Pamela's Classic Vanilla Cake Mix

Review: Pamela’s Classic Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix

2014-09-06 09.10.06The search for the best gluten free cake mix continues.

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.

2014-09-06 09.11.00The 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.  

Baking Directions:

  • 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?

2014-09-06 10.38.23But 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.

Overall, I simply cannot recommend this cake mix.  There are far better options available, such as Bob’s Red Mill Vanilla Cake Mix, reviewed here or the Madhava Yellow, found here.


Questions?  Comments?  Suggestions for other products to review?  Leave me a note below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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Pamela's Classic Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix
USD 4.99
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6 thoughts on “Review: Pamela’s Classic Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix”

  1. I agree, their chocolate cake mix is the best cake ever, everyone raves about it. We can eat wheat and I buy Pamela’s chocolate cake mix!

    The directions on the vanilla cake mix call for an extra egg and less water than the chocolate. I wonder if adding more water world help.

  2. I had the same issue when I baked this cake. I’ve made the chocolate cake from Pam’s several times and everybody loves it. They can’t believe it’s gluten free. This vanilla cake mix was so dry and disappointing. I wonder if adding yogurt to the mix would help (if I ever try baking it again).

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! But there are many others to try out there now, and for the price – ONE bad experience just settles it for me.

  3. Looks delicious*stomach golwrs* 😀 and sugar free, sounds interesting… of gluten free, I know how cakes and stuff taste like, since a friend of mine is allergic to gluten, and I couldn’t tell the difference between gluten free and not gluten free cakes 😀 but about sugar free ones.. I have to try it 😀 don’t you want to send me some? XD

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