Battle for the Best Box Chocolate Cake: Duncan Hines Vs. Betty Crocker

by Paulina Zuniga

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I bake a lot. As a baker, I’m always on the hunt for the chocolateyist and moistest cake that comes in a box. So I decided to do bake-off. The contenders? Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker — two big cake mix companies. I baked both of these cakes according to their package directions, and compared them each step of the way. Here are my results.

The Claims

Duncan Hines has 260 calories per serving, claims to be “deliciously moist,” and a classic.

Betty Crocker has 280 calories per serving, claims to be “super moist,” and a favorite.  


The Ingredients

Both cakes required similar additional ingredients: water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Although the ingredients were the same, the amounts weren’t. (Note: I substituted the water for milk, as a personal choice.)

Duncan Hines: 1 cup water, ⅓ cup vegetable oil, 3 large eggs

Betty Crocker: 1 ¼ cups water, ½ cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs


The Batter


Duncan Hines was a thicker and chunkier batter.

Betty Crocker was a smooth and lighter batter.


The Cake

Betty Crocker was the taller and softer cake. It rose to two inches versus the Duncan Hines cake, which only reached about one and a quarter inches.


The results

After a blind taste test with my family, the winner was clear: Betty Crocker won four to one for being the more moist and chocolatey cake.


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