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Dry cake mixes are indispensable in the kitchen due to their unparalleled convenience. Meticulously measured and blended, dry mixes eliminate the need to gather and portion individual ingredients such as flour, baking powder, and sugar. They also deliver consistent — and often delicious — results. In addition, the straightforward instructions accompanying cake mixes simplify the baking process, making cake-making accessible to novices. To make the cake batter, all you need to do is add a few basic ingredients such as eggs and oil.
Blending carrots and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, boxed carrot cake mixes offer a quick and easy way to whip up delicious carrot cakes in a variety of forms, including layer cakes, sheet cakes, and even cupcakes. Many of them are also tailored to people with specific dietary needs.
Whether you enjoy your carrot cake with frosting or a simple dusting of powdered sugar, here's our list of boxed carrot cake mixes ranked from worst to best.
Read more: Mistakes Everyone Makes When Baking Cookies
Krusteaz Professional Carrot Cake Mix
The Krusteaz Professional Carrot Cake Mix is nothing to write home about. While it's convenient, the product lacks the homemade taste and quality that one would hope for in a carrot cake. In terms of ingredients, the dry mix already contains eggs and milk or their substitutes (as well as soy and wheat). Perhaps the fact that this cake mix includes powdered versions of ingredients like eggs, oil, and milk rather than requiring you to mix in fresh ingredients is why it tastes strange and artificial. Sold in huge 5-pound boxes of 48 servings, each 1.5-ounce portion of Krusteaz's carrot cake contains 170 calories, 330 milligrams of sodium, and 20 grams of sugar.
While the Krusteaz Professional Carrot Cake Mix has very few reviews, it seems to have left most shoppers who have tried it underwhelmed. For instance, Amazon customers have only given the product an average of 3.4 out of 5 stars. One dissatisfied online shopper calls the mix the "worst product ever," adding, "Krusteaz usually makes good stuff but this is the exception. Has the consistency of bubblegum and tastes unlike any carrot cake I ever ate. If this is 'professional' I'd walk out of any restaurant that served it. I don't know what the taste is but it's definitely nothing resembling carrot cake. It doesn't cut like cake. It's more like glue just before it hardens."
Duncan Hines Signature Perfectly Moist Carrot Cake Mix
Just like its name suggests, the Duncan Hines Signature Perfectly Moist Carrot Cake Mix makes a moist treat that's easy to prepare at home — all you have to do is combine it with eggs, oil, and water. 15.25 ounces of the cake mix makes 10 portions of cake. Each 1.5-ounce cake serving contains 170 calories, 350 milligrams of sodium, and 18 grams of sugar — while slightly high in sodium, this is still pretty acceptable as far as desserts are concerned.
The Duncan Hines Signature Perfectly Moist Carrot Cake Mix has pretty mediocre reviews from online shoppers, with customers complaining that it tastes more like spice cake than carrot cake. One Amazon reviewer, who said that the final product was very spice-cake-like, elaborated, "Unfortunately, it didn't really live up to its description. It tasted okay, but if I hadn't made it, I wouldn't have known it was carrot cake." Another reviewer agreed, saying, "This carrot cake mix is more like a spice cake mix with a tiny bit of dehydrated shredded carrot added."
Heartland Gourmet Gluten Free Carrot Cake Mix
At around $20 for an 18-ounce box, the Heartland Gourmet Gluten Free Carrot Cake Mix isn't cheap. While the mix is certainly nicely packaged, it's questionable whether it lives up to its hefty price tag. On the bright side, each package is divided into 12 1.5-ounce slices of cake that contain 140 calories, 35 milligrams of sodium, and 19 grams of sugar. While this is the average sugar content for portions of this size, this mix contains fewer calories and sodium than other comparable products.
While the cake certainly looks delicious on the box, the final product has received mixed reviews, garnering just 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The common complaint from shoppers seemed to be that the carrots and raisins in the mix remained hard after baking.
One shopper points out that this premix wasn't worth its price, saying, "I would not consider using this mix to make a 9x13 cake as it was not even an inch thick. The raisins were small and not moist (although I allowed for the 10-minute wait in the directions)." Another customer gives the cake a little more credit, saying, "The flavor of this carrot cake was delicious. However, the carrots were not real tender even after letting them soak in the batter as directed."
Sweet Logic Ultimate Carrot Mug Cake Mix
For the uninitiated, mug cakes are single-serving cakes that are typically baked in a mug. They are a quick and easy way to satisfy your craving for a homemade cake without the need for baking trays. Unlike other cakes, they are also very easy to make in the microwave. To make the Sweet Logic Ultimate Carrot Mug Cake Mix, simply blend it with a little butter or oil and an egg before popping it in the microwave for one minute. Alternatively, you can bake the batter in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.
In terms of nutritional information, each 1.5-ounce sachet of the gluten and dairy-free dry carrot cake mix has 150 calories, 131 milligrams of sodium, and just 3 grams of sugar. The mixture is sweetened with allulose, a sweetener naturally found in fruit. The Sweet Logic Ultimate Carrot Mug Cake Mix is also advertised as keto-friendly because it contains just 4 grams of net carbs per serving (24 carbs minus 4 grams of fiber and 16 grams of allulose).
Mom's Place Gluten Free Carrot Cake Mix
Gluten intolerance can be challenging to deal with. Luckily, with the growing awareness of gluten-free options and improved labeling, it's becoming easier to manage this uncomfortable condition. The Mom's Place Gluten Free Carrot Cake Mix is a good option for people who can't eat gluten. In addition to being gluten-free, the mix also contains no dairy, corn, soy, nuts, or GMOs.
Unlike other carrot cake mixes, however, this product calls for a host of additional ingredients to actually make a cake, including not just eggs and oil but also shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, chopped walnuts, and vanilla. In terms of nutritional information, one 20-ounce packet of Mom's Place Gluten Free Carrot Cake Mix contains 16 1.25-ounce servings, each with 130 calories, 210 milligrams of sodium, and 17 grams of sugar.
Online shoppers seem to appreciate Mom's Place carrot cake's gluten-free status, with one reviewer saying, "This was very good & moist. Not like the dryness or texture of most GF cakes. Also, the instructions were easy to follow. Will definitely buy [it] again." On the downside, another shopper has complained that the instructions on the packet are inaccurate, adding, "Calls for 2 eggs and 1/2 cup oil, this makes a paste! It should be 4 eggs and 1 cup oil."
Manischewitz Carrot Cake Mix
While its name might not be the easiest to pronounce, the Manischewitz Carrot Cake Mix is very easy to prepare. To make the sweet treat, simply combine the powder with two large eggs and 3/4 cup of water and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed for four minutes. Once ready, place the cake mix in a pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 35-40 minutes. Each box comes with 11 ounces of baking mix, with each 1.8-ounce serving delivering 210 calories, 410 milligrams of sodium, and 25 grams of sugar.
While the Manischewitz Carrot Cake Mix isn't as popular as some other cake mix brands, it has decent ratings on Amazon. Since the cake is Kosher, it seems particularly popular for Passover. One satisfied reviewer notes, "Living in an area that has exceptionally limited Passover selection in the stores I am grateful to be able to find this product online. It's the only cake I enjoy eating over the holiday." Another customer calls the cake "Delicious," adding, "Bought this for my mom's birthday during Passover thinking it would be the typical dry Passover cake. It was anything but! Super delicious, highly recommend[ed]!"
Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Carrot Cake Mix
In America, the name Betty Crocker is synonymous with baking and homemaking. While the brand's first soup mix hit the grocery store shelves in 1942, Betty Crocker comes with a much longer story. Invented in the 1920s — yes, she's not a real person — Betty Crocker was created as a marketing tool to promote General Mills' products. She was designed to be friendly and relatable — somebody who consumers could trust.
After eight decades, Betty Crocker continues to be a big part of America's culinary culture, providing home chefs with tasty and easy-to-make products. Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Carrot Cake Mix is no exception. Free of preservatives and artificial flavors, the mix makes moist and spongy cakes with great carrot flavor — all you need are eggs, vegetable oil, water, and a few minutes. According to the label, 13.25-ounce boxes of the dry mix equate to nine servings of cake, with each 1.5-ounce serving containing 160 calories, 320 milligrams of sodium, and 18 grams of sugar.
XO Baking Gourmet Carrot Cake Mix
When it comes to satisfying your carrot cake cravings, the XO Baking Gourmet Carrot Cake Mix is a game changer. Not only does the mix contain real carrots, but it's also gluten, dairy, soy, GMO, and rice-free, making it perfect for those with dietary sensitivities. To make the cake, you'll need three eggs, half a cup of vegetable oil, and a third of a cup of unsweetened applesauce. With enough dry mix to make two layers, XO Baking's carrot cake is large enough for 16 servings, with each containing 130 calories, 190 milligrams of sodium, and 20 grams of sugar.
The XO Baking Gourmet Carrot Cake Mix has received high ratings, with more than 500 Amazon reviewers awarding it an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars. One online shopper, who made the cake for their family members with celiac disease, goes as far as saying that this is one of the best carrot cakes they have ever tried. "It was moist and held together well. [...] I cut part of the cake into pieces and froze them and they froze great. [...] I will definitely buy this cake again. Everyone in my family loved it, even the ones that don't have celiac disease." Another happy cake enthusiast agrees, saying, "All my family was over for a birthday party and no one knew it was gluten-free. They all loved it. It was so funny, they all wanted the recipe."
Read the original article on Mashed.