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Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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cake mix is an icon of American home cooking, a product so deeply rooted in the nation’s culinary culture that when U.S. homemakers say they baked a cake from scratch, most often they mean they used a mix. See cake.

The first cake mix on the market was Duff’s Ginger Bread Mix, which appeared in 1929 and contained dried, powdered molasses as well as flour, sugar, leavenings, and spices. It was developed by P. Duff and Sons, Inc., a molasses company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that hoped to boost the sales of molasses. See gingerbread and molasses. The initial response to Duff’s was so positive that the company quickly introduced white, spice, and devil’s food cake mixes. During the 1930s other small companies began producing cake mixes, until wartime shortages of sugar and fat halted production.