The Best White Cake Mixes to Fill Your Pantry, According to Experts

There's no shame in keeping a box of white cake mix in your cupboard! But our Test Kitchen wants to make sure the brands you're buying are the very best. See what we found in our taste test.

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Test Kitchen Preferred the best white cake mixTaste of Home

Everyone likes to have a baking backup plan. Sometimes that’s a frozen pie in the back of the freezer, a tube of cookie dough in the fridge or even just a box of cake mix in the cupboard. These shortcuts can be a huge help when you need dessert in a hurry. But what mixes are you stocking in your pantry? Is that white cake mix going to give you the light yet moist dessert you’re craving?

Wonder no more! Our Test Kitchen team tested the most popular brands of cake mix and found which options are worth buying.

How We Found the Best Cake Mixes

To get the answer to our question what is the best cake mix?, our Test Kitchen staff bought every brand of white cake mix they could find. Each cake was baked up according to the package instructions and sampled in a blind test. No brands attached to the samples, no add-ins, no frosting (that one was hard!). Our team kept these criteria in mind as they sampled:

  • Flavor: How did the cake taste? Did it have the perfect vanilla flavor? How does the cake taste on its own? Is it a good canvas for additional ingredients?
  • Texture: Was the cake moist? Dense? Light and airy? Dry? Crumbly?
  • Appearance: How did the cake look? Was it white in color? Was it domed or flat when baked?

Our Test Kitchen-Preferred White Cake Mix Brands

Forkful after forkful of cake, a few brands stood out to our Test Kitchen sampling crew. These are the brands we recommend adding to your grocery order.

Best Vanilla Flavor: Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix

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When it comes to vanilla flavor, Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix gets it just right. This snowy white cake was delicate and light with just the right amount of vanilla flavor. It was pleasantly present but not overpowering. And it tasted of real vanilla, not the artificial stuff (our Test Kitchen is particular!). This airy cake was moist and a joy to sample—definitely a must-buy if you need a cake in a hurry.

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Moistest Cake: Pillsbury White Premium Cake Mix

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If there’s one thing any baker and sweet tooth loathes it’s a dry cake. With Pillsbury White Premium Cake Mix, you don’t need to worry about baking a dry cake for a second. Pillsbury produced a moist, spongy cake with a slightly denser texture. The color was a gorgeous pure white—a great canvas for colored frostings or even flavorings like in these poke cake recipes.

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Best Budget Option: Great Value White Cake Mix

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Baking on a budget? No problem! Great Value White Cake Mix from Walmart costs just 88 cents and is darn tasty. This cake baked up nice and light—it definitely had some great lift! The vanilla flavor, in this case, was subtle but not artificial, and the texture was moist with a stable crumb. You could definitely get away with carving this cake up without much mess, like in this festive Peter Rabbit Cake.

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What to Make with White Cake Mix

When you’re in a pinch, white cake mix is just what you need to make a quick cake or batch of cupcakes. But you can easily add a little panache to your cake mix with some easy recipes. Grab a box of pistachio pudding mix and a few spices and you can make an easy-peasy pistachio quick bread or a bottle of root beer for a fun root beer float cake. These recipes are just the start. We’ve got plenty more tasty inspiration for you:

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Note: This blind taste test was performed by our staffers and was not part of a sponsorship. All opinions shared are our own, and have not been influenced by advertisers.

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.