The best holiday boxed baked goods

Lilly Griffiths, Features Editor

The holiday season seems to be approaching us fast this year, which means there may be a feeling of uncertainty when it comes to what holiday treats that can be made in a timely manner and still taste good. There are many boxed mixes for cakes, cookies, and brownies that can be used for this time of year, but are they any good? 

Lucky for you, I tested three box mixes based on price, taste, and how easy they are to make to see if they are good enough to bring to events during the holidays.

Box mix 1: Gingerbread quick bread and muffin mix

This mix retails for $2.24 at Walmart and was really easy to make. Bread and muffins seem to be hard to make in all the cooking shows, but this mix was pretty straightforward and not-at-all intimidating. Overall, it took me around 45 minutes to make, including the baking time, and they came out pretty well. The only con about this box mix is that it calls for both vegetable oil and water, so if you leave the batter in the cupcake tin for too long before you put it in the oven, the oil and water will separate and leave the bottom of the muffins a little bit burnt. I give this mix a 4 out of 5, just because of the burnt vegetable oil at the bottom.

Box mix 2: ugly sweater cookie kit

This mix sells for $4.97 and makes eight cookies. The process of making the dough and cutting the shapes out was fun to do, even though the flour had the potential to create a mess on the counter. On the box, it said it could make eight cookies, which could be true, but I only had enough for six sweater cookies and two small, normal cookies. Other than the lack of two sweater cookies, the taste was great and they would be fun to decorate with your family. I give these a 4.5 out of 5 because of how fun it was to decorate and cut out the cookies.

Box mix 3: Krusteaz gluten-free double chocolate brownie mix

Although this mix doesn’t retail for just the holiday season or as a holiday treat, it can be made into one. As someone who is gluten-free, it’s not always easy to find box mixes that are tailored to my dietary restrictions, so this is when I had to take matters into my own hands. These brownies look and taste just like a normal brownie, and were easy to morph into something festive. All I had to do was cut the brownies with holiday cookie cutters and decorate them with some frosting. Retailing at $3.84 and making a thick 8×8 inch pan of brownies, this was my personal favorite dessert. Easy to make and fun to decorate, I give it 5 out of 5 stars.