Poll: Scratch Vs. Store Bought Cake Mix

Baking By Susan94 Updated 1 Mar 2016 , 1:02am by kakeladi

loriemoms Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 9:45pm
post #31 of 60

I just finished an article on Scratch vs Mix. It was written by a baker who came to this country 25 years ago and people complained about her cakes being too dry. They weren't really dry, the crumb was just a texture they weren't used to. She refuses to use a mix, but instead now puts a syrup on all her cakes, so they are extremly moist and have that crumb everyone is used to.

I personally am terrible at baking scratch cakes....the exact same recipe comes out different every time! I kind of LIKE the preseratives in mixes, as I can make a cake and the "shelf life" after I have decorated it lasts a little longer then a scratch. Its also just so much easier. I doctor the mix a lot, so it still has a kind of home made taste. I also found that it wasn't that much more to make since I don't have to buy expensive butter. (I buy my mixes at Target for 89 cents a box)

shortNsweet Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 9:45pm
post #32 of 60

I have always told my customers that I use doctored up cake mixes...I though they WOULD mind, but no one seems to have a problem with it. They say they don't care because the taste & texture are so good.

CakeDiva73 Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 9:47pm
post #33 of 60
Originally Posted by KakesandKids

I only bake from scratch. I have used my recipes for years and they are always delicious and consistent. It is a matter of finding a good recipe and sticking to it. I would not sell a cake from a mix since my customers expect scratch.

So what is your secret for a consistently moist chocolate cake? I have tried many, many recipes...

ntertayneme Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 9:52pm
post #34 of 60

I've always used Pillsbury (Walmart cost $.83 each) and I doctor them up. I have gotten more comments on how wonderful my cakes taste... I never tell them they're from a cake mix... basically, the cake mix is the base part of the mix and I add other ingredients, i.e., sour cream, pudding(s), sugar, flour, eggs, salt, flavorings... so basically, except for the box mix which I feel is what keeps the cake so moist, it's almost like scratch... and yes, it has preservatives, but I have to agree that maybe this helps as far as the cakes keeping fresh for longer icon_smile.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 9:59pm
post #35 of 60

Preservative... ya' gotta love 'em!

I add vanilla pudding mix to several of my most popular cookie recipes and have great success.... they remain chewy and sweet even a couple days after baking ( if they last that long ) and hold up so much better when being shipped. The recipe without the pudding added dries out soooo quickly. (Sometimes I use a few tablespoons rather than an entire package)

CakeDiva73 Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 10:01pm
post #36 of 60

*** Sorry, have to add that the recipe that really rocked I got from Allrecipes so short of me adding the pudding... well, it's not really mine icon_redface.gif

Euphoriabakery Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 10:26pm
post #37 of 60
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73

Originally Posted by KakesandKids

I only bake from scratch. I have used my recipes for years and they are always delicious and consistent. It is a matter of finding a good recipe and sticking to it. I would not sell a cake from a mix since my customers expect scratch.

So what is your secret for a consistently moist chocolate cake? I have tried many, many recipes...

Try the chocolate layer cake recipe from this site. It has hot coffee in it, but you can't tell when it is made. This is the best chocolate cake I have ever had ( scratch or boxed). It comes out great every time!

CakeDiva73 Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 10:28pm
post #38 of 60

Hey thanks! I will check it out icon_smile.gif

KakesandKids Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 11:22pm
post #39 of 60

Absolutely the double chocolate cake from this site that Euphoria is talking about is hands down the best chocolate cake!

MariaLovesCakes Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 11:29pm
post #40 of 60

Ummmm, I don't know, I have a good one too. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Well, actually two good ones.... Like many of you, I searched, and I searched.... I am a chocoholic so I wanted it really chocolaty...

I found two: The Perfect Chocolate Cake and the Chocolate Fudge Cake from the Cake Bible. YUMMM!!!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 11:30pm
post #41 of 60
Originally Posted by KakesandKids

Absolutely the double chocolate cake from this site that Euphoria is talking about is hands down the best chocolate cake!

Is it the same as the chocolate layer cake from this site? I was confused because it doesn't say 'double' icon_rolleyes.gif and I just gotta' try all these great recipes!

KakesandKids Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 11:33pm
post #42 of 60

yeah its the same...its called double chocolate on another site...it has 1 1/2 C coffee ad 3 ounces chocolate...yum!

Vreeke Posted 18 Aug 2006 , 11:35pm
post #43 of 60

I have only made my cakes from scratch and since I end up carving most of my cakes, the box mixes won't hold up.
A good place to start for recipes is The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. That book has won many awards and all the recipes are excellent. One suggestion when baking from scratch; weigh all your ingredients always. That way your recipes will always be consistent.
Happy Baking,
Lori V.
[url]Pastries By Vreeke[/url]

Narie Posted 19 Aug 2006 , 12:07am
post #44 of 60

Checked the Chocolate Layer Cake recipe here. It is almost identical to Hershey's Black magic cake except it is a recipe and a half and has more cocoa and the three oz. of semi-sweet. Definitely worth trying, the black magic cake has long been one of my favorites.

beachcakes Posted 19 Aug 2006 , 1:23am
post #45 of 60

I started feeling guilty when people assumed I made scratch cakes. I made birthday cakes for friends/family and didnt' sell them. But some day I want to have a little business, and I thought it would be a good idea to have a few good scratch recipes in my repertoire. I found a few I was happy with and now use them almost exclusively. Tho' sometimes i use the good ole white almond sour cream recipe thumbs_up.gif The funny thing is, I now prefer scratch and the box mixes taste chemical-ly (is that a word?) to me. DH even notices. Weird, huh? I was raised on box mixes.

PoodleDoodle Posted 19 Aug 2006 , 12:37pm
post #46 of 60

I grew up eating "scratch" baking & cooking in general. Raised a garden and canned or froze the veggies, so I hate box cakes. I have tried doctoring them up but they still taste like box.

I bake the "Chocolate Layer Cake" recipe and I have a white cake recipe & a few others than turn out perfect every time and can be refrigerated for several days without loosing any freshness. I also prefer the texture of scratch cakes. I guess I'm kind of a snob to box mixes.

bakescakes1 Posted 19 Aug 2006 , 1:00pm
post #47 of 60

I use both.....scratch and box. I used to only bake from scratch and had a hard time switching but my customers were much happier with the ones I started baking from a box! Because I supply cakes to businesses weekly, they use them for a week, the scratch would always dry out by the end of the week. So it was either lose business or tweek my recipes.
I say as long as your customers are happy do what feels right!

CarolAnn Posted 19 Aug 2006 , 1:29pm
post #48 of 60

I use boxed cake mixes and Duncan Hines almost exclusively. I've made scratch cakes but noone has ever mentioned a difference in the taste and I get wonderful compliments. I only give 93 cents each at Wal Mart so I don't see that as a big expense. I wound't think baking them from scratch would be cheaper than that with the butter, chocolates etc that go into a scratch cake. I am a country girl by choice, married a farmer, so didn't grow up with all the yummy homegrown/canned stuff and someone to teach me how to really bake.

I tried the white almond sour cream cake yesterday and it is delicious! When I leveled the cakes my dd and grandaughters snarfed up the tops before I could hardly get a taste. It tastes a LOT like angel food cake. yummy!

mbelgard Posted 19 Aug 2006 , 1:52pm
post #49 of 60

I grew up on boxed and find that I can't get consistent results from scratch. My husband prefers BC or DH, he can tell everytime I use pilsbury.

all4cake Posted 19 Aug 2006 , 2:11pm
post #50 of 60

I used to use box mixes and only made specialty cakes(carrot, pumpkin...)from scratch. I still keep a couple around for something to throw together quickly. I switched to scratch for all my cakes after I messed up a cake and had to redo it, it was late, the stores were closed, and I didn't have enough mix. I always have ingredients for a scratch cake though. Soooooooo, I switched.

Yjudania Posted 20 Aug 2006 , 12:28am
post #51 of 60

I grew up on box cooking. Living in a single parent household, my mom pretty much made everything from a box. However, I find myself attempting to make everything from scratch. I find cooking and moreso, baking, an art form. Therefore, I challenge myself with baking from scratch. Also, my tastebuds have become more refined and I can always tell if anything is made from scratch or not.

I agree with most of the ladies here though, most ppl either prefer the box taste or can't tell the difference. I say do whatever makes you money! icon_biggrin.gif

LittleLinda Posted 20 Aug 2006 , 1:04am
post #52 of 60
Originally Posted by Vreeke

since I end up carving most of my cakes, the box mixes won't hold up.Lori V.
[url]Pastries By Vreeke[/url]

Lori, I just took a peek at your website and you make great cakes! You have to start posting some on cc. I suggest you put that leaning tower of Pizza in cc's gallery! Wow That's cool!

soosf Posted 20 Aug 2006 , 1:23am
post #53 of 60

I grew up baking cakes from scratch but like others here, I now do a combination of scratch and doctored box cakes. I don't like the light texture of box cake so I add extra eggs and butter (real butter) when I use one. Mostly, I like the yellow or butter cakes. Chocolate is more difficult to get a good, dense crumb. After baking and cooling, I freeze the layers individually and then torte them and brush on either a simple syrup mixture like the one listed earlier or lemoncello or some other liqueur. I like them very moist, with a buttercream frosting. My mother, who always baked from scratch, said it was the best cake she ever tasted, and they seem to disappear very quickly.

Vreeke Posted 20 Aug 2006 , 2:15am
post #54 of 60

Thanks for the complements, I really have a fun time creating new cakes icon_smile.gif
Happy Baking,
Lori V.

chippewa309 Posted 25 Feb 2016 , 3:11pm
post #55 of 60

I have done both but I personally prefer scratch because I know what ingredients are in the cake.  To me they always taste better.

annie1992 Posted 25 Feb 2016 , 3:24pm
post #56 of 60

I only bake cake from scratch.  The preservatives in box mixes have a metallic taste that I always notice, plus I don't like eating things I can't pronounce, LOL.  I definitely don't believe in "better living through chemicals" (sic)

I second (or third) the recipes from The Cake Bible, and the chocolate cake that's on the back of the Hershey's cocoa box is really good, easy and always consistent, plus easy to shape and stack, sturdy enough to hold up another tier.  I've found that a little bit of espresso powder intensifies the chocolate flavor in nearly every baked good, without tasting of coffee.  

bethsman44460 Posted 29 Feb 2016 , 12:31am
post #57 of 60

Go to this site. The white almond sour cream cake is half scratch and half box. I delicious. I have used all flavors of cake mix with this recipe. and all come out good.   http://designmeacake.com/

funcakes Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 12:02am
post #58 of 60

Most of the people I bake for are not bakers themselves.  They buy cake mixes and store bought cakes.  So, to them boxed cake mixes are fine.

Over the years, some of my friends have more or less just eaten my from scratch baked goods.  Now, they complain about eating cakes made from boxed mixes because they claim they have a "chemical aftertaste."  I think it is about refining the taste buds.

However, most of us who bake from scratch use the best ingredients we can because we are putting the effort into it.  I do not think that you would really save any money by baking from scratch over box mixes.  In fact I think it is more expensive unless you are doing it as a business and can buy in large quantities and at wholesale.  (Not that I really know, I never priced it out but my flavorings like pure vanilla and European chocolate is pricey)

annie1992 Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 12:19am
post #59 of 60

funcakes, it might be about "refining the taste buds" (or maybe refinding the taste buds, LOL), but I've never liked mix cakes.  Grandma taught me to bake when I was 7 or 8, she always made scratch cakes.  Now, more than a couple of decades later, I still make scratch cakes, I've never made mix cakes.  My youngest daughter claims that she likes cakes from a mix better so that's what she bakes, but when her kids have birthdays she always asks me to bake and decorate the cake and she'll make cupcakes. Mine gets eaten.  The cupcakes, not so much.  I only bake for family and friends and I do it free, I don't want all the complaining that comes along with brides and people paying for cakes, complaining that the swag on one side was 1/16 of an inch higher than the other side or whatever else they could find "wrong",  that'd take the fun out of it.  After the 3 tier birchbark wedding cake last fall,  I've had several people ask me to bake their wedding cakes because they "loved" the chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse filling.  I'm kind of partial to the hot milk cake with raspberry filling myself.

I agree that it's probably a lot cheaper to buy a 99 cent cake mix, the cheapest oil available at the store and some commercially available eggs on sale for a buck or so.   Sans frosting, it's probably $2, max.  But it's not very good.  By the time you add sugar and flour and sour cream and extra eggs or pudding mix and whatever else to "doctor" that cake mix, it's got to be nearly as expensive and time consuming as it would be to just make it from scratch. 

kakeladi Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 1:02am
post #60 of 60

bethsman said: Go to this site...........

But..........The *original* WASC cake recipe is on this site already  http://www.cakecentral.com/recipe/22469/2-icing     

Most people do not need or want such a large amount of batter and,.....that recipe is a 'tweaked version' of my *original* one! 

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