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No one Yet knows the difference between Store box mix and scratch cakes, Why Bother?

post #1 of 183
Thread Starter 

Seriously - I think that the store bought box mixes are really pretty good. Everyone has eaten thousands of cakes/cupcakes from box mixes.  When I make scratch cakes they are delicious but always slightly denser, a little richer, if that's a way to describe it. And it takes forever to make properly and makes a terrible mess, with lots of dishes to wash. I like the taste and texture of an old fashioned scratch cake better.  However, I have yet to find a single person that knows the difference in cake.

 

But: the cake frosting, cookie icing, fudge filling, and ganache is a different story.   Everyone knows the difference there, even the kids. (and the men who don't pay that much attention to such things notice.)

 

I'm considering making the cakes and cupcakes from box mixes and just focusing my time, money, and energy into luxurious homemade scratch icings and fondants.  It's just a hobby for me, any thoughts??

~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman  
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~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman  
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post #2 of 183
Thread Starter 

has anyone else given up scratch cakes, using box cakes only?

~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman  
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~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman  
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post #3 of 183

Welcome MB! Since you are new here, you're probably not aware this has been discussed many times. Unfortunately, this topic can lead to some very unpleasant exchanges. But read for yourself. Please use the search function at the top of the page and type in Scratch Mix.

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VISIT US at BAKINGFIX

 

             Bookshelf    Consulting    Classes    Blog    Facebook  

    

 

 

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post #4 of 183

Perhaps the main draw back to a mix, is all the chemicals, additives etc that are included. That is sort of scary to some, myself included.  

 

I bake from scratch for this reason, and also I actually can bake from scratch.  It does take time, weighing out everything, plus doing it over and over until you get it perfect. But at least I know what's going in there and can spell all the ingredients! (maybe I'm just a bad speller but some of those chemicals..forget it, if I can avoid them, I'd like to).  Also I like the texture of a scratch cake.

 

But I made a WASC once and everyone loved it.

 

I'm actually going to do a taste test soon of three different types of white cake..one will be a WASC and the  other two scratch. Just to see what people go for..and since i"m not in the US- these aren't really people who have grown up on cake mixes (and I have to say, growing up in the US- we had a mix for everything). 

 

ps- for the record I'm not anti-mix or anti-whatever...people like what people like and there's no fault in that. to each their own baking and eating.

post #5 of 183
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakefat View Post

I'm actually going to do a taste test soon of three different types of white cake..one will be a WASC and the  other two scratch. Just to see what people go for..and since i"m not in the US- these aren't really people who have grown up on cake mixes (and I have to say, growing up in the US- we had a mix for everything). 

Thanks cakefat, I'd love to know your results.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimiFix View Post

Please use the search function at the top of the page and type in Scratch Mix.

and Thanks MimiFix, you are right on target about the comments (wow) and now I'll use  'search'.

~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman  
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~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman  
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post #6 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakefat View Post

Perhaps the main draw back to a mix, is all the chemicals, additives etc that are included. That is sort of scary to some, myself included.  

I've seen this comment a lot and I've always left it alone and this response may not even apply to you. And I'm not saying anything good about ingredients in a boxed mix. It's just that often, the same people who are complaining about a a few chemical substances in these mixes really don't even know what they are, but since they have a chemical sounding name assume they must be bad.

 

The same person might be making a frosting with transfat, which has been well documented to be a terrible thing to put in your body, especially when combined with sugar. Studies link transfat with Alzheimer's, coronary artery disease and liver disease.

 

They may be pouring food coloring in their icing and who knows what's in that?

 

Here's a link I found by someone who looked into it some. I don't know how credible it is because she says things like white sugar is safe to eat, but here it is fwiw

post #7 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet View Post

I've seen this comment a lot and I've always left it alone and this response may not even apply to you. And I'm not saying anything good about ingredients in a boxed mix. It's just that often, the same people who are complaining about a a few chemical substances in these mixes really don't even know what they are, but since they have a chemical sounding name assume they must be bad.

 

The same person might be making a frosting with transfat, which has been well documented to be a terrible thing to put in your body, especially when combined with sugar. Studies link transfat with Alzheimer's, coronary artery disease and liver disease.

 

They may be pouring food coloring in their icing and who knows what's in that?

 

Here's a link I found by someone who looked into it some. I don't know how credible it is because she says things like white sugar is safe to eat, but here it is fwiw

yes, your comment doesn't apply to me.

post #8 of 183

What kind of baker do you want to be....scratch or box?   I don't think the average cake civilian knows the difference in the two...they just know if it is good...or not.   Moist....or dry.     Myself...I am a decorator.   I want to produce a good product, but I don't have the patience or interest in scratch baking.   It is a science and it is hard and it takes a lot of time to perfect it.   Many first time bakers go out the gate with their first scratch cake and it's not good because you have to do so many things just right.   I applaud scratch bakers...but it just isn't my thing I want to invest time in.  Make your choice and then make it good.   My 2 cents.

Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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post #9 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle View Post

What kind of baker do you want to be....scratch or box?   I don't think the average cake civilian knows the difference in the two...they just know if it is good...or not.   Moist....or dry.     Myself...I am a decorator.   I want to produce a good product, but I don't have the patience or interest in scratch baking.   It is a science and it is hard and it takes a lot of time to perfect it.   Many first time bakers go out the gate with their first scratch cake and it's not good because you have to do so many things just right.   I applaud scratch bakers...but it just isn't my thing I want to invest time in.  Make your choice and then make it good.   My 2 cents.

Very well put!
post #10 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle View Post

What kind of baker do you want to be....scratch or box?   I don't think the average cake civilian knows the difference in the two...they just know if it is good...or not.   Moist....or dry.     Myself...I am a decorator.   I want to produce a good product, but I don't have the patience or interest in scratch baking.   It is a science and it is hard and it takes a lot of time to perfect it.   Many first time bakers go out the gate with their first scratch cake and it's not good because you have to do so many things just right.   I applaud scratch bakers...but it just isn't my thing I want to invest time in.  Make your choice and then make it good.   My 2 cents.

 

Yes- exactly this! on all points. 

post #11 of 183

Since I work as a pastry chef, I can't see using mixes.  When I took the job I have now, when I was going through my storage area, I found all these industrial size boxes of cake mix.  I couldn't believe the person before me used them.  I baked some of it off for cupcakes to put out for lunch one day, and I couldn't believe how awful they were.  And this place is a high end restaurant, known for weddings. I've worked over the years, perfecting my cake recipes, and from the feedback I've gotten, everyone has been happy. I like knowing exactly what is going into the cakes I make as well.  I feel that if someone is going to take the time to doctor up cake mixes, by adding pudding mixes, etc to them, it takes no more time to weigh out ingredients for a scratch cake.  

To each their own, if you are comfortable using mixes, by all means.  I just can't do it.

post #12 of 183

Personally, I don't feel comfortable creating handmade decorations, spending all that time painting, etc, to have a box mix underneath it. I don't care for the taste either, the awful smell while it's baking, and the weird fluffy fail proof texture. I just don't. I don't like anything about them. So that said, I don't offer anything I don't personally like. If others want to, great! It's none of my business. But you bet I capitalize on the fact that everything I make is from scratch with good ingredients, without saying it's better because everyone else "boxing". icon_wink.gif

"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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Birthday Cakes
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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)
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post #13 of 183

I have scratch recipes that I've used for years and ones that I've acquired over the years.  I have always been that person though to whip everything up from scratch. My kids never got packet hot cocoa from me, I made it from scratch. Same with brownies and cakes.  I even prefer to make my own whipped cream vs. buying it.  So I bake everything from scratch for that reason. To me it's just as easy as opening up a box and adding a few more ingredients. My kids have come to know the difference between scratch items and boxed items as well.  Not just cake by everything. It is all in what you're comfortable with doing and what is more efficient to you.

Don't be afraid of cake, make cake be afraid of what you will turn it into!

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Don't be afraid of cake, make cake be afraid of what you will turn it into!

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post #14 of 183

It takes a long time, which is not always fun, but it's worth it. And I'll probably never expand my operation, or open a store front either, because it wouldn't be profitable. So, I stay small and boutiquey, and I like it that way.

"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)
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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 #15 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

But you bet I capitalize on the fact that everything I make is from scratch with good ingredients, without saying it's better because everyone else "boxing". icon_wink.gif

I do the same thing! I have nothing against people using boxes, but it's not for me.  So I try to stress that everything I do is from scratch and homemade because doing that makes my cost to make the cakes a little higher than a $1.00 box.  (I say $1.00 b/c most of the stores around me sell their brand of cake mixes for $1.00 each)

Don't be afraid of cake, make cake be afraid of what you will turn it into!

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Don't be afraid of cake, make cake be afraid of what you will turn it into!

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