Gluten Schmuten: Wegmans Gluten-Free Cake Mix

GLUTENSCHUMUTENGluten-free foods are expensive and their flavor profile, in many cases, is suspect. The Al Dente blog is going to work through the good and the bad from the perspective of a toddler who known for her picky eating and her parents. We’ll collect these, as well as the rest of our journey with The Kid’s Celiac disease diagnosis, under the Gluten Schmuten category tag.

IMG_2644The Mother-In-Law offered to bake The Wife a cake for her birthday. It wasn’t really her birthday, but the dinner we were having to celebrate her birth, which was a few days later. Naturally, the cake would be gluten free so that The Kid could get into it.

We have not ventured too far into the whole gluten-free baking realm. The MIL would ordinarily insist on baking a cake from scratch, but in the interests of time she opted for a gluten-free mix. Since Wegmans has done well in the past, The MIL went in that direction.

THE SELL: Wheat-free. Rich and indulgent. Gluten Free. Makes one 8-inch round cake layer. Chosen with Care!

THE PACKAGE: Each box makes an 8-inch round or square cake.

THE INGREDIENTS: Sugar, Rice Flour, Yellow Corn Flour, Tapioca Starch, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Cornstarch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Coffee, Xanthan Gum, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Soy Flour.

THE STATS ON A SERVING: Each cake yields 12 servings. One serving has 180 calories, 0.5g fat, 31g carbs and 18g sugar. 

THE COST: $3.49 at Syracuse Wegmans stores.

THE REPLACEMENT: Most name brand cake mixes go for between $1.29 and $1.49.

IMG_2643THE ADULT TASTE TEST: Actually, let’s start with prep. The MIL, never one to stray from a written direction, followed the box to the letter. She cooked to the prescribed cooking time and found that the center of the cake was still wet. She let it go a couple of minutes more and it was better, but not great. But, since all of these mixes say DO NOT OVERCOOK in large bold letters, she pulled it after 40 minutes (it’s 35-38 for a square pan). At right is the fork used to serve the cake.

The taste was…meh. Not impressive at all. Grittier than normal baked goods and it had a very processed flavor.

THE KID TEST: It didn’t matter. You say, “Cake,” and she says, “How high?” You get my drift.

THE VERDICT: Thumbs up for her. Unimpressed for the adults.

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