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Some canned frosting worthy of your cake
By Kathy Saunders, Times Correspondent
Published August 22, 2007
Canned frosting rankings: 1. Duncan Hines 2. Pillsbury 3. Great Value
It's one thing to prepare dessert from a boxed cake mix. But frosting from a can? How good could they be?
Taster's Choice found four brands, including a store brand, Great Value from Wal-Mart $1.08. All came in 16-ounce plastic containers.
We tried the milk chocolate or "classic" flavors of each brand. Most offered fudge, vanilla and cream cheese varieties. We found all four smooth and fresh.
Duncan Hines ($2.59 at Albertsons) was the favorite. Judges gave the chocolate treat 78 out of 100 possible points.
Judges used words like "buttery," "rich" and "pretty" to describe the frosting. Three of the four said they would buy the frosting and would suffer no guilt spreading it on one of their freshly baked cakes.
One panelist said the frosting looked "like the lower end of a Christmas tree - minus the branches." But with a little stir, the appearance and texture turned silky.
Pillsbury ($1.59 at Publix) received 77 points and also received nods from three of the four judges.
The Pillsbury frosting was paler than the competition, with a nice gloss.
"This is great, sweet, yummy, like the best candy bar," said one.
The Great Value brand scored 63 points in our survey. Two of the judges said they would buy it. The Wal-Mart brand was the darkest of the frostings, and panelists said it would make the most dramatic-looking cake.
One described it as "dark and smoldering."
Betty Crocker's canned frosting ($1.77 at Publix) received 57 points. Again, two judges said they would buy the brand.
A panelist who raved about the smooth texture and buttery flavor said the Betty Crocker frosting looked "like a nice, polished pair of Buster Brown shoes."
Panelists were Nan Jensen, registered dietitian with Pinellas County Cooperative Extension; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620St. Petersburg Times food critic Laura Reiley; and Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Indulgence Medical Day Spa. All foods were tasted blind.
Send suggestions for product tasting to Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to www.sptimes.com/food.