Let them eat trans fat free cake!

>> Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We've had a couple of birthday to celebrate in the last month, and with birthdays comes birthday cake. Now, I know that I could actually make a cake from scratch, but I'm happy to admit that I like the convenience of a boxed cake mix. I especially like a boxed cake mix when I'm preparing for a party and don't really want to have to think about baking. I just want to dump, mix, and bake and know that it's going to come out consistently good.

So, perhaps you can imagine my dismay when I started scanning the ingredients on cake mix boxes early last month only to find that every single one (save one - more on that in a minute) had partially hydrogenated oil (in other words, contains some amount of trans fat) in it! Really, I was disgusted. Duncan Hines...Betty Crocker...you let me down!

I did find what I was looking for on the organic aisle. A single, unassuming box of Dr. Oetker Organic Vanilla Cake Mix saved the day. No partially hydrogenated oils on the Dr. Oetker ingredient list. In fact, the ingredient list for the Dr. Oetker cake mix was a lot simpler and pretty much consisted of ingredients that I can find in my pantry - unlike that box of Betty Crocker cake mix I had just looked at.

How did it taste? Not bad! The final cake from a Dr. Oetker mix is different from a cake produced from a Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines mix. For one thing, it's smaller. Really, there just wasn't quite as much batter produced by the Dr. Oetker mix, and it didn't rise quite as much during baking as a Better Crocker mix would. The crumb was a little different too. The Dr. Oetker cake wasn't quite as tender as a Betty Crocker cake. Nonetheless, we were all completely satisfied with the end result. The cake was moist and tasty. And best of all, I still have my boxed mix that I can just dump and bake.

Dr. Oetker's mix is the only wheat flour containing cake mix that I could find that was truly trans fat free in my grocery store, but there are others out there. I would guess that all of the gluten free cake mixes are trans fat free (and I can attest that they taste better than you might think!), and Barfoot Contessa also has a line of trans fat free cake mixes. And, of course, you could always make your own cake from scratch.


Miz September 1, 2009 at 5:42 AM  

**very cool**

Ive never seen an organic mix before and, more than Id like to admit, Im a mix woman.

Off to find Dr. Oetker...


Wendy @unsafeatanysize September 1, 2009 at 12:15 PM  

Good for you for finding a good option! Even my kids are asking about transfats (and they're 6).

I can't even imagine making a cake right now... too tempting.

Sagan September 1, 2009 at 8:29 PM  

I do enjoy making my own cake from scratch, but I have difficulties in making them look pretty. And sometimes it's just really nice to let a box do all the work.

Haven't checked out the box cakes in a long time; its good to know that there's at least ONE trans fat free brand!

The Road Less Traveled September 3, 2009 at 4:46 AM  

your blog is so imformitive and encouraging I've given you a blog award you can pick it up here:
YahChna in TN

Oysterblogger September 3, 2009 at 9:15 PM  

stumbled onto you thank you trying to ban HFCS from our lives have done so in everything except soda I know shame on me.
I love that you are a crusader. Thanks!
P.S. Jack and Jill is based on Marie Antoinette...did you know that just a factoid I retained from somewhere.
And if you think about it the impoverished people are the ones who get stuck with all the transfats. WE need a food revolution!

Anonymous September 6, 2009 at 7:19 PM  

I have a cook book made to use box mixes with and sadly the majority of ingredients are stabilizers and preservatives.

If you think about it...by the time you add eggs, oil and water you could easily add flour and baking powder.

And since I don't have propylene glycol and sodium aluminum phosphate in my pantry (check the 1 1/2 inch ingredient list on most regular mixes)I'm a step or two ahead.

J in VA

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