Accompanying video now available at YouTube—"Duncan Hines Perfect Size Cake--Off Golden Path"
I decided to try out the recipe, even though the cake result is less than half an actual fully frosted cake but nearly the same cost ($2.78, fortunately, offset by 55¢ off coupon). The instructions seemed more bothersome than what I’d normally tolerate. I figured by the time I finished the project, I might deviate anyway, and I could get an article, video, or both out of the effort.
The main off-golden-path part of cake is the frosting—having used ready-to-spread white frosting instead of following instructions of the included frosting packet. (The frosting pack requires mixing the powder with water and butter.) An example video of the frosting hassle is at "Duncan Hines Perfect Size Cake Review", starting at 5:55 and stopping at 10:27.
My other deviation was using oil with the cake mix instead of butter. "Fat chance: Is Butter Really Better?" indicates that subbing oil for butter is fine, if not better, than using butter for the fat. I tend to favor mixing oil with water and egg together as a wet-ingredient mixture, then mixing the powder in.
The baking temperature was 300°, and for 34-39 minutes. My cake required 34 minutes—good thing I went for the minimum time. Looking at full-size cake mix boxes, most times are shorter and baking at 350°.
View my video of my Duncan Hines Personal Cake experience. If you want to try making one of these cakes, beware of some caveats. To Duncan Hines' credit, the websites I cited at the top of the article for their Personal Size cakes include comments from customers and their 1-to-5 star ratings. The most common complaints:
- Costly for such a small cake result.
- Too much time required for baking.
- Labor-intensive for making frosting with included powder. Would be much more appealing for an envelope of ready-to-spread frosting.
- Terrible-tasting frosting results from using powder and required additional ingredients.
- Leaky paper baking pan and liner during baking, spilling batter onto the oven. (Oy!)
If you want to make a smaller size cake, divvy up half a box of cake mix, follow the instructions on the box, adding only half the added ingredients. Pour the batter into one prepared (wax paper or whatever) round cake pan and bake as instructed. After cooling, frost with 1/2 container of ready-to-spread frosting of your choice.