thought of that--odd, since I have known people who've frozen other baked goods. Although I wonder if that still wouldn't be potentially too tempting...


This post was last edited 07/21/2017 at 02:56
Post# 949208 , Reply# 126   7/21/2017 at 04:37 (310 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

When baking for myself (before the pre-diabetes diagnosis), I froze individual pieces of frosted cake and cinnamon rolls all the time. Each piece would get cling-wrapped (as per Eddie's method), then they went into a heavy-duty zip-lock freezer bag.

The temptation is definitely still there, Lord Kenmore, but it tends to ward off the shock/horror of "Jesus! Have I really eaten five pieces of cake today?!" that can occur when the goods are on the countertop, LOL.

Nowadays, my big treat is plain Greek yogurt topped with berries, a sprinkle of Splenda and a tablespoon of Fiber One cereal (or Hy-Vee's version of it). I also make a fairly low carb mousse once in awhile and put some berries on it.

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