I’m a sucker for homemade baked goods. I mean it…I LOVE it all: muffins, cakes, brownies, cookies, you name it. I really love the things I associate with homemade baking, too: the smells that fill the house, the memories of my home and special occasions, my mom and my grandma. And every once in a while I do enjoy taking some time to make things from scratch. As you know, though, everything is a little more complicated when baking around multiple food allergies. So, most times when we need cakes, muffins, or cookies, I reach for a pre-made box mix. You still get the benefits of scratch baking (yummy smells and fresh baked goods!) but let’s be honest here: a box mix simplifies the process and cuts down on the prep time! Hallelujah for that!
Box mixes for allergy-safe goodies can be a bit expensive though. 🙁 And some are definitely better than others. Today, I’m going to share with you a few of the mixes available from the King Arthur brand. Of course, King Arthur flours have been around for a while, and we do love their gluten-free flour basic flour blends. So, it’s only natural we had to try their gluten-free box mixes, too.
Keep in mind: to make these mixes truly allergy-friendly for our multiple-food-allergy family, we do have to substitute some of the ingredients. But that pretty much goes without saying, right?
Here’s the rundown on 4 basic King Arthur Gluten-Free Mixes:
Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix
My oldest daughter is a big fan of yellow cake; she doesn’t like super-rich desserts and will often request cakes and cupcakes without icing! She loves simple, plain yellow cake. Crazy, I know! That means that the cake has to be moist and sweet enough to taste good on its own, without any doctoring up with sprinkles and frosting.
King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix passes her test with flying colors! Seriously, it makes an amazingly delicious allergy-friendly yellow cake. Other than being a bit denser than typical wheat flour yellow cake – let’s face it, because of the chemistry involved, gluten-free baked goods will never be quite as fluffy or airy as a “regular” cake – this cake is as light and sweet as a gluten-free mix can get. The only thing I would say is that this cake is best eaten within a couple of days. Because it is so moist and rich, it gets an almost mushy top layer the longer it sits, almost like frosting! This probably wouldn’t be as noticeable, though, if you have actual icing or some sort of topping on the cake
The mix does call for 1/2 cup of butter, so we like to use Earth Balance Soy-Free spread or Blue Bonnet lactose-free vegetable oil sticks as a substitute. The mix also needs 2 tablespoons of oil (we like canola) and 2/3 cup milk (we always use coconut milk beverage in place of milk, but of course soy milk or any other substitute would work, I just can’t vouch for how it might affect flavor). We also use Ener-G Egg Replacer in place of the 4 eggs required for the mix.
What’s also great about this mix is that it makes a lot! I’ve found that many allergy-friendly mixes may make smaller quantities. For example, the Aldi mixes only make 12 cupcakes or one small round cake. But these King Arthur cake mixes? They make a 9 x 13 cake, two 8″- 9″ round layers, or 24 cupcakes. Thank you, King Arthur!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix
The gluten-free chocolate cake mix is my youngest daughter’s favorite. She’s the chocolate lover of the family, and this King Arthur chocolate box mix does NOT disappoint! 🙂 Like the gluten-free yellow cake mix, this chocolate cake comes out super-moist, and it makes a larger quantity (2 round layers, a 9 x 13 cake, or 24 cupcakes). And the chocolate flavor is fabulous! So. Rich. And. Decadent. Like the yellow cake, it does get a mushy, frosting-like top layer if it sits for a couple of days without actual icing covering it. And to make it allergy-friendly, we do have to make substitutions for ingredients like in the yellow cake mix (Ener-G Egg Replacer, etc.). But you CANNOT go wrong with this chocolate mix. Pretty sure this is our absolute favorite allergy-friendly chocolate cake mix that we’ve tried to date. It’s worth every penny.
Gluten-Free Brownie Mix
I’ll be honest: the only gluten-free brownie mix that makes consistently delicious and fudgy brownies is this one. We do have a favorite scratch recipe (using black beans!) that is also fabulous…but again, when you’re short on time, mixes like this one are the way to go. My chocoholic younger daughter devours these. I try to always keep brownie mixes in the pantry for emergency situations. Quick get-together in the neighborhood? Need something your family can eat and others like, too? You can’t go wrong with brownies, right? 🙂
Like the muffin mix, this one requires less additional ingredients than the cakes. Woo-hoo! Just add water, 1/2 cup melted butter or oil, and the equivalent of 2 large eggs. *One thing to note: if you need to substitute for eggs
Gluten-Free Muffin Mix
I’m going to sound like an echo chamber here, but my girls LOVE the muffin mix, too! What’s great about the muffin mix is that it tastes great plain (since my oldest is a no-frills kind of gal), but it’s also fabulous with all kinds of mix-ins. We’ve made these muffins with Enjoy-Life mini chocolate chips and with fresh and frozen blueberries. Yum. As with the other mixes, we substitute with coconut milk and Ener-G egg replacer. For this muffin mix, you don’t even need to have a butter substitute on hand: you can use 6 tablespoons of melted butter product OR 6 tablespoons of oil, instead. When I’m really in a rush and don’t even want to take the time to melt allergy-safe butter spread (yes, I really am that lazy sometimes!), I can just measure out some canola oil. That’s a bonus in my book!
The King Arthur brand cranks out quality products; there’s no denying it. I don’t think we’ve ever had a “fail” from one of their mixes listed here. Other bonuses to the King Arthur gluten-free mixes? We’ve been finding them more regularly at our major retailers and grocers; here in the midwest, they seem to be reliably in stock at Meijer, Kroger chains, Fresh Thyme, and even sometimes at Walmart. Yay!
The price on these mixes varies quite a bit. The regular retail seems to be quite expensive at $7.99 a box or so (I think I’ve even seen them as high as $8.50 at one point?), but we often will find them on sale for $5.49 to $6.99 and I scoop them up at that point! We like to keep a stock on hand in our pantry for those unexpected events or parties when goodies are in order. 🙂
Overall, we give a huge shout-out to King Arthur for making scrumptious gluten-free products that adapt well to our multiple food-allergy family’s needs. Obviously, we highly recommend these products, and we’ll for sure be trying out other gluten-free mixes that King Arthur develops. Watch this post! We’ll add to it as we sample more King Arthur goodies.
*** DISCLAIMER: Please note that some of the items that I review or use may have been produced in a facility that manufactures other products with certain allergens. The items may also contain ingredients which cannot initially be confirmed as allergy free (such as “natural flavoring”). Ingredients and manufacturing processes could change at any time. You should always check with the manufacturer to confirm that you or your family members can have the product(s). The products that I review or list are items that we have used for my two girls (for wheat, soy, milk, egg, peanut, & tree nuts) but the products may not be the same fit for you and your family.***