19 Boxed Cake Mix Flavors You Can't Buy Anymore

The world of boxed cake mixes used to be far more adventurous than the standard vanilla, chocolate, and spice we typically see today. The bygone era offered a treasure trove of unique flavors that have since faded into sweet obscurity. These discontinued boxed cake mixes were more than just convenient baking aids — they were windows into the culinary trends and pop culture influences of their time. Imagine whipping up a sunshine-colored pineapple Dole cake, a nostalgic taste of tropical vacations, or perhaps a rich and decadent chocolate malt cake, reflecting the rising popularity of malted milkshakes. For the adventurous baker, there might have been a tangy sour cream chocolate cake or a mysterious burnt sugar cake!

Beyond flavor innovation, boxed cake mixes often boasted playful names and whimsical characters on their packaging. There was a real thrill in cruising down the bakery aisle and choosing between Betty Crocker's Snackin' Cakes and the delightful Duncan Hines pink lemonade angel food cake, a vibrant, Barbie-hued concoction that was as much a visual treat as it was a culinary one. 

The reasons these cake mixes disappeared from shelves vary. Some flavors have fallen out of favor, others might not have been able to compete with the cake recipes and baking shows that inspire home cooks today. However, discontinued mixes hold a special place in the hearts of many — a reminder of childhood baking memories and the joy of exploring new flavors in the kitchen. Take a look at these 20 long-gone favorites.

1. Betty Crocker Sunkist Orange Cake Mix

For many home bakers in 1969, sunshine came in a box: the Betty Crocker Sunkist Orange cake mix. This nostalgic treat offered a taste of citrusy delight, capturing the essence of summer in every fluffy slice.

Long before Sunkist soda came along in the late '70s, the Sunkist Orange cake mix went beyond simple orange-flavored frosting slapped on a vanilla cake. This mix boasted a vibrant orange hue within the crumb itself, hinting at the citrus punch waiting to be unleashed. The secret likely resided in the addition of dehydrated orange zest and citric acid to the box's mix, infusing the final product with a bright, tangy flavor. While the exact reasons for its disappearance remain unknown, the mix left its mark on baking history. It was a testament to the era's love affair with citrus flavors and a reminder of the creativity that once filled the boxed cake mix aisle.

2. Duncan Hines Dutch Topping Cake Mixes

For those who came of baking age as early as 1962, Duncan Hines Dutch topping cake mixes were more than just a dessert. They were an interactive baking experience! These three innovative mixes offered a playful twist on classic cake flavors, featuring a separate packet of crunchy streusel topping that transformed a simple cake into a textural and flavorful delight.

The Butterscotch Crunch, Apple N' Spice, and cinnamon raisin flavors each had their fans. Imagine taste-testing each one, swirling Butterscotch Crunch with the caramel-like sauce, the Apple N' Spice with a hearty apple compote, and the Cinnamon Raisin with a warmly spiced raisin filling — then sprinkling a crumbling streusel topping onto each cake fresh out of the oven for a final layer of crunch and flavor.

3. Betty Crocker Chocolate Malt Cake Mix

From 1956, Betty Crocker's chocolate malt cake mix offered a delightful balance between rich cocoa and creamy malt that captivated taste buds. Unlike today's focus on intense, dark chocolates, this mix provided a lighter, milkier chocolate experience. Imagine the aroma of freshly brewed malted milk wafting from the oven, a hint of sweetness and nuttiness that promised a singularly unique flavor adventure in every bite.

The beauty of this cake mix was its testament to a time when malt was a household staple. Malt itself is a cereal grain still used in many food items like Whoppers chocolate candies and many types of beer. It has a sweet, almost caramel taste that makes it a tasty addition to everything from chocolate milk to cakes — no wonder it gained popularity around the time milkshakes started to take off in the '50s! Betty Crocker's chocolate malt cake mix embraced this flavor during the same time. 

4. Betty Crocker Honey Spice Cake Mix

From the early 1953 to sometime in the early '60s, fall wasn't complete without the sure signs of Betty Crocker's honey spice cake mix at work: a cozy aroma of cinnamon and cloves wafting from the oven. Honey spice cake was also packed with nutmeg and ginger, infusing the cake with a festive aroma that filled the kitchen with anticipation. The addition of real honey gave it a touch of sweetness and a subtle floral note, perfectly balancing the warmth of the spices.

The versatility of this cake mix was another reason for its popularity. It could be enjoyed plain for a simple yet satisfying treat, it was perfect with a cup of tea, or it could be elevated to dessert status with a dollop of whipped cream or a drizzle of melted honey glaze. 

5. Duncan Hines' Applesauce Raisin Cake Mix

Duncan Hines's applesauce raisin cake mix had some serious longevity. It was on shelves from 1961 through the '80s. It was a budget-friendly yet delicious boxed cake that offered a blend of sweet and grounded flavors. Unlike richer, more decadent cake options, this mix had simple, nostalgic ingredients. Applesauce was a key component that came with the box mixture for natural sweetness and moisture, that was lighter and healthier than butter-based alternatives. 

Plump raisins, scattered throughout the batter, were studs of juicy sweetness and chewy texture, a delightful surprise in every mouthful. This comforting cake could easily be jazzed up with the addition of crushed walnuts for a healthier, more robust dessert. Sadly, even after two decades, this one disappeared from grocery store shelves for good.

6. Betty Crocker Dole Pineapple Cake Mix

From at least 1969 (possibly earlier) through the '70s, a taste of the tropics came in a box! Betty Crocker's Dole pineapple cake mix was an easy-to-make variation on a pineapple upside-down cake, transporting home kitchens to a world of sunshine and juicy pineapples. A Dole pineapple cake had a bright sunshine-yellow hue to reflect the tropical flavors within, including crushed pineapple and real maraschino cherries that also added a pop of color for a festive touch. 

Nestled on top of the finished cake, cherries transformed this cake into a centerpiece worthy of any luau-themed party or backyard gathering. As tasty as it was, the classic pineapple upside-down cake seems to have gone through a bit of a trend roller coaster throughout the years, and this box mix version fell out of culinary fashion. 

7. Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Angel Food Cake Mix

Gracing shelves from 1961 through the '90s, Pillsbury's pink lemonade angel food cake mix was a light, airy, and vibrantly pink creation that captured the essence of a refreshing summer beverage in every fluffy bite. A fun and tangy twist on the traditional angel food cake, this variation boasted a beautiful blush hue, hinting at its citrusy twist.

This delightful combination of lighter-than-air cake and lip-puckering acidity transformed a simple cake into a showstopper. It was perfect for pool parties, picnics, or a light and refreshing dessert on a hot summer day for over 30 years! 

8. Duncan Hines Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Mix

Duncan Hines' sour cream chocolate cake mix wasn't just another cocoa concoction — it was a decadent adventure in tangy richness. For chocoholics of the 1970s, this unique twist on a classic flavor offered a depth and complexity that set it apart from the ordinary.

Unlike standard chocolate cake mixes, this version used sour cream to transform a classic recipe in two delightful ways. First, the sour cream added a touch of tartness to the sweetness of the chocolate, creating a more nuanced flavor profile. Second, it contributed to a moist and tender crumb; sour cream helped ensure the dessert wasn't overly dry or cakey. This unexpected (yet utterly delicious) ingredient addition has since made its way into more and more recipes as a major moisture hack.

9. Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cake Mix

A cake loaded with chocolate chips? Say more. From 1982 through the 1990s, Betty Crocker's chocolate chip cake mix was homemade goodness in a box, bursting with melty chocolate chips in every fluffy bite. With its a no-frills approach, focusing on the pure joy of chocolate chips nestled within a moist vanilla cake, this chocolate chip cake mix was nothing short of a gooey, decadent treat, perfect with a scoop of mint ice cream on top. 

Why would something so delicious only last on supermarket shelves for a few years? Such a cake was likely less popular than tried-and-true chocolate cake recipes that would have appealed to a wider audience. Plus, the 1990s saw a major surge of Betty Crocker efforts in other directions, like the development of the company's cookbook line. 

10. Duncan Hines Burnt Sugar Cake Mix

Duncan Hines' burnt sugar cake mix offered a unique twist on a classic flavor, transporting taste buds to a world of rich caramel comfort in every slice from as early as 1955. However, it isn't clear when this one was discontinued. 

This Duncan Hines cake has a far more complex flavor and story than other cake options. The not-so secret addition of "burnt sugar," or caramel, to the cake batter infused the cake with a butterscotch-style sweetness. The flavor itself is notoriously attributed to New England, and that history even went into the branding of this cake. Though simple, this flavor held an elegance that made this dessert perfect for serving up at dinner parties. For home bakers in search of something simple and quick, this mix provided a convenient way to experience such flavors without the extra steps.

11. Pillsbury Bundt Cakes Mixes

From 1973 through the '80s, Pillsbury sold bundt cake mixes that were a convenient selection of mixes for simple but beautiful cakes that didn't require frosting or complicated decorating in order to look stylish. Unlike the equally easy sheet cakes or loaf cakes, Bundt cakes are a centerpiece all their own with fluted sides and intricately molded patterns. Pillsbury's bundt cake mixes capitalized on this appeal, offering a variety of flavors to suit any occasion: for example, there was chocolate macaron, lemon blueberry, Raspberry Ripple, Butterscotch Swirl, and Fudge Nut Crown. What made these really special, though, was a hidden layer inside the middle of each cake. 

These Pillsbury cakes also had beauty in their ease of use. With a few simple ingredients like eggs, oil, and water, anyone could create a show-stopping dessert. This convenience, coupled with the undeniable elegance of the bundt cake design, made these mixes a popular choice for busy families and novice bakers alike.

12. Betty Crocker Snackin' Cakes

For busy families, dessert wasn't always an elaborate affair. Betty Crocker's Snackin' Cakes were a delightful solution, first introduced in 1972 before eventually being discontinued sometime in the '80s. Bite-sized cakes perfect for portion control and satisfying afternoon cravings. These convenient mixes were fun, flavorful treats that brought joy to lunchboxes and after-school snack times.

Unlike traditional cake mixes designed for large sheet cakes, Snackin' Cakes were all about individual indulgence. The mix yielded a smaller batch, perfect for whipping up a quick treat without the worry of leftovers going to waste. Flavors ranged from chewy chocolate chip to sprinkle-topped funfetti, each offering plenty of joy in spite of their petite size. Coconut pecan, banana walnut, chocolate almond, chocolate chip, applesauce raisin, chocolate fudge, spiced raisins, and dates with nuts — any one of their eight flavors would have been a treat all on its own. There was still plenty of room to get creative with frostings, glazes, and sprinkles, transforming them into miniature masterpieces (or distracting kiddos with a quick activity). 

13. Betty Crocker Toffee Swirl Cake

From 1962, Betty Crocker's Toffee Swirl cake mix offered a taste of pure indulgence until it left stores sometime in the early '80s. This mix was a symphony of sweet vanilla cake swirled with rich toffee for a delightful surprise in every bite. The base was a humble and classic vanilla cake batter, providing a familiar and comforting foundation, but the toffee swirl used ingredients like brown sugar to create a rich and decadent ribbon that snaked throughout the cake. 

Every slice held the excitement of encountering hidden pockets of toffee, the swirls' buttery sweetness complementing the vanilla cake in perfect harmony. This textural and flavorful contrast made the Toffee Swirl cake a delightful departure from the ordinary that we wish was still around.

14. Betty Crocker Peanut Delight Cake

For peanut butter lovers of 1956, dessert wasn't just about sweetness; it was a celebration of a favorite spread! Betty Crocker's Peanut Delight cake offered a delightful homage to all things peanut butter, transforming a simple cake mix into a symphony of nutty flavor in every fluffy bite.

Using real peanut butter in its mixture, only eggs and water were needed to throw this batter together. While plenty of suggestions for how to elevate this easy dessert were advertised in home cooking magazines of the time, it's easy to imagine adoring this cake with a chocolate ganache frosting for a Reese's cup in cake form! 

15. Betty Crocker Black Walnut Cake

For some home bakers in the 1950s and '60s, boxed cake mixes weren't just convenient; they were an invitation to explore sophisticated flavors. Betty Crocker's black walnut cake gave them a taste of grown-up elegance in a moist cake studded with bits of crunchy black walnuts that came in the mix. 

With a somewhat more refined flavor profile, this cake was a rich and buttery affair, leaning towards more of a pound cake style for a denser crumb. The addition of dark, earthy walnuts, chopped and folded into the batter, added a nice textural contrast and a subtle bitterness that balanced the sweetness of the cake. The ability of this cake mix to elevate a simple dessert into something special was the real triumph, though.

16. Duncan Hines Butterscotch Crunch Cake Mix

Duncan Hines' Butterscotch Crunch cake mix offered a captivating twist on a typical vanilla cake. It ran from 1962 to the '70s. A delightful dance between rich butterscotch flavoring and a buttery crunch in every slice, the cake was sweet and slightly caramelized. However, it really came alive with its "crunch" element. Imagine a streusel topping, packed with brown sugar, butter, and chopped nuts, adding textural contrast and a burst of nutty richness to an otherwise one-note butterscotch cake. Heaven. 

Enjoyed warm from the oven, the butterscotch flavor shone through, accentuated by the streusel topping. Once cooled completely, though, the cake transformed into a delightful coffee cake, perfect for a light breakfast or afternoon snack.

17. Betty Crocker Chocolate Pudding Cake

For many home bakers in 1959, dessert wasn't just about elaborate creations. It was about clever shortcuts that delivered big on flavor. Betty Crocker's chocolate pudding cake offered the best of both worlds. It was a simple cake mix that blossomed into a two-textured treat with the addition of instant chocolate pudding!

Unlike many traditional cake mixes, this one wasn't a one-step affair. It indeed began with a basic chocolate cake batter, but the addition of a separate package of instant chocolate pudding mix, when poured over the batter before baking, created a swirl effect. A fluffy chocolate cake encasing a layer of smooth and creamy pudding?  A chocolate lover's dream. 

18. Pillsbury Fudge Macaroon Cake Mix

Who in the world would ever want to choose between chocolate or coconut? In 1966, it was about having the best of both worlds. Pillsbury's fudge macaroon cake mix married rich chocolate cake with chewy coconut macaroons for the sort of cake any Almond Joy aficionado would appreciate. 

The fudge macaroon cake had a two-in-one approach. The base was a classic chocolate cake batter with a white swirl for a marbled effect, and a separate packet that included a coconut flake mixture was sprinkled over the batter before baking. The beauty of Pillsbury's fudge macaroon cake mix was in its ability to create a seemingly complex dessert from a convenient mix. It was perfect for potlucks or bake sales, offering a unique look and taste that was sure to impress.

19. Pillsbury Fruit 'N Crunch Snack Dessert Mix

The Pillsbury Fruit 'N Crunch snack dessert mix of the 1970s was a layered confection with a sugar cookie base, a jammy fruit filling, and a crumbly streusel topping. The box held everything you needed for all three layers, separated out into easy steps. Even though the final result looked time-consuming and impressive, it would only cost the average home baker about half an hour to put together. Available in apple, cherry, and blueberry, this mix was definitely made with pie lovers in mind, because why should cake have all the fun?