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Cake from scratch vs. cake mixes

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Hello CC community,

Before all, I wanted to thank you for keeping up with this great site, it really is an amazing source for cake decorating.

I would really like to know your opinion about making a cake from scratch vs. using the boxed cake mixes.
I know this topic might have been discussed and posted several times (please don't kill me).

The reason I asked is because as a newbie, I use mostly cake mixes (DH works really well for me). However I was asked by people a few times (who usually knows nothing about cake decoration) if I made the cake from scratch and they act surprised (without even trying the cake) when I tell them I used cake mixes; someone joked and told me I was a 'cheater'; of course it was a joke (or was it?) icon_redface.gif

Sometimes TV shows or professional bakers seem to crucify whoever uses a cake mix. On the other hand, I know of many people who use cake mixes all the time (even my experienced Wilton instructor)
I managed to make a great Red Velvet cake from scratch so far (thanks to this site) but this topic always makes me wonder if using a cake mix boxes is really a way of cheating?

Sorry about the length of this post...what do you guys think? icon_biggrin.gif

I welcome any recipe you would like to share icon_lol.gif
Luc
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Luc
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post #2 of 51
When I first started baking I used box mixes but after awhile I decided to bake from stratch I truly believe it taste better than box mixes . In my opinion it is cheating cause you only putting in eggs, oil or wate. Some people doctored up their cake mixes by puttimng other ingredients. It's whatever you feel comfortable, I suggest to branch some more and bake from scratch and see from there. good luck!
post #3 of 51
This topic has indeed been discussed many times before and usually devolves into a flame war. Here are the past topics:

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=&q=scratch+vs.+mix+site%3Acakecentral.com

There's really no right answer -- some people prefer scratch, and some prefer mixes. Mixes are definitely not "cheating", it's just a different process.
post #4 of 51
I use doctored box mixes for some flavors and scratch for others. If you use a box mix remember to sift it. It makes a difference in the texture I think...plus it sifts out the hard little lumps that won't dissolve.

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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post #5 of 51
I think it depends on how you want others to see you, as well as how you want to see yourself. If you want to consider yourself both a cake decorator and a baker, than you need to master scratch cakes. If you just want to focus on yourself as a cake decorator, than mixes are fine. But I truly don't feel you can call yourself a baker if you use mixes.
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~*Make your next event special*~
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post #6 of 51
I do both. I can do a pretty good scratch chocolate cake, but when it comes to other flavors I prefer to use box only because it's better than mine. When I find a good scratch cake recipe I use it Instead of the box mix. In my opinion it's not cheating just taking a short cut. Hope I don't catch too much flak for this.
Lyndi M.
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Lyndi M.
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post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

If you use a box mix remember to sift it. It makes a difference in the texture I think...plus it sifts out the hard little lumps that won't dissolve.



Those hard little lumps are flavor nuggets.That's what the customer service rep said when I called to complain about those hard little lumps.
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaniceBest

Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

If you use a box mix remember to sift it. It makes a difference in the texture I think...plus it sifts out the hard little lumps that won't dissolve.



Those hard little lumps are flavor nuggets.That's what the customer service rep said when I called to complain about those hard little lumps.



Flavor nuggets, my a$$! If you believed that, I have a bridge to sell you icon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gif
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalhounsCakery

I think it depends on how you want others to see you, as well as how you want to see yourself.


To me that statement is just all wrong! So if someone uses a box mix, others are going to look down on them? What makes a snooty person like that any better than a box user? Also, why in the world would a person using box mixes think any less of themselves? Probably from hearing such crazy comments made by others such as yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalhounsCakery

But I truly don't feel you can call yourself a baker if you use mixes.


So where does it say that if someone uses mixes that they are not a real baker. Such hogwash.

Luciano, if you want to be a baker and a decorator then bake the cakes any way you like and decorate them and have fun doing it. Dont let people who think that they are better than you bother you. To me they are a waste of my time.
post #10 of 51
Everyone, calm down. If you will look at what luciano says. "this is a great site to be on" . Then laugh at the question as i did. I,m still laughing. This post is started , just to start a fuss as in the past threads. Love what you do and how you do it and don,t let anyone come in and make you loose it. ha!ha!ha ! I haven,t seen a bad thread lately, so lets don,t let anyone start one. We are all great bakers and decorators and lets not forget it. This poster must know there are other threads on this subject, they're not new here, just been lurking and now posted once. ha!ha!ha!
post #11 of 51
You do what works for you and what is preferred by the people for whom you bake. Don't ever let anyone shame you out of that.

No one on this website, or anywhere else for that matter, has the right to degrade a baker who chooses to start with a mix, as long as the end result is made properly and meets the needs of the person requesting/receiving the cake.

People who have the audacity to fan the flames by declaring box bakers "non-bakers" need to mind their own business and just back off. They are no more right, or better, than anyone else. They just choose to do it differently, but they do need to get over themselves as somehow being "better", and they should work much harder to hide their superiority complex.

Different is not necessarily better.

For every well made box cake, there is a dry, flavorless scratch-made cake somewhere--and vice versa.

I've read many times the "oh, pity me, I worked so hard on my scratch recipes and threw out so many cakes before I perfected them, so my product is better" posts. Not necessarily.

Different is not always better.

Do what you choose to do the best that you can do it, and don't laud it over anyone. When asked about your cakes, only you can decide what info you choose to divulge.
You can always choose to say that you start with a commercial base and then add quality ingredients to make each cake your own unique recipe.

You know, the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." likely came from a lot of experience.

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #12 of 51
I personally bake from scratch 99% of the time, mostly because I like the challenge of baking from scratch as well as the challenge of decorating. That, and I like to know exactly what is in the stuff I eat (and feed people).

But I do agree that each person needs to decide for himself. There is rarely one right way to do anything, and I'm realizing that the older I get, the less my world is black and white...whole lotta gray going on! (In more ways than one. icon_wink.gif )

Just do what makes you happy, and don't feel bad about it. If someone won't buy a cake from you because you don't bake scratch, that's there prerogative, and you shouldn't take it personally.
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

You do what works for you and what is preferred by the people for whom you bake. Don't ever let anyone shame you out of that.

No one on this website, or anywhere else for that matter, has the right to degrade a baker who chooses to start with a mix, as long as the end result is made properly and meets the needs of the person requesting/receiving the cake.

People who have the audacity to fan the flames by declaring box bakers "non-bakers" need to mind their own business and just back off. They are no more right, or better, than anyone else. They just choose to do it differently, but they do need to get over themselves as somehow being "better", and they should work much harder to hide their superiority complex.

Different is not necessarily better.

For every well made box cake, there is a dry, flavorless scratch-made cake somewhere--and vice versa.

I've read many times the "oh, pity me, I worked so hard on my scratch recipes and threw out so many cakes before I perfected them, so my product is better" posts. Not necessarily.

Different is not always better.

Do what you choose to do the best that you can do it, and don't laud it over anyone. When asked about your cakes, only you can decide what info you choose to divulge.
You can always choose to say that you start with a commercial base and then add quality ingredients to make each cake your own unique recipe.

You know, the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." likely came from a lot of experience.

Rae



Well Said Rae...
Be Kind Anyway
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Be Kind Anyway
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post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

You do what works for you and what is preferred by the people for whom you bake. Don't ever let anyone shame you out of that.

No one on this website, or anywhere else for that matter, has the right to degrade a baker who chooses to start with a mix, as long as the end result is made properly and meets the needs of the person requesting/receiving the cake.

People who have the audacity to fan the flames by declaring box bakers "non-bakers" need to mind their own business and just back off. They are no more right, or better, than anyone else. They just choose to do it differently, but they do need to get over themselves as somehow being "better", and they should work much harder to hide their superiority complex.

Different is not necessarily better.

For every well made box cake, there is a dry, flavorless scratch-made cake somewhere--and vice versa.

I've read many times the "oh, pity me, I worked so hard on my scratch recipes and threw out so many cakes before I perfected them, so my product is better" posts. Not necessarily.

Different is not always better.

Do what you choose to do the best that you can do it, and don't laud it over anyone. When asked about your cakes, only you can decide what info you choose to divulge.
You can always choose to say that you start with a commercial base and then add quality ingredients to make each cake your own unique recipe.

You know, the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." likely came from a lot of experience.

Rae


(slowly clapping.....seeing peple join in and clapping harder..... Standing to clap my hands off!!!! Can I get a woot woot??!) icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #15 of 51
Against my better judgement Luc, I'm going to answer your question...

You asked about what the public thinks about cake mixes... The public thinks everyone bakes from scratch. Everyone. No bakery has a sign that says "Made from Betty Crocker!" on the door. So yes, the public are surprised when they learn the cake they are buying or the cake you are trying to sell is from a cake mix. They assume you are using some secret family recipe that was so good you went into business selling your delicious cake. And it does not shock me to read that they called you a "cheater". I know this makes several people here offended, but it IS what people (I am specifically talking about the general public, I remind you) think.

They may love your cake, you may have doctored it to be the best cake mix ever, you may sell a ton of it, you may have won awards for it... but "people" (maybe not all, but some) outside of CC will and do think that you are cheating by using mixes.

Edited to add: Lots of people also think a 150 person wedding cake should only cost $50. So take that for what you will.
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