If you've ever set foot in a shopping mall or an airport, then you know what a Cinnabon smells like. Chances are you know what one tastes like too. The behemoth of all sticky buns, Cinnabons are massive spirals of dough oozing with cinnamon goo and slicked with cream cheese frosting. Betty Crocker has teamed up with Cinnabon to create a Decadent Supreme Cinnamon Swirl Cake Mix. Did it taste like a Cinnabon? Did it make my kitchen smell like a food court? Most importantly, was it delicious?
The mix consisted of two components: a large package of fairly basic-looking yellow cake mix, and a smaller package of Cinnabon cinnamon swirl mix. Unlike most cake mixes, which are prepared with oil, this one called for 1/3 cup of softened butter in addition to eggs and water. Most likely this was an attempt to create a richer cake flavor. After preparing the cake batter, I followed the box's instructions and sprinkled the contents of the Cinnabon packet over the surface. Then I stirred it exactly six times—the instructions were specific!—to incorporate the cinnamon without completely blending it in.
I baked my cake in two 8-inch round pans and then frosted the layers with a tub of Betty Crocker's vanilla frosting. In retrospect, I should have used Betty Crocker's cream cheese frosting for the most Cinnabon-like flavor. They should really recommend that on the box—it would make a substantial difference.
Ultimately, the cake tasted like a cross between a supermarket coffee cake and boxed mix birthday cake. It was heavy on the cinnamon, but it lacked the gooey, buttery intensity normally associated with Cinnabons. On the plus side, it was a nice departure from the standard boxed mix flavors, so if you're a fan of that cake mix taste (hey, it reminds a lot of people of their childhoods!) then you should definitely give this one a try.
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