Although I’ve been making soy/dairy free muffins that I really like for several months, I was excited to see Duncan Hines came out with a new product call Simple Mornings Blueberry Muffin mix. It advertised more whole grain and nothing artificial. Here are the ingredients:
It is dairy free but more importantly there are no soy products in it, which is really hard to find. I also liked the idea of something quick, on hand in the pantry and only needed ingredients that I always have. The directions called for adding water, oil and egg which meant I didn’t even need to find a milk substitute. Yay!
The box comes with a bag of dry muffin mix and can of blueberries to drain and rinse. The directions call for adding eggs, water and oil to the dry ingredients before folding in the rinsed blueberries.
I made 12 muffins with the batter. My timer died during baking so I lost the exact time but it was right in line with what was on the box. I just watched until they were slightly golden and took them out to cool. So the verdict?
Well….To review these muffins I realized I need to make two reviews, one in comparison to the standard box of blueberry muffin mix and one compared to the homemade blueberry muffins I have been making for months.
1. Comparison to regular box muffin mixes (like Betty Crocker Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix): The batter and muffin have a slightly more wheat flavor but it is not off-putting in any way. The baked muffins are not quite as light and fluffy but still have a great muffin texture, not too heavy. They were really very close to the standard muffin in texture. In some muffins the blueberries did tend to sink down to the bottom a bit. Not sure if it was the ones I scooped first and the blueberries sank or just a coincidence. The flavor is similar to regular box muffins. There is a blueberry flavor added to the mix so if you tasted just the batter without a blueberry in it you would still know it is blueberry muffin mix. However, I think in the Simple Mornings mix the blueberry flavoring tastes more artificial than in a regular box mix. If you are used to eating box muffins you might not mind it at all but this flavoring was the deal breaker for us which leads me the second review.
2. Comparison to muffins made from scratch: Well the Simple Mornings mix went together faster, made less mess in my kitchen than scratch muffins and having canned blueberries I didn’t have to can/clean myself was convenient. That is about where the positives ended. The biggest problem with the Duncan Hines Simple Mornings mix is the blueberry flavor they add to it. The box says “nothing artificial” but the blueberry flavoring tastes so artificial we couldn’t get past it and no one wanted seconds. I was so disappointed. I was the only one who would eat them the next day and that was mostly because they were a safe food for me and I didn’t want them to go to waste. We also wished for more blueberries or bigger blueberries. Since I can freeze normal size blueberries to cook with all year long, the convenience of the canned blueberries was lost on me.
My husband and I sat and pondered out loud whether a year ago, when I primarily made boxed muffin mixes, we would have noticed the blueberry flavor being such a turnoff or if now we were just “spoiled” by things cooked from scratch. Well for good or bad the damage is done and the Duncan Hines mix will be a pass for us.