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Versatile and Foolproof Gluten-Free Cake Mix -- and a Tasty Variation Using Wine!

I realize Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Devil's Food Cake Mix has been around for years now, but I still felt it worthy of a Blog post. This continues to be my go-to base for any chocolate cake, cupcakes, or whoopie pies. I'd like to tell you I've found something better, after trying many gluten-free chocolate cake mixes over the years, including some "from scratch" recipes. But I'd be lying. I guess it's hard to compete with Betty Crocker's test kitchens! (Read on for my latest yummy adaptation using the mix...)

Betty Crocker GF chocolate cake mixAlthough I'm not by any means suggesting this is a "healthy" mix -- or that it incorporates any nutrient-dense flours like amaranth, teff, quinoa, etc. -- I do like the fact that it has fewer ingredients than most store-bought mixes. The ingredients are as follows: sugar, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa processed with alkali, tapioca starch, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, mono calcium phosphate), salt, and guar gum. Again, this isn't anything special, but I like the fact that, unlike most store-bought "regular" cake mixes, there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. And they've clearly nailed the proper blend of ingredients in the right ratios. 

From the comments on their website, gluten-free bakers have discovered some great ways to tailor the mix (add a little sour cream, a package of pudding, substitute oil for butter, etc.). I typically follow the recipe to a "T." That entails adding 3 eggs, 1 stick of butter, and 1 cup of water to the mix. It always turns out perfectly moist and delicious. (Keep in mind, this mix only makes ONE cake, or 12 you'll need to buy two boxes if you want to make a layer cake.) 

CupcakesI did try a fun and unique variation on the usual recipe for Valentines' Day, however, and I wanted to share it with you. Our local wine store, where we're members of the monthly wine club, included a recipe for Zinfandel Wine Cupcakes on the back of the flyer for one of this month's wine picks (a Cline Family Cellars Zinfandel from Sonoma County, CA). As it turns out, the recipe was courtesy of Betty Crocker, and it used the company's "regular" (non-GF) devil's food cake mix as a base. Since it looked like the recipe just substituted wine for some of the water, I decided to try the same with their Gluten-Free Devil's Food Cake Mix.  I used 2/3 of a cup of the Zinfandel wine -- combined with 1/3 cup water -- to make a batch of 12 cupcakes, otherwise following the instructions on the back of the box. For the frosting, I made a true vanilla buttercream, using Cherrybrook Kitchen's vanilla frosting mix (you just add butter and a touch of milk to the base of powdered sugar). I then added a touch of the Zinfandel to the frosting, making sure not to add too much (I didn't want the frosting to be too thin). Another alternative it to forgo the bit of milk called for in the frosting recipe and use all wine instead -- this will also give the icing a stronger pink hue.

One note: when baking these cupcakes, I always set the oven timer to the minimum baking time and continue to check the cupcakes to make sure they don't get overdone. They turned out so incredibly delicious, and I surprised my husband with them (he's a big fan of Zin!). Both the cupcakes -- and a glass of the wine -- were a big hit with him. 

My other favorite thing to do with this cake mix is to make whoopie pies (using whoopie pie pans, which are essentially very shallow cupcake tins) -- you can see more in my prior post. You can then add any variation of icing in between the layers -- try traditional vanilla or chocolate buttercream (you can never go wrong!) or something a bit more exciting like chocolate espresso icing, peppermint buttercream, or chocolate orange.

Have you had any luck experimenting with Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Devil's Food Cake Mix? Please share below -- and even feel free to link to any blog posts you may have published on the subject!