You can't beat a homemade cake made from scratch, but a pre-made cake mix is the way to go when you want something fast, easy, and delicious. Some of the most common cake mix varieties include chocolate, white, yellow, and strawberry, but after doing some research we've come to realize that many distinctly unique cake mix flavors have been released in the past that have now sadly disappeared from shelves and are unlikely to return.
Are we being pessimistic here? Not at all. Though we'd love to see a resurgence of all these deliciously tasty retro flavors, the fact that many of them were released decades ago suggests that a comeback of some of these vintage flavors is highly unlikely. From fruit-flavored cake mix concoctions to rich and decadent grabs, join us as we take a walk down memory lane to mourn the discontinued cake mix flavors we're probably not getting back.
Betty Crocker Sunkist Orange, 1969
For most people, Sunkist evokes images of the bright orange soda, but it seems that the old-school Betty Crocker Sunkist orange cake mix flavor from 1969 had something else in mind. Described as being essenced with a natural bright orange flavor, this vintage cake flavor gets its taste from fresh Sunkist orange peels. The original ad calls it one of "the sunniest, brightest-tasting desserts you can imagine" with the infusion of zesty orange making it perfect for the summer season. As well as the cake mix, there was also a matching frosting flavor -- also sporting an orange hue -- making this cake one you can practically taste without even taking a bite.
This is certainly a cake mix we'd love to see make a comeback, but at the moment, orange flavors aren't seen regularly in the U.S. Betty Crocker mixes. However, what we do see is a plethora of orange cake recipes coming from the Betty Crocker website, including orange juice cake, creamy orange cake, orange pound cake, and more. Whipping up an actual recipe takes all the simplicity out of using a pre-made mix, but it is perhaps the next best option if you want to sample the closest thing to a Betty Crocker Sunkist Orange cake.
Betty Crocker Chocolate Malt Cake Mix, 1956
A malt cake mix sounds like a product of a bygone era, but it has certainly piqued our interest. Sure, malted drinks are a thing, especially from your local dairy, but a cake mix that claims to taste like chocolate malt seems a bit unusual. As intriguing as it sounds, this throwback Betty Crocker flavor is unlikely to return, so we'll just have to imagine the taste. The 1956 advert for the Betty Crocker chocolate malt cake mix states that the cake contains real malted milk, a tender crumb, and the perfect malt flavor -- with an emphasis on the perfect.
Though this flavor has yet to see the light of day after its discontinuation, there is a Betty Crocker malt cake recipe on her website. Sadly, the reviews aren't great, with one user stating: "I was kind of disappointed. It was a good chocolate cake, but you couldn't really taste the malt." The recipe starts with a chocolate cake mix which you then add malted milk powder to. Some home cooks have suggested you can upgrade your chocolate cake by increasing how much malt you put in. Give it a try, perhaps after some trial and error you too can create the perfect chocolate malt cake.
Betty Crocker Honey Spice Cake, 1953
Forget pumpkin spice for a moment, and imagine the taste of this Betty Crocker honey spice cake from 1953. It was suggested that it could be used as the base of a fruit cake, which implies it had a festive, comforting taste. Typically, we can garner more details on vintage cake flavors and deduct from the description what it might taste like, but in this case, there's a bit of guesswork involved. Nevertheless, the ingredients -- and the honey and spice description -- suggest it would be pretty close to a muted gingerbread flavor.
Though this honey spice cake mix isn't on the market anymore, there is a regular spice cake mix from Betty Crocker still available. According to the Walmart website, this flavor is a best-seller, and customers seem elated about the overall taste and texture of this holiday–esque flavor. One user commented on its versatility and said, "It's absolutely delicious with some homemade cream cheese frosting." While it is a shame the honey spice is no longer available, it is great to see the spice flavors haven't disappeared completely.
Duncan Hines Applesauce Raisin, 1961
Part of Duncan Hines' retro "Early American" line of cake flavors, the applesauce raisin cake variety was advertised in 1961. This enticing flavor combination came from the inspiration of early colonial times when freshly baked cakes were made in kitchens produced from bountiful crops harvested in America's earliest days. The commercial used to sell this cake mix featured a woman portraying a colonial-times house cook preparing a similar applesauce raisin cake in her kitchen. Also a part of the "Early American" line were cake mix flavors such as fudge nut and butter pecan.
So, is Duncan Hines still blessing us with any flavors similar to the applesauce raisin cake mix these days? It seems not, though they do have an "old-fashioned applesauce spice cake" on their website that sounds like it would mimic the flavor of the vintage cake mix. However, there isn't a premade mix available from the brand that quite fits the description of the "Early American" applesauce raisin cake from the '60s.
Duncan Hines Butterscotch Crunch
There isn't anything quite like this cake -- boxed or otherwise -- but there is no denying, it sounds intensely satisfying. Butterscotch is undeniably one of the best flavors, and this retro butterscotch crunch cake from Duncan Hines in 1962 seems like it would definitely hit the spot. With this particular cake mix, the butterscotch crunch comes with both the cake mix and the crunchy topping that makes for a deliciously crunchy dessert that we're sad to have missed out on.
While there are plenty of other from-scratch butterscotch cake recipes out there, not many butterscotch cake mixes are available on the market -- and there are none (that we know of) that offer a yummy crunchy topping with it. This is a real shame, and there are enough fans of butterscotch out there that would gobble this up. Butterscotch crunch is one old-school cake flavor we desperately wish would come back.
Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Angel, 1961
Just the look of this cake is enough to get you salivating, and the advert even states: "Looks like fun, tastes like a party." The pink lemonade angel mix not only looks and sounds incredible based on the description, but several factors suggest it would have tasted phenomenal as well. This vintage ad from 1961 is a vision of pastel colors, and you would be hard-pressed to find any cake flavor these days essences with the flavor of pink lemonade. But that's not all, and according to the print written on the ad, this cake mix had 14.4 egg whites infused right into the mix.
Not sure about you, but we had to do a second take on that one, and we're still questioning our judgments as to whether or not we read that right. Either way, there is surely no cake flavor on the market right now that professes to deliver this kind of unique flavor. While the original was a Pillsbury mix, Betty Crocker has found a way to attempt to recreate this mix's flavor through its own recipe. However, the reviews are split as to whether or not this pink lemonade-infused cake is worth your time. One user said the cake "looked and tasted great" but there was some disagreement on whether a white or yellow cake mix worked best for the pink coloring. Maybe we'll just have to go back to dreaming of this 1961 cake instead.
Betty Crocker Chocolate Pudding Cake, 1959
Pudding cake -- from a box? Yup, that's Betty Crocker for you. Released in two decadent flavors, the lemon and chocolate pudding cakes featured an interesting cake and pudding combination for a unique mashup you wouldn't find anywhere else on store shelves.
In the ad from 1959, Betty Crocker chocolate pudding cake was said to be a delightful treat featuring cake floating on top of decadent fudgy chocolate pudding. As the ad says, "You get cake mix and pudding mix both in one package" to make for a fantastically delicious and decadent dessert.
Though we aren't seeing many -- or any -- of these in stores today from Betty Crocker, the idea of one doesn't sound half bad. There are some recipes online that seem to offer similar fudgy and rich results to the Betty Crocker pudding cake, and after trying them, you might be wishing for this particular mix to make a comeback.
Duncan Hines Sour Cream Chocolate Cake, 1977
Advertised in 1977, there isn't much in the description as to what makes the Duncan Hines sour cream chocolate cake so special, but after doing a bit of digging, we think we understand the appeal. Apart from the ad's assertion that the people of Hershey, Pennsylvania, adored this particular chocolate cake mix, we've found out that adding sour cream to cake is a great way to take your baking to the next level.
Sour cream is very high in fat, making for a richer, moister, and more satisfying cake. All of those words combined with "chocolate" make this one sound like a match made in heaven. Still, with it being so long since we've been graced with a chocolate cake mix flavor like this, we can only daydream about how delicious it must have been -- either that or have a go at making one from scratch.
Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cake Mix, 1990
Whether it is in a cake or a delicious cookie, you can count us in as chocolate chip fans. And a chocolate chip cake mix from Betty Crocker sounds like perfection. Sadly, this "super moist" version of a Betty Crocker cake mix -- with pudding in the mix -- was advertised in the '90s, and it hasn't made a resurgence yet.
Stuffed with chocolate chips and frosted with vanilla chocolate chip icing, this mix undoubtedly sounds like a winner. Compared to some of the others on this list, the release date of this one is a little more recent and maybe a little more familiar -- but that doesn't mean we wouldn't like to see it again. Surprisingly, there aren't many chocolate chip cake mixes out there, and this flavor seems to predominantly feature as a muffin mix. That's not to say you couldn't adapt the muffin mix and use it to make a larger cake, but given America's inclination toward all things chocolate chip, bringing this premade mix back seems like a no-brainer.
Duncan Hines Burnt Sugar Cake Mix, 1957
The word "burnt" isn't usually one you would want to hear when it comes to cake, but an exception can be made for this flavor. Proving that they really did think of everything back in the day, this 1957 Duncan Hines burnt sugar cake mix is yet another one of those fantastic cake flavors we wish we had the opportunity to sample. This cake mix is said to combine the rich caramel flavors of cooked sugar, having a sweetly flavorful impact on the cake mix to give it its signature burnt sugar taste. The box ad seems to indicate that the caramel provided comes in a sauce packet within the box and can be used in the frosting as well as the cake itself.
While we understand that flavors come and go, it is innovative ideas such as this one that make us wish cake-making companies would bring back creatively tasty mixes for a bit of variety -- especially with the caramel sauce sealed fresh and ready to be devoured. Sadly, there are not many options for a regular caramel cake mix out there at the moment -- let alone a burnt sugar one -- but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and plenty of recipes you can try to make caramel cake at home.
Pillsbury Fudge Macaroon Cake Mix, 1966
A macaroon cake mix sounds unusual, but this sultry ad from 1966 advertises a cake we think was worthy of the purchase. Described as a rich fudgy cake with real coconut bits and chewy macaroons, it looks like Pillsbury pulled out all the stops when it came to introducing this rich and seemingly delicious new flavor.
In case you aren't familiar with macaroons, allow us to introduce you. Macaroons, not to be confused with "macarons," are drop cookies that are made from egg whites, shredded coconut, and sugar. This means you're left with a fudge cake checkered with coconutty cookies and coconut bits, which we are willing to bet tasted delicious. This flavor is not around anymore, but there are chocolate macaroon cake recipes out there that you could always use instead. It is worth noting, however, that a lot of these recipes look like they'll require more ingredients compared to the basic chocolate cake. Nevertheless, this may be the only way you'll be able to savor the flavor of fudge macaroon-infused chocolate cake as Pillsbury are unlikely to bring back this convenient premade mix anytime soon.
Betty Crocker Toffee Swirl Cake Mix, 1962
Even just to look at, this cake looks impressive. While potentially difficult to pull off the "swirl" component of this cake mix, we're sure Betty Crocker had all of that covered when it comes to the instructions for how to bake up this beauty. The Betty Crocker toffee swirl cake mix seems like your standard marble cake at first. Judging by its title, however, there must have also been a boatload of toffee flavor in this mix that would make it more delightful than anything we're used to sampling when it comes to marbled cake mix these days.
The ad for this mix from 1962 doesn't offer much in terms of description, but the huge image of the cake suggests this would have been a very impressive bake. We may be left imagining what this one would taste like, but the title alone -- and the delicious-looking marbling and frosting -- leads us to believe that this discontinued cake was a big box of sweet, sticky, and flavorful joy.
Betty Crocker Peanut Delight, 1956
Betty Crocker peanut butter delight cake mix -- like many of the other cake mixes on this list -- sounds like an amazing rendition of a dessert we'd also enjoy eating today. Sadly, there isn't much of a description about this Betty Crocker classic, but according to the 1956 ad, it's made of real peanut butter and is "melt-in-your-mouth tender." While we'd love to sample this original flavor from Betty Crocker, there are at least several cake mixes available today that come somewhat close to this vintage offering -- even if it isn't exactly the same thing.
The Reese's peanut butter coffee cake mix with streusel topping is also produced by Betty Crocker, and according to most reviews, it tastes truly great. One home baker wrote, "This is fantastic! Super easy to make and ridiculously yummy!" The thing is, the Reese's mix isn't an exclusive peanut butter flavor the way the peanut butter delight probably was, as it has more of a chocolate and peanut butter mix. Thus, while this Reese's peanut butter mix is still very tasty, we still wish the original peanut butter cake mix flavor was a thing.
Read the original article on Mashed.