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What are your tips for making cake mix taste like scratch?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
I am giving up on scratch cakes (except for the rum cakes)...been having problems lately and I think I will try cake mixes. The only thing is that everyone that knows me, knows I bake from scratch. Does anyone have any tips for making cake mix taste like scratch? I don't want to give my secret and let them think its still from scratch.

Thanks,
Naty

PS. Also what brand do you recommend?
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post #2 of 56
You can check out the Cake Mix Doctor book. It will really be trial and error to get a feel for using the mixes and altering the taste to suit your customers.

I used to be die hard Pillsbury and still use it for some of my recipes but now I do use Ducan Hines for some things also. They changed the recipe and I like it much better than before!
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Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
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post #3 of 56
I only use Duncan Hines. Instead of water I use buttermilk; instead of oil I use good quality unsalted butter. I also add 1/2 tsp meringue powder and extracts to taste.
post #4 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by allissweets

I only use Duncan Hines. Instead of water I use buttermilk; instead of oil I use good quality unsalted butter. I also add 1/2 tsp and extracts to taste.



Hi Allisseets, thank you for your reply. Got a question....do you substitute the oil for butter on a 1 to 1? Say 1/2 cup of butter for the 1/2 cup of oil?

I have done Duncan Hines ones using the water and oil as it called for and the texture was excellent but the cake tasted "artificial" to me. Does your taste "artificial" with your alterations?

Thanks again,
Naty
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post #5 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dodibug

You can check out the Cake Mix Doctor book. It will really be trial and error to get a feel for using the mixes and altering the taste to suit your customers.

I used to be die hard Pillsbury and still use it for some of my recipes but now I do use Ducan Hines for some things also. They changed the recipe and I like it much better than before!



Hi dodibug, thank you for your reply! I agree, have used Pillsbury once but like Duncan Hines better. I have the cupcake doctor...will have to start experimenting.

Thanks again,
Naty
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post #6 of 56
I've heard the cake doctor book is excellent.
I love coffee creamer in my cakes, it makes it really rich.
post #7 of 56
I'm with dodibug~ Duncan Hines is the best! I have the Cake Mix Dr's book & every recipe I've used was a success! The Hummingbird cake is really good! Also the Coke Cake gets rave reviews! (It's my favorite!) I use the Yellow Sour Cream cake recipe (I hope I said the right recipe) for all my wedding cakes. It's super! Good book to invest in~
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post #8 of 56
I'm a scratch baker also who has been turned on to using DH mixes also. I use either milk, liquid creamer or/and sour cream. This seems to help with that fake taste you mentioned. I want to try using butter instead of oil but not sure on the exact amounts to do that. Almost forgot that I add an extra egg too.
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post #9 of 56
Yes, I substitute butter for oil using 1:1 ratio. Never had a fake taste and get rave reviews from all my customers. Happy baking! icon_smile.gif
post #10 of 56
I only use DH and I never follow the box directions any more. I use the Cake Dr. book but I've started experimenting on my own as well. I always use some sort of liquid instead of water--milk, half and half, coffee (in choc cakes) and I always add a box of pudding.

I sort of think of the cake mix like a base--then add to it....
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post #11 of 56
I use DH mix also. I replace the water with milk, the oil for butter and I add one extra egg. I always add vanilla too. I've never had anyone think it was a mix.

If ever asked I would answer I sometimes use premeasured dry ingredients. After all that is what a cake mix is. But since it is different then what the box calls for you can say it is your own recipe. icon_biggrin.gif
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Joanne "It's all about the cake!"
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post #12 of 56
icon_surprised.gif I lvoe this thread!!

Thank you all for your responses.

Next time I make a cake I am going to use milk for water & oil for butter.

I can not wait. Dang it here comes another pratice cake. I have 27 boxes of cake mix icon_rolleyes.gif

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post #13 of 56
Ooooo...I have a freebie cake to make for my niece this weekend...will definately try the milk/butter substitute.
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Everything inside is eatable, I mean edible, I mean you can eat everything!!!
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post #14 of 56
Does everyone use unsalted butter vs salted butter when substituting it for the oil??
post #15 of 56
Those tips are great!!!
I LOVE the response you use for the question "do you use cake mixes?"
I will have to remember that one!!!
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