Do you make cakes using Duncan Hines cake mix?  I do.  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 a 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. Duncan Hines is from 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. During this time, he compiled a list of good restaurants that he sent out to all his friends instead of Christmas cards each year.  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 entrepreneur, 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!

Just thought you might be interested in a little history.  The next time you pick up or see a box of Duncan Hines Cake Mix in the grocery,  you will know how it originated.  You will also know something about the man whose name is on the box!  Maybe, you will smile to yourself and think about a certain Southern Lady in Kentucky that gave you this little bit of information about a man and a cake mix!


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  1. I love reading about the history of food. That’s pretty much what my blog is all about! Great Info! I’ll be posting the history of Jello very soon.

  2. Judy, I enjoyed this article. I didn’t know any of this information. Thanks for sharing!

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