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No one Yet knows the difference between Store box mix and scratch cakes, Why Bother? - Page 2

post #16 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaigle View Post

What kind of baker do you want to be....

The kind that makes $$$$$!!!! lol

post #17 of 183

I didn't grow up on cake (my Mom only made pie), so when I grew up and had kids and it was time to do cupcakes, I ran to the store and grabbed a mix.  After becoming a CC member, I read a lot, experimented and now only scratch bake because I prefer it.

 

There is just something personally satisfying for me knowing I had something to do with every aspect about the cake I made.  That's not to say I haven't had my share of flubs - :) 

post #18 of 183

It really does not matter to me what every one uses, some box mixes are pretty good. For me its about more consistent recipes with scratch baking. With the constant changes in box mixes you never really know how much batter you will get unless you look at the weight on the box every time you buy a box mix. With scratch recipes you know how much you will get consistently. Even with that I still on occasion use the WASC recipe, it really depends on what your customers want.

post #19 of 183

I'm always a bit amazed when people say that no-one can tell the difference. Box mixes taste very different to scratch cake, either good or bad scratch cake. It may be that no-one cares, or that they like both kinds, but I can't believe that not a single person can tell the difference.

 

I suspect that it's more likely that some people actually like box mixes better, and that others are too polite to say to you, 'This tastes like you made it from a box mix. Did you?'

post #20 of 183

I don't think that "no one" can tell the difference..I think bakers can tell...but I guarantee if I lined up 50 of my cake civilian customers...they could not tell.    I also think it depends on the generation you are baking for to.   Many grew up on box and they are "familiar" with that kind of cake. 

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!
Reply
post #21 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by rychevamp View Post

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.

It's definitely more work - before I went from box to scratch,  I could bake everything for the week in an hour and a half. And that includes 3 different flavors. Now it takes me almost twice as long. I still have to make white almond (WASC) - people love that stuff. I even have new customers ask for it. Oh, and full disclosure - if they want red velvet, they get Dawn's mix straight up. It has the taste that most people are asking for when they want red velvet. Kind of chemically, but what can one expect with all that red dye - haha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir View Post

I'm always a bit amazed when people say that no-one can tell the difference. Box mixes taste very different to scratch cake, either good or bad scratch cake. It may be that no-one cares, or that they like both kinds, but I can't believe that not a single person can tell the difference.

 

I suspect that it's more likely that some people actually like box mixes better, and that others are too polite to say to you, 'This tastes like you made it from a box mix. Did you?'

I think what people may really mean is that many customers don't know the difference.  Like maybe they don't know the cakes they've bought in the past weren't scratch. Some people even think the grocery store bakery actually bakes cake from scratch (or bakes cake at all!).  They may know it tastes different from grandma's pound cake, but figure it's a different recipe. There are lots of people who probably haven't even had a scratch cake.

post #22 of 183

I wonder if it's an Aussie thing.  I'd be stunned if I got 50 people together here and most couldn't tell a box mix from a scratch cake.

 

Oh, that sounds like a great way to spend a Friday night!

post #23 of 183

The average person's palette is not that refined.  So, I doubt people that grew up with cake mixes could tell, and some feel that scratch are not soft or fluffy enough.  But, the fluff factor and the chemical smell some mixes have just doesn't sit well with me. And, after going through pastry school and doing this for almost 15 years, I can't do it.  What was the point of school if I'm going to rely on a mix?

post #24 of 183

I just started baking as well and kinda fell into decorating by accident. A few months ago I had someone make my babyshower cake and I thought it ok but others said it was bland. One thing I noticed it that the cake was really yellow. Since I started baking, all scratch recipes I would try could never get as yellow then I realized it was a box mix she used. I felt a bit conned. Personally I prefer scratch recipes to box, scratch is worth the extra butter and eggs and time,,,, always comes out so tasty..

post #25 of 183
I agree Mcaulir...I'm from New Zealand and although there are more boxed mixes recently, it's just not something I was raised with or make myself. In the rare time that I've had a boxed mix I have always been able to tell, its the texture and they taste kind of the same...but that may be because we just don't have the choice that you do in the US.
post #26 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir View Post

I wonder if it's an Aussie thing.  I'd be stunned if I got 50 people together here and most couldn't tell a box mix from a scratch cake.

 

Oh, that sounds like a great way to spend a Friday night!


Hahahaha! Yes, I'm doing that Saturday. And I agree it's different here in America. I've never been to Australia, but everything is "fast" here. Especially food. And we have large populations who are extremely undiscerning about their food. I guess that would be everywhere, but we may be the worst.

 

I'm sure if they were set side side by side, people would be able to tell the difference, there's nothing physically wrong with our taste buds as far as I know. Most people here are more acclimated to the taste of a box mix.

 

Where are you located? At one time in my life I was headed to Townsville to check it out and see if they needed a Tex-Mex/live music place.

post #27 of 183
Thread Starter 
  • Banana cake
  • Carrot Cake
  • Fudge Cake

I make from scratch, always.  And everyone that I bake for knows it. The difference from bakery and/or boxed mixes is like night and day. So you are correct in the respect that it is not everything.

 

  • White cake
  • Yellow cake
  • Chocolate/Devils food cake
  • Lemon cake
  • Pound cake

even my fussiest out-spoken impolite self-proclaimed connoisseurs ( in 15 years of baking for them) simply have never been able to  tell the difference.

They only identify the quality of 'dryness'.  If a cake is 'MOIST' they are content.  This seems to be the universal measure of cake in my miniscule experience.

For this reason, I asked the original question.  I am happy that the result is the discovery of the  WASC recipe which seems to be a reasonable marriage of BOX MIX convenience with SCRATCH taste and texture.  Especially as it appears to be very handy for Large Volumes of batter. I'm heading to the grocery store so I can make my very first one.

 

Thank you to everyone who contributes to these forums, makes instructional videos, writes out their recipes, shares their tips and techniques.

You all have rocked my little world in Alaska, and I am grateful for your contributions !! thumbs_up.gif

~~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
Reply
post #28 of 183

Btw, I forgot to put a smiley - I'm not really doing that on Saturday.  And Alaska, I think you're right - there are a whole lot of people that judge the cake less on taste and primarily on whether it's moist.
 

post #29 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet View Post


Hahahaha! Yes, I'm doing that Saturday. And I agree it's different here in America. I've never been to Australia, but everything is "fast" here. Especially food. And we have large populations who are extremely undiscerning about their food. I guess that would be everywhere, but we may be the worst.

 

I'm sure if they were set side side by side, people would be able to tell the difference, there's nothing physically wrong with our taste buds as far as I know. Most people here are more acclimated to the taste of a box mix.

 

Where are you located? At one time in my life I was headed to Townsville to check it out and see if they needed a Tex-Mex/live music place.

I live in a little town a couple of hours west of Brisbane. So same state, but 1300km (about 800 miles) away.

post #30 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir View Post

I live in a little town a couple of hours west of Brisbane. So same state, but 1300km (about 800 miles) away.


That a bit of a distance - like a 10 hour drive?  Queensland is my favorite state!  It's morning there now, right? It's evening here, going to get dark soon. For some reason I have trouble wrapping my brain around that. Do you ever get to the coast? I have friends who traveled from Brisbane up the countryside northward and they kept saying that the snakes jump out on you from the trees and then laughing hysterically. I never got the joke haha!

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