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Box Mix or Scratch for start up small business

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone,

 

I am new here and looking into getting some insights from all of you pro's. 

Here's my dilemma. I just started my home based business in creating cakes and cupcakes in our community. I usually use DH for all of my cakes and cupcakes and so far, it's been a hit. But, I kinda feel that I am cheating because I am not doing it from scratch. My cake decorating instructor told me that mostly, people don't know the difference if the cake is box or scratch especially if you add some flavoring i.e. instead of adding water to chocolate mix; you add orange juice to make it chocolate orange cake, So here's what I want to know from all of you:

 

1. Does any of you own a business and use box mix?

2. Is it much cheaper to use mix or more economical from scratch?

 

My husband says always says to me 'If it ain't broken, don;t touch it'. So far, my chocolate cakes, mocha cupcakes are selling really well but still feel guilty about not doing it from scratch.

 

Your opinions and comments would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks so much!

post #2 of 113
There's nothing wrong with using a box mix, some people prefer it. Generally using a box mix is cheaper at lower volumes, but once you start ramping up production scratch becomes cheaper.
post #3 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

There's nothing wrong with using a box mix, some people prefer it. Generally using a box mix is cheaper at lower volumes, but once you start ramping up production scratch becomes cheaper.

Thanks Jason - I agree, for high volume, scratch is better but I am afraid that when I reach that point that I have to do it from scratch, I might not be able to re-create DH's cakes as people were already used to it's taste.

post #4 of 113

I always use box mixes but add stuff like pudding, mayo, etc.. There is nothing wrong with box mixes.. Good Luck with your new buisness!!

post #5 of 113

Box works for me....people love the WASC!

post #6 of 113

I too "doctor up" the box mixes and Duncan Hines is my go to. I do have scratch recipes that turn out well too but for the most part I use box mixes. It's not that either tastes better or worse. For me, I like the crumb and the way a box cake slices. I can usually start with a white mix and add several different ingredients to it to give it my own spin.

 

In the end what's most important is that you put the best product possible out there. You may find that some box mixes are good for certain cakes and you may also find that some scratch recipes are better as well. Most of the time customers just want what looks and tastes good.

post #7 of 113

First of all go with what works.  Don't feel guilty about using a box mix.  I use them depending on what I'm doing.

 

Second, Jason is right about larger volumes.  Now is the time to experiment on the side with different recipes that meet your standards.  When you find one, and it works for you, you can incorporate it into your business.

 

Focus on the business.  Put out good product.  Charge the right price.  Work on scratch recipes in your spare time...if you have any.

 

Enjoy your new business and don't sweat the scratch thing.  You'll do it when it works for you.

post #8 of 113

Nothing wrong with it, let's face it, that's what people think is homemade and they're used to it. Personally, for me I made the decision to make everything I use in and on my cakes from scratch, wherever possible. Sometimes I make my own gum paste, but Satin Ice GP is just so perfect, I usually don't bother. Everything else, yeah. Just something I like to tout and my customers definitely appreciate it. I have plenty of friends and associates who use everything premade, and their customers love them. Room for all types.

"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #9 of 113

I started out doing all scratch until I tried the WASC. Then I used that when I was being lazy. I then realized that I love it, my customers love it and I can do so many variations with one recipe that I stopped feeling guilty. I did have to take "made from scratch" from my website...though. No one noticed or cared. I get nothing but rave reviews now on the texture flavor and MOISTNESS (throwback to an old thread there) of my cakes. That was not the case 100% of the time with my scratch...especially white.

post #10 of 113

I think there is a book that has a ton of wonderful cake recipes that are made from a box and have added ingredients to it.. I can't think of the name...

post #11 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post

That was not the case 100% of the time with my scratch...especially white.

Seems to be a problem discussed many times. One of the best things you can do to get good results with any scratch cake, is find recipes with buttermilk. There is only one recipe I use that doesn't call for it, all the others have it. 

"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #12 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post

I started out doing all scratch until I tried the WASC. Then I used that when I was being lazy. I then realized that I love it, my customers love it and I can do so many variations with one recipe that I stopped feeling guilty. I did have to take "made from scratch" from my website...though. No one noticed or cared. I get nothing but rave reviews now on the texture flavor and MOISTNESS (throwback to an old thread there) of my cakes. That was not the case 100% of the time with my scratch...especially white.
post #13 of 113
Thread Starter 
This is really helpful. Thank You!Pardon my ignorance but what is WASC?
post #14 of 113

I tried to like WASC, I really did. Made it a couple of times, but couldn't get past the chemical smells when it was baking, and the taste. It still screamed box mix to me. 

"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #15 of 113
I make my cakes from scratch because I find people like them better. That and I am a bit of an ingredients snob. The only things I don't make myself are fondant and gumpaste; I like Satin Ice for those.
No reason for you to feel bad about using box mixes though, if that is what the people you are baking for like. As long as you aren't trying to pass them off as scratch. icon_smile.gif
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