Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › Cake mix versus from scratch
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cake mix versus from scratch

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

Sorry, but I have to ask this question.  I don't know if it is blasphemy to use cake mixes, but I have been doing some mixes and some from scratch (just making cakes for friends/family now).  I love the taste of my homemade vanilla cake, but I feel like after a day it dries out.  What if the design is ellaborate and you need more than one day for decorating time?  The cake mixes seem to stay light and fluffy even after a few days in the fridge.  How do you "from scratch" people prevent cakes from drying out?  I've browsed through the recipes on this website and use a sour cream based one when I do a cake from scratch.  Any advice?

post #2 of 33
For most scratch recipes, freezing the cake will maintain the taste and texture for quite a while.
post #3 of 33

I use mixes but have my own modified version. I have added some things that the recipe does not call for. Honestly, I think it tastes much better. Also, they are unique compared to the mix, but do not hold the difficulties.

Quote:
 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. -Proverbs 4:23
Reply
Quote:
 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. -Proverbs 4:23
Reply
post #4 of 33

I often use cake mixes, but rarely "as they come out of the box".  I'm usually adding something to modify or enhance or change the flavour.

 

However, what I do for any cake (mix or scratch) is I almost always make them in advance (anywhere from a couple of days to a week or two) and freeze them.  They take no time to thaw and are often easier to work with (carving, as an example) than fresh cakes.

 

I'm always getting compliments on my cakes, whether it's a mix-based or scratch cake.

 

Try that and see if you see an improvement.

post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 

Thank you all; part of why I asked this question is also, one time I froze a from scratch cake and thawed it and it was dry.  Cut into and it was just crumbs, crumbs!  Maybe I didn't wrap it good enough. What is the rule?  Wait until it is completely cool then wrap and freeze?  I've seen some sources say wrap and freeze when it is still a little warm.

post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessie2135 View Post
 

Thank you all; part of why I asked this question is also, one time I froze a from scratch cake and thawed it and it was dry.  Cut into and it was just crumbs, crumbs!  Maybe I didn't wrap it good enough. What is the rule?  Wait until it is completely cool then wrap and freeze?  I've seen some sources say wrap and freeze when it is still a little warm.

 

Try a tubberware or other airtight container! That is what I use and they come out perfect. Also, your elevation and location changes how quickly your desserts dry out. If you live in a dry area, add a touch more of liquid. Hope this helps! :-D 

 

Live Laugh Cake

Quote:
 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. -Proverbs 4:23
Reply
Quote:
 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. -Proverbs 4:23
Reply
post #7 of 33
I bake cookies from scratch, but I've always baked cakes from mixes, and the closest I've ever come to a scratch cake was something from a recipe that was on the back of the Bisquick box, some 35-40 years ago.

So far, my only bits of "mix-doctoring" are (1) my strawberry marble cake, and (2) that I now weigh out an extra 1/3 of a box (and 33.3% more oil and water, and an extra egg) when baking a 9x13 white cake (or bake 2/3 of a box for an 8x8 or 9x9), and I think I may have to start doing the same with spice cakes.

And to the "scratch-or-nothing" crowd, EVERYTHING is, when you get down to it, nothing but chemicals. And in particular, unless you make your own baking powder, you're still dumping in a mix of chemicals that somebody else engineered.

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply
post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 

Thanks; sounds like a need to try freezing again!  Airtight tupperware container sounds like an awesome idea.

post #9 of 33

really hope this helps! :grin: Nothing worse than a dry cake. Except maybe gross frosting. :/  But that is hard to do. 

Quote:
 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. -Proverbs 4:23
Reply
Quote:
 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. -Proverbs 4:23
Reply
post #10 of 33

 

We make a lot of genoise cakes and they tend to be drier, so we use infused simple syrups to keep them from tasting dry.

 

Here is one technique that might help too.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QbLeNMz6MA&feature=share&list=PL6CA76E807FEFF02E&index=2

 

Since you like you recipe you could just follow this tip for after the cake is baked on this site.

 

http://www.bakerella.com/finally-i-found-it/

 

Or you could do what my mom and grandma do............ you ready........ DUN DUN DUHHHHHHHHH!

 

Opt out the  oil, butter, sour cream, or buttermilk for........wait for it.......wait for it.... Apple sauce!

 

One of my aunts swears by using Miracle Whip to make hers moist vs my sister who uses Hellmann’s Mayonnaise. All three methods make for a delicious cake especially the chocolate ones. HTH :lol:

 

 

 

post #11 of 33

*sorry your recipe

post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 

Good advice; thank you for the youtube videos.  Okay one more question.  Yesterday I tried my from scratch recipe on cupcakes (oil based recipe, no butter) and today they are....A LITTLE DRY.  Not a lot but a little. Covered the cupcakes in a tupperware dish last night.  Question is, did I over bake? Cuz even yesterday they seemed a little tough around the edges.  They were ever so slightly browned on top.  Should there be any brown at all? TIA

post #13 of 33

Yes probably, try baking them till they are just slightly golden on top. I check them early and  try to take them out as soon as the tooth pick comes out clean. Cupcakes are very easy to over bake.

post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 
Okay I did it! Froze a from scratch cake and took it out today and let it thaw for two hours and then decorated it. Fluffy and tasty! Worked out great for our 1 st anniversary! Thanks everyone!
post #15 of 33

That looks good! Happy Anniversary!!!!!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › Cake mix versus from scratch