When you think of boxed cakes, you most likely imagine one of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker’s many products. They are the go-to option for quick and easy boxed desserts. But which one of the two brands is the superior choice?
Duncan Hines is a brand owned by Pinnacle Food Corp, and Betty Crocker is owned by General Mills. Betty Crocker has a wider catalog than Duncan Hines in flavor profile and products. Betty Crocker also manufactures savory items such as salads, while Duncan Hines strictly makes desserts. Speaking of price, they are in a similar range, Betty Crocker being a little pricier.
In this article, we will take a deeper look at the history of two giants in the world of boxed desserts. We will look at the wide array of products they manufacture, the prices they charge, and their popularity throughout the years.
Duncan Hines Vs. Betty Crocker: Differences
Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker are brands that mastered producing ready-to-go box mixes to make an easier way for amateur cooks or busy people trying to eat something sweet and tasteful. The well-known brand products made a perfect dessert-making alternative, just by adding a few ingredients to a mix.
The name “Duncan Hines” is a homage to an actual traveling salesman, Duncan Hines. He was more of a restaurant connoisseur than a cook, but he became a respected authority in fine and affordable dining. In the 1950s, he partnered with Roy H. Park and allowed his name on various food products, from cake mixes to cartons of ice cream.
Unlike Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker is not the name of an actual person. Rather she started as a symbol for American home bakers during the early 19th century. The Washburn-Crosby Company, a flour mill, started a contest in 1921 where home cooks could solve a puzzle to win prizes.
But many home cooks used this to ask for expert baking tips. So, to answer their questions, the company needed a figurehead that would represent the American women of that time. Thus, the character of Betty Crocker was commissioned, and she became synonymous with the advertisement of the company’s product.
Duncan Hines has a wide range of cake flavors under two broad categories – classic and signature.
Each cake mix is in a 15.25 oz pack. The back of the boxes includes an instruction manual and other necessary information like ingredients, a list of allergens, etc. In total, they have 20 cake mixes that are currently available.
Betty Crocker offers you 3 types of cakes – Super Moist Delight, Super Moist Favorites, and regular. From regular pound cakes to gourmet and fancy items like confetti and red velvet cakes, they are sure to have a product you would like. They also have lava cake and cheesecake mixes.
Once again, you have 2 types of brownie mixes from Duncan Hines. Their classical brownies are milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and chewy fudge flavors. Their signature brownie mixes have 6 different flavors in total.
Betty Crocker has 10 brownie mixes and 3 other mixes for brownie bars. Each of the brownie mixes is in 16.5 oz packs. They come in various flavors such as dark chocolate, milk chocolate, salted caramel, walnut, etc. The brownie bars are in the flavors of peanut butter, cookie dough, and Reece’s peanut butter.
All of the Duncan Hines cookie mixes are named “mega cookie.” These combine sugar, double chocolate, single chocolate chunk, and holiday mega cookie options. Depending on the product, the boxes have varying weights, from 6.6 to 8.4 oz.
Betty Crocker has a lot more options for cookie mixes available. Currently, they have 9 regular cookie mixes. They also have limited edition cookie mixes that often partner with other global brands. Some limited-edition flavors include Hershey’s kisses, gingerbread, pumpkin spice, apple sugar, etc. All of their cookie mixes are in 17.5 oz packs.
Duncan Hines has 2 options for muffin mix – Blueberry Streusel Muffin and Triple Chocolate Chunks. The blueberry mix is in 20 oz, and the chocolate chunk mix is in 17.5 oz boxes.
Betty Crocker has 14 different muffin mixes presently available. These are under 3 categories – pouch muffins, box muffins, and muffin top mix. The pouch muffins are in 6.5 oz packs, and box muffin mixes are in 12.5 oz packs. The top mixes are ready-made mixes to put on top of the muffins.
Duncan Hines has two types of frostings; creamy and whipped. The creamy frostings have a thicker texture and come in 15 oz tubs. The whipped frostings are lighter and fluffier and are available in 14 oz tubs.
Betty Crocker has similar categories with their frostings. The “rich and creamy” frostings have a wider range of flavors and come in 15.5 oz tubs. And their “whipped frostings” have a lighter consistency and come in 12 oz tubs.
Duncan Hines manufactures a wide range of pie fillings for you to try. These come in 21 oz cans.
You have many options to choose from: blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, caramel apple, etc.
Betty Crocker does not have a selection of pie filling. But they do have an option for ready-made pie crust.
This is where Betty Crocker separates itself from many of its contemporaries. Although their primary revenue comes from desserts, they have an extensive list of savory food products. From mashed potatoes and casseroles to quick and easy salads, they have enough products to prepare a 3-course meal.
Duncan Hines thus far has only stuck to the desserts. They do not have any options for salads or other savory products.
Here is another area where Betty Crocker has the advantage. Apart from selling various cakes and brownies, they also manufacture decorative products such as writing gel, candles, sprinkles, food colors, candy decorations, and food cups.
Betty Crocker has a line of brittle mix, oat brownies, pancake mix, Bisquick mix, and fruit snacks. Duncan Hines does not have such a wide array of products. Their products are limited to cakes, frostings, cookies, brownies, and muffins.
|Product||Duncan Hines||Betty Crocker|
|Brownies||2 styles – classic and signature||2 types – regular brownie mix and brownie bars|
|Frosting||Covers 36 cupcakes or 2 8”-9” layer cakes||Covers 32 cupcakes or 1 8”-9” layer cake|
|Chocolate cake||Slightly lighter||Thicker and more moist|
|Strawberry cake||Slightly lighter||Thicker and more moist|
|Devil’s food cake||Can be a bit denser||Perfectly dense and thick|
|Yellow cake||Perfectly moist and more aromatic||Can be a bit lighter|
The prices will vary depending on the specific product. Most Duncan Hines cake mixes come at $1.24 or $0.08 per oz. Betty Crocker’s cake mixes are more varied. They can range from $0.07 per oz to $0.17 per oz, depending on the type of cake mix.
For the most part, Betty Crocker products are a bit pricier compared to Duncan Hines.
Both Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker are staples in the industry of boxed desserts. When you think of boxed cakes, you most likely imagine one of their many products. You can buy most of either brand’s products in all popular retail stores such as Walmart, Amazon, Target, etc.
Betty Crocker had a much earlier rise to fame. And this translated to early radio programs, cooking shows, and more. Betty Crocker is as much of a cultural reference point as it is a food manufacturer.
Duncan Hines’ popularity never reached cultural icon status. While Betty Crocker or the many images throughout the generations became a household name, Duncan Hines never had such a familiar face.
Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines products have pretty much the same shelf-life. Each of their boxes contains a “best-before” date. This indicates the manufacturer’s approximation of the time until which that product will remain at its highest quality. But you can still consume that product sometime past that date if the packaging is intact.
Every Duncan Hines product has its signature logo on top. The logo is a stylized version of the brand name.
The Betty Crocker logo features a stylized version of the brand name on a red spoon. This red spoon is an iconic part of the company as every one of its products comes with a red spoon. So, the company decided to incorporate the spoon as part of its logo.
Duncan Hines Vs. Betty Crocker: Which Is Better?
In terms of taste, it is very hard to differentiate the two. It mainly comes down to personal preference. You may like a specific product of one company and not the others and vice versa for a different flavor.
Although Duncan Hines is most renowned for their boxed cake mixes, they have many products. From brownie mixes to pie filling – Duncan Hines has an option for the most popular dessert you want.
But in terms of diversity, Betty Crocker has a lot more options. Whether cakes, cookies, frostings, or brownies, Betty Crocker has a much more extensive catalog. They even have savory options in quick salads, mashed potatoes, casseroles, etc.
Additionally, they have more limited time or special occasion products than Duncan Hines.
In terms of popularity, Betty Crocker has the edge. This is thanks to a large amount of publicity this symbol has received since its inception. Betty Crocker had its cooking shows, radio programs, cartoons, and books. All of this meant that the image of Betty Crocker became much more well known throughout the US and beyond.
To conclude, there is a reason why these two names have dominated the boxed dessert industry. So, whichever brand you choose from, you will have a delightful time.