Does Duncan Hines make gluten-free cake mixes?

Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people ditching gluten for health or lifestyle reasons. For those who love to bake, finding gluten-free baking mixes can be a challenge. One popular brand many turn to is Duncan Hines, known for their delicious and convenient cake mixes. But does Duncan Hines offer any gluten-free options for those looking to bake without wheat?

What is Gluten and Why Go Gluten-Free?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping baked goods keep their shape and have a chewy texture. For most people, consuming gluten is not a problem. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten can cause serious health issues.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It affects around 1% of the population. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a milder condition that still causes uncomfortable digestives symptoms when gluten is consumed. An estimated 6-13% of people may have NCGS.

The only treatment for celiac disease is strictly and completely avoiding gluten. For those with NCGS, removing gluten from the diet can alleviate symptoms. This why so many are seeking gluten-free alternatives to their favorite wheat-based foods like breads, pastas, cereals, and baked goods.

Gluten-Free Labeling Regulations

For a product to be labeled as “gluten-free” in the United States, it must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This threshold was determined to be safe for those with celiac disease by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Gluten-free labeling is regulated by the FDA Gluten-Free Food Labeling Final Rule, which was established in 2013.

Any products labeled as “gluten-free,” “free of gluten,” “without gluten,” or “no gluten” must meet this standard. Manufacturers are required to test their products to verify they contain less than 20 ppm of gluten before using gluten-free labeling. This ensures consumers can trust these claims.

It’s important to note that while a product may be labeled as wheat-free, this does not mean it is also gluten-free. Ingredients derived from other gluten-containing grains like barley or rye could still be present. Only products verified as gluten-free using approved testing methods can carry an official gluten-free label.

Review of Duncan Hines Cake Mix Offerings

Duncan Hines is one of the most iconic brands when it comes to cake mixes. They offer dozens of different cake mix flavors and varieties. However, until recent years, all their products contained gluten from wheat.

Their traditional cake mix lineup includes flavors like Classic Yellow, Classic White, Devil’s Food, Lemon Supreme, Strawberry Supreme, Caramel Turtle, Red Velvet, and more. They also offer seasonal flavor collections and recipe mixes for cupcakes and brownies. All their conventional cake and baking mixes contain wheat flour.

Recently, Duncan Hines has introduced a few gluten-free options to meet growing demand for these specialty products. Let’s take a look at their current gluten-free cake mix selections:

Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

Duncan Hines now offers a gluten-free yellow cake mix as part of their gluten-free product line. Like their conventional yellow cake mix, this option can be used to bake a basic yellow cake or customized into other flavors by adding ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, citrus zest, or fruit purees.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix

Chocolate cake is a go-to for many bake. For those seeking a gluten-free version, Duncan Hines’ gluten-free chocolate cake mix fits the bill. It can be baked into a classic chocolate layer cake or cupcakes.

Gluten-Free Strawberry Cake Mix

This Duncan Hines gluten-free cake mix contains freeze-dried strawberries, allowing you to bake up a sweet strawberry-flavored cake at home. It makes a nice spring or summer dessert.

Gluten-Free Spice Cake Mix

Spice cake is a moist, aromatic cake flavored with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Duncan Hines’ gluten-free spice cake mix allows you to enjoy this beloved flavor of cake even if you follow a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Mix

Carrot cake is a comforting classic. With the Duncan Hines gluten-free carrot cake mix, you can recreate this favorite treat in a gluten-free version. The mix contains carrot flakes and spices that give the cake its signature flavor.

Gluten-Free Pineapple Cake Mix

Pineapple cake has a tropical vibe perfect for luau party or summer BBQ. Duncan Hines’ gluten-free pineapple cake mix makes it easy to make this summery cake without the gluten.

Ingredient List for Duncan Hines Gluten-Free Cake Mixes

Now let’s take a closer look at the ingredients used in Duncan Hines’ gluten-free cake mixes:

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix Gluten-Free Strawberry Cake Mix Gluten-Free Spice Cake Mix Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Mix Gluten-Free Pineapple Cake Mix
Rice Flour Rice Flour Rice Flour Rice Flour Rice Flour Rice Flour
Potato Starch Potato Starch Potato Starch Potato Starch Potato Starch Potato Starch
Sugar Sugar Sugar Sugar Sugar Sugar
Sunflower Oil Sunflower Oil Sunflower Oil Sunflower Oil Sunflower Oil Sunflower Oil
Baking Powder Cocoa Powder Freeze-Dried Strawberries Baking Powder Carrot Flakes Freeze-Dried Pineapple
Xanthan Gum Baking Powder Baking Powder Xanthan Gum Baking Powder Baking Powder
Natural Flavors Xanthan Gum Xanthan Gum Spices Xanthan Gum Xanthan Gum
Salt Natural Flavors Natural Flavors Natural Flavors Natural Flavors Natural Flavors
Salt Salt Salt Salt Salt

As you can see, the main gluten-free flours used are rice flour and potato starch. Xanthan gum is included to help replicate the binding properties of gluten to give the cakes proper texture. The mixes also contain sugar, oil, leavening, and flavors suited to each variety. All ingredients are certified gluten-free.

Nutrition Facts for Duncan Hines Gluten-Free Cake Mixes

When following a gluten-free diet, nutrition is an important consideration as gluten-free baked goods tend to differ a bit in certain nutrients compared to wheat-based versions. Here is a nutrition facts comparison of Duncan Hines’ gluten-free cake mixes to a typical wheat-based cake mix:

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix Gluten-Free Strawberry Cake Mix Gluten-Free Spice Cake Mix Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Mix Gluten-Free Pineapple Cake Mix Standard Wheat-Based Cake Mix
Calories (per serving) 160 170 140 140 170 160 220
Fat 5g 5g 3.5g 3.5g 5g 5g 7g
Carbs 28g 30g 29g 29g 30g 29g 36g
Protein 1g 2g 1g 0g 1g 0g 3g
Fiber 0g 1g 0g 0g 1g 0g 1g
Sugars 16g 18g 16g 16g 17g 16g 23g

The gluten-free Duncan Hines cake mixes are fairly comparable to conventional cake mixes in macronutrients like fat, carbs, and protein. The main differences are the gluten-free versions have slightly fewer calories and grams of sugar. They also contain little to no fiber, which is less than standard wheat-flour based mixes. But overall, the nutritional profiles are quite similar.

Baking Results of Gluten-Free vs. Regular Duncan Hines Cake Mixes

In addition to ingredients and nutrition, another important factor to consider is how these gluten-free cake mixes bake up compared to the original wheat-based mixes. Here is an overview:

Texture: The gluten-free cakes tend to be more dense and compact in crumb structure vs. the lighter, airier texture of wheat cakes. However, recipes can often be adjusted to improve the crumb, such as separating eggs or adding an extra egg white.

Rise: Without the elasticity of gluten, the cakes don’t rise as high as wheat-based cakes. But they still dome and rise nicely with proper leavening and baking techniques.

Moistness: The gluten-free cakes tend to dry out faster than wheat cakes. Covering with frosting or glaze helps retain moisture.

Color: The visual appearance and golden brown exterior of gluten-free Duncan Hines cakes is similar to conventional mixes.

Flavor: The gluten-free mixes yield great flavor for yellow, chocolate, spice, carrot and pineapple cakes. No noticeable difference from wheat-based versions.

Holding Ability: For events or large gatherings, wheat cakes hold up better over time. Gluten-free cakes are best enjoyed within 1-2 days.

So while some textural differences exist, the gluten-free Duncan Hines cakes are quite enjoyable, especially when fresh. With a few baking tweaks, you can achieve good results using these convenient mixes.

Price and Availability of Duncan Hines Gluten-Free Cake Mixes

Gluten-free specialty products often come with a higher price tag. Let’s see how the cost of these Duncan Hines gluten-free cake mixes compares:

Duncan Hines Gluten-Free Cake Mixes: $3.99 to $4.49 per 15.25 oz box

Duncan Hines Regular Cake Mixes: $1.89 to $3.29 per 18.25 oz box

The gluten-free cake mixes are a dollar or two pricier than the traditional wheat-based mixes. The gluten-free versions also contain slightly less product by weight. This premium is typical of specialty gluten-free baking mixes.

In terms of availability, the gluten-free Duncan Hines cake mixes may be harder to locate depending on your grocery store. They are primarily sold at major chains like Walmart, Target, and select grocery stores. Smaller grocers may not carry them. Purchasing online is always an option too.

FAQs About Duncan Hines Gluten-Free Cake Mixes

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Duncan Hines gluten-free cake mixes:

Are all Duncan Hines cake mixes gluten-free?

No, only the specific boxes labeled “gluten-free” are guaranteed to be under 20ppm gluten. All other standard Duncan Hines mixes contain wheat and are not gluten-free.

Can I use oil instead of eggs in the gluten-free mixes?

The packages state egg substitutes like oil cannot be used with these gluten-free mixes. Eggs provide important structure. For vegan baking, follow a recipe formulate for egg replacers.

Are Duncan Hines gluten-free cake mixes nut-free and dairy-free?

Yes, the gluten-free cake mixes themselves are nut-free and dairy-free. No milk or wheat ingredients are contained in the mix.

Where are the gluten-free mixes manufactured?

They are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility in Chelsea, Massachusetts to avoid cross-contact with gluten.

Can I make cupcakes with the gluten-free cake mixes?

Absolutely! Just pour the batter into lined cupcake tins instead of cake pans before baking. The results will be delicious.

What is the shelf-life of these gluten-free mixes?

Unopened, the mixes last about 6-9 months from the production date. Opened, they last about 6 months when stored in a cool, dry place.


Duncan Hines has started offering a variety of gluten-free cake mixes to meet the needs of bakers following gluten-free diets. The mixes allow you to make tasty yellow, chocolate, spice, carrot, strawberry, and pineapple cakes without gluten.

While the texture and rise may differ a bit from wheat-based cakes, the gluten-free Duncan Hines cakes are quite flavorful and enjoyable, especially when fresh. With a few minor baking adjustments, you can achieve really delicious results.

Though gluten-free specialty products come with a higher price tag, many find it worthwhile for the convenience these high-quality mixes provide. Duncan Hines gluten-free cake mixes can be a handy baking staple for those managing gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Now gluten-free eaters can enjoy classic Duncan Hines cakes too!

1 thought on “Does Duncan Hines make gluten-free cake mixes?”

  1. I’m looking for an angel food gluten food cake mix that doesn’t require egg whites. Is there one on the market?


Leave a Comment