If you didn’t already know, Betty Crocker does gluten-free cake, cookie, and brownie mixes now. Actually, these have been around for a while, but I’m honestly not a fan of Betty Crocker. Or cake mixes in general for that matter. But if I have to use a cake mix, I’m more than likely not going to eat it, so I usually go for Duncan Hines if it’s on sale or Pillsbury, whichever is cheaper.
A few days ago I realized that February is half over and I hadn’t posted anything since January, so I decided to try out the box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Food cake mix that had been sitting in my pantry for many weeks. I bought it on sale to use for something, I forget what, that I obviously never used it for. I was also in the mood for something chocolate. And simple. Cupcakes made from a mix are quick and easy.
This is a standard-size box of cake mix, yet it only makes a single cake layer or 12 cupcakes. So, not only is it twice the price of regular cake mix because it’s gluten free, but it only yields half as much. That’s really more like it being 4 times the price, when you think of it. Those of us on a gluten-free diet who want the occasional treat must pay dearly for it–either out of pocket for the gluten-free version or in misery if we indulge in the real thing.
Other than the smaller yield and the use of butter instead of oil, the method is the same as regular cake mix. Add 3 eggs, a cup of water, and a stick of softened butter.
Make sure the butter is really soft, or maybe even think about melting it. I say this because despite my stick of butter sitting out on the counter all morning, it still wasn’t soft enough to properly blend into the mix. The super cool thing about cake mixes, though, is that they’re really hard to mess up. So, these cupcakes came out fine except for little holes on the surface of some of the cupcakes. But icing covers stuff like that up anyway.
The batter easily filled my all 12 cavities in my cupcake pan, and I had batter left over. I didn’t want to over fill the cupcakes, so I spooned the extra into my mini-muffin pan. I ended up with 12 cupcakes and 16 mini cupcakes. The little ones turned out to be the perfect size for taste testing, and most of them were gone before I managed to get any icing made.
The cupcakes overall came out really dark, and the centers mounded up while the edges didn’t rise much. When I bake cupcakes from a regular box of cake mix the tops usually come out flatter. I will say that the texture is pretty good. It’s spongy rather than crumbly, and these cupcakes are more dense and dry than the light, moist texture you get with regular cake mix. Still, for gluten-free baked goods, they have a nice texture, and it’s not at all grainy.
Unfortunately, they don’t taste that great. They’re super sweet and not very chocolaty. These cupcakes really just smell more like chocolate cake than taste like it. If you notice from the picture showing the box side, the first ingredient in this cake mix is sugar. Gluten is bad, especially for those of us with intolerances, but sugar is evil. And these cupcakes have more sugar in them than anything else.
To compensate for the lack of chocolate flavor, and since I didn’t want to add any more sweet in the way of a sugary frosting, I decided to make some ganache for icing. I went for a vegan version (I used almond milk), because my body doesn’t like for me to consume a lot of dairy.
I dipped a few cupcakes in the warm ganache to give them a smooth, shiny top. I loved the look of them, but I quickly abandoned that method because it involved removing the paper baking cup, which leaves the sides and bottoms of the cupcakes exposed and likely to dry out. So, we ate those first.
Once the ganache had cooled, I beat it with a whisk to make it more fluffy and frosting-like so I could use it to ice the rest of the cupcakes. On some I piped the icing with a #1M tip. For the others I used tip #12 and then smoothed the ganache with a spatula. I uploaded videos to my YouTube pageif you’d like to see how I did it.
Then I made some rolled fondant roses using various easy techniques, as well as simple blossom flowers and leaves using plunger cutters to decorate the cupcakes with. I also posted those videos to YouTube, so please let me know what you think.