Okay, I don’t like admitting it.  To the horror of my mother I do occasionally make something from a box.  Typically, it’s stuffing.  Occasionally, it’s soup.  Once in a great while it’s something else.  Yesterday, it was a cake mix.  WHAT?  A cake mix?  Yes, I bought it almost three months ago for a friend’s birthday just after the whole gluten-free deal started and I was still figuring out where to buy tapioca starch.

I’m a bit more confident in the gluten-free baking realm than I was back in June.  Nevertheless, I had already bought it. Last night was a bit of a mini-celebration (starting a new job!), and that was a good excuse to bake them up. Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix time it was. Required: 1 stick butter, 1 cup water, 3 eggs, box, bowl, mixer, and muffin tins with pretty cupcake liners.

Ease of baking: 5/5
Flavor: 4/5
Texture: 4/5

Not even remotely gritty, which was a pleasant change from several items I have tasted. A touch fluffier would be an improvement. The mix would have made a good dense cake that could stand up to some serious fruit filling, but wasn’t as light as a cupcake should be. And, as often is the case, more intense chocolate flavor would have knocked the flavor rating up to a full 5 points. Perhaps the addition of some chopped dark chocolate? Or a drizzle of cherry kirsch?

Basically, nice enough for occasions when you’re aiming to please the general public with minimal effort. Calorically, not terrible but also not an everyday indulgence. All of the flour is refined– no whole grains– and there is a lot of sugar and saturated fat even without frosting. In other words, your standard American dessert. Take them to a potluck, serve at a Halloween party, or send them to school with your kids. Don’t *cough* eat them for breakfast *cough*.