Duncan Hines did me wrong
May 11, 2015 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Duncan Hines (like so many packaged goods companies) has decreased the volume packaged in their classic cake mix boxes. How do I convert my recipe?

I have a favorite old coffee cake recipe that always came out unarguably best when made with Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix which always came in an 18.25 oz. package. Now they have reduced the packages to 16 oz size and I do not know how how to convert the recipe to make it as perfect as it was before. I called the company but their third party vendor call center was clueless. The recipe in question is here but I suppose there is some kind of formula for converting all those old doctored up cake mix recipes now that the cake mix companies are skimping on size (Pillsbury and others are now selling their cake mixes weighing even less than Duncan Hines). Yes, I know, I could make it from scratch and probably should. But sometimes "easy" just works best, especially when it is (was) a consistent crowd pleaser no-fuss recipe. Thanks!
posted by Lylo to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I would call and ask if the recipe is the same and just the volume switched up. If so, I would buy two boxes and a scale and put 18.25 oz of cake mix in your recipe. Save the remainder of the second box for your next cake (buy a third box and add enough to get you 18.25 oz. etc.)
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:03 AM on May 11, 2015 [13 favorites]

You can just reduce all of the add-ins by about 10% and that should do you ok. It hits you in the middle of an egg. Use 4 if you want it to have a cakey consistency and 3 if you want to go with something a little more gooey.

You're left with a skosh extra pudding mix, but that sounds like a problem you could easily solve with a little bit of milk, a spoon, and your mouth.
posted by phunniemee at 11:09 AM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

You could put your original recipe into a service like Pepperplate which has an ingredient-scaling feature; 16/18.25oz comes out to .877 (rounded to the thousandths), so if you use the 'free scale' feature and set the scale to .877 it should adjust all of the other ingredient amounts to work with the 16oz box. Of course, you'll wind up with fractions like ".877 tsp baking powder" or whatever. If you wanted to get really obsessive you could in turn convert those figures into more human-friendly fractions.

(On preview, what phunniemee said; try to eyeball about 10% less. In terms of eggs I would probably use the same number of whole eggs and scale back the liquid ingredients just a little bit to compensate.)
posted by usonian at 11:14 AM on May 11, 2015

The 2 oz of mix is like a half-cup of straight flour... maybe throw in a quarter cup of flour and a tablespoon of sugar to top it up?
posted by GuyZero at 11:16 AM on May 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

I would do exactly what If only I had a penguin says. Since your recipe works with 18.25 ounces, why mess with a good thing? Keep the left over cake mix in an airtight container and use as necessary.
posted by patheral at 11:24 AM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: One solution that's popular in baking forums is to add 6 tablespoons (1/3 cup) of flour -- or use a scale and add flour to bring the weight up to 18.25 ounces.
posted by wryly at 11:27 AM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

It might not be just the ingredients that need tinkering with; you might have to consider whether the cake pan size is still correct. Read When more is better for more information.
posted by Soliloquy at 12:13 PM on May 11, 2015

I'm not at all sure you need to make any changes, but the coffee cake might come out a tad moister due to the smaller amount of flour. If you add flour, you might consider self-rising cake flour.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:03 PM on May 11, 2015

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