Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Have you ever made a cake using Duncan Hines cake mix? I have. My favorite dessert, (other than blackberry cobbler), is cake. I bake at least once a week or more. Many of my cakes are made from scratch but I use cake mix a lot, too. Sometimes, I use a mix as a base for some cake and add other ingredients to make it better.

My father loved sweets and I guess I inherited his love for pastries, cakes, and cookies.

Now, I will give you one guess as to where Duncan Hines, the man behind the cake mix was born. If you are a reader of my blog, you probably have figured out the answer is Kentucky!!!

Duncan Hines was the youngest of six children born on March 26, 1880 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Hines' mother died when he was four and after her death, he spent summers on his grandparent's farm. This is where he learned about good cooking from his grandmother.

When Hines was younger, he worked for 33 years as a traveling salesman eating in restaurants all over the country. He compiled a list of good restaurants that he sent to all his friends instead of Christmas cards. People began requesting this list. Finally, when he was 52 years old, he published a book called, "Adventures in Good Eating", which led to the book, "Adventures in Good Cooking".

In 1947, Roy Park, an entrpreneur, put Hines' name on kitchen products and their company, Hines-Park, made them millionaires. In 1953, Duncan Hines sold the right to his name to Nebraska Consolidated Mills which developed Duncan Hines cake mix. They later sold out to Proctor and Gamble.

A portion of Highway 31W in Bowling Green, Kentucky is named for him and called Duncan Hines Highway.

Duncan Hines was married three times, had no children, and was a chain smoker. His motto was: "Have what you want, but want what you have".

He died on March 15, 1959 at the age of 78. Duncan Hines is buried in Fairview Cemetary in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Today, Duncan Hines is the second largest baking mix company in the nation.

Here is a recipe for an easy Duncan Hines dessert:


1 box pineapple cake mix

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple


1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding, using only 1 c. milk

1 sm. container Cool Whip

Walnuts or coconut

Bake cake as directed. Prick cake with fork while still hot and spread can of pineapple on top. Do not drain pineapple. When cake is cool add topping.

Topping: 1 package instant vanilla pudding, using only 1 cup of milk. Fold into pudding 1 small container Cool Whip. Sprinkle top with coconut or broken walnuts. Keep cake refrigerated. Enjoy!


luv2gosup said...


I have a Duncan Hines lemon cake in the oven as I am reading this. I always take cake and cookies to the military museum for the volunteers. I had never even thought of Hines' background. It will make my cake more interesting as I will relay your findings to the volunteers.
Thanks for enlightening me!!!

Linda Hillin said...

Interesting post today. I'm enjoying reading about Kentucky. I've used a lot of Duncan Hines cake mixes in my time. Fun to read.

Nancy said...

I knew Duncan Hines was from Kentucky, but the rest of the information was news to me. Thanks! The cake sounds delicious. One of these days I will try it...

Sylvia K said...

You've made my mouth water! I always use Duncan Hines when I bake although I don't do it as often as I use to. It was interesting learning about him.


Amber Star said...

Had to come back after scrolling down and seeing your Amish country visit. I've never been, but I have a link on my blog called "Mennonite Girls Can Cook", and I got to tell you, they can. Just thought you might like to give them a look.

Working on sprucing up the house can be so much fun....and a heck of a lot of work. Love the bench you reclaimed from the trash. I'm looking for a concrete one that will last forever. My birthday is coming up.

I'm not sure I had signed in when I posted just above this. Spent the afternoon with my goofy little 6 year old grandson and am still a little goofy myself.

Amber Star said...

Man, I am goofy tonight...I didn't get the first post to enter at all.

Like your blog and didn't know all that about Duncan Hinz. I think I remember that cake recipe from when I was a kid. Can that be possible? As I recall it was fab, and really I love pineapple any ole way.

Someday you must read my rant about the word verification on my blog. Totally freaked me out when I clicked on that handicap symbol and the computer started talking to me. *L* I couldn't figure out if you were that blind how you could read blogs.

Hope I pass this one and get this thing to post!

patsy said...

All cakes were made from scratch when I was a girl but now I use cake mixes only.
A lot of things we take for granted were not avaible when I was young.
to name a few fresh vegatables, fresh meat, milk,and other things I have for got.
I remember flour only sold in 50 pound sacks. Yes cloth bags not paper.

Leigh said...

So cool! I didn't know he was from Kentucky. Of course my favorite cake of yours is your Jam cake. Wow, I really wish I was eating one right now! I love you!


Sister--Three said...

Patsy's Sister Three here...loved learning about Duncan Hines. Did not know all of that. I don't make too many cakes now days as I eat too much...but I do love them.

Ginny said...

Thankyou for your kind comment on my "Life On The Home Front" blog. I must tell you that I find ALL of your blogs just fascinating. I will be making your Pineapple Cake tomorrow for our weekend visitors. Sounds delicious.

Kelly said...

My mouth is watering!! What an interesting post! I had never really given any thought to where the name Duncan Hines came from. I never dreamed it was a person's name. Just knew they were my favorite! How interesting and what a lovely written post!!

Ernestine said...

This looks good. I usually bake every week and there is just me and kids dropping in. I will wait and make this when I am sure they are coming home.
Do not need to have something like this on hand for just me. I would surely gain that 5 lbs I need to.
I usually make the upside down cake.
Melting the butter and brown sugar in an iron skillet, adding pineapple slices, a few pecans and cherries and then topping with small cake mix. Baking and reverting. It looks so pretty and is easy to make on a spur of a moment. TN said...

I didn't know where Duncan Hines was from. Very interesting. I copied the cake recipe. I have eaten it before, but never made it.

Island Rambles Blog said...

very interesting post Judy, I have used the mixes and had no idea of the history...cheers.

Kelly said...


Thanks for looking and commenting on my SkyWatch picture!


Margie's Musings said...

Great post, Judy. I have a recipe I make from Duncan Hines yellow cake mix. It's called cherry pie cake. You dump a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple in the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan and then add a can of cherry pie mix and spread it all out evenly. Then add the cake mix and a half cup of oleo and top with pecans. Bake 350 for 48 - 53 minutes. Serve warm or cool. I usually serve it with a dip of vanilla ice cream.

Anne and Leigh said...

I had no idea he was from KY! You know so much! I love everything you cook!

love you!


Grammy said...

Dear Judy,
Thanks for the history lesson about Duncan Hines..very interesting. His cake mixes are the only kind I ever buy. I love the german chocolate cake mix, and also the double fudge brownies with walnuts. (I am a choco-holic, of course)

Beth said...

What an interesting post, Judy! I never even knew that Duncan Hines was a real person--just thought that was a made-up name like Betty Crocker. :-) Thanks for the great information.
Your recipe looks delicious. I make an applesauce cake using Duncan Hines spice cake mix. I found the recipe on the box. It's really good.

Kate said...

Hi Judy, Gosh you are a mine of information, it was lovely to hear all your chat, and your cookery info makes my mouth water too.

I am banned from our kitchen - mind you if you could see the size of our kitchen you would know one of the reasons why - tiny is not the word-more like infinitesamol.
My husband is the chef and cook in our house - I can't boil an egg! and he is worried I poison him, (lol) - no not really, but he is pernicketty, only likes 'plain food' no sauces, no herbs or anything. which to me is tasteless but since I can't cook I have to put up with it.... Cheers Kate x.

Ladyfromthewoods said...

Too strange...we've been on vacation and took a day trip to Bowling Green yesterday've guessed it, we traveled along Duncan Hines Highway! I had no idea he was from KY. Thanks for the info.!

Balisha said...

My favorite cake mix. Very interesting to read about the man. I have made that recipe. A good one even if it isn't chocolate. I just made and decorated a huge brownie (two boxes of mix) for grandson's birthday party tomorrow.

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Thank you Judy for an excellent visit to your site, and to Kentucky. Will return again.
Hope you will return to welcome to my world of poetry again,


Grammy said...

Really neat brain teasers.

Jamie Dawn said...

Blackberry cobbler is my dad's favorite dessert, and he passed that love for it down to me. YUMMY!
I copied & pasted that yummy dessert recipe.
I will definitely try it!!

VisitBGKY said...

There is also a Duncan Hines Museum Exhibit in Bowling Green at the Kentucky Museum. If you enjoyed reading this, you will certainly love it!