Think Outside The Box


My disclaimer:

I am not affiliated in any way; to date that is *hint-hint* with Duncan Hines.  Yes I won the Frosting Creations contest, but I’ve been a fan for, lets see… I need a calculator for this, ah the reveal: thirty-seven count em years.  That’s the truth of this baking tale and this is a true story. ☺♥☺

Thinking outside the box yesterday I carefully planned out how to proceed with something of a test I’d been wanting to perform for sometime now.  If you’ve been following along here on Bee It Ever So Humble, a while back I mentioned that I had planned on doing one thing but the Lord led me in another direction.  Well yesterday was the day for that scathingly brilliant idea to be done, and I don’t mind saying, done well.

The Scathingly Brilliant Idea

So what was this idea?  I don’t have to tell you this, but I’m going to, just because you could be a newbee here at Bee It Ever So Humble.  I’m a huge fan of Duncan Hines.   How long have I been a follower of Duncan Hines?  Quite honestly I grew up in a home with a baker mom.  Yes she could bake.  I’m also thinking that my mom loved baking for the same reason I do, because it is relaxing.  It is unique to just cooking, which I do like and love to create new dishes, but baking… ah, that is a cake/cookie/pie/creation of a different cookery all together.  It can be out of the pan, out of the oven, but for me, for the most part, it’s always out of the box. ☺

My journey with Duncan Hines began when I decided, while working in a bakery during my senior year of high school, to attend a Wilton class in Chicago for cake decorating.  The very talented and wise teacher began the first class with the basics and one of the basic things she said was regarding the cake.  She said to all of us, me being the youngest and quite impressionable, remembers this advice well as she said, why would you go to all the trouble of making a cake from scratch when you have this, and she held up a Duncan Hines Cake Mix.  Yes, yes she did.  She asked us all if you can get something of this quality out of the box, why would you go to all the effort of doing something else?

Now as I said I worked at a bakery.  We had wonderful cakes.  After all it was a German/Danish bakery and one known for all the goodness it produced.  Chicago bakeries are like that.  For me though, having a mom who did her own cakes from scratch often, not that my mom never used a cake mix, plus my mom was more known for her pies, which were amazing.  Now if Duncan Hines came out with that, maybe I could finally make a pie too, cause I stink at pie making.  No really, really I do.  I’m not saying I’ll never be able to do a pie, but for now, not so much, and I’m okay with that.

Now, after that little intro let me get on with the show of what came out of the boxes yesterday.

Comparison Baking: Three Cake Mixes, One Winner

Back Track

I was forced, yes forced by my own idea to have to purchase the above items.  I even showed it to be so, because in the name of science, everyone knows that the proof is on the conveyer belt at the check out. LOL

You won’t be seeing this happen any time soon. It was done all in the name of Kitchen Science.

The Great Cake Experiment

3 Devils Food Cake Mixes (all prepared according to their package directions)

All baked in the same size pan with the same amount of batter (three cups) poured into them.

I also labeled the pans as I baked them so as to make sure there was no confusion (not that I wouldn’t have been able to clearly tell the Duncan Hines *wink*wink*).

Warning: What you will not be able to see, or in this case taste, is the difference in quality of flavor.  This was a huge factor in also why a wise, Wilton woman said what she said back in the day, and this wise baker also says what she says.  Enough said! ☺♥☺

Look closely and you can see that the Duncan Hines cake is larger too.  It is closest to the edge of the plate, and it is slightly higher than the others.  The height quality I set up in order.

I even put all three finished cakes on the same plate in order to show the difference. Can you see that the Duncan Hines cake is slightly higher than the other two brands? Can you also, and this is clearly an important factor, see that the Duncan Hines cake is darker? Which, by the by, you therefore also you need to know = it to be richer in flavor.

Now On With the Results

I already had a plan of what I wanted to do with the cakes.  After all I now had three cakes, plus factor in the leftover batter which I blended all together to just make a 13×9 cake.  I of course used Duncan Hines for the finale of all four baking renderings.

♪♫ Like A Good Neighbor ♪♫… Jeannie Bee was there!

Yes, yes I was, out the door with a finished cake and what to my wondering eyes would appear?  My neighbor Russ outside by his Harley.  So I swooped on in for the delivery.  What you want proof of this part of the experiment as well.  Fine, fine and dandy, cause I’m a good kitchen science baker I took a picture just for you.

I also brought one of the cakes over to my neighbors next doors house as well.  She was sort of getting ready and so therefor no pictures.  I thought she looked just fine, as good neighbors always do.  Wait, great neighbors, I have great neighbors.  Now I’m going to have to do a whole lot more baking so as involve the rest of the block so that they don’t feel shunned by me.  I however will not be doing comparison baking any time soon, that you can count on.  When you find the right fit, and the fit is the right and perfect one for… I’m just going to say it, for everyone, because who doesn’t want the best?  Yes, yes you can good and better, but best, that’s now up to you to choose.

This just in… no, really!  Just rec’d. this email from my other neighbor Sharri who was kind enough to send a picture of herself with the cake.  Thanks oodles and bunches Sharri!!!

Remember though… Think Outside The Box!

The recipe for this cake can be found at Duncan Hines.  The pan?  I checked and you still can purchase and find the Duncan Hines Tiara Dessert Pan on ebay.  So whatcha waiting for?  Get baking, and or buying and baking. LOL

You can also use just about any other sort of flan pan that allows you to place a filling within the top when it is turned over.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Cheesecake

The recipe can be found here:


Someone is in the kitchen with Duncan Hines,

Jeannie Bee


4 comments on “Think Outside The Box

  1. Looks absolutely delish! I’ve been trying to bake, but finding it hard to find people to eat any! Not due to taste, mind you. Just sequestered of sorts while on summer break. Kid’s palettes are just different than adults!

    • Thanks Sandra, it really was yummy, especially the Duncan Hines one. I find that kids are bit like adults. Sometimes we think we have to do this all out crazy stuff for them, when what they want is similar to us, chocolate, caramel, all the sweet and salty stuff. I think we as adults just like to play with food, therefore we tend to go all Willy Wonka on it all.

  2. I absolutely prefer Duncan Hines to any other mix. When I was broke and in college, I would plan out my purchases on my grocery store’s ten-for-ten sales, which meant buying other brands. When cake after cake didn’t turn out to the standards I wanted, I switched back to Duncan Hines, regardless of cost (and usually, it was cheaper than buying extra boxes of mix to get it to rise the same or work the same), and realized that I’d never use another brand if I could avoid it.
    Great experiment! I loved reading all about it! (And thanks for doing the dirty work so we didn’t have to!)

    • Isn’t that the way we all sometimes learn though. I still have a husband who will see another cake or brownie mix on a BOGO and he buys it because it’s a deal. I have now proven to him that these are not really deals at all if what you wanted was something that was worth your hard earned money, your taste buds having something of lesser taste thrust upon them, and above all, really? It’s not Duncan Hines ♥honey♥!!!

      It was hard for me to purchase those other brands, thus I hid them behind the noblest of brand. =) The cake pans were on the discount rake and for my daughter. I don’t actually like them because they have a more of the sloped sides. Why cake pan makers do that too, I don’t know. These are to me some of the wonders of the world I need answers to. LOL

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