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Pillsbury Supreme Collection Red Velvet Cake, reviewed

Pillsbury Supreme Collection Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake probably comes in just behind vanilla and chocolate cakes in terms of popularity these days, so it should be no surprise to see that red velvet cake mixes are becoming much more common to allow people to easily bake their own at home. Regular cake mixes don’t usually catch my eye, but the last time I was in the baking aisle I couldn’t help but notice the new Pillsbury Supreme Collection Red Velvet Cake Mix, which had a tunnel of cream cheese filling baked right in to the middle of a red velvet bundt cake. It definitely didn’t look like your average cake mix from the picture on the box.

The mix reminded me of the Fun Da Middles cupcake mix from Betty Crocker I tried several months ago, which had a cream filling that was baked right inside of cupcakes. This kit included a red velvet cake mix and a cream cheese filling mix. The cake mix was a fairly standard cake mix that had a bright red color to it even before some liquids were added. The filling mix was dry and made with powdered cream cheese, which is what made it shelf-stable enough to be packaged with a cake mix, and you simply needed to add water and vegetable oil to it to rehydrate it and make it a little creamier.  To put it together, you simply poured the prepared cake mix into your bundt pan and added the filling in a ring on top of the batter. The magic of getting the filling into the center of the cake happened in the oven.

Unfortunately, my filling didn’t quite end up in the center of my cake. I used a tube pan, which is usually a great substitute for a standard bundt pan and has the same baking times, and my filling sank all the way to the bottom of my cake during baking. It did, however, stay in the cake and I had no problem turning it out of the pan and keeping the filling in place – I just didn’t get quite the same dramatic look that was pictured on the box. I’m willing to admit that it might not have sunk quite as far if I had used a bundt pan, although the box gives many suggestions for alternative pans and my results with the tube pan do make me question how well the filling will center itself in any shape pan.

Pillsbury Supreme Collection Red Velvet Cake

The cake itself was pretty good. A red velvet cake is a buttermilk cake with a hint of cocoa flavor and a deep red color to it (thanks to the help of some food coloring, in most cases). The finished cake did have a slight tang of buttermilk or sour cream and a distinct chocolate note, so it definitely fit the flavor profile of red velvet cake. The filling had a good cream cheese flavor and a nice sweetness that suited the cake well, but was a touch grainy and never became as smooth as a filling or frosting made from fresh cream cheese would be. The slight graininess didn’t bother me much and probably could have been eliminated if I had used slightly warm water when making the filling mix. Overall, the cake had a nice flavor and was both extremely moist and tender, so it could easily satisfy anyone looking for a quick red velvet fix when you don’t have the time or inclination to bake one from scratch – even if the filling doesn’t necessarily end up quite in the exact center of the cake.

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  • Patty
    February 12, 2013

    I think I’m the only person on the planet who doesn’t like RVC. All I can taste is food coloring. Since red cocoa exists, why can’t someone come up with a recipe that doesn’t require red food coloring? Nicole, are you up for the challenge? ; >

  • Cheryl
    February 12, 2013

    Me too Patty, not my favorite cake. I made a cookie at Christmas and added a lot less red food coloring so I wonder if all that coloring is really necessary. Originally the chemical reaction was what made it have a slight red hue. The need to make it RED just isn’t necessary.

  • Chewthefat
    February 12, 2013

    @Patty & @Cheryl–I feel the same way. I don’t like adding food color to cake simply to change the color without enhancing the taste.

  • Stephanie P.
    February 12, 2013

    No ladies, you don’t HAVE to add the food coloring, OR you can use any color you like, e.g. Green for St. Patrick’s Day. I use food color paste and it takes about 1/4 tsp. to get a bright red cake.

    There are natural alternatives to food color as well such as beet juice/powder that supposedly work.

    Since I’m not huge on chocolate, I LOVE red velvet cake for it’s hint of chocolate and if I’m just making the cake for family I’ll leave the color out.

    I haven’t baked from a box in over a decade but I did pick up this box in the grocery store last week intrigued by the filling, when I couldn’t pronounce half the ingredients I put it back on the shelf. Thanks for your review.

  • tammy lobb
    July 24, 2013

    I did use a bundt pan and mine did the same thing.

    Epic Fail!

    Don’t buy this mix!

  • Melissa
    January 6, 2014

    I also used a bunt pan and epic fail here also. What a bummer….

  • Donald
    February 8, 2014

    Red Velvet Cake (also failed ) enclosed picture in a Bundt cake pan wth ? I’ve been baking for a lot of years learned from my parents and Grandma. If you put half the Red cake mix in then the filling and put the rest of the cake mix on top you will get the desired affect .

  • Dorothy
    March 10, 2014

    I baked this cake the other day. It is a FAIL just as others have said. I made mine in a Bundt pan and followed the directions exactly. They say 2 tablesppons each of the water and the oil for the filling. It turns out like a hard gummy mass and it doesn’t end up in the center. I won’t be buying this flavor again.

  • Susan W.
    May 29, 2014

    I made this using the version on the side of the box for the 9 x 13 cake. It was easy to make but I’m not happy with the results. The filling seemed to separate some from the cake batter and left large holes about halfway through the cake in many places. I swirled the dropped batter as the directions said but I think that since the two batters are not really the same consistency they didn’t bond well and the filling almost seemed to crystallize like candy in places. I frosted it in cream cheese frosting anyway but you still get a crunch in places from the filling.
    I’ll just make it from scratch next time but prefer chocolate!

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