King Arthur Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix Review

gluten free king arthur cupcakes

A month ago, I wrote a review of King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix.  (Spoiler alert – it’s really good).

The nice people at King Arthur read my review (because I’m famous like that), and sent me some boxes of their other yummy gluten-free mixes.  I have been excited to try them so I can give you the scoop.

Even though King Arthur sent me the flours free of charge, which was very nice of them, I promise that my reviews are unbiased.  When I told this to the nice lady at King Arthur, she assured me that King Arthur wanted my review to be authentic, good or bad, so they can know how to improve their product.  I’m glad that’s their philosophy.

I decided to try the King Arthur Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix to make cupcakes for a girl’s night a few of us threw in honor of our friend who had a baby over the summer.  It was a busy summer, and a baby shower slipped by us, and so we figured that since she was no longer pregnant, wine should be involved.  Wine means girl’s night.  Girl’s night means cupcakes.  And cupcakes mean this great gluten-free cake mix by King Arthur!

First off, this mix makes a full batch – a full 9×13″ pan, two cake rounds, or about two dozen cupcakes.  It’s about $6.50, which is a bit pricy for a gluten-free mix.  However, many mixes are $4.50 – $5.00, but only make half a batch.  In the end, this price works.

All gluten-free mixes are going to be more expensive than baking a gluten-free cake from scratch IF you are already gluten-free and are willing to invest in the $30 or $40 of flour it takes to get a baking stash going.  If you’re new to being gluten-free or if you’re not gluten-free and baking for someone who is, grab a mix.

flour mix

The thing that I love about King Arthur mixes is they have specific instructions.  Follow them.  King Arthur’s instructions allow for a light and fluffy cupcake.  You mix in the butter and oil and half the flour mix.  Then eggs.  Then milk.  Then the rest of the mix.  I go into the reasons for this in more detail in my cookie mix review, so check it out if you want more info.  It’s all very sciencey.

My friend Gabby helped throw this girl’s night celebration.  She’s gluten-free/casein-free.  She can’t have wheat or dairy.  I wanted the cupcakes to be safe for her, so I used DariFree potato milk and Earth Balance margarine.  The substitution worked perfectly.

cupcakes

After everything is mixed, you have the most beautiful and smooth batter.  It’s dark yellow from all those egg yolks!

I used the squishy measuring cup from my aunt Brenda to pour the batter into each pan.  It was my least messy cupcake pouring experience.  That little dot of batter on the pan was my only spill.  So naturally I took a picture of it.  Just keeping it real.

cupcakesThe cupcakes were soft and barely sweet – perfect when paired with sugary frosting.

cupcakeI used my Cuisipro cupcake corer from Williams-Sonoma to cut out the inside of the cupcake.  I actually made a new frosting recipe,  but it failed.  Big time.  Luckily I had a container of Betty Crocker chocolate icing for my gluten-free, dairy free friend.  So I used that.

cupcake

Fill the cupcake.  Just use a spoon.  Don’t worry about it being perfect.  No one will know whether or not you filled your cupcake with an icing bag, what with all the icing slathered on the top.

sprinkles

And then dredge it in sprinkles.  Always check to make sure your sprinkles are gluten-free.  They’re one of those unsuspecting but common gluten-containing foods.

And voila – a super fancy cupcake made from a mix and store-bought icing.

This is a really great mix.  The cake is sweet, but not too sweet.  It holds up to frosting, but is still delicate.  I also like that on the King Arthur website, they give a few variations to make yummy bundt cakes.  You could make beautiful cupcakes or a cake for any occasion – a kid’s birthday party and holiday parties and showers.  And girl’s nights.

Speaking of girl’s night…

girls night

We had an awesome girl’s night.  It had all the best things: friends, edemame, baked brie with raspberry chipotle sauce, cupcakes, and wine.  Do you like my new wine charms?  I got them on clearance at Pier 1!

I give King Arthur Yellow Cake Mix two icing-covered thumbs up!

King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Cookie Mix Review

Do you remember in My Best Friend’s Wedding when Julia Roberts is explaining to Cameron Diaz that she’s crème brûlée, not Jell-O?  Well in most things I’m crème brûlée.  I inadvertently pick out the most expensive thing in the store every time.  My favorite china is $500 a place setting.  As I explained to my friend Emily one day about my decorating style – I don’t like shabby chic.  I like chic!  But when it comes to dessert, I’m Jell-O, metaphorically speaking.  My favorite dessert – most absolute favorite – is a perfect chocolate chip cookie.  There is no gold-leaf studded chocolate mousse that can come close to a perfect chocolate chip cookie.

I have a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve mastered, but every once in a while I need a mix.  Mixes are quick and easy and not messy.  They usually only make half a batch, which let’s face it, many times is a good thing.  Gluten-free baking mixes are more expensive than baking from scratch, so I use them sparingly.  This one was about $6.  However, if you’re new to the gluten-free world, or if you’re not gluten-free but wanting to bake something for a friend (in which case I’d like to say thank you for your intentionality on behalf of all celiacs!!!), grab a mix.

When I learned that King Arthur was venturing into the gluten-free world, I was thrilled.  Pre gluten-free diagnosis seven years ago, I used King Arthur products and loved them.  They’re the gold standard of flour.  True to their reputation, the nice people at King Arthur did not disappoint.  Of all the gluten-free cookie mixes out there, the King Arthur Gluten-Free Cookie Mix has to be my favorite.

There’s a few things I like.  First, the cookies bake well and taste amazing.  The flour mix is not gritty.  There is no aftertaste, no saying “this is good for gluten-free.”  No, these are just plain good.

Second, the dough tastes good.  Bad tasting cookie dough usually means the flour mix contains a bean flour.  Bean flours have beautiful consistency, but they taste like, well, beans.  The bean flavor cooks off after the dough is completely baked.  I, however, like chewy cookies, and chewy cookies are not cooked long enough to cook out the bean taste.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had bean-flavored chocolate chip cookies.  I have, and it’s not pretty.

Third, there are no chocolate chips in the mix.  My first reaction to this was something like – What? I have to buy chocolate chips, too?  Then I thought about the freedom inherent in this mix philosophy.  I can use semi sweet or dark chocolate.  If I’m making cookies for one of my gluten-free, casein-free friends, I can use casein-free chocolate chips.  I can add nuts and adjust my chocolate chip measurement so that my cookies don’t have too many mix-ins.  The flour mix has a brown sugar base, so I can use this for any brown sugar-centric cookie recipe, adding anything from M&Ms to peanut butter chips.  Yes, this is a very flexible gluten-free cookie mix!

The box has very specific instructions, which I recommend you follow.  It starts with creaming together half the flour mix and the stick of butter.  I learned about this baking strategy at the Gluten Free Allergy Expo.  The idea is to get every grain of the dry ingredients coated with butter so that the butter acts as a buffer between the grains of flour.  This method prevents the cookies from becoming dense.  Next add an egg and some water.  I forgot to take a picture of this part, but I promised it happened.  Mix that in.  Then stir in the rest of the flour mix.

Next is where you get to use your imagination.  The box says to use one to two cups of add-ins.  I ended up using a little more than that – probably two and three-quarters total of semi-sweet chocolate chunks and pecan pieces.

Next, the recipe says to smush the cookies down so they’re not mounds.  Bake in a 350 degree oven 10 – 12 minutes.

And, tada!!!!  I kept them in for about 10 minutes and then let them sit on the hot pan outside the oven for another minute or so.  This makes the cookie crunchy on the bottom and chewy in the middle – also known as perfect.

Look at this!  The cookies actually look like the picture on the box.  I’ve made these several times.  They are consistently wonderful.

It’s good to be Jell-O when it comes to dessert because there is nothing better than a perfect chocolate chip cookie.  King Arthur – thanks for making such a great mix!  You get two thumbs up from The Accidental Okie!