A Texas bakery owner noticed Betty Crocker had quietly decreased the amount of its boxed cake mix.
She conducted a bake-off between the new and old boxes, which called for the same wet ingredients.
There were some differences, but they may not be noticeable to the average customer, she said.
A bakery owner who went viral after noticing that Betty Crocker had quietly decreased the contents of its Super Moist boxed cake mix in the "white" flavor has now conducted a bake-off between the old (16.25 ounce) and new (14.25 ounce) boxes.
The verdict? The new boxes, which contain less mix but suggest the same pantry ingredients, left a "weird film" in her mouth and yielded a holey texture with a "more uneven" crumb, Malina Lee, the owner of Sweet Grace bakery in San Antonio, said on TikTok.
A customer-care representative for Betty Crocker, which is owned by General Mills, previously confirmed the changes across its Super Moist line (which consists of 20 flavors) in an email to Business Insider, saying in part that, "Keeping our products affordable, especially given the rising prices for ingredients, is important to us." The company did not respond to a request for comment on Lee's bake-off.
Many commenters echoed the claims in Lee's first video, which has 5.7 million views, attributing the changes to shrinkflation, a practice in which brands sell smaller amounts of their products to hide rising costs.
Lee's big experiment
Lee said that to compare against the new 14.25-ounce mix, which was available at her local Walmart, she tracked down some old 16.25-ounce boxes on Amazon. The ingredients were mostly the same, though the new boxes contained slightly more modified corn starch and xanthan gum, she said.
After weighing the contents of both boxes on her food scale, she said the 14.25-ounce box actually contained 15.5 ounces of cake mix and the 16.25-ounce box contained 16.6. Both called for a cup of water, half a cup of vegetable oil, and three egg whites or whole eggs.
"I'm feeling very much like I'm back in the fourth grade," Lee said of the experiment, noting that upon mixing, both batters felt "very similar."
After baking them on the same oven shelf for 28 minutes, Lee said, the 16.25-ounce box yielded a taller cake with a "tighter, more even crumb" and was "more enjoyable to eat." The smaller version had bigger holes in it, leaving an "uneven" texture as well as a film in her mouth "similar to margarine buttercream, but way less intense," she said.
Though she highlighted these differences in her review, Lee said they'd probably go unnoticed by the average customer baking a cake at home.
Lee told BI that she used the white cake mix in only one recipe — for a white almond sour-cream wedding cake she offers — with most of her recipes baked from scratch. Going forward, she is likely shelving the Betty Crocker mix, she said. She added that Pillsbury Baking, which also sells boxed cake mix, reached out to send her its version to try. She said if she doesn't like those, she'd either "try some other brands or potentially switch back over to all scratch baked."
"I've definitely lost some trust in these big baking companies through this process," she said.
Correction: November 15, 2023 — An earlier version of this story misstated the ownership of Pillsbury's boxed cake mix. Pillsbury Baking is not part of the Pillsbury brand owned by General Mills.
Read the original article on Insider