Do You Use Cake Mix Or Make Cakes From Scratch?

Decorating By aidansmommy06 Updated 19 Feb 2016 , 7:43am by 2cute2bite

aidansmommy06 Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 4:52pm
post #1 of 50

I start with a cake mix and add several things to it. Im curious on what other cake decorators do.

Also what do you say when someone asks you if you make your cakes from scratch? And you don't.

49 replies
berryblondeboys Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 4:57pm
post #2 of 50

If you do a back search you will find this has been asked several times, but it's not a bad question.

First, I'm a 100% scratch baker as I don't like using mixes and don't like all the preservatives and such.

Two, always be honest. If you alter a mix, say, "I doctor up mixes to make them better". Don't try to pass it off as scratch because it's not - it could come to haunt you. Plus, as a scratch baker, I find that offensive! LOL

Melissa

aidansmommy06 Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 5:00pm
post #3 of 50

I tried searching it already. But couldn't find anything about it. But thanks for your input. I do let people know the truth if they ask. I just sometimes feel embarrassed by saying I do start with a mix. I know I shouldn't because I have never thought a scratch cake ever tasted good to begin with.LOL!

indydebi Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 5:36pm
post #4 of 50

Mix baker all the way. On the rare occasion that I've been asked "mix or scratch", I've told them, "You couldn't afford me if I baked from scratch."

Shamitha Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 5:41pm
post #5 of 50

I only bake from scratch!.

LNW Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 5:43pm
post #6 of 50

I used to be a scratch baker but once business picked up it became too time consuming to bake from scratch. I use very doctored mixes now, actually most the folks who own their own bakeries on this site use mixes as well. I bake homemade cakes that taste great and Iâve never had a complaint. I donât tell people I bake from a mix and Iâve never been asked. If someone did ask me Iâd tell them I start with a mix as my base and then go from there. I donât milk the cow or churn my own butter either but I doubt theyâd care about that.

Donât be embarrassed that you use a mix. Iâd say the VAST majority of bakers use doctored mixes. There is a big debate between the honesty factor on telling customers you bake âhomemadeâ when you use a mix. I say itâs a bold face lie to say you bake from scratch if you use a mix, but homemade can mean a lot of things. The last time this question came up I polled two other non-cake related websites Iâm an active member on. These are websites for moms btw.

I asked them plain and simple if you ordered a cake from someone who advertised them as âhomemadeâ and you found out it was a cake made from a very doctored mix would you be mad? Both sites were unanimous, they wouldnât give two squirts of monkey pee if they used a mix or not. All they cared about was how pretty the cake looked and so long as it tasted alright they were happy. They also said it wouldnât have mattered had they known upfront that the cake was made from a mix, they only care how it looks. So there you go.

aswartzw Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 5:50pm
post #7 of 50

I do extender recipes to my cake mixes. I will never do just straight-up cake mixes. I feel everybody can do cake mixes but by extending it, I make it more mine.

Nette2007 Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 5:56pm
post #8 of 50

can someone give me a great recipe to doctor the cake mixes? my cakes seem to be a little dry when i use just the regular mixes alone..Please help!

Cmaysa Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 6:06pm
post #9 of 50

i've never used a cake mix, cause its not that common here in portugal. I do everything from scratch since cakes, cookies, fondant, royal icing, etc not cause i want to, but because its so hard to find these things already made. And basic ingredients that you use like hidrogenated fat, i just cant find it here. Maybe in the Mainland, but i live in a island icon_cry.gif

indydebi Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 6:11pm
post #10 of 50

Forutnately, I saved the text of this thread as it was lost in the crash, but CC'er cariage posted this on a scratch-or-mix thread:

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"we have a very prestigious bakery in our town. people just absolutely RAVE over this womans cakes. They are the creme de la creme of cakes around here, and none of the "country club set" would dream of having a cake made by anyone else. Well, a friend of mine got a job decorating cakes at this bakery. She called me on her second day of work and said "OH MY GOD you are never going to guess what this woman uses for her cakes". Yep you guessed it....box mixes!!!! and the cake mix doctor book. She buys all of her mixes at walmart. She sent my friend one day to Walmart to buy baskets full of mixes. she started her bakery out of her home using these recipes and once her business got so big, she was afraid to change. "

Linliv46 Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 6:11pm
post #11 of 50

I use the WASC recipe on here and to me it is about the best for a yellow or white cake. I have also done it with a devils food cake mix. Now if it comes to German choc, Italian creme, or carrot or red velvet I use scratch recipes. I have never made the WASC and been disapointed! thumbs_up.gif

Linda

diane Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 11:05pm
post #12 of 50

i use a box mix and i doctor it up. i did go out of my comfort zone and made a scratch cake for my daughter's birthday. my two son's hated it. my daughter said it was o.k. i don't have anything against scratch, but when you have a lot of cakes to do, a box mix is more convenient. i think i would only do a scratch if it were a chocolate cake or something with flavor. my daughter's cake was white.

HerBoudoir Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 11:59pm
post #13 of 50

98% of the time, I'm a scratch baker. That's really sort of my "thing" with baking - I try only to use high quality ingredients, nothing artificial - belgian chocolate, great quality vanilla, real fruits, heavy cream, all butter, quality liquors like Kahlua or Gran Marnier, etc. I've taken a few culinary courses including a cakes course. I do have an advantage that I work in a restaurant that allows the staff to buy pretty much whatever we want at cost, so I can buy things like frozen fruit puree that only has fruit and sugar in it (they use it for sorbet base; I use it for everything), plus some other goodies.

And it's all a hobby - I have no interest in being a pastry chef when I grow up icon_smile.gif I just really love being able to put together something amazing. Baking is my zen.

That said - I also go to college full time (honors student), spend 3 hours a day 5 days a week commuting to college, work part time, etc. So on occasion when my schedule is stressed to the max, I have been known to doctor a mix.

I'm working my way through the Wilton courses now to learn piping and such better, and yep, I usually make a doctored cake mix for those classes. It's hard enough making time to take the courses icon_smile.gif

I will say I tried the "Darn Good Chocolate Cake" from the recipes section about 3 weeks ago, and I am MAD because it was so good LOL Ah well...

bethola Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:08am
post #14 of 50

I use Pillsbury Cake Mix and doctor it with Coffee Creamers and whipping cream; sometimes different flavorings. I just have a good time with it!

If I'm asked I tell them. I start with a mix and then...."just go WILD"! LOL

Beth in KY

vteventrider Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:11am
post #15 of 50

I only do scratch but not because of pro/con point. I do it because baking relaxes me and I love to scratch bake. I do not do a high enough quantity for this to be a problem as I only do cakes as gifts for family and friends. Since baking is how I relax after a hard day with my son or during finals, or anything else stressful. Like the other post said it is zen. I even do scratch for class. I have tasted modified mixes and some taste great, however I enjoy knowing every ingredient that is in my cake and having control over quality.

If you were ever asked I would say tell them the truth. You use mixes but have adapted and perfected the modification technique so that it tastes wonderful and they would never know. You could even say that is how you ensure a repeatable quality in your product. Always upsell it that way and it is true that I do not know many people that would care as long as it tastes great and looks wonderful.

FromScratch Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:13am
post #16 of 50

100% scratch here.. as long as your customers are happy you have no need to feel embarrassed about using mixes. I use my scratch baking as a selling point and I charge more for it.

Ironbaker Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:13am
post #17 of 50

Image



I will say I'm along the lines of HerBoudoir. I just love to bake and like to know what's going in.

pjmw Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:20am
post #18 of 50

I'm a hobby baker who uses mixes...and that's ok for meicon_smile.gif

Paula

moxey2000 Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:21am
post #19 of 50

I'm a 100% scratch baker, but I admit to being envious of those of you who can use mixes. Due to my location cake mixes are hit or miss, for reliability as well as not always being available. I've gotten so good at my scratch recipe though that I can practically make it with my eyes closed!!

MartaMarkline Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:26am
post #20 of 50

I use a box mix for my standard yellow/chocolate/white cake requests. For the speciality cake I use a receipe from scratch, ie. carrott, applesauce,spice, etc. Everyone raves over my standard cakes and cannot believe they are from a mix. They bake up nicely and I have had good luck.

foxymomma521 Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:29am
post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by aswartzw

I do extender recipes to my cake mixes. I will never do just straight-up cake mixes. I feel everybody can do cake mixes but by extending it, I make it more mine.



That's a great way to describe it! thumbs_up.gif (That's what I do too)

cohenandlillysmom Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:42am
post #22 of 50

First of all if you can make a GOOD scratch cake I envy you! That being said I of course use a mix, I dont do anything extra, just follow the directions. I own a "cake shop" not a bakery. I feel that I am a cake designer not a cake decorator. I get soooo many compliments on my cakes (mostly from people who "dont like cake")! I choose to pay more attention to my decorating and designing than on baking a half decent (thats only because of my skill level) scratch cake.

I do have to say though I am sooo tired of catching hell from those who dont think that we should use cake mix.
I have a friend who is a photographer, we work in the same building and she saw some of my cake mixes. She was APALED (sp)! She said it was like her taking her point and shoot camera to a wedding. I asked her if she developes her pictures in a dark room? She of course said no, no one does anymore. She gets all her prints from an internet company (I also happen to know how much those pics cost for her to print)! I said same thing!
When you decorate at home (which I did) people want to know where your cakes come from, but when you bake cakes from an established bakery people assume that they make cakes from scratch! Most dont! I dont think that we should be chastized!

2muchsugar Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:46am
post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LNW

Both sites were unanimous, they wouldnât give two squirts of monkey pee if they used a mix or not.




I LOVE it! If you don't mind I'm adopting the phrase. It applies to so many areas of life... icon_biggrin.gif

I bake from both scratch and mixes. I've found that when I have to freeze cakes, the scratch ones do much better than cake mixes. Probably just me.

aswartzw Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 4:49pm
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cohenandlillysmom

I do have to say though I am sooo tired of catching hell from those who dont think that we should use cake mix.
I have a friend who is a photographer, we work in the same building and she saw some of my cake mixes. She was APALED (sp)! She said it was like her taking her point and shoot camera to a wedding. I asked her if she developes her pictures in a dark room? She of course said no, no one does anymore. She gets all her prints from an internet company (I also happen to know how much those pics cost for her to print)! I said same thing!





Well said!! thumbs_up.gif

julzs71 Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 8:14pm
post #25 of 50

I'm strictly scratch baker. But I don't care what anyone else makes. I used to be a mix baker. Once I started trying different recipes I could taste the difference between the two. The mix became a tasteless, fluffy, and spongy cake to me,(not knocking it, I used to swear by mixes). My younger kids still love it. My older one says she has sophisticated taste buds. I'm not sure if she knows though, she is usually helping me or seeing me make cakes. With scratch cakes though you have to go through alot of them before you find the right one for you.

sarahnichole975 Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 8:42pm
post #26 of 50

I use to be embarassed and didn't want to admit I use box. Then I figured out, if people are getting a pretty cake that tastes good, it doesn't really matter to them. I've wondered if I should change to scratch, but I feel more and more comfortable with the idea of just sticking to boxes, with my own special flavor to it. I swear by that extra splash of oil, even though I'm sure it makes no real difference. Kudos to those of you who do scratch bake and do it well. And just as much kudos to those of you who use a box and get the praises of "delicious cakes as well as pretty." And for those of you making ugly, foul tasting cakes...stop or ask someone for help....j/k total sarcasm btw

ladyonzlake Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 8:57pm
post #27 of 50

I started with box mix and then I started adding to the box mix but recently I have been baking scratch. It's less expensive to bake scratch than it is to purchase the box mix, pudding, coffee creamer ect. ect.

I also feel that since I charge a premium for my cakes they should be made of the freshest ingredients.

felecia Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 9:10pm
post #28 of 50

I bake doing both...box and scratch. Its all about what you put into the cake.

janbabe Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 9:26pm
post #29 of 50

I bake from scratch and for me personally, I prefer it. I've done cake mix and though they turned out fine (well I never had any complaints)! I just feel I know exactly what is going into it and how its made!

Nothing against cake mix at all and if I was really pushed for time, maybe I would use one again.

I always tell my customers I bake from scratch and they seem to prefer that, but as I said i think either way is fine if that is what you are used to.

Jan icon_smile.gif

nelja5 Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 2:14am
post #30 of 50

scratch cakes!

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