Nearly two years ago my friends at General Mills challenged me to do something fun and a little out of the box (sorry, couldn’t resist that one) with their cereals. I came up with a cake layered with all the flavors of Trix and decorated the outside with a mosaic of the colorful cereal. (You can see the original cake here) Since I created that cake, the General Mills cereal team has been busy changing the recipes of their cereals. They left everything we love about Trix and Cocoa Puffs and all the other cereals they make, but we as a nation are paying greater and greater attention to what we eat and especially what we feed our children. We’re trying to eat a bit less sugar and don’t want to feed our kids artificial flavors and synthetic dyes. Consumers have been telling General Mills that and they listened. Now they are working to take colors from artificial sources, artificial flavors and even some sugar out of their cereals. Proof that when people speak, even giant companies take heed.
Last week I was invited to the General Mills campus in Minneapolis to meet the cereal recipe developers who made this switch happen, learn how they did it (fruits and veggie concentrates and spice extracts are the answer), and taste the results. I also got a chance to bake with some of my favorite food bloggers. And I remade my mosaic cake with the new Trix cereal recipe free from artificial flavors and colors. Still beautiful and the cake tasted even better.
We got to hear about the process the General Mills cereal team goes through to change a recipe. It was fascinating. To create the purple Trix they now use a combination of blueberry and purple carrot concentrate. Well, that makes a lot of sense and is a better choice than artificial colors. The most surprising ingredient was radish concentrate, used to make the pink Trix. Don’t worry, it is only for the color and doesn’t taste anything like radish. I guessed that beets played a part in the pink color, and they initially thought beets would be perfect as well. But, when they tested it the dough colored with beets actually went from vibrant red to a brown color when they were baked. Fascinating. I think I want to be a food scientist in a next life.
The yellow and orange Trix are mostly derived from extracts of Turmeric and Annatto seeds, which don’t impart any flavor, but have vibrant colors.
These all-natural colors will now make their way into my own kitchen; they are vivid and beautiful.
After the demonstration, we got our run of the Betty Crocker kitchen to create desserts or any dish with the new cereal recipes.
Grinding up the cereals gives my cake the color and flavor I was looking for.
You can see from my layers that the colors are not as bright as the original cake, but I like the more subtle, natural look.
Trix Cake: See recipe and instructions here
While the opinions, thoughts and Trix cake recipes are my own, I partnered with General Mills cereals to create this sponsored post.