crablegs Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 2:47am
post #1 of

I was wondering how many of you guys out there use cake mixes? It can be hard to find a "from scratch" recipe that is as moist. Then there is the problem with time. Scratch cakes take longer. Point is I feel quilty when I use a box mix and was wondering if I was the only one. One more thing, If you do use the mix do your customer notice?


Thanks
Crablegs

31 replies
indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:11am
post #2 of

More of us than you can imagine use mixes! I tried a scratch recipe once; I tried adding pudding-and-an-egg and my official tasters rejected them big time! So do my customers notice? Yep! They notice when I try to do something OTHER THAN a mix!

As another CC'er said: It's worked for me for 25 years ..... I see no need to change it now.

(I will never understand why it's considered "cheating" to use a cake mix. As was mentioned on here once, a cake mix is just a container of pre-measured dry ingredients.)

zoraya Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:19am
post #3 of

I use box mix all the time and just doctor them up. I always get asked because no one believes its from a box. Hey, we need our preservatives! icon_lol.gif

crablegs Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:20am
post #4 of

I guess it's that down south home cooking thing that's got me feeling that way. Funny thing is I like the taste of a doctored mix better.

bubbles4500 Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:20am
post #5 of

I use mixes as well. I've had scratch a few times and haven't found the taste to be worth the extra time...but maybe it's been the wrong recipe for me. The one thing that I've discovered that sort of meets in the middle (at least for me) is the Cake mix doctor recipes. I had read about it several times on here and had no ideas what it was...so I went to the library and checked the book out. Lots of great recipes with new and different flavors (other than the basic mixes)...these recipes are nice because you add a few basic ingredients to a cake mix to give it a new twist. I made the triple decker strawberry cake for work and I had a regular yellow and chocolate mix along with it (in my pencil cake in my photos) and I heard a ton of compliments on the strawberry...so a small amount of effort by doctoring the mixes really impressed that crowd.
Don't feel guilty, some people never get to make cakes!

CarolAnn Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:21am
post #6 of

What's to feel guilty about? I'll never understand this burning question. I use only mixes, although I almost always enhance them, and I have never had a customer ask whether it was scratch or a mix. I have never had anything but wonderful reviews. I say "If it ain't broke don't try to fix it."

zoomitoons Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:22am
post #7 of

i am a doctorer too lol i have made scratch cakes before but they just don't seem to work for me that often.

m1m Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:24am
post #8 of

I feel like that too about using cake mixes, that perhaps I'm not as much of a decorator.

I use cake mixes because I don't have the time to make cakes from scratch and the part the I enjoy the most in the process is the decorating of the cake, so I'd rather concentrate my efforts on that.

Also, using the boxed cake mixes seem more economical. I've seen the enhanced recipe, but have not tried it yet. Even that recipe does up the cost.

I'm going to try an enhanced cake mix recipe and see if I like the results,
but I've perfectly happy using the boxed cake mixes and I like the taste of them, especially Pillsbury!

melsherard Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:34am
post #9 of

People always say to me, "your cakes taste so good, can I have your recipe?" and I always say, "I use a mix." And they say "Which brand?" And I say " Whatever is on sale!"
I have great results with box mixes. The only ones I do not use are the generic brands. Pilssbury, DH, and Betty Crocker have always worked great for me! Don't feel guilty....

venecakes Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:35am

Can anyone explain to me waht is doctoring a cake??. I always read about it and don't know what it is . Thanks.

Mysweetcakes Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:37am

I also use boxed mixes and doctor them up a tad. I agree 100% that it's all of your dry ingrediants pre-measured thumbs_up.gif I also read that people's tastes now-a-days are used to the moist cakes from a mix as opposed to scratch recipes that seem to be more dense and dry hat1.gif I also read that most people can't get there hands on the top notch ingrediants that a 5 star restaurant can!! I'm not doggin' scratch recipes in anyway...maybe once my boys are older and in school, I'll have more time to put into making my cakes from scratch!

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:44am
Quote:
Originally Posted by gimme

..... I also read that most people can't get there hands on the top notch ingrediants that a 5 star restaurant can!!




With no intent of hi-jacking the thread ...... I absolutely believe that! I have said for years that if the average housewife had access to the food supplies, the cooking utensils and even the cleaning supplies & equipment that I, as a caterer, do, then every woman in American would LUV cleaning house! Good lord, even mopping is almost (almost!) fun with a commercial mop and mop bucket! When I have to use a food item that I had to buy from the (shudder!) grocery store, it makes me crazy!!!

The first time I was exposed to this reality was when I was getting divorced and moving my 2 kids into this small apt with a filthy bathroom. A friend owned a shop and gave me a commercial toilet bowl cleaner that turned the black bowl a pure white! It ticked me off that I am not permitted to buy something like this that would clean my bathroom that well for my family, but have to "settle" for the crippy-crap products on the grocer's shelf!

If we were all "allowed" to buy the things that made our lives easier!

Mysweetcakes Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:51am

Indydebi...you're my hero!!! icon_lol.gif

mbelgard Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:51am

I use mix and add nothing but what the box says and people love my cakes, I had a home ec teacher tell me she has no idea what I do to a mix but that my cakes are wonderful.

As a teen I worked in a small summer bakery that sold mostly donuts and bread, they did offer basic sheets still in the pan and a couple sizes of rounds. The baker was really proud of his from scratch donuts and bread, he made his own custards and icing, etc but said that the cake mix people spend so much time making a good tasting mix that he couldn't do any better than that if as good so he used mix.

Biya Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:54am

I used to feel the same way. I have come to the conclusion that using a mix is simply a shortcut. Rather than taking the time to find the ingredients and measure everything I can skip a few steps and use something premeasured, throw in a few of my own things and its done.

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:57am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbelgard

I use mix and add nothing but what the box says and people love my cakes, I had a home ec teacher tell me she has no idea what I do to a mix but that my cakes are wonderful.




It's the love and the passion we put into it!! When people ask for my oatmeal cookie recipe, I just shrug and say, "It's on the box." They can do the very same recipe, but their cookies don't come out the same! (heh heh heh heh heh!) icon_twisted.gif

-Tubbs Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 3:58am

Ok, then, I'll be the lone voice that says, yes, I do feel that it is somehow 'cheating' to use a mix. Personally I'm a bit of a snob about pre-made food. If I had friends coming for dinner I would never serve them sauce from a jar or a ready-made pizza, and I feel the same way about cakes. Also I don't like all the chemicals.
There, flame away!

mekaclayton Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 4:01am

I understand how you feel being from the south myself. People really find pride in saying ...I made it from scratch. BUT my thing is, really, aren't we doing it partly from scratch. We still have to add eggs, butter, oil, sugar, vanilla etc. And at least it isn't that frozen unthawed refrozen stuff the push off on people at the grocery store (I used to work for one...believe me, if they knew how some of the people do cakes in there...you'd be a superstar). I got over trying to find a great "from scratch" recipe...I've had some from scratch cakes and didn't care for it much. Maybe I haven't found the right cake to taste or the best recipe to use but I do know one thing, if I changed my doctored up cake recipe, my customers wouldn't be my customers anymore. Your cakes can look good but if they don't taste good too....you're wasting your time. And believe it or not, there are commercial bakeries that use cake mixes also. My mom used to work for one. Don't feel guilty, if you're baking it up...it's still homemade icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 4:03am
Quote:
Originally Posted by TubbsCookies

Ok, then, I'll be the lone voice that says, yes, I do feel that it is somehow 'cheating' to use a mix. Personally I'm a bit of a snob about pre-made food. If I had friends coming for dinner I would never serve them sauce from a jar or a ready-made pizza, and I feel the same way about cakes. Also I don't like all the chemicals.
There, flame away!




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Oh Tubbs, we're not gonna flame ya! Believe it or not, I am the same way about my cookies ...... can't stand any cookie mixes or refrigerated rolls .... all made from scratch in my kitchen! So while I prefer the taste of cake from a mix (never had a scratch cake yet that I would take a second bite of), I understand your point of view because I am the same way about cookies .... scratch only!! thumbs_up.gif

(You'd love sauce from a jar if you could get it from my commercial supplier! I made my spaghetti sauce from scratch until I tasted this stuff! Just another example of what I talked about in the above post!)

christeena Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 4:06am

I work PT ina local restaurant/bakery and help decorate cakes when they are in between cake decorators (that's another thread!) All they add to the "mix" is water and oil! It blows me away that they don't even have to add eggs! All of my cakes that I do personally are one version or another of the WASC and I am not going to mess with a good thing!!

Cynita Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 4:12am

I always bake from scratch but I am really not pleased with the recipe that I currently use for my yellow cake. I have tried several recipes but can't seem to get them moist. I recently tried a DH box mix and doctored it. It was fabulous!! I told one of my baking friends about it and told her that I just may switch my scratch yellow cake to a box mix. She recently tried it and made it for some friends. She said that a couple of the people did not like it and said that it tasted commercialized. I don't understand that because they can eat a supermarket cake and not complain. When I bake for friends and family it's like that can't wait to see if the cake is from a box mix so that they can have something to complain about. So, that's why I have always baked from scratch but I am about to change that real soon because the ones that complains are the ones that are not paying. However, I really do believe that the doctored box mix will work out fine for my next paid order.

Cynita

-Tubbs Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 4:13am
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

[
icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Oh Tubbs, we're not gonna flame ya! Believe it or not, I am the same way about my cookies ...... can't stand any cookie mixes or refrigerated rolls .... all made from scratch in my kitchen! So while I prefer the taste of cake from a mix (never had a scratch cake yet that I would take a second bite of), I understand your point of view because I am the same way about cookies .... scratch only!! thumbs_up.gif




Aww, you're kind. Actually I'm just a sucker for real butter - I think that's the main reason I prefer scratch cakes! Perhaps if I was doing this all day, very day I would feel differently!

Mysweetcakes Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 4:18am

Being a stay at home mom. I get so burned out coming up with meals to cook every day and tired of eating my own cooking icon_cry.gif, that someone else could make me a PB&J sandwich, covered in a store bought jar of sauce, and it would taste phenomenal icon_lol.gif I don't know why, that's just how it is. My mom always says the same thing!!

Mysweetcakes Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 4:29am

Tubbs, I agree with you about the chemicals, etc. I try to do the organic and all natural thing as much as possible. When I use a boxed cake mix, I use organic eggs, milk etc. Better some organic than none icon_lol.gif

crablegs Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 4:36am

Thanks for all the replies. I believe I will try the box thing for awhile. I do alot of things that make me feel guilty later so what's one more...... hehe

wyatt Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 4:43am

indydebi wrote: "Good lord, even mopping is almost (almost!) fun with a commercial mop and mop bucket!"

Okay, let me just tell you I HAVE a commercial mop and mop bucket and cleaning the floor still sucks! icon_razz.gif

I too use cake mixes and sometimes add to them. My biggest compliments aren't that my cakes look good ~ but they taste good too! Besides, who has the time to make from scratch??

bubbles4500 Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 10:58am

venecakes-
Doctoring a cake is using a cake mix as a base and then adding other ingredients to the mix. For example, when I made the triple decker strawberry cake, I used a white cake mix and added things like a half cup strawberries, a pkg. strawberry gelatin, some flour, sugar, and a few other things to the cake mix. Sometimes you use all the things that it calls for on the back of the box, sometimes not. There are a few doctoring books out there..there's one just for chocolate, one for cakes, and one for cupcakes. I'd recommend hitting your library and checking the book out. I did and loved it and just bought it a few days ago because I had such great reviews! They also have a website. www.cakemixdoctor.com that shows the books, has a few recipes on site, and you can also sign up for their email newsletter. Hope this helps.

grama_j Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 11:08am

I figure if you aren't grinding your own flour, and churning your own butter, etc........... you are NOT baking from "scratch"... icon_lol.gif

DoniB Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 11:22am

I have done scratch cakes, and I've done mixes. My friends and family were thrilled to help taste test for me, and the mixes won, hands down. The scratch cakes were good... don't get me wrong, but the box mixes were the over-all winners. And they're faster... I can whip up a box mix, box to oven, in 6 minutes flat. Can't do that with scratch. icon_razz.gif

Tubbs wrote:
"Actually I'm just a sucker for real butter - I think that's the main reason I prefer scratch cakes! Perhaps if I was doing this all day, very day I would feel differently!"

Amen!!! (Paula Deen is my hero... starts every recipe out with, "You take a stick of butter...") I use butter recipe mixes when I bake, and that seems to be the best for me and my folks. icon_smile.gif

As for scratch cookies... that's the ONLY way to go for me. I have a vanilla sugar cookie recipe that I found in the 1001 cookies book, and it's my mainstay. I might make the dough ahead and freeze it, if I know I'm going to need it for a large batch, but I do NOT use mixes or bought dough for cookies. icon_razz.gif When they make one that tastes as good as my home-made, I'll consider it. icon_smile.gif

TanuvasaMama Posted 14 Jun 2007 , 4:43pm

newbie here, what is WASC?

Thanks for this thread. I've wondered the same thing. Being new to the cake decorating scene, I just assumed that everyone here was doing scratch cakes. I even felt like I had to explain to my DH that I was doing a box cake this week because I just didnt have time to do scratch, and that maybe next week I'd take the time to whip up (yeah if only it were that simple) a cake from scratch. First of all, he doesn't care. He just wants to eat cake, so who am I trying to impress? So it's quite a relief to hear that many of you start with a box mix. I've tried a few cakes from scratch and my family always seems a bit let down with the taste. I'm not sold on a good recipe yet.

Cookies though, i almost always do from scratch. The extra time is worth it to me. I can do refridgerated chocolate chip cookies, since those are the one type of cookies that my scratch recipes always come out AWEFUL! But the refidgerated sugar cookies make me gag.

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