Secrect Ingredient??

Decorating By Mosaic Updated 20 Apr 2008 , 5:26am by waywordz

Mosaic Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:39pm
post #1 of 59

A relative of mine paid an acquaintance (who does some baking on the side) to bake a cake for a birthday party. She charged her $50 for a small 1 tiered round cake. The decorating was very average. However, it tasted DELICIOUS.

I asked my relative if the woman would mind sharing her cake recipe. She said it was a white BOX CAKE with a secret ingredient which she refused to share.

First of all, I can't believe she charged her $50 for a box cake. But, that's another discussion. I am just wondering if anyone knows what kind of extra ingredient can be added to a white box cake mix. I've never heard of such a thing. I always thought box cake mixes were complete in and of themselves.

Thanks in advance!

58 replies
wgoat5 Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:41pm
post #2 of 59

There are sooo many flavors you can add

princess emulsion
marshmallow flavoring...

etc. etc...

there are sooo many

tonimarie Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:46pm
post #3 of 59

icon_confused.gif What is this marshmallow flavoring you speak of and where can I get it?! Sounds yummy icon_smile.gif

sarahnichole975 Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:50pm
post #4 of 59

Well I use a box mix always and only add a bit of almond emulsion. Everyone always says it's the best cake they've ever put in their mouth. I chuckle to myself a bit. I thought of changing to scratch, but my clients question what's different if I can't find my pilsbury and have to use a different mix. Obviously they're happy and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

wgoat5 Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:51pm
post #5 of 59

You can get some in the Loriann (sp?) flavorings... I think you can find it on or even some of the other websites..but sometimes you can even get it at Wal Mart or Target icon_smile.gif


AnythingSugar Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:52pm
post #6 of 59

Not sure what her ingredient might be but I use white cake mix. I follow the directions except I use the whole egg instead of just the whites and then I add one tablespoon of sour cream along with a teaspoon of creme bouquet. My family says they don't believe it is cake mix.

bevyd Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:56pm
post #7 of 59

I am still stuck on fifty bucks for a box cake.

wgoat5 Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:57pm
post #8 of 59

You made a comment about the 50.00 charge for a small round..

I make 6 inch rounds 6 inches high and charge 60.00 ... In flavors like... Hummingbird, carrot, italian creme, red velvet, german chocolate and dark chocolate with a yummy ganache bc... and have regulars who order these... not decorated with flowers or anything.. but these are my homemade cakes...

The stack cakes I do add ons to the box mixes... pudding, sour cream..etc... which makes it cost more... Plus you have to remember time... it takes time to make anything... and our time is worth money icon_smile.gif

Do I feel bad for charging 60.00? Well ... ummm NOPE lol

sarahnichole975 Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 12:01am
post #9 of 59

I charge more than $50 for a boxed cake and no one seems to mind....

Jayde Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 12:15am
post #10 of 59

Honestly, it shouldnt matter whether its a boxed mix or a made from stratch cake. Its the TASTE that matters! And if it tastes good, then who cares?

I use doctored up box mixes all the time, and people rave about them tasting just like homemade.

apuls Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 12:18am
post #11 of 59

There are many ways to "doctor" a box cake mix. Check out the "Cake Doctor" books by Ann Byrne for all sorts of ideas.

indydebi Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:01am
post #12 of 59

gosh, I hope you're not one of these people who mistakenly believe that ALL bakeries bake from scratch and ALL restaurants make everything from scratch, are you? icon_confused.gif

A cake mix is a box of premeasured dry ingredients. The cake is the least of the expenses of the cake ... the real expense is the time and talent it takes to turn some cake batter into a creative work of sugar art.

sarahnichole975 Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 7:32pm
post #13 of 59

I couldn't have said it better....

Mosaic Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 12:16am
post #14 of 59

Okay, everyone...

Thank you to those who offered suggestions. They were helpful. I have never heard of creme bouquet. If someone could tell me what it is I would appreciate it very much.

As for the "$50 boxed cake" debate. I said at the beginning...that's a separate discussion. Believe me, if you would have seen the cake you would have been amazed that she charged $50 for it. It tasted good, it looked quite bad. I'm sure you all make lovely cakes that are worth $50 or more.

Getting back to the real issue of this thread. Since I was really impressed with the taste of the boxed white cake with the secret added ingredient, I was hoping to be pointed in the right direction on this board. So far I've heard I can add...

Almond extract
Creme Bouquet
Sour Cream

I don't know which to add...but I guess I will just start trying. Does anyone have a favorite brand of white cake mix?

Thank you to those who offered some helpful advice!


alanahodgson Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 12:44am
post #15 of 59

You need to look in the recipes section and search for White Almond Sour Cream Cake. It adds sugar, flour, sour cream and flavoring to a box cake and makes a really delicious product that's super moist. Its a rather dense cake but not like a pound cake, just dense with moisture. I don't like almond, so I subsitute creme bouquet which has a very mild creamy citrus flavor. I get the creme bouquet at my local cake supply store, but many online stores also carry it. It is totally my secret ingredient that people just can't put their finger on why my white cake tastes sooo good.

wgoat5 Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 12:49am
post #16 of 59

But... if it isn't a citrus flavor you are tasting... maybe try the Butavan.. that is also a very unique flavor icon_smile.gif

kakeladi Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 1:42am
post #17 of 59

I'm not really trying to be a smartalick but maybe her 'secret ingredients' is nothing more than love!
Learning how to bake is a talent. It can be learned if you are not afraid to experiement. Yes, you will have failures but you put a big X thru that recipe and go on to the next on until you find what you like the best. Maybe you will use 2 of the ingredients already mentioned; maybe 3. Or none!

Personally I prefer to bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes (for any shape pan that holds one cake mix); then turn the temp up to 325 for 15-20 minutes more until you can smell the cake baking icon_smile.gif Don 't really need any special, secret ingredients to have a great tasting cake that wayicon_smile.gif

MessiET Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 1:51am
post #18 of 59

I love adding the creme bouquet to the WASC (omitting the almond flavor) to add a special flavor to the white cake.

I also find that a lot of people like my French Vanilla cake that I make using DH French vanilla and french vanilla extract, again following the WASC recipe. It is delicious and a nice change from white or yellow cake.

My other suggestion to you is to use the best ingredients. Invest in a good vanilla extract, use quality ingredients.

Let us know what you find out!

Kakelady: funny you mention that... My mom used to make a killer german chocolate cake. She gave the recipe to my aunt. My aunt's cake never even came close to how great my mom's cake was... I think my mom baked it with more "love" icon_smile.gif

penguinprincess Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 1:54am
post #19 of 59
Originally Posted by wgoat5

But... if it isn't a citrus flavor you are tasting... maybe try the Butavan.. that is also a very unique flavor icon_smile.gif

Sorry to butt in-- but what is butavan?

mixinvixen Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 1:54am
post #20 of 59

there could be so many things! it could be pudding mixes in various that case you would need to add a bit more oil and at least one more egg to the box.

it could be fresh fruit pureed, which i do alot...make sure to strain out the seeds, and it will jsut have a really intense fruit flavor.

it could be as simple as extra butter, or sour cream, or yogurt, or even mayonnaise instead of oil.

it could be white chocolate drizzled in for a richer taste.

creme bouquet is a definite possibility, but only if it had a citrus undertone.

creme royal, on the other hand, has the yummiest buttery sugar cookie like flavor, so maybe she found that online. it's addictive, and definitely a secret weapon i recommend!!

any of the lorann oils come highly recommend and let you get the exact flavor you want or need, with just the tiniest of amounts.

an extra egg, by itself, can really boost the flavor.

buttermilk instead of milk or water will change the taste to a richer deeper one.

there's really just too many variables without a few more hints from yo;u....were there any flavors that you detected?

mixinvixen Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 1:55am
post #21 of 59

butaven is a thick puddling like consistency flavoring, sold by earlene out of texas.

rezzygirl Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 1:59am
post #22 of 59
Originally Posted by wgoat5

There are sooo many flavors you can add

princess emulsion
marshmallow flavoring...
etc. etc...

there are sooo many

I've never heard of marshmallow flavoring. Is it a lorann oil flavor or flavor drops or is it an emulsion like butavan & creme bouqet??

penguinprincess Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 2:02am
post #23 of 59
Originally Posted by mixinvixen

butaven is a thick puddling like consistency flavoring, sold by earlene out of texas.

thank you for the info and for providing the link-- it sound yummy! I will have to order some! thx again!

indydebi Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 2:10am
post #24 of 59
Originally Posted by kakeladi

I'm not really trying to be a smartalick but maybe her 'secret ingredients' is nothing more than love!


I say that all the time! Cheesy as it sounds, but in the words of Emeril, "It's the love and and the passion, baby!"

Except for my choc chip recipe, all of my cookies are made from recipes straight off the box or out of the book. Anyone can make the same cookies I make .... except they can't make the SAME cookies that *I* make!

My cakes comes straight from Betty Crocker .... and I have heard it said I don't know how many times ".... I can't make cakes like you!"

It partially why the mix vs scratch debate is so funny to me. It doesn't matter which you use, if you don't have the love and the passion, your stuff is going to taste like ... well ... let's just say "not good". icon_rolleyes.gif Mix or scratch, if you don't have the talent (the love, the passion), it's just not going to turn out as well.

The love and the passion ..... THE most important ingredients! thumbs_up.gif

sweetcravings Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 2:11am
post #25 of 59

Ok, I know people can add a tone of different stuff to a white mix to make it taste different but here's a twist to what others have said already. I just heard about it at weight watchers this week. You take one box of cake mix (white) and add one can of pop to it..any flavor. No need to add the egg, oil etc.. just the pop. Some say that cream soda pop with the white mix is awesome. Could that be what she did??I dunno, just thought i'd share something new i heard. ;0)

indydebi Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 2:18am
post #26 of 59

sweetcravings, I've never heard of that! Sounds interesting and I'm going to try it!

penguinprincess Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 2:20am
post #27 of 59

love and passion is SOO true. when we were first married, my hubby would ask me to make chocolate chip cookies all the time-- he said they were the best he ever had. One night i was making them and we got into an argument about something (probably his family)... anyway...I made the cookies EXACTLY like i had been making them for years--but was really pissed off at my hubby while making them and they came out TERRIBLE!! we had a good laugh and that ended the argument! he now makes sure i am very happy with him and in a great mood when i am in the kitchen!! hehe

lastingmoments Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 2:56am
post #28 of 59

I agree.....with the love and passion thing! I have TONS of recipes that my family ask for and when they try to make them...they NEVER taste the same. this applies to cakes and entrees, side dishes, etc. I have been told many times that they can pick out my food at pot lucks or parties because I have a distinct flavor in all my stuff. I have kinda tossed this around in my head never quite grasping it only to come to a conclusion of "I love to eat, therefore I love to its all in the my hand"

now I am not saying that she doesn't use a secret ingrediant just saying you never know all you can do is sit down and try different things to crack the code!! I often say my cake recipes are a secret to my SIL because well she is my arch nemesies but really sometimes there is no such thing.
When i find something I think taste great I love to take a day and try every possible way to make it! even if it results in 10 of that item!
remember the episode of friends when monica made all the cookies.........she might have gotten the recipe from her french ancestor!

Mosaic Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 3:33am
post #29 of 59

Oh my goodness...these posts have been SO helpful. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am going to try the WASC with the creme bouquet. Oh.....wait....I found this stuff in the baking aisle of my Kroger grocery store today. It's called Vanilla Butter & Nut Flavor. Would this be something I could use in the WASC in place of the almond extract or the creme bouquet?

I am looking for a dense I think the WASC will be perfect! THANK YOU!.

I'd like to make a pink frosting to go on it. Can anyone recommend one that will go well with WASC?


Batter-UpBakery Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 4:20am
post #30 of 59

oh yes the love and passion mixed in with a little good intuition (sp) can make a great cake. one time we were having a family gathering and they wanted me to make a cake for desert, but i ended up sick with the flu so my SIL made a cake using the same exact ingredients i do, but i was told hers didnt taste nearly as good as mine. so i have to agree that it does make a difference. hope you figure out the "secret"!!!!


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