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.
A (Cake) Walk through Betty Crocker's Cake Mix History:
Even in the beginning, Betty Crocker Cake Mix was always the life of the party!
Ask Betty a question, and you're sure to get the right answer- every time!
Betty's "eggs-cellent" answer was to add fresh eggs to the mix!
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.
Bakers have been having fun with cake mixes for generations! These great ideas are just as deliciously enjoyable today.
In the 1950s you asked, "What's a fast cake for tonight?" Answer: Cake!
Finally, a cake that was just
like Grandma used to bake
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 FrostTM, 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.
Richer, moister, tastier than ever before!
The first, the original, cake mix cookbook.
All in one box-everything you needed to whip up a fabulous dessert!
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.
What made Christmas more
magical than cake mix? Fruit-
flavored gelatin and imagination mixed together.
If you loved cake before, with new and improved SuperMoist you loved it even more.
Still delicious, still easy, and still a great idea after all these years. A
Bake a Perfect Cake Every Time
From special occasions to everyday celebrations, a home-baked cake takes the cake! For years, Betty Crocker cake mixes have taken the guesswork out of baking and given you a head start on memorable homemade creations. It's your secret that these marvelous cakes start with a mix and look fabulous without taking lots of time to make!
The right equipment makes cake baking easy and fun. Look for these equipment features when stocking your kitchen.
Pans It's important to use the size of pan called for in a recipe. Standard pan sizes are usually marked on the back of the pan if not, measure the length and width across the top of the pan from inside edge to inside edge. If the pan is too large, your cake will be flat and dry if the pan is too small, it will bulge or overflow the pan.
Choose shiny metal pans for baking cakes. They reflect heat away from the cake for a tender, light-brown crust. If you use dark nonstick or glass baking pans, follow the manufacturer's directions, which may call for reducing the baking temperature by 25 degrees. These pans absorb heat therefore, cakes will bake and brown faster.
Mixer You will need a handheld electric or stand mixer. Heavy-duty commercial mixers are too powerful for mixing package cake mixes. It is possible to mix cake mixes by hand with a wire whisk, but an electric mixer makes it easier!
Bowls Choose stainless-steel or glass bowls. Plastic doesn't work very well when beating egg whites. Stock your kitchen with a few in each size-small, medium and large.
Cooling Racks You will need wire racks for cooling your cakes. Stainless steel is a wise choice, because it won't rust and will last a lifetime.
T Your Pan Plan T
To bake most of the cakes in this book, you will want to have these standard-sized pans on hand.
T 13 x 9 x 2-inch rectangular pan
T Two or three 8 x 1 1/2- or 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans
T 9 x 9 x 2-inch square pan
T 12-cup bundt cake pan
T 10 x 4-inch angel food cake
T Two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch or
9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans
T Muffin pan with medium cups,
2 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches
T 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jelly roll pan
T Shiny aluminum cookie sheets (at least
2 inches narrower and shorter than the inside dimensions of your oven so
the heat will circulate around them)
Knives For layer cakes, choose a sharp, long, thin knife for splitting cakes into layers and to slice cakes into serving pieces. Choose a serrated or electric knife for angel food and pound cakes.
Ready, Set, Bake!
Rack Position and Oven Temperature For most cakes, position the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Since angel food cake rises so high, it should be baked at the lowest oven rack position. If the rack is placed too high, angel food cake will brown too quickly on top and will test done before it is completely baked.
If you are making a layer cake, check to see how your cake pans will fit on the oven rack before you heat the oven. Some layer cake recipes call for three round pans. To see if they all will fit, stagger the pans on the middle rack in the cold oven, leaving 1 inch between pans and the sides of the oven. Make sure the door will close completely. What if three pans don't fit or you have only two layer pans? You can cover and refrigerate the batter in the third pan or in the mixing bowl while the first two layers are baking.
Preheat the oven 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to bake to allow time for it to heat to baking temperature. It's a good idea to have your oven heat control checked for accuracy by your local utility company. If this service is not available or is too costly, judge for yourself based on whether baked goods are already golden brown at the minimum bake time (oven may run high) or not yet done at
the maximum bake time (oven may run low).
Preparing Pans Correctly greased and floured pans will keep cakes from sticking. In most cases, you will want to grease the bottom and side of the pan with about 1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening. Then, dust the pan with about 1 tablespoon flour and tap out the excess. You may use baking cocoa to dust the pan for a chocolate cake. Be sure to follow the recipe directions carefully. Some recipes may call for greasing the bottom only of the pan or for leaving the pan ungreased. For nonstick pans, follow the manufac-turer's directions greasing is usually recommended.
Cooking spray may also be used however, the cake may rise with high sides and a lip. If using cooking spray, coat only the bottom of the pan do not dust the pan with flour.
Angel food cake is an exception. Leave the pan ungreased so the cake will cling to the side as it rises during baking.
T Serve It Up! T
Ever wondered how many servings each kind
of cake can yield?
Size and Type of Cake Number of
One-layer 8- or 9-inch round 8
Two-layer 8- or 9-inch round 12 to 16
8- or 9-inch square 9
13 x 9 x 2-inch rectangular 12 to 15
10 x 4-inch angel food 12 to 16
12-cup bundt or pound cake 16 to 24
Measuring Be sure to measure carefully. To measure liquid, place a liquid measuring cup on your counter, pour in the liquid, bend down and check the amount at eye level. Too little liquid can cause a heavy, low-volume cake. Too much liquid can cause a cake to fall. To measure a dry ingredient, gently spoon the ingredient into a dry-ingredient measuring cup and level off with a straight spatula or knife.
Do not shake the cup or pack down the ingredients. Brown sugar is the exception pack it firmly into a dry-ingredient measuring cup, then level off. Use measuring spoons for small amounts of both liquid and dry ingredients.
Mixing All of the cake recipes in this cookbook were tested with handheld electric mixers. Because mixers vary in power, you may need to adjust the speed, especially when first combining ingredients. If using a powerful stand mixer, be careful not to overmix the batter, which can cause tunnels (large air holes) or a sunken center.
You can also mix cakes by hand with a wire whisk. Stir the ingredients until they are combined, then beat 150 strokes for each minute of beating time given in a recipe. Take care not to overbeat. This actually breaks down the cake, and it may not rise as high or it may shrink as it cools.
Baking Time Follow the recommended baking time
in the recipe as a guideline. Begin checking at the
minimum time. If using a dark or nonstick pan, you
may need to decrease the baking time by 2 to 3 minutes. You may need to experiment a bit with the baking time, especially if your oven isn't quite accurate.
Testing for Doneness Follow the test for doneness
indicated in the recipe or on the package directions. Typically, cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If a cake contains a lot
of "gooey" ingredients, however, this test may not be
accurate. You can also judge if a cake is done if the top springs back when touched lightly in the center and
the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Cooling and Splitting Cakes
Cooling Layer Cakes Cool layer cakes in the pans
on wire racks about 10 minutes before removing them from the pans. This helps prevent the cake from breaking apart, which can happen when it is too warm and tender. To remove a layer cake from the pan, run a knife around the side of the pan to loosen the cake. Cover a wire rack with a towel. Place rack, towel side down, on top of cake layer. Turn pan and rack upside down carefully remove pan.
Place a second wire rack over the inverted cake layer turn both racks upside down so cake layer is upright.
Remove towel and top wire rack. Repeat with remaining layer(s). Allow layers to cool completely, about 1 hour, on racks.
Cooling Specialty Cakes For deeper cakes, such as bundt cakes, cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. To remove a bundt cake from the pan, place a wire rack on top of the cake. Turn pan and rack upside down carefully remove pan.
Cooling Angel Food Cake Angel food cake must cool while hanging upside down or it will sink and collapse. To cool an angel food cake, immediately after baking, turn the pan upside down onto a glass bottle or metal funnel and let hang at least 2 hours. The cake should be completely cool.
To remove an angel food cake from the pan, loosen cake by running a knife between the cake and pan in a sawing motion around edges. If the pan has a removable bottom, hold pan by the center tube and lift the cake from the pan. Loosen cake from the bottom with a knife remove cake and turn cake upside down. If the pan is one piece, use your fingers to loosen the cake from the pan.
Splitting Cake Layers First mark middle points on the side of a cake layer with toothpicks. To split layer, use a knife or the thread technique. Using thread and toothpicks as a guideline, split the cake layer by pulling a piece of heavy sewing thread
back and forth through the layer. Or, using a long, thin, sharp knife and toothpicks as a guideline, cut horizontally through the layer.
Splitting Angel Food Cake An angel food cake can be split into three layers. Measure the cake with a ruler, and mark into equal widths the number of desired layers with toothpicks. Using a serrated knife and toothpicks as a guideline, cut horizontally across the cake with a light, sawing motion.
T Fabulous Frosting T
Here are some simple success tips for frosting layer cakes.
T Freeze the cake for 30 to 60 minutes
to make it easier to frost.
T Place a dab of frosting under the cake
on the serving plate to keep the
cake from sliding.
T Try a flexible metal spatula that allows
you to spread the frosting in a larger area.
T Use a light touch to prevent layers from sliding and the filling from squishing
out between layers.
Frosting and Glazing Cakes
Frosting a Layer Cake Start out by lining the edge of the cake plate with 4 strips of waxed paper. Brush any loose crumbs from the cooled cake layer. Place the layer, rounded side down, on the plate. (The waxed paper will protect the plate as you frost and can be removed later.)
To frost, spread about 1/3 cup creamy frosting (or 1/2 cup fluffy frosting) over the top of the first layer to about 1/4 inch from the edge.
Place the second layer, rounded side up, on the first layer so that the two flat sides of the layers are together with frosting in between. Coat the side of the cake with a very thin layer of frosting to seal
in the crumbs.
Frost the side of the cake in swirls, making a rim about 1/4 inch above the top of the cake to prevent the top from appearing sloped.
Spread the remaining frosting on top, just to the built-up rim. Remove waxed paper strips.
Glazing a Cake Glazing is a good option for pound cakes and cakes that are too rich for frosting. To glaze a cake, pour or drizzle glaze over top of
cake. Immediately spread with a spatula or the back of a spoon, allowing some glaze to drizzle down the side.
Cakes may be stored at room temperature, refrigerated or frozen. To store at room temperature, cool the cake thoroughly on a wire rack to keep the top from becoming sticky. Store frosted or unfrosted cakes loosely covered at room temperature for up to two days. To loosely cover, place aluminum foil, plastic wrap or waxed paper over cake, or place a cake safe or large inverted bowl over the cake.
Refrigerate cakes with custard, whipped cream
or cream cheese toppings or fillings. During humid weather or in humid climates, refrigerate cakes
containing very moist ingredients such as chopped apples, applesauce, shredded carrots or zucchini, mashed bananas or pumpkin. These cakes tend to mold quickly if stored at room temperature.
Freeze frosted or unfrosted cake up to two months. Cool cake completely before freezing. Place cake in a rigid container (such as a cardboard bakery box) to prevent crushing, then cover with aluminum foil, plastic wrap or large freezer bag. Cakes frosted with a creamy frosting freeze best. Fluffy or whipped cream frosting freezes well but tends to stick to the wrapping. To prevent sticking, freeze cake uncovered 1 hour, insert toothpicks around the top and side of cake, and wrap.
To thaw cakes, loosen wrap on frozen unfrosted cakes, and thaw at room temperature 2 to 3 hours. Loosen wrap on frozen frosted cakes, and thaw overnight in refrigerator.
Baking Cakes at High Altitude
As the altitude increases, air pressure decreases, which calls for some baking adjustments. Because the rate of evaporation is faster at high altitude, cakes often require more liquid and longer bake times. Also, the lighter air at high altitude allows cake batter to expand more and faster, often making it necessary to increase the oven temperature by 25° and to use larger baking pans. And remember to generously grease and flour pans, because cakes have a greater tendency to stick to pans.
Baking cakes at high altitude can be trickier than other baked goods. There are no hard and fast rules to follow-changes to cake recipes depend upon
the type of cake and the proportion of ingredients. For all your baking, we suggest you use only recipes that have been tested and adjusted for high altitude. All of the recipes in this book have been tested at high altitude.
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