Monday, October 12, 2015

Celebrating My Birthday with Duncan Hines Cakes!

I received products for free in exchange for a review. All thoughts/opinions are my own!
Duncan Hines is part of the Pinnacle Foods family. Named after its founder, the renowned American food critic and author of “Adventures in Good Eating,” the Duncan Hines brand continues to be a leading producer of cake mixes, brownies, frostings, and pie fillings. Since 1952, Duncan Hines has proven to be a front runner in the baked goods industry. Today, Duncan Hines offers over 90 critically acclaimed products, loved by professional chefs and amateur bakers alike.

I've always been a fan of sweets and desserts like cake. I was thrilled when I got the email from Duncan Hines to work together on showcasing their fairly new "Perfect Size" cakes. There are five different flavored cakes designed to feed 2-4 people, and take about an hour from start to finish. Today I'm showcasing three of the flavors that my family chose when we celebrated my 27th birthday yesterday. 

I absolutely love chocolate so we had to bake the Chocolate Lover's flavor, then our oldest daughter loved the look of red cake so we did Red Velvet Dream, and lastly my husband chose Strawberries and Cream for the final choice. This surprised me since he's not a sweets/dessert person, but it also made me more excited for him to try it!

With four kids, I don't have much time to bake anything. I really like how there's just a few ingredients to make these perfect size cakes and just a couple minutes to mix everything and pop it in the oven. If they're willing, it's a fun way to get your kids to interact and have fun cooking because it's a simple recipe to follow and it seems as though all kids love to stir! 

As soon as all three of the cakes had cooked in the oven, I started the frosting process. I figured I'd start with the first one that cooked, and maybe the last one would be cooled by the time the frosting was ready. The recommended oven time for each cake was 34-39 minutes and mine cooked for 34 minutes. The red velvet did have to cook a couple minutes longer because the middle needed more time, but I didn't go over the 39 minutes and nothing burned. 

I really enjoyed how easy it is to get the cakes out of the pans and frost. Since you just flip over the pan and push it off, you're ready to go with frosting. The cakes are a great size compared to our dinner plates, and the frosting is really simple to mix together and add on top. 

All three flavors were a huge hit with our girls and I really enjoyed two of them. The strawberries and creme isn't quite what I expected it to be and while the look is great and the little bits of strawberry is an added bonus, I just didn't prefer it. My husband who is the one that requested to bake it really enjoyed it. He liked it so much that he had two small pieces, which is a lot comparing the fact that he ate none of our wedding cake, hehe. 

The chocolate is my favorite flavor by far, and I really liked the over all taste. It had a taste I couldn't quite describe, but in a good way, being so moist and just the right richness to taste good but not over powering. 

Last but not least is the red velvet which tasted really good compared to other times when I've tried to make cupcakes and such. In the past when I've made red velvet it didn't seem to have much of a taste to me, but this cake did. Mixed with the cream cheese icing, it too wasn't super rich and had just the right amounts of goodness to settle the stomach well. 

From what I've seen online, each package is around $4 to purchase, and you get the mix, frosting, and the pan. You only need 1 egg, butter, and water per cake mix, and those are every day household items easily already in your home for use. 

While some may say this is more difficult then just buying a cake mix and frosting, it's a convenient way to make a sweet treat for 2-4 people and not have a ton of left overs like with a normal sized cake. I can't wait to try the other flavors in time and have something on hand for us and the kiddos when we have a sweet tooth!

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Head on over to their website to learn more about the company, other products they offer like brownies, pies, muffins and more, plus fun recipes and suggestions for great desserts!