Keto Cake Mix Review VS. Homemade
Was shopping at Walmart and noticed the keto cake mixes in the baking aisle and wondered how good they were verse my recently developed keto cake recipe. So I scooped them up plus wanted another popular brand to test, so I bought a Highkey cake mix off Amazon. At Walmart they were reasonably priced but still way more than normal cake mixes and for only 1- 8inch round cake instead of 2. Working out the price for my ingredients it still came out cheaper for one of my 8 inch round cakes. Plus you have a bunch of ingredients for even more delicious keto baking on hand.
My vanilla keto cake is $4.69 for 1-8inch cake and if you cut it into 8 slices it is only 2.25 g of Net Carbs. I didn't sweeten mine as much as the other cake mixes because I used a super sweet chocolate buttercream frosting on it. So mine only has 5 g of sugar alcohols per slice and only 10 total carbs for a slice. Most of the box cake mixes are loaded with sugar alcohols and around 20 grams of total carbs for one slice. Mine can be further sweetened with a few drops of a liquid stevia if desired. Another benefit of mine is there are no nut flours used. I feel bad for all those people trying to do keto and having a nut allergy because almost every prepackaged keto mix or snack has almond flour in it. Mine tastes good, soft, fluffy and moist just way less sweet and not as vanilla forward because no chemicals to make it taste more like vanilla. I have used chocolate whey protein isolate to make the chocolate cake. I bet using a vanilla whey protein isolate would bump up the vanilla flavor quite a bit.
My Vanilla Cake Recipe:
80 g Powdered Sweetener (2/3 Cup) can be made sweeter with drops of liquid stevia with if you prefer
102 g ISOpure Unflavored Whey Protein Isolate (approximately 3 1/2 scoops)
128 g Coconut Flour (1 Cup)
3/4 tsp. Xanthan Gum
2 1/4 tsp. Baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/8 tsp. Salt
5 Eggs (room temp)
1 1/4 Cup Alternative buttermilk (1 Tablespoon Vinegar + unsweetened almond/cashew/macadamia nut milk or oat/coconut/flax) warmed in microwave
10 Tbs. Butter (melted)
2 Tbs. Vanilla Extract
Make the homemade buttermilk, pull out eggs and melt butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and line the bottom of 2- 8 inch or 9 inch cake pans
Weigh/measure and sift all dry ingredients and whisk everything together well
If eggs aren't room temperature, soak in some warm water until no longer cold, crack into a large bowl and whip with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, double in volume
While whipping, stream in the melted butter then the warmed buttermilk and vanilla
Switching to a hand whisk, mix all the dry ingredients into the egg mixture at once
Divide batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans (about 520g each) and smooth out the top with an offset spatula
Bake on middle rack side by side 20-25 minutes, spinning and rotating them half way threw baking
Test with a toothpick in the center, to make sure it's not gooey and press gently to see if it is firm in the middle, they both may not be done at the same time
Let cool on a wire rack in the pans until cool enough to handle
Run an offset spatula around the edge of the cake pan and turn out onto the wire rack to cool completely
Frost with a Keto Frosting, I've done 2 different chocolate frostings - Chocolate Whipped Ganache Frosting https://youtu.be/ZaL9N-L7p78 and a Chocolate Buttercream Frosting https://youtu.be/nsXZ8mjJvac
Amazon Links for all products used in this cake testing: The Birch Benders and Duncan Hines are the cheapest at Walmart. You can't get the birch benders mix buy itself on Amazon unless you buy 3 packages. And the Duncan Hines keto cake mix is 10 dollars on Amazon as oppose to 5 dollars at Walmart.
Highkey lemon cake mix - https://amzn.to/2RFkD9K
Lakanto powdered monkfruit- https://amzn.to/3eHaz7u
Anthony's powdered monkfruit - https://amzn.to/3oqS241
Isopure Unflavored whey protein isolate- https://amzn.to/2Saz1q9
Wilton 8 inch Cake Pans - https://amzn.to/3nEkoHA
Cake Decorating wheel and kit - https://amzn.to/2SgQcXj
Mixing bowls- https://amzn.to/32ZZclx
Silicon spatulas- https://amzn.to/3u8rQNw
Silicon whisks- https://amzn.to/3ujOMtn
Scale - https://amzn.to/339tsKN
Mini Offset Spatula - https://amzn.to/3e4i09O
Pyrex measuring cups - https://amzn.to/2QIcd0J
Pyrex bowls- https://amzn.to/3t4sKcj
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
The Duncan Hines definitely tastes the best and is the cheapest of the box mixes. Definitely need to bake longer than you think. I tested with a toothpick and it came out clean, but just like mine you have to feel the center of the cake to make sure it feels firm. It was a minute or 2 under baked, luckily it was not too raw. It was a tiny bit fragile when moving from the rack and slicing but it might be because it was under baked. It tasted like a regular vanilla box cake mix but 4x the price for half the amount with it only making 1-8 inch or 9 inch round at $4.95 for the mix and $5.58 with the added ingredients. With 10 g of sugar alcohols for an 8th of the cake plus allulose and stevia is another reason it tastes like a normal cake, super sweet! It definitely has some ingredients people doing strict keto may avoid like modified tapioca starch, inulin and natural flavors.
The Birch Benders cake mix looks a lot like my cake when baked. It has the simplest ingredients of all the cake mixes. I don't know how this cake stays together so well with no xanthan gum. The only thing I can think of is the cassava starch gives it more structure. But that is why the net carbs for 1/8 of the cake is 5 grams. It has good flavor and texture, very similar to mine but still sweeter because of 14 g of sugar alcohols per slice. I found the Birch Benders at Walmart for $5.98, add in the costs of the other ingredients you supply, the total cost is $7.34 for 1-8 inch round cake.
All in all a pretty good option if you are in a pinch and don't want to make your own cake.
Then the most expensive keto cake mix was the Highkey Lemon cake and muffin mix at $10.97 on Amazon and Highkey's website, they don't carry just a vanilla cake. They do have coupons quite often though on their website. I love their cookies and buy them often. With the added ingredients you supply the total cost is $12.05. Not sure why there are no instructions on making muffins, when it says a muffin mix also. Again it needs to bake until the middle is firm. I tested with a toothpick after baking it a minute longer than the directions said, it came out clean but it was still pretty raw in the middle. The taste was delicious and it was soft and moist but also on the sweet side. It has 4.5 grams of sugar alcohols for an 8th and 4.5 grams of Allulose plus stevia and monkfruit. And for an 8th it is 3 grams of net carbs. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more if it had cooked all the way threw. The same thing happened to mine while testing my cake recipe. It looks done and a toothpick comes out clean but because we have so much butter to moisten our baked goods it may need more time even though the toothpick looks clean when inserted.
In conclusion it's nice to have a bunch of options out there now that we can have. None of them are lies, unlike some products, I've seen labeled keto. It's all up to you how strict you are with keto. I'd say the best option, is to make your own, it's definitely cheaper and you can control the ingredients and sweetness. But if you don't have the time Birch Benders is a good alternative, just a little higher in carbs and sugar alcohols.