Friday, July 24, 2009

Betty Crocker GF Mixes: A Review and a Giveaway

Mainstream baking icon Betty Crocker is now hip to the gluten-free community with the company's introduction of four new GF baking mixes now appearing on local grocery shelves. I was approached by Betty's marketing reps to see if I would be interested in reviewing their wares. They sent me a nice package containing one box each of:

• Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

• Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix

• Gluten Free Brownie Mix

• Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

• Two coupons for any of the varieties

• Reusable grocery tote bag with magnetic grocery list and pen

The company even offered to make an additional prize package of all of the above available to one of my Crispy Cook readers, so be sure to read the end of this post to find out how to enter this giveaway.

I was happy to see that the mixes are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, so there is no concern about cross-contamination that plagues so many other packaged goods. We GF shoppers know how to scan an ingredient list quickly and the list of ingredients is blessedly normal-looking and doesn't contain an arm-long list of preservatives or things that sound like they belong on the periodic table of elements. The mixes primarily use white rice flour and you add butter, vanilla, water or oil. I was able to buy the chocolate chip cookie mix and brownie mix at my local Hannaford supermarket and hopefully other local markets will be carrying these and the other two GF varieties soon. The price was $3.38, which is reasonable for convenience product and certainly for a GF product.

Each of the mixes was easy and quick to bake up, so they are great for whipping up quick treats for the wheatless ones in our lives or when you need a fast dish to bring to a friend's house. I made a batch of brownies first and they were part of our July 4th party spread. We didn't alert any non-GF revelers to the fact that they were gluten-free, and they were scarfed up rather quickly during the dessert hour. I did corral a few ahead of time for my celiac husband Dan and he enjoyed their fudginess.

Next up was the chocolate chip cookie mix. I have made various chocolate chip cookie recipes from scratch for Dan in the past several years, but he enjoyed this batch very much and declared them the best he'd tasted since joining the GF tribe. I myself found them a little gritty, perhaps from the rice flour, but Dan was in cookie heaven, so I'll be buying this mix again to keep on hand.



We tried the Devil's Food Cake mix when next my family needed a chocolate fix and this was tasty with some homemade buttercream frosting. For those who enjoy the convenience of ready-made frosting, the Betty Crocker GF Products website notes that by Fall 2009, all frostings will be designated as Gluten Free. The website also has some recipes for fancier desserts utilizing the GF mixes and has other information about product location, no-butter variations and other tidbits that may be of interest.

Finally, we had to try the Yellow Cake Mix. My crew wanted cupcakes, so I produced a batch (my cupcake tins are kind of small, so I ended up with 18 cupcakes instead of the 12 noted on the box). They were very light and homemade tasting, with none of the grittiness I noticed with the chocolate chip cookies, so again I was impressed with this product line.



Overall, I can enthusiastically recommend these four Betty Crocker GF baking mixes. They tasted very fresh and did not have that chemical tang I sometimes detect in packaged mixes. The texture problems on my end with the chocolate chip cookies were more than overcompensated by my hubby's delighted devouring of the same. The price of the product is reasonable, the availability should only increase since the GF baking line was introduced in American supermarkets this past June and the ease of reaching for a baking mix when the cook needs to come up with a quick treat all add up to a great product. Thanks Betty!




Now for the fun part: the giveaway! All you need to do is leave a comment below by the deadline of August 15, 2009 (midnight Eastern Standard Time)to enter the giveaway for this great tote bag full of Betty Crocker GF items listed above. This giveaway is limited to readers living in the United States only, however. I will randomly pick a winner from the comments below and contact you for your shipping address so the Betty Crocker Company can send your package of goodies to you.

Good luck everyone!

28 comments:

Amanda on Maui said...

I would love to win this package of the baking mixes. None of the stores in my area carry the products, even though I've put in a request for them. The same grocery store wants $9 for the Bob's Red Mill Chocolate Brownie Mix when I've paid $4 elsewhere here in the past.

Amber said...

I can't wait to try these. I'd love to be the winner. My friend is pregnant and gluten free, I'd love to surprise her with a box of freshly baked goodies!

mishakim said...

I've tried the cookies - taste was good, but I let the butter get too soft so they spread a bit much and were very crumbly.

Christy said...

I have really liked the Betty Crocker GF products and have tested all the ones available in my local grocery store too (except the Devils Food). I would love to win this "prize pack of GF goodness". My grocery sells them for $4.19.

mishakin, did you by chance use margarine in place of real butter when you tried the cookies? I tested 2 batches, one with margarine and one with butter and found that the margarine batch didn't make cookies, but cookie crumbs...even though the flavor was great, they didn't hold together properly.

Gaile said...

Awesome prize! I'd love to try these!

Cheryl Harris said...

I'm glad to see a review, I've heard so much about them.

mountain gal said...

What amazing news! I am always on the lookout for new gf products and often have to drive more than 50 miles to find anything as I live in such a rural area that my local market chains often are unwilling to order items unless I am willing to purchase the entire order, so either way, I stock up...

Judy said...

I was just diagnosed with CD a few days ago. My family members have been responding as if I'll never be able to eat again. I look forward to buying & serving these products, then watching their faces when I tell them they're GF! Your pix are great; thanks for giving me hope!

Sooz said...

Hi Rachel,

I was told I had wheat sensitivity many years ago, and due to lack of products, Internet, and understanding, I tried to be gf for a while, then gave up.

Recently, I have had to be gf again, and will probably be gf for life.

I am excited Betty Crocker is providing the opportunity to continue baking. The cost here is high (cake mixes are over $4), and I would love to try them.

You can check out my blog, as a beginning gf eater at www.inthecourseofdailylife.blogspot.com

Lauree said...

awesome giveaway... i actually made some cupcakes out of the yellow cake mix and they were delish. it is so great that such a mainstream company is seeing the need for more gluten-free things.

Bean said...

I think it's great that a common, house-hold name brand is finally recognizing people with gluten allergies. Way to go Betty Crocker! I can't wait to try these!

Debinhawaii said...

So glad you liked these too--and that your hubby enjoyed them. I think they are great products and it is fun to be able to give a set away too. ;-)

Robie said...

Oh Oh Oh!! Pick me pick me!!

I have tried the brownies and I love them. My family said that they think that they are just as good as regular brownies!!! Can't wait to try the other GF products!!!

Vivian Deliz said...

I would love to try these ones. I would like to win this package of the baking mixes because none of the stores in my area carry the products (yet).

mrsidotf said...

I would love to win this! I have not been able to find any of these GF products in my local store.

isol8d said...

Do these contain milk products?

Rachel said...

Hi Isol8d:

I don't have the yellow cake mix on hand, but I do have the Devil's Food Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix and Brownie mix and I read the labels. None of these three ingredient labels stated that they contained milk or milk ingredients, but all three required the addition of butter. However, as noted in my review, the Betty Crocker website has butter-less variations on their recipe instructions, so one could make these bakery items milk-free. Thanks for bringing this point up.

-Rachel

Leona said...

I would love to win this. I just found out that I can't have gluten anymore and it is a scary world at first. This would make my sweet tooth a little more manageable- plus I love baking. Great job on the blog also~~ :)

JMP said...

Sign me up!
Celiac disease has never seemed so delicious...

Castal said...

I am excited to try the new mixes... but our stores here don't have them.
Pout.
Oh well! I am glad to hear that you have had a chance to preview them and I look forward to foisting them on my unsuspecting gluten eaters in my house as I happily scarf down the same thing without worrying about getting glutened!

--From the middle of nowhere New Mexico.

Courtney said...

I am so happy that Betty has come over to the gluten free world and am excited to try these products!

Holly said...

I tried the brownie mix once and they were to die for!!! I haven't had brownies for 9 years. Wheat triggers migraines for me and I haven't found any brownie to taste like that. I can't wait to try the other products, but they're SO expensive-the brownie's were $4.49-definitely a splurge for me.

Kat said...

I'll enter the contest, thanks! :)
kmcgarvey at gmail dot com

Julie H said...

Wow! Good to know how they bake up -- I've hesitated to drop the $3.99 per mix in our area just to try them. Can't wait for choc chip cookies that don't taste like sawdust!!

Law said...

This is an awesome prize! I ordinarily don't like to post to blogs, but I figured that this was a "must"~ the bag is so cute! Thanks for all of your info and ideas - I have been a reader for a while now!

Angela's Kitchen said...

I would love to win this. I make everything usually from scratch, but finding a good mix at a good price for my kids and our friends and for traveling would be a life saver!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and am loving it! Brand new to the "celiac world" so lots to learn :). Thanks
Betsy
betsyandscott@abe.midco.net

Saadia said...

I usually make up mixes from scratch, because my son can't have soy. It would be lovely to try these mixes out. P.S: We use Earthbalance Soy free margarine(its new) and it taste great!