'baking mixes' on Serious Eats

Mixed Review: Canterbury Naturals Coconut Macaroons

It seems obvious that coconut macaroons should taste first and foremost of coconut. But too often their aching sweetness obliterates any other flavors. One bad experience with a cloying macaroon has led many people to write them off entirely, and that's a shame. Macaroons done right are delicious—light, sticky, and full of tropical coconut flavor. More

Mixed Review: Barefoot Contessa Outrageous Brownie Cookies

Have you ever heard of brookies? The irresistible love child of a brownie and a cookie, the best brookies have crisp edges, tender centers, and a deep, rich fudgy flavor. Achieving the perfect brookie consistency can be tricky. They have to strike the perfect balance between cakey and crunchy, while still retaining hints of gooey chocolate. Just how outrageous were the Barefoot Contessa's brookies? More

Mixed Review: Dr. Oetker's German Streusel Cake

German streusel cake, or streusel küchen, is a lot like good ol' American crumb-topped coffee cake. A light, moist layer of butter cake is topped with fruit (usually apples) and sprinkled generously with streusel topping. While I think all cakes can--and should--be eaten anywhere and anytime, this one falls solidly into the breakfast/brunch category. With brunch-friendly holidays like Easter and Mother's Day on the horizon, I decided to try out Dr. Oetker's German Streusel Cake Mix ($2.49) for this week's Mixed Review. More

Mixed Review: Cake Chalet Avocado Spice Cake

No matter how you bake it, frost it, or slice it, after a while cakes from supermarket mixes can get a little boring. The flavor options are always the same: golden vanilla or Dutch chocolate, with the occasional lemon or carrot thrown in. That's why I was excited—astounded, really—to discover Cake Chalet, a website that prepares cake mixes to order and boasts a roster of 93 flavors ($7.95 each, plus shipping). These are cakes beyond your wildest dreams: grape soda, fig Danish, tangy taco, and even potato chips and dip. More

Mixed Review: How to Make Cake Balls

Somehow, the cake ball phenomenon managed to escape me. Until now. For this week's Mixed Review I decided to give you a detailed account of just what it takes to whip up a batch of the impressive looking yet deceptively simple bite-sized treats. Cupcakes, meet your match. More

Mixed Review: Durkee Lemon Pie Filling

Who doesn't love lemon pie (with or without the meringue topping)? It's certainly always been a favorite of mine. But sometimes you just don't want to make the curd. It's not that it's hard, exactly, though it does involve separating a whole lot of eggs. That's why I was excited to try out Durkee's Lemon Pie Filling mix ($1.18). Just two egg yolks and few tablespoons of sugar would yield a smooth-yet-stable curd filling with real citrus flavor. Was it too good to be true? More

Mixed Review: Harry & David Blackberry Jam Cake

After a recent visit to the Harry & David outlet store in Wrentham, Massachusetts, I bought their Blackberry Jam Cake Mix ($8.95, available at your local Harry & David outlet). What can I say? I'm partial to anything baked with swirls. As I stood over the bowl stirring, it smelled distinctly like yellow cake, in an overwhelming and artificial way. It smelled like cake the way Auntie Anne's smells like pretzels. More

Mixed Review: Sweet 'n Low Chocolate Snack Cake Mix

Once baked, the cake turned out to be pretty flat, only about an inch thick at its heartiest point. It had an odd, rubbery consistency, vaguely reminiscent of a foam couch cushion—it was as dense and tightly woven as foam, too. I felt like I could hold the entire cake casually in one hand without fear of it crumbling or breaking. More

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