Recently Nick wanted to know if any Duncan Hines cakes mixes or frostings were vegan. I was doubtful but it turns out that many varieties are:
Moist Deluxe Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix – vegan
Moist Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake Mix – vegan
Moist Deluxe Fudge Marble Cake Mix -vegan
Moist Deluxe German Chocolate Cake Mix -vegan
Moist Deluxe Red Velvet Cake Mix – vegan
Moist Deluxe Swiss Chocolate Cake Mix – vegan
Moist Deluxe Coconut Supreme Cake Mix – vegan
Moist Deluxe Lemon Supreme Cake Mix – vegan
Moist Deluxe Pineapple Supreme Cake Mix – vegan
Moist Deluxe Strawberry Supreme Cake Mix – vegan
Creamy Home-Style Caramel Frosting-vegan
Creamy Home-Style Classic Chocolate Frosting-vegan
Creamy Home-Style Classic Vanilla Frosting-vegan
Creamy Home-Style Coconut Pecan Frosting-vegan
Creamy Home-Style Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting-vegan
Creamy Home-Style Lemon Supreme Frosting-vegan
Creamy Home-Style Strawberry Cream Frosting-vegan
Whipped Chocolate Frosting-vegan
Whipped Fluffy White Frosting -vegan
Whipped Vanilla Frosting -vegan
Duncan Hines website lists products and ingredients. I was surprised that many of the cake mixes and some of the frostings seemed vegan when I first looked them over.
I did however spot two other ingredients that could possibly be animal derived: Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids AND Mono & diglycerides. Both ingredients are noted on the internet many time over as food additives that could be animal derived OR vegetable derived. In most cases, I have always suspected that these ingredients are more cheaply made in the lab using vegetable oils, but I fired off an email to Pinnacal Foods asking if they are suitable for vegans just to check (and to see if they would respond).
They wrote me back in a few hours:
Reference #: 9275483
Dear Valued Consumer,
Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding Duncan Hines Cake Mix. We genuinely appreciate your time and loyalty to our brand. Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids: These are mixed partial esters formed by reacting polymerized glycerols with fatty acids from a vegetable source (oil). Mono & diglycerides in frostings & cake mixes: These are part of our vegetable oil shortening and are not from animal source. It is Kosher pareve.
At Pinnacle Foods Group Incorporated, we are proud of the wide array of products that we have to offer our consumers. Pinnacle Foods brands are rich in history and heritage (over 1,000 years combined!), each one with a different and interesting story. You will find many of your all time favorite food brands which span across a variety of categories. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, Pinnacle Foods has your entire day covered! To learn more about our brands and promotional activity, we invite you to visit us online at www.pinnaclefoodscorp.com.
If there is anything additional we can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact us again in the future.
Consumer Relations Representative
Now I know this leaves the question about sugar. Whether or not the sugar used in commercially produced foods is processed with bone char comes up in the comments fairly frequently here. Claire Gosse of vegancooking.com did an excellent short video detailing her research of several sugar refineries in the US and Canada last year.
Like with everything in life, we make choices about what is important to us. You may choose not to consume sugar that is produced using bone char, and that’s okay. There are alternatives on the market, especially for individual use. These are the sugars you, the consumer, should be supporting and using. Going forward, we will call out products that contain ANY sugar, but we won’t necessarily call them “not vegan” just because they contain sugar.
Now, the next issue we need to address is the process of making a cake from scratch…but I’ll leave that for another day.