I Tried Dolly Parton’s Newest “Favorite” Chocolate Cake Mix from Duncan Hines


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On the long list of things that I love, Dolly Parton and chocolate cake rank pretty high. Baking from scratch, on the other hand, is quite a ways down. In fact, it might even be on the list of things I don’t love very much at all. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it — I’m just not very good at it. I suppose I could practice and get better, but why? Why would I spend all that time and energy measuring and mixing when Dolly and Duncan Hines have an entire line of baking mixes that are practically foolproof? After you tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, you don’t have to work from 9 to 5 to bake a beautiful chocolate cake.

Dolly Parton Adds to Her Line of Duncan Hines Baking Mixes

While the collaboration between the country singing legend and Duncan Hines isn’t new, Dolly’s latest batch of mixes are just hitting grocery store shelves for the first time. Mixes new in this release include chocolate cake and chocolate frosting, yellow cake mix, cinnamon crumb cake mix, blueberry muffin mix, and banana nut muffin mix. Aside from her baking line, Dolly also recently launched a buttermilk pancake mix, marking her first foray in the world of breakfast foods.

Dolly Parton x Duncan Hines Takes the Cake

When I heard that Dolly and Duncan Hines added a chocolate cake mix and chocolate frosting to her line of baking products, I knew I had to give it a try. I never met a chocolate cake I didn’t like, and I had a little bit of a sweet tooth, so the timing was perfect. I broke out my mixing bowl, 13×9-inch baking pan, and a whisk and got to work.

The instructions on the box call for 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and 8 tablespoons of melted butter, so I rounded up the ingredients before mixing everything together. I was a little surprised at the amount of butter and oil, but I thought better than to question the recipe for “Dolly’s Favorite Chocolate Cake.”

The cake mix blended easily with all of the other ingredients and although I know you’re not supposed to taste uncooked cake batter with raw eggs in it, I did it anyway and it was good. I greased the pan as per the directions on the box, then poured in the batter. The box recommends 30 to 32 minutes of cooking time for the pan I was using, but after 32 minutes I performed the clean toothpick test and the toothpick was nowhere near clean. I put it back in the oven for 4 more minutes, and it still wasn’t clean, so I put it in for 2 more minutes. After a total of 38 minutes, the cake was finished baking.

I allowed the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before carefully removing it. It came out of the pan relatively easily, and I let it cool for another hour before attempting to ice it. When I finally broke out the frosting, it was easier than I expected it to be. I gave it a good stir, and then spread it on; I was surprised to find that it really didn’t take very long. Finally, it was time to enjoy the fruits of my (minimal) labor.

Because this wasn’t a homemade, from-scratch cake, my expectations were low, but I was delighted to discover the cake was good — like, really good. Like, you wouldn’t know it came out of a box unless somebody told you, good. The cake was chocolatey, and the frosting was sweet without being too sweet. I had mine with vanilla ice cream and it was as close to perfection as you can get from a baking mix. Dolly has always done right by us, and her baking mixes are proof that she always will.

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn. See it there: I Tried Dolly Parton’s Newest “Favorite” Chocolate Cake Mix from Duncan Hines, and I’m Never Baking from Scratch Again


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