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Box vs. Scratch controversy?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone! I know this probably comes up every few minutes, but I am wondering about making a cake for a client from a box, vs. doing it from scratch? Does this take away from the value/authenticity of the cake? It's just that my chocolate cake recipe STINKS!!! I'd rather have a good-tasing cake from a box than worry about whether or not they'll like my recipe!!

TIA for the expertise!
post #2 of 44
Gotta do what's comfy for ya. Personally, there are two things I pride myself on. Scratch recipes and darn good looking cakes. Kind of like the moon and stars, the night and day, the stop and go for me. Yin and yang and all that jazz. But like I said, it's what you and your customers like. icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 44
I seem to have more problems with white cakes from scratch, always looking for a good recipe, still like doctored white cake mix recipes better. I usually think white cakes from scratch tastes floury, dry, flat, I haven't found the perfect recipe for it. I wouldn't feel bad about using a mix, alot of people on cc use mixes, they usually doctor them, so its like your own recipe.
post #4 of 44
I agree. Sometimes I think you can't beat a doctored mix. For instance, I haven't found a white cake that I like as well as WASC. I like the flavor of the scratcj cakes, but they're dry. And I'm sure I didn't overbake. Chocolate, however, is different. I did try the chocolate WASC, but it wasn't all that chocolatey even with brownie coffee! But it was good! I have a recipe from foodnetwork.com-- Ina Garten's Beatty's chocolate cake. There are good chocolate recipes out there. I'm sure there are good white as well. I just haven't baked one yet!
You can either be thin and wrinkly or you can eat another piece of cake and fluff those things out!
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You can either be thin and wrinkly or you can eat another piece of cake and fluff those things out!
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post #5 of 44
The only moist scratch chocolate cake I have made is Guiness Chocolate Stout. Yumm! But i do use a lot of doctored mixes and everyone loves them, and nobody knows (except the people I tell).
post #6 of 44
I just tried the Chocolate Buttercake on the Smitten Kitchen's site. I love it and the customer I made it for loved it too. It baked up nicely. If you give it a try, please let me know how it did for you.
post #7 of 44
Have you tried Amazon Chocolate cake? There are a bunch of hits on google, but they're all the same from what I can see. It's really easy, keeps well (at the bakery I work at, we make huge batches that get used over several days), and is cheap because it doesn't use eggs or dairy.

I can always taste the chemicals in box mixes. Even doctored ones usually (though I do have a doctored chocolate cake I use occasionally). But some people only like box mixes it seems. I think it depends on what you "grew up on" usually.
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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post #8 of 44
I use cake mix, and hald the time I doctor it, and people go crazy for my cakes. They are very moist.
post #9 of 44
I agree with a statement made earlier "... It's what you and your customers like." (with an emphasis on customer). I do both scratch and mix recipes for most of my cakes. Which one I use depends on the customer, the occasion, and/or the cake they choose. In my small experience the scratch vs mix choice is more or less driven by competition, the customer's preference, and/or sometimes cost. I think (IMO) focusing on the customer(s) takes the tension out of that debate. As long as you are not telling stories about what you offer, I would think you'd be fine either way.
post #10 of 44
I do both, most of my cakes are doctored mixes but there are a few cakes that I do from scratch but mostly I use the mixes.
post #11 of 44
The secret to a great "from scratch" chocolate cake is you have to use very high quality chocolate.....no Hershey's, Nestle, Baker's etc. Spend the extra money and buy Callubet, Ghiradelli, Godiva etc.


Try Toba's Chocolate Fudge Cake (found in our Chocolate Scratch Off thread in the General forum, recipe on page 5 of that thread). It's knock your socks off chocolaty and very moist. It's a simple scratch recipe in that you throw everything in the bowl, mix it up and then add the melted chocolate. No creaming of the butter/sugar, no whipping egg whites. Easy peasy!
post #12 of 44
I agree with everyone else in that a doctored cake mix can taste wonderful and many people prefer that taste. I use both depending on the cake I am making and the flavor I want.
post #13 of 44
To me, a cake from a mix is like a painting from a paint by number kit. It may be pretty, but it has no soul.

This recipe is very good. ( http://www.scharffenberger.com/re0216.asp), although I use Felchlin Cocoa. It has 24% cocoa butter and is just amazing. You can buy it online @ www.scff.com.

Only you can decide whether you wish to persue the art of scratch baking. I personally believe that the baking is more important than the decorating, but everyone is different in that respect.
Scratch bakers of the world UNITE !!
Inrideo ergo sum ~ I snark therefore I am.
Cake or Death?......Cake Please!
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Scratch bakers of the world UNITE !!
Inrideo ergo sum ~ I snark therefore I am.
Cake or Death?......Cake Please!
Reply
post #14 of 44
After years of bad luck with scratch recipes, I found a recipe book I like. The two cakes that I have tried were great. I am going to use them from now on, but they are time consuming and expensive!!! The book is Cake LoVe by Warren Brown. I made a lemon cake and a banana cake from his recipes and they were yummy!! Finally!!!! icon_smile.gif
post #15 of 44
I tried this recipe and was very pleased with it. Good flavor and very moist.
www.bestmoistchocolatecakerecipe.com
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