Real Simple staffers tested fifteen different gourmet mixes (made with real, simple ingredients) to find these stars.
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Archer Farms Chai Latte Cupcake Mix
Dinner party? Bake sale? We’ve found your new secret weapon. Four steps is all it takes to make 12 trendily flavored, perfectly domed cakes—every time.
To buy: $3.50 for one 18-ounce box, target.com.
Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Flapjack and Waffle Mix
A batch of six of these fluffy pancakes contains 14 grams of protein, thanks to whole grain oat flour and a special blend of egg whites, milk protein, and wheat protein. For a warm, energizing breakfast ready in fewer than 10 minutes, just add a cup of water.
Read more: 6 New Uses for Cupcake Liners
Cissé Trading Co. Milk Chocolate Chip Brownie Mix
Simple, high-quality ingredients like organic Fair Trade cocoa powder and organic Fair Trade cane sugar give this mix a leg up over competitors. In the depths of winter (or mid-July), this fudgy treat is a quick way to satisfy all of your cravings. Not a brownie fan? Their Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix delivers an equally potent dose of deep dark chocolate in every chewy bite.
To buy: $9 for one 16.2-ounce box, abesmarket.com and Whole Foods stores.
Scratch and Grain Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Kit
From two Portland-based moms who wanted to make baking healthier and easier, these certified Kosher and organic cookies are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Plus, 5% of the profits are donated to charity.
To buy: $31.96 for four 14.7-ounce boxes or $8 for one 14.7-ounce box, scratchandgrain.com.
Read more: The Best Brownie Mixes
Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Pretzel Creations Baking Mix
Though a little more labor-intensive than our other picks, this kit’s easy to follow steps will dependably turnout nine beautiful giant soft pretzels or six pretzel rolls.
To buy: $3.24 for one 16.5-ounce box, grocery stores and amazon.com.
The Invisible Chef Praline Pecan Scone Mix
Candied pecans, brown sugar, and sea salt combine to great effect in these airy, addictive pastries. Stock up for weekend breakfasts and impromptu tea parties with the little ones.
To buy: $7.50 for one 9.50-ounce box, theinvisiblechef.com.
Read more: 5 Great Dips for Pretzels