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About Us

Though she might not look it, Betty Crocker is over 100 years old, and she’s still going strong with more than 12 million visitors to this website each month. Learn all about Betty’s history, plus today’s mission—here’s everything you ever wanted to know about America’s First Lady of Food!

About Betty Crocker

For over a century, Betty Crocker has been America’s source for modern cooking instruction and trusted recipe development. That rich heritage and culinary knowledge lives on in our commitment to celebrate the Betty in all of us — by sharing our passion for food, valuable test-kitchen wisdom, and lifestyle expertise — straight from our kitchen to yours.

Our Mission

Skillet Chicken Thighs

Since 1921 when Betty Crocker began answering questions about baking by letter, she’s been working to teach people to cook. From letters and radio to cookbooks and television to the establishment of, her aim has stayed true. Home cooks have come to rely on Betty for her helpfulness, trustworthiness, and quality. From cooking fundamentals to clever shortcuts made possible thanks to her dependable products, Betty continues to inspire home cooks across the world.

Betty Crocker’s Connections with Home Cooks


The “Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book” put Betty on the map back in 1950 when it quickly became a best-seller. This classic, along with its subsequent editions, has been beloved for generations and is now in its 12th edition, “Betty Crocker Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook from Scratch.” To date, 63 million Betty Crocker cookbooks have been published — but books aren’t the only way Betty connects with home cooks.

Launched in 1997, continues the legacy of adapting, discovering and sharing the knowledge that home cooks crave. Today, the site receives more than 12 million visitors per month. Betty also reaches more than 7 million fans monthly on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram — be sure to like and follow for all the latest recipes, videos and behind-the-scene looks at what we’re working on. A robust series of how-to videos exist on Betty’s YouTube channel and subscribers of the newsletter get regular inspiration delivered to their inboxes – sign up today!

Betty’s actually been a pioneer of new media for her nearly 100-year history. Keep reading to learn about her journey from radio to books to television and the Internet.

How It All Began


Betty’s story began with a promotion run by Gold Medal Flour back in 1921. Home cooks could win a pincushion resembling a flour sack if they correctly completed a jigsaw puzzle of a milling scene. The Washburn Crosby Company, a flour milling concern and largest predecessor of General Mills, Inc., received thousands of responses and a flood of questions about baking. The name Betty Crocker was created to personalize responses to consumer inquires.

The surname Crocker was chosen to honor a popular, recently retired director of the company, William G. Crocker. Betty was chosen simply as a friendly-sounding name. Women employees were invited to submit sample Betty Crocker signatures; the one judged most distinctive is the basis for the one in use today.

Betty Finds Her Voice

Betty Crocker on Radio

In 1924, the Washburn Crosby Company saved a local radio station from bankruptcy, changed the station’s name to its acronym, WCCO, and presented Betty Crocker on daytime radio’s first cooking show. “Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air” was an immediate success, and the next year was expanded to 13 regional stations. Each station had its own Betty Crocker voice, reading scripts written at the Home Service Department in Minneapolis. In 1927, the cooking school became a program on the fledgling NBC network, continuing for 24 years with more than one million listeners enrolled.

First Lady of Food

Betty Crocker

By the early 1940s, surveys showed that the name Betty Crocker was known to nine out of ten American homemakers. According to Fortune magazine in April 1945, she was the second best-known woman in America, followed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Betty Crocker became known as the First Lady of Food and in that position was called upon to help her country.

In 1945, at the request of the U.S. Office of War Information, Betty Crocker broadcast a radio program called, “Our Nation’s Rations” to help homemakers make the most of rationed foods. Almost seven million copies of a Betty Crocker wartime booklet, “Your Share,” were distributed at this time. Another helpful Betty Crocker publication, “Thru Highway to Good Nutrition,” won national recognition by the American Red Cross for outstanding service in the national interest.

Betty's Changing Face

1965 and 1969 Betty Crocker Portraits

Just as food preferences, cooking methods and consumer interests have changed dramatically over the years, so has Betty Crocker. She has changed her looks seven times over the past century. Portraits were painted in 1936, 1955, 1965, 1969, 1972, 1980, 1986 and 1996. Over the years, her hairstyles and clothes have reflected the changing fashions of American women. Through it all, the goal has been to present an image of Betty Crocker to which modern women can related, an image that recalls the promise of thoroughly tested products and up-to-date recipes.

The Betty Crocker Kitchens: Then and Now

The Betty Crocker Kitchens in 1960

It could be said that Betty Crocker is the personification of General Mills’ commitment to consumer service and product quality. The work that takes place in the Betty Crocker Test Kitchens is one of the key ways that the company delivers on the commitment Betty represents. Since 1946, when the test kitchens were first established, through to today, the kitchens are where products and recipes are tested using the same tools and equipment as the average home cook so that the results are the same for you at home. To get a behind-the-scenes peek into Betty’s kitchen and meet the professional chefs, bakers, nutritionists and recipe testers who work there, read about our kitchen-tested recipe process.

The Betty Crocker Red Spoon

Believe it or not, the first food product with the Betty Crocker name was dried soup mix, introduced in 1942. Betty Crocker packaged cake mixes were introduced in 1947 with Ginger Cake, the precursor of today’s Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cake. It was quickly followed by Devil’s Food Cake Mix and Party Cake Mix, which could be made into yellow, white or spice cake by using water plus whole eggs, just the whites or by adding spices along with the eggs.


Betty’s trademark Red Spoon began appearing on packaging in 1954. Today, it’s a symbol of the quality associated with Betty Crocker and appears on more than 200 products, including Super Moist Cake Mixes, cookie mixes, Supreme Brownie Mixes, Rich & Creamy Frostings, Bisquick Baking Mix and Betty Crocker Potatoes.

International Betty Crocker

Betty’s popularity isn’t confined to her “birth” country, the United States. She arrived in Canada in mid-1950s and has swiftly made her way around the world. She enjoys a strong presence in the United Kingdom, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Australia and other countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Betty’s products are specially adapted for the baking style and culture of each country.

Betty Today at 100

Turtle Bundt Cake

Whether viewed as an icon of food expertise and reliable products or as a real person, Betty Crocker’s luminous career endures. At over 100, she can still be counted on to offer reliable and accessible recipes, sound cooking and baking advice and dependable products to this and future generations of home cooks and bakers. She — or rather, the multi-talented team behind Betty — is still dedicated to working for, “all of you who like to minister to your dear ones by serving them good food,” as she wrote in the preface of the “Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book” in 1950.


The Betty Crocker Experts

It takes a team of professional chefs and bakers, editors and many others to make the rich resource it is today. Meet the experts who work behind the scenes to bring the food to life.

Betty's Kitchen Experts

Meet the creative cooks, bakers and dieticians who make the recipes, answer your cooking questions and carry on the tradition of creating kitchen-tested recipes reflecting the ever-changing tastes of America.

Meredith Deeds

Meredith Deeds is a recipe development consultant in the Kitchens of General Mills. She’s an accomplished food writer, the author of seven cookbooks, and has been a working recipe developer and cooking instructor for over 25 years.

Meredith has been nominated for the prestigious James Beard award for The Big Book of Appetizers and has also written for various magazines and newspapers such as Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, Better Homes and Gardens, Chile Pepper Magazine, Prevention, Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Dallas Morning News. She is currently a weekly columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and also writes frequently for

Meredith grew up in the food business, working at her mother’s diner beginning at age nine, doing everything from cooking, waiting tables, scooping ice cream and washing the dishes. She worked for her mom until she left for college, attending the Kellogg School of Hospitality at California Polytechnic University for two years, completing the culinary portion of the program before transferring to San Diego State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She was the CEO of the International Association of Culinary Professionals for four years until she left to spend more time cooking and less time budgeting.

She has lived all over the country and loves experiencing each place through its food culture. She has three grown boys and has enjoyed cooking on a large scale to satisfy three big appetites. Now, with the boys moved out of the house, she enjoys cooking meals for two now for just her and her husband. They love to travel all over the world and do it every chance they get.

Carrie Franzen

Carrie Franzen is a content and recipe development consultant in the Kitchens of General Mills where she develops and creates content for various brands including Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Gold Medal Flour, and Old El Paso. She also works on kitchen innovation projects to develop new on-trend content for the brands.

Carrie has been in the food industry for more than 29 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin and her culinary diploma in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Her lengthy experience includes: a pastry chef and baker for several fine dining restaurants in the Midwest, a chef instructor at Le Cordon Blue School of Culinary Arts, a manager and instructor for a culinary school in the Twin Cities and she has been published in several cookbooks and magazines.

Carrie is the one you can count on to bring goodies to any gathering. From pies and breads to cakes and cookies, Carrie loves to bake. When she isn’t in the kitchen inventing new sweets, she is training for her next marathon (26 so far!), camping on the weekends or collecting classic cookbooks.

Maria Ingalls

Maria Ingalls is a recipe project check testing consultant in the Kitchens of General Mills where she tests and edits final recipes for accuracy before publishing for various General Mills brands—from cakes on Betty Crocker to crescent roll appetizers for Pillsbury. She also occasionally acts as an assistant to the food stylists on photo and video shoots. No day in the kitchen is the same! And that’s what she loves about her work the most.

Maria has over 25 years of recipe check testing experience at General Mills. Prior to her work at General Mills, she studied in the culinary arts program at Hennepin Technical College in Minnesota.

A Minnesota native, Maria loves cooking and baking meals for her family and traveling up to northern Minnesota to the family cabin on the weekends

Maggie Lyon

Maggie Lyon is a recipe development consultant for General Mills, and after nearly a decade of work in the Kitchens, her day-to-day is still never the same—from putting new twists on Annie's mac and cheese to her work with Pillsbury and Betty Crocker, every day presents a fun, new challenge. She’s a self-professed master of savory recipe development in the Kitchens, constantly putting new spins on skillet dinners, grilled meals and more. Though she is the resident dinner expert, she’ll occasionally bake a key lime pie or pumpkin bars (the only two desserts she truly enjoys).

Maggie grew up in the Mississippi Delta, where the top three topics of conversation are usually food-related: What’d y’all eat? What’re we gonna eat? And, who are we eatin’ with? Her mom catered and worked at a cooking school, and she was constantly surrounded by good cooks and really good food. After moving to Minnesota from New York University where she earned her graduate degree in cinema studies, Maggie decided to pursue her food passion by attending culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu. She completed an externship at a local farm-to-table restaurant, Lucia’s, then worked for a local cooking school, Cooks of Crocus Hill, teaching cooking classes, managing one of the schools and writing for their former quarterly print publication.

In her own kitchen, Maggie’s favorite recipe to make is her take on pimiento cheese. Though she grew up in the south, surrounded by fried delicacies, her favorite food to eat is sushi. She has an awesome husband, Mike, and two kids—Redford and Marley—who she’s also teaching to love cooking. Her husky, Snoop Dogg, thinks he's one of the kids. His all-time favorite food? Tortilla chips!

Aimee Olson

Aimee Olson is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist consulting with General Mills. She provides nutrition analysis for recipes appearing across multiple brand platforms including culinary and foodservice as well as numerous cookbooks and publications. In addition to nutrition analysis, she also reviews recipes for approval of nutrition claims such as: Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Vegan to name just a few. Her role has also allowed her to branch out internationally as she has had the chance to provide nutrition support to many of General Mills’ global clients. The opportunity to learn, problem solve and work with a variety of different people and projects is what she loves most about consulting with the Kitchens.

Aimee first graduated with a degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition from the University of St. Catherine’s. She spent over 10 years working as an assistant General Manager in the health and fitness industry. As her passion for nutrition grew, she returned to the classroom to receive her Didactic degree from St. Catherine’s and completed her dietetic internship at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. When not consulting with the Kitchens she has a passion for nutrition education with an emphasis on childhood nutrition as well as youth sports nutrition and has presented to parenting groups as well as high school sports teams.

Aimee contributes her love of food to her childhood where food was always the center of family gatherings and holidays. From her grandma’s famous apple pie to her dad’s secret pancake recipe, she loves how recipes can connect past generations with future generations. As entrepreneurs her parents opened their own restaurants and some of her earliest memories are of her time spent in the restaurant kitchen. She considers herself more of a baker than a cook and loves discovering new recipes and trying them out on her favorite food critics, her husband and two boys.

Nikole Officer Rutzen

Nikole Officer Rutzen is a Registered Dietitian in the Kitchens of General Mills where she provides nutritional analysis of recipes created for the Betty Crocker website, print-ads, packaging, cookbooks, and the Culinary/Foodservice team. Nikole finds this role rewarding as it brings both her knowledge of nutrition and passion for culinary arts together.

Nikole grew up in the Northern Suburbs of Minneapolis and could be found at her mother’s side helping her make dinner or bake Norwegian Specialties at a very young age; she gives all the credit to her mom for her culinary skills. Nikole's mom encouraged her to go to college for food science, but Nikole's passion for health, running, and exercise won out. She received her BS at Montana State University in Home Economics with a nutrition emphasis in Bozeman, Montana and completed her Dietetic Internship at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut.

Nikole spent the first years of her career as a Critical Care and Cardiac Dietitian then changed course and moved to the Pillsbury Test Kitchens where she was an International Culinary Specialist and later a Senior Product Specialist. Job highlights include global product launches, involvement with the Pillsbury Bake-Off® team, and participation on product and brand development.

When Nikole is not analyzing recipes, she can be found in the kitchen with her kids passing along what her mother taught her. She also loves exercising, enjoying coffee, dark chocolate, and conversation with family and friends, trips to Montana and other places around the world, and serving at church.

Stephanie Wise

Stephanie Wise is a recipe development consultant for The Kitchens of General Mills. Her passions can be found in the baking realm, from homemade breads and bars to sweet twists on cookies and cakes, although she has been known to cook up delicious savory meals, appetizers, and snacks in the Kitchens, as well. Since 2010, she has worked with everyone from Bisquick to Betty Crocker, calling on her unique ability to merge traditional favorites with modern twists from her down-to-earth perspective as a mom in the Midwest.

Stephanie is the sole content creator and founder of the food blog, Girl Vs Dough, where since 2009 she has been sharing her favorite baking recipes on the internet. Her background is in journalism, but she found that, after a few years behind the reporter desk, she would rather be in the kitchen. After many years of self-education, trial and error, she is now an expert in her field and a new cookbook author. When she is not in the Kitchens, Stephanie can be found blogging, developing recipes and content as a freelancer, or researching the next best cookie recipe "just for fun."

In her free time, Stephanie loves to spend time with her two daughters, Avery and Adelaide, going to concerts with her husband, Elliott, or snuggling with her puppy, Rosie. Her favorite food is sushi, but a close second is her mom's zucchini bread. And you'll almost never find her without a cup of coffee in hand--it's what gives her the best ideas!

Cathy Swanson Wheaton

Cathy Swanson Wheaton is the executive editor for all Betty Crocker and Pillsbury cookbooks. She lives and breathes the cooking-people connection, and her personal motto is: “Life is about relationships, and food is the thread that weaves them together.”

Cathy has a BS degree from Purdue University in Food and Nutrition in Business, and Food Science, making her ideally suited to her responsibilities overseeing all aspects of cookbook development. Cathy shepherds each cookbook project through the publishing process, from start to finish—including creating new recipe ideas, directing recipe creation in the Betty Crocker Kitchens and much more. Cathy also leads promotion of the finished products. She serves as the face—and voice—of the cookbooks in nationwide interviews and articles.

Cathy started her career developing the recipes that you find on the back side of food packaging, and throughout her 25+ year career, she has created thousands of recipes for packages, newsletters, websites, ads, magazines and cookbooks. She has also served as the first writer for and the editor of “Creative Recipes” cooking magazines as well as editor and food editor for several cookbooks before becoming executive editor for all cookbooks at General Mills.

Cathy is a true Minnesotan who frequently says “yah” but draws the line at “you betcha.” She will, however, be sure she’s asked her guests if they’d like leftovers at least three times, and has been known to say, “No one leaves until the food is all gone.” When she’s not creating cookbooks, she can often be found in her own kitchen, finding reasons to cook for friends and family. Otherwise, look for her on the ballroom floor with her husband, learning various couples’ dances, or in the great outdoors.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Stew

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General Mills, Inc.
P.O. Box 9452
Minneapolis, MN 55440