About Best Loved Brands
When you’re looking for the absolute best, grocery shopping can be quite the ordeal—dozens of brands, hundreds of choices. From biscuits to brownies, hot sauce to hummus, it can be daunting to make the picks that will make your recipes sing. That’s where Taste of Home comes in. Our culinary and editorial experts put 100+ products to the test. After undergoing a thorough review, our Best Loved Brands emerged. Find out which brands you should be shopping for.
Finding the Best Cake Mix
When we think of a good cake, we always think homemade—like something Grandma would make. But in reality, we know that making a cake from scratch isn’t always practical. Seriously, who hasn’t forgotten to make cupcakes for that bake sale until the morning of? That’s why so many home cooks like to keep a backup plan in the cupboard: a box of cake mix. If you’re going to make a boxed mix, you want it to taste as homemade as possible. That’s why our Test Kitchen put eight brands of yellow cake mix (a great standard mix) to the test to find the one that will make those last-minute bakes really shine. These mixes were judged according to the following standards:
A cake mix that produces a moist (but not wet), flavorful (but not fake) and beautiful cake is a great pantry secret weapon. It makes recipes like this blueberry and lemon upside-down cake pop. Check out what brands our Test Kitchen recommends for this cake and many others.
First Place: Pillsbury
Our Test Kitchen experts chose baking classic Pillsbury as the best cake mix you can buy. This mix produced a light yet moist cake—quite the difficult balance to strike. When it came to flavor, Pillsbury delivered. Our editorial and culinary team thought this sponge had that great buttery taste that you want from a yellow cake along with a hint of vanilla to give it just a bit more complexity. You can’t beat this brand for a tender, flavorsome cake, one that will serve as a great foundation for all kinds of desserts.
$1.29 for a 15.25-oz box; available at grocers nationwide.
Second Place: Betty Crocker
Baking big shot Betty Crocker took our second place spot in our search for the best cake mix. This box produced a light and airy cake with a beautiful golden hue. This brand also offered a good buttery flavor and a nice sweetness that makes you think of a traditional birthday cake.
$1.29 for a 15.25-oz box; available at grocers nationwide and on Amazon.
Third Place: Baker’s Corner
For an ultra-rich, buttery cake, our Test Kitchen recommends Baker’s Corner yellow cake mix. This Aldi-exclusive brand (seriously, Aldi brands are pretty phenomenal!) produced an exceptionally moist cake with the richest flavor of the eight brands tested. The only drawback is that moisture meant that the cake didn’t rise as much as others, which isn’t a problem unless you’re banking on nice fat layers for an elaborate layer cake.
16.5-oz. box; available exclusively at Aldi.
What to Make with Cake Mix
Sure, you can use a cake mix to make a quick cake, but it only gets better when you start thinking of these mixes as an ingredient. Doctoring up a cake mix can help you make so many treats from tasty cupcakes to extra moist cakes to cookies even (just check out all these recipes that start with a mix). The right box of cake mix can really help you make quick desserts taste even better.
And remember that beautiful, rustic blueberry-lemon upside-down cake? It’s a cinch to make with the help of a box of yellow cake mix—just watch!
We hope this test helps you make even more delicious desserts. Now, go check out our other Best Loved Brands!