Stir ‘n Frost

In the Seventies, before there was a microwave oven in every home and fast food was an occasional treat, baking a cake was a time-consuming process. If you wanted cake you either had to bake one yourself or run out to the bakery to get one. Even cake mixes in a box such as Duncan Hines took about an hour to make. Enter Betty Crocker and Stir ‘n Frost. Stir ‘n Frost was great for when you wanted something sweet but didn’t have time to bake an entire cake. As the name implies, the directions consisted of two steps: a) stir, and b) frost. Stir ‘n Frost was the cake you baked in a box because the cake pan was literally made out of cardboard. You poured the packet of powdered batter into the cardboard cake pan, added water, and stirred. How easy is that? But the best part of Stir ‘n Frost was the second step – “Frost”! The frosting came in another packet that you had to knead for a minute before cutting it open and squeezing it onto the cake after it was baked. There was something so satisfying about kneading that little packet of frosting. Although the yellow cake with chocolate frosting was good, I really liked the gingerbread cake with the vanilla frosting. To me it was different from the usual selection of cake mix flavors.

Today the need for instant gratification has taken baking cakes to a new level. Betty Crocker has one-upped themselves and created Warm Delights, a cake you can make in the microwave in three minutes, and which you can eat while it’s still warm. But Stir ‘n Frost was its predecessor in the instant cake department. And nothing today beats the fun factor of kneading that little packet of frosting.