Having had prior experience with the delicious taste of Krusteaz Fat Free Muffin Mixes (check out our reviews of the Wild Blueberry and Cranberry Orange), I decided to turn my attention to the Krusteaz Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix.
I followed the directions - hard to mess up adding 1 egg and 1 cup of water and heat for 35 minutes - and out popped a perfectly baked cake. Five minutes later, my family was migrating to the kitchen to see what creation I had made (and if they could have some). Even before I opened the oven door, a heavenly gingerbread aroma was wafting through our entire house. Honestly, I would purchase this product simply for the wonderful aroma that fills the house (up AND downstairs). The texture is very cake-like, not too dense and not too airy. Furthermore, each bite is moist and not overly sweet. Each delicious bite tastes like ... gingerbread! The sugar, molasses and various spices combine to form a phenomenal gingerbread flavor.
Personally, I would rather have a warm square of this scrumptious gingerbread cake than a wimpy 100 calorie pack with a few cookies (and I'm talking about the Entenmann's Little Bites 100 Calorie Pack Chocolate Chip Squares which I previously reviewed).
Krusteaz declares that their 14.5 ounce box of cake mix yields 8 servings, however, I cut my final product into 16 squares, which created average sized pieces of cake in my opinion. Nevertheless, 1/3 cup of the mix (1/8th of the cake), provides 200 calories, 3 grams of fat (5% of the RDA), no saturated fat, 360 mg of sodium (15% of the RDA), 1 gram of fiber (4% of the RDA), 24 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein.
The two things that can not necessarily be altered, since they are part of the pre-made mix, are the high sugar and sodium content, but cutting them smaller like I did, and even adding more water can help to cut down a little bit. Another thing that Krusteaz does well is the ingredients - there is sipy enriched bleach wheat flour (okay, they could improve here), sugar, molasses powder, canola or soybean oil, dextrose, leavening, spices, salt and cocoa. As you can see partially hydrogenated oils do not make an appearance.
I paid $1.99 for Krusteaz Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix on sale (originally $2.29) and this will make future appearances in my grocery cart. If you are single, I suggest you wait until you have a dinner party or there are other people around before you bake these - it's hard to practice self control with the wonderful gingerbread aroma to tempt you.