Essential Goodness mixes: quick and easy ways to go creative

Are you a baker who’s (check one: occasionally, sometimes, ALWAYS) in a time crunch? Then our new Essential Goodness mixes are for you.

You might say, “I only bake from recipes — not mixes.” Well, for once I’m asking you to think inside the box — the mix box. There are times in all of our lives when speed is of the essence, we’ve run out of a key ingredient, or we’re simply feeling a bit lazy. Or maybe we have a creative recipe twist in mind, but aren’t quite sure where to start. (Hello, sour cream coffeecake birthday cake!)

Prediction: Essential Goodness mixes will quickly become your new BFF in the kitchen. Click To Tweet

I’ve written about these mixes before, but this time I want you to read what others are saying. We asked bloggers from around the country to take our Essential Goodness mixes for a spin, and here’s what they think — including imaginative ways to dress them up.

Essential Goodness mixes via @kingarthurflour

Dessert hack: cheesecake bars, designlovefest

Bri and Joanie at designlovefest say, “King Arthur Flour recently came out with a line of packaged mixes called Essential Goodness that offers the convenience of a boxed mix but without any artificial colors, hydrogenated oils, preservatives and as a bonus – they are non-GMO (which is verrry hard to find with packaged food!). We tested out the vanilla bean cheesecake bars which were delicious and served them with fresh berries, mint and a drizzle of white chocolate to make them worthy of your next dinner party.”

Essential Goodness mixes via @kingarthurflour

The easiest way to make sour cream coffeecake, La Jolla Mom

Katie at La Jolla Mom says, “Before the season of overnight guests, school potlucks and entertaining jumps into full swing, let me share with you an easy baking solution. In fact, it’s so easy that my daughter made a sour cream bundt coffeecake before she left for school this morning. A baking mix from King Arthur Flour’s Essential Goodness line enabled her to whip it all together so quickly. In fact, we had time to kill while waiting for our oven to finish preheating.”

Essential Goodness mixes via @kingarthurflour

Old fashioned lemon bars, Mommy Hates Cooking

Kristy at Mommy Hates Cooking says, “Now, the thing I love about their mixes is all you need are a few extra ingredients like water, eggs, and butter – ingredients that you would likely have on hand.  That means that everything else is in the bag and ready to go for you! If you are ready for a delicious buttery crust with a sweet lemon filling, then you must try these old fashioned lemon bars.”

Essential Goodness mixes via @kingarthurflour

When packaged food saves the day: chocolate chip cookies, Real Mom Nutrition

Sally at Real Mom Nutrition says, “My favorite from the lineup was the little black dress of baking: the chocolate chip cookie. You can’t go wrong with chocolate chip cookies, whether you’re rushing a dozen to a school potluck or serving them warm with a scoop of ice cream to guests after dinner. And these don’t disappoint.”

Essential Goodness mixes via @kingarthurflour

Easy strawberry vanilla bean cheesecake bars, Lovely Indeed

Chelsea at Lovely Indeed says, “I tell ya, I’ve never made anything remotely cheesecake-y before because I was scared it wouldn’t turn out, but these. are. bomb. We made a batch on a day when we had a whole mess of people working on our house for the remodel and the bars were gone in about 5 seconds flat when we started offering them around. Seal of approval right there.”

Essential Goodness mixes via @kingarthurflour

Easy cinnamon roll pancake recipe, Mom Spark

Amy at Mom Spark says, “King Arthur Flour’s Essential Goodness mixes have natural ingredients (like lemon, butter, real vanilla, etc) and make it easier for me to get into the kitchen with my favorite sous chef and whip up something fun. The mixes are great just as they are … [or] use them as the base for a different recipe; they’re fun for novice or experienced bakers.”

Essential Goodness mixes via @kingarthurflour

A breakfast birthday coffee cake, Pizzazzerie

Courtney at Pizzazzerie says, “This is such a cute idea to wake kids up on their birthdays. Or let the kids help make it for another family member – all of the mixes are super kid-friendly! … My husband – who prides himself on being a coffee cake connoisseur – told me it tastes better than any of my homemade recipes. Well, there you have it!”

Essential Goodness mixes via @kingarthurflour

Cinnamon sugar puff muffins, The Seasoned Mom

Blair at The Seasoned Mom says, “… our house smelled amazing! Forget fall-scented candles, I’ll just bake a batch of cinnamon sugar puff muffins any time I want a cozy house this season! The smell was so good, in fact, that my little guy couldn’t wait to take his first bite He stood by my side and grabbed muffin, after muffin, after muffin from my tray. Kind of like doughnut holes … it’s seriously impossible to eat just one!”

Essential Goodness mixes via @kingarthurflour

Dutch apple pie cheesecake bars, Mom on Timeout

Trish at Mom on Timeout says, “Apple season has arrived and to celebrate, I’m sharing these outrageous Dutch apple pie cheesecake bars! A graham cracker crust spiced with cinnamon, a decadent vanilla bean cheesecake layer, apples tossed in sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and finally my favorite streusel topping. Yeah, WOW.”

Our thanks to all of the bloggers sharing the love here. Want to try some of these recipes yourself? Pick up some of our Essential Goodness mixes online, or at your favorite supermarket.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Rosa

    Made the vanilla cheesecake just this past week. It was quite delicious! I might add just a little more butter to the crust, though, because it was a little more dry than I was expecting and, therefore, a bit crumbly. All in all, I will be using your Essential Goodness mixes again!!!

  2. meedee

    I use KAF mixes and bake from scratch , I am making the lemon bars today. The next box of vanilla cheesecake bars , I will add extra vanilla or flowers of scilily to it, The mixes are a big HELP to me, I am 71 years old ,I love KAF!!!

  3. Barbara Antrim

    I love King Arthur flour. Their entire line of products have never disappointed. Have not tried the new line as yet, but am ordering today. Innovative and timely, that has been my experience. Excited about the new line as I am looking at healthier eating these days and these mixes will help in that endeavor.

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Carol, our mixes do include sugar; so if you’re unable to have sugar in your diet, I guess unfortunately these mixes aren’t suitable for you. Sorry I can’t help; we’re not in a position to offer dietary advice. PJH

  4. Judy Thurston

    Are your Essential Goodness Mixes have everything added to it all i would have to do is mix it up and put it in a pan and bake it? That sounds pretty easy!

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Not everything, Judy; you do have to add refrigerated ingredients, like eggs or butter or milk. But yes, the rest is all included. Enjoy! PJH

  5. LindaC

    I was hesitant to buy essential GOODNESS chocolate chip cookies mix, since your recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies- 2015 Recipe of the Year- is my go to recipe. I baked a box , giving me 2 dozen cookies , for my sister-in-law as a birthday gift. And she loved them. Yummy.
    I bought 6 boxes of essential GOODNESS of different mixes, and was anxious to try them. The sour cream coffee cake mix was delicious as is, and I love it!
    Can not wait to try the lemon bar and vanilla bean cheesecake mixes.

  6. Mleenichols

    The lemon bars were delicious. A few steps but well worth the effort. AND soooo much easier than from scratch with the same results. Definitely a keeper….

  7. Nancy

    I made the cinnamon sugar puff muffin mix, with a few twists, and it turned out great! I used the vegetable oil, added the zest of an orange, a couple tbsp chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots. Instead of just using the milk called for, I used the juice of an orange plus milk to measure 3/4 cup total. After putting batter in the muffin tins, I put a pinch of the cinnamon sugar on top, then baked the muffins. Delicious, and shared some with our elderly neighbor who doesn’t bake much anymore.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’ll be happy to send one your way, Wilma! For your security, we’ve deleted your contact info from this post, but you can rest assured we received it. You should have a copy in your inbox in the next 7-10 business days. Hope you enjoy it! Mollie@KAF

  8. Gina

    I baked the Cinnamon sugar puff muffins, found them a bit flat for flavoring. Used oil instead of butter should have added some more cinnamon or nutmeg to batter. Did not find it made 12 muffins without skimping. Not trying to be critical.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We appreciate your genuine remarks, Gina as we are always interested in hearing about our customers baking (and eating) experiences. I’ve shared this feedback with the appropriate team, and in the meantime, you might want to check out some of the mix tips for transforming the puffs into snickerdoodles, baked doughnuts, apple cinnamon muffins, sugar and spice scones, or even a cinnamon streusel Bundt cake for more flavor and flare. Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi KT, you can take a look at the full ingredient list for any of these mixes by clicking on the mix you’re interested in and then “Nutrition + ingredients” above the orange add to cart button. It will list “white whole wheat flour” if it is added to the mix. I hope that helps! Kye@KAF

  9. Rosemarie Dekruyff

    Hi, I read the “tips” for what one could make with the cinnamon muffin mix and found the link to sugar and spice scones. The ingredients called for 1 cup flour in addition to the mix, but i didn’t see it used in the recipe instructions. I assume it is combined with the mix in a bowl before cutting in the butter?
    Thank you

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yes, you’re right Rosemarie! Add the flour to the mix before adding the cold butter. We apologize for any confusion and we’ll add this step right away. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

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