I found another gluten free cake mix option while shopping at my local Sprouts market. On this brisk, early Fall day, I decided to give it a try.
Pamela’s mixes have been around since 1988, specializing in gluten free and natural products. They carry a full line of baking mixes, cake, brownie and pancake mixes, and even pizza dough mix. I’ve reviewed the basic baking mix here.
Today I’m reviewing Pamela’s Classic Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix. Considering the success I had with the basic bread mix, I had high hopes for this product. I was surprisingly disappointed.
The ingredients in the cake mix are as follows: Natural Evaporated Cane Sugar; Tapioca Starch; White rice Flour, Potato Starch; Inulin; Sea Salt; Grainless & Aluminum-free Baking Powder (Socium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Potato Starch); Powdered Natural Vanilla Flavor (contains corn derivative); Rice Bran; Xanthan Gum.
Pamela’s mix is also dairy-free, so there is no milk called for in the preparation. My notes are found in green.
- 1 bag Pamela’s Mix
- 1/2 cup oil
- 3 eggs, large
- 2/3 cup water
- Optional: 1/4 tsp almond flavoring
Yield: One 9″ X 13″ cake or two 8″ layers. Preheat oven to 325º F. Whisk eggs, oil, water, and vanilla (not listed above – I believe they mean “almond flavoring”) until well incorporated. Add dry mix and beat by hand or on medium/low for 2 minutes. Batter thickens slightly and becomes lighter in color. Pour batter into lightly greased baking pans. Cake is baked when springs back to light touch or toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake.
It’s always a red flag to me when I see warnings like “Do Not Overbake!” on instructions. It makes me wonder if there’s a problem with the product and they’ve received complaints about the dryness.
I followed the directions as noted. There were no high altitude adjustments listed, so I made none. In the future, I would probably add another 1/4 cup of tapioca/white rice flour mixture, as the cakes did rise just a bit too fast, causing a small dip in the surface of the baked cake.
The exterior of the cake was a very light yellow. The cake itself was fairly low density – light in the hand as I removed them from the pans. The interior color matched the exterior. So far, so good, right?
But then I cut into the cake. I found the texture of the cake to be quite crumbly and coarse. The cell texture was medium-size. The cake itself was not dry, but the mouthfeel was extremely gummy and chewy. The initial taste was quite flat – very little vanilla aroma or taste. There was a strong sour aftertaste however.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions for other products to review? Leave me a note below. I’d love to hear from you!