Over 50 Years of Cake Mix Success
Cake mix, one of the first convenience foods, reflects five decades of American history. Developed shortly after the end of World War II, cake mix was welcomed by consumers who were looking for ways to make cooking, and especially baking, easier and more convenient. By listening to what consumers want, Betty Crocker has made baking fun for many generations!
1940s: It takes almost a decade to develop cake mix.
Beginning in 1943, the Betty Crocker labs and kitchens spent four intensive years creating and researching cake mixes. Layer cake mixes were sent to consumer kitchens for additional testing. An unexpected result: consumer testers preferred to add some of their own fresh ingredients in order to make the cake more genuine. Powdered eggs were removed from the mixes, and the cake mix directions called for adding two fresh eggs instead.
Consumers also wanted multiple flavors. Betty Crocker responded by creating Party Cake layer cake mix. This versatile box of cake mix could turn out yellow, white or spice cake depending on whether whole eggs, egg whites only, or spices and whole eggs were added. In 1948, Betty Crocker Devil's Food and Party Cake layer cake mixes were distributed nationally and sold for $.35 to $.37 each.
1950s and 1960s: Cake mix variety is the spice of life.
The first layer cake flavors introduced in the fifties were Yellow (1952), White (1952), Marble (1954) and Chocolate Malt (1955). Spice layer cake mix created a challenge. After months of taste tests, a special blend of natural spices-fresh cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger-was selected. But the taste was still too pungent and sharp. Honey to the rescue! It mellowed the spices and, even better, added moistness and a fine texture to the cake. Honey Spice cake mix was introduced in 1953 and was available until 1973.
Angel food cake was considered a luxury in the American home because it was costly and tricky to make. Betty Crocker Angel Food cake mix was first introduced in 1953, followed by a one-step mix in 1960.
Answer Cake, a unique all-in-one package, complete with cake mix, aluminum foil baking pan and frosting, entered the cake mix scene in 1954. Tailored for individuals and small families, it could be cut into six generous pieces or up to 12 tea-size servings. Flavors included white, yellow, devil's food and peanut butter. Answer Cake remained on the shelves until 1968.
Harry Baker divulged the recipe for his famous chiffon cake to Betty Crocker in 1948, revealing for the first time its secret ingredient: salad oil. Consumers wrote in requesting a mix, so after extensive testing, Betty Crocker Chiffon cake mix appeared on the market in 1958.
The same year, Betty Crocker responded to a national family opinion survey that identified moistness and tenderness as the most desired qualities in cake by developing Country Kitchen cake mixes. Made with a softer flour, finer sugar and new homogenized shortening, this mix produced a tender crumb and moister cake. "New Improved-adds new moistness to the best taste in cakes." This flag appeared on all Betty Crocker layer cakes after the mix recipe was changed in 1964.
1970s: Consumers want it all-convenience and more moistness.
In 1975, Betty Crocker developed the most convenient cake mix yet: Stir 'n Frost™, which contained cake mix, a foil-lined baking pan and ready-to-spread frosting all in one package.
Later in the decade, General Mills responded to a grassroots baking trend for denser, extra-moist cakes. By adding pudding to the mix, Betty Crocker created the present-day SuperMoist® cake mixes.
As the definition of fitness changed, so did cake mix. With polls showing 50 percent of Americans avoiding or cutting down on sugar and desserts, Betty Crocker answered the call with Light Style layer cake mix in 1979 that had 30 percent fewer calories. As Betty Crocker discovered, what people said they wanted wasn't what they really wanted. Consumers preferred the regular mixes, so Light Style layer cake mixes were discontinued in 1981.
1980s: Decadent desserts steal center stage.
Indulgent baking made its debut in 1986 with Betty Crocker Cake Lovers' Collection®, a line of deluxe mixes. Rich-tasting and extra-moist, each of the four featured flavors contained nearly three times the flavoring ingredients of regular cake mixes.
Microwave ovens became the latest popular appliance, and Betty Crocker's microwavable cake mix line, MicroRaveTM cake mixes, came out in 1988. In the end, the old-fashioned oven method proved more popular and this line was discontinued in 1992.
1990s: From healthy to indulgent-all in one decade.
The health craze took over, and Betty Crocker SuperMoist Light cake mix, 94 percent fat free and with 50 percent less fat than the average cake, was introduced in 1990. It was renamed Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards® cake mix in 1996.
Renewed demand for convenience led to the introduction of Stir ' n Bake® cake mix in 1997: Just add water, bake it in its own pan and top with the enclosed frosting or topping. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of cake mix and to enhance texture and taste, Betty Crocker reformulated SuperMoist layer cake mix to make it the moistest cake ever.
2000 and beyond: The future of cake mix is bright!
With delicious flavors in the double digits, Betty Crocker has what everyone wants in a cake mix today: quality, ease, convenience, and most important of all, the best taste ever! In 2003, additional pudding mix was added to several flavors to enhance moistness.
A (Cake) Walk through Betty Crocker's Cake Mix History:
1949: Even in the beginning, Betty Crocker Cake Mix was always the life of the party!
1951: Ask Betty a question, and you're sure to get the right answer- every time!
1953: Betty's "eggs-cellent" answer was to add fresh eggs to the mix!
1957: Bakers have been having fun with cake mixes for generations! These great ideas are just as deliciously enjoyable today.
1958: In the 1950s you asked, "What's a fast cake for tonight?" Answer: Cake!
1959: Finally, a cake that was just like Grandma used to bake (only better!).
1964: Richer, moister, tastier than ever before!
1966: The first, the original, cake mix cookbook.
1976: All in one box-everything you needed to whip up a fabulous dessert!
1979: What made Christmas more magical than cake mix? Fruit-flavored gelatin and imagination mixed together.
1980: If you loved cake before, with new and improved SuperMoist you loved it even more.
1999: Still delicious, still easy, and still a great idea after all these years.
From "Betty Crocker's Ultimate Cake Mix Cookbook." Text Copyright 2004 General Mills, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
"I must say this is the best recipe software I have ever owned."
"Your DVO cookbook software saves me time and money!"
"I saw lots of recipe software for PC computers but I was having a hard time finding really good mac recipe software. I'm so glad I discovered Cook'n! It's so nice to have all my recipes in a computer recipe organizer. Cook'n has saved me so much time with meal planning and the recipe nutrition calculator is amazing!!!
My favorite is the Cook'n Recipe App.