Just Goes To Show You People Like What They're Used To...

Decorating By beachcakes Updated 1 May 2008 , 4:06pm by daisy114

beachcakes Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 12:54am
post #1 of 52

I'm not looking to spark the scratch/box debate, but I just got off the phone with my mom and thought I'd ramble a bit. Mom was at a party tonight where I had made the cake so she called to tell me that "everyone loved it and it tasted really good and wasn't dry or anything!" icon_confused.gif gee, thanks Mom! icon_lol.gif

Now my mother is not a baker - her idea of birthday cakes was Carvel, which I always hated. Each year I secretly prayed for Pepperidge Farm. icon_rolleyes.gif Probably poetic justice that I have become a cake decorator.

Anyway, since the cake decorating bug bit a few years back, I experimented with different scratch recipes and found some I really liked. (Unfortunately, I found plenty we didn't like at all!) icon_smile.gif DS & DH were the official cake tasters. But I was quite proud that I had mastered a few recipes and made the switch. It got back to me from two different people (not Mom) that they thought my cakes were dry. I was heartbroken - they weren't dry, they were just ...well... scratch - different!

So, I decided that people just want what they're used to... why not just give it to them? And so I switched back to dr'd mixes. Apparently it was the right decision. I had no idea mom felt this way. On another note, DH & DS now prefer scratch cakes. Go figure.

51 replies
pjaycakes Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:00am
post #2 of 52

I went through the same thing. I kept trying different scratch recipes and doing taste tests on everyone I know. Comparing the scratch and doctored box mixes. Everyone always picked the box mixes. I was really disappointed, but I suppose if that's what everyone likes and rave over that is what they will get. Makes it easier to bake.

The only scratch ones I use are the carrot, which is a big hit and red velvet which is my grandmother's recipe. The rest are doctored.

daisy114 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:09am
post #3 of 52

I just made a three tiered cake, all from scratch. My chocolate and carrot were made with oil, my white with butter. Everyone liked all three cakes but the white was their least favorite. I think it's just how it goes with butter cakes. They're a different texture and are never truly moist (well at least the ones I tried).

Tootall Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:14am
post #4 of 52

You just can't have a red velvet cake from a box! icon_biggrin.gif I have a from scratch recipe that's my aunt's. It's been in the family for ages and everyone loves it. I can't imagine one from a box icon_lol.gif My other cakes, though. Yeah, doctored mixes. I'd rather spend my time on the decorating icon_smile.gif And they taste good, so hey! Works for me!

HerBoudoir Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:20am
post #5 of 52

Sad, but true. I always grew up on scratch cakes (still have the old recipe book!) and other baked goods, so it's no surprise that I far prefer scratch baking. I'm also a bit of a culinary snob, and really like using premium ingredients in my baking.

But yeah...just the last couple months I have two friends RAVING about cakes I did - and both were when I was cutting corners because time was tight and used a box mix. GRRRRRR. At least both the frostings were scratch.

I guess you have to "know your audience". If they're going to be happier with a doctored cake mix, don't waste the money on the expensive scratch ingredients.

Since I primarily bake for *me* and what I get out of it - it's very therapeautic for me - then they'll just have to deal with getting scratch goodies.

Like it or not LOL

Edit Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:22am
post #6 of 52

I absolutely understand you. I was going to ask the same question in a thread if other scratch bakers get this respond. I use Toba's yellow cake recipe which is an extremely nice and moist cake. I made it for a bride and her mother (who hates cakes, didn't even try the wedding cake) said some people said it was dry. I was shocked too. (Not to mention they tasted the cake at the consultation, never had a problem with it.) I got other feedback from the same wedding cake from my friend who was there, saying the cake was absolutely delicious.
I know it couldn't have been dry, we ate cakescraps for a couple of days after the wedding and it still was moist. I'm from Europe originally, to me box cakes taste awfully artificial. Now I'm putting simple syrup on my cakes and tort them too.

beachcakes Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:25am
post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tootall

You just can't have a red velvet cake from a box! icon_biggrin.gif I have a from scratch recipe that's my aunt's. It's been in the family for ages and everyone loves it. I can't imagine one from a box icon_lol.gif My other cakes, though. Yeah, doctored mixes. I'd rather spend my time on the decorating icon_smile.gif And they taste good, so hey! Works for me!




LOL I'm a Yankee - I don't believe I've ever had Red Velvet! icon_redface.gif

mommycakediva Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:26am
post #8 of 52

I know my grandma swears by scratch cakes, but I can never tell the difference between my drd mix and hers so I still use mixes!

CakeDiva73 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:27am
post #9 of 52

Just like my Grandma (and others) used to say, "If it ain't broke, don't FIX it!". I struggled trying to get a non-dr'd chocolate recipe because my friend used to give me such a ration of cr*p for using a freakin' boxed cake mix.....kept telling me "her scratch cake was loved by everyone and it was totally from scratch, blah, blah, blah".....you get the picture. Problem was, it was dry and very bland - not moist or chocolatey, for that matter.

So I searched....I finally found one that is totally scratch, moist and rich too, but sometimes we all crave the dr'd one. Which brings me to this.......what is the big deal? If everyone loved it, why fuss and try to change it? My french vanilla is a doctored cake mix and I have yet to meet someone who tastes it and doesn't love it.

I still have to put up with the cr*p my friend gives me but I don't care! If it tastes good, why change it just so it's 'from scratch', which is a totally debatable expression anyway. I would rather make a great cake that everyone likes then bragging about it being from scratch and then having people think it's dry........

SeriousCakes Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:28am
post #10 of 52

I'm a scratch only baker, almost gave up a few times though, there are a lot of bad recipes out there!! I recently made a cake for a doctor's office and they made such a huge deal out of it! One of the doctor's called to thank me and to tell me it was like a bakery cake! I've had several people tell me my cake was the best they ever tasted, never a complaint about it being dry! I guess it comes down to finding the right scratch recipe, that is if you REALLY are wanting to do only scratch icon_biggrin.gif

amandasweetcakes Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:34am
post #11 of 52

Same thing here. I have been trying to find good scratch cake recipes with no luck. I guess I grew up on box mixes and like the taste. Scratch cakes just seem dry and bland. And everyone raves over my doctored cakes. I do feel guilty, I would love to be a true scratch cake maker, but I'm afraid people would not like them as much.

I do make a few cakes from scratch, like pound, spice, red velvet, but I'm never as confident making them as I am making the dr'd cakes.

HerBoudoir Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:34am
post #12 of 52

Oh yeah - you do have to try LOTS of different recipes to find the scratch ones you like.

Then when you find a good vanilla and a good chocolate one - stick to them!

I have a good recipe for each, and each takes being altered a little bit for flavor VERY well. So my vanilla cake is also my amaretto cake is also my lemon cake is also my Gran Marnier cake.

beachcakes Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:36am
post #13 of 52

Weird thing was, I had lots of people who raved over the scratch cakes too. But no one had ever said the mix cakes were dry, before or after. That's when I realized it was them & not me! icon_smile.gif They were confusing the texture with dry.

TheButterWench Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:42am
post #14 of 52

if you find your scratch cakes are dry, why don't you just brush them with a little Simple syrup.

I keep a spray bottle filled with simple syrup hooked to my wire shelves and always give my cakes a nice spraying, especially the edges and corners.

SeriousCakes Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:44am
post #15 of 52

HerBoudoir-I agree, my vanilla cake is the 'base' for a lot of variations! I love seeing what combinations I can come up with by adding a different flavoring or extra tidbit like chocolate chip icon_smile.gif

lovetofrost Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:45am
post #16 of 52

I grew up on boxed mixes and use them all the time. I did try a scratch chocolate cake recipe and I loved it but DH said it was really heavy, but moist...I thought that was a good thing. So I decided since the majority likes the boxed I'll stick with it.

daisy114 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:45am
post #17 of 52

For those of you with those great scratch recipes that aren't dry, willing to share your recipes?? icon_smile.gif

HerBoudoir Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 1:47am
post #18 of 52

I think the denser texture really throws people off sometimes. Whereas for me - straight cake mix has an "off" texture and taste for me, although the doctored ones are a definate improvement.

SeriousCakes Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 2:00am
post #19 of 52

The vanilla one that I use all the time is already on here,
http://cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-5173-5-Simple-Yellow-Cake.html
except I cream together the shortening and sugar for a good 4 minutes (as per Alton Brown), I think that makes it a little more moist. It sometimes take longer than 45 mins, depends on what pan I'm baking it in.
I'm all about easy scratch recipes too so my chocolate cake is the one on the back of the Hershey box, never had that one turn out dry and it's very chocolaty! I like to brush the top of that with some Godiva chocolate liquor when it's cooled and WOW-pardon me, having a moment to myself remembering that cake icon_wink.gif

HerBoudoir Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 2:05am
post #20 of 52

Mwahahaha love that Godiva liquor....I don't drink it but I always seem to be running out. It's my "secret ingredient" in more than one or two things.

SeriousCakes Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 2:12am
post #21 of 52

icon_lol.gif that's funny! Liquor and cakes sometimes just go together, whether they're going on the cakes, or maybe spills a little, um, somewhere else!

HerBoudoir Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 2:17am
post #22 of 52

These things do happen!

indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 3:11am
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachcakes


So, I decided that people just want what they're used to... why not just give it to them?



Yep! I feel the same way on threads that lament over how âboringâ it is to make white and choc cake and why customers donât want orange mango monkey butt cake instead. Well, I LIKE white and chocolate cake and I donâtâ WANT orange mango monkey butt cake! So since Iâm spending money on this cake, please just let me pay for something I like!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tootall

You just can't have a red velvet cake from a box! icon_biggrin.gif



This is funny because I had a tasting this afternoon with a couple who specifically requested to sample red velvet. They raved that it was the best RV theyâd ever had and how they were RV experts. They booked the wedding with RV as the largest tier.

Thanks, Duncan Hines!! thumbs_up.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommycakediva

I know my grandma swears by scratch cakes,



My husbandâs grandmother was not a fan of âthe olden daysâ. When young hubby asked gramma âI thought all of you (old people!) thought scratch was better because thatâs how you did it!â she told him, âWe did it that way because we didnât have any choice, not because it was better!â

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73

Just like my Grandma (and others) used to say, "If it ain't broke, don't FIX it!"...... I would rather make a great cake that everyone likes then bragging about it being from scratch and then having people think it's dry........



âMade from scratchâ is only a good thing if you are a good baker/cook. I know folks who make the greatest scratch biscuits â¦. And I know people who should just stick to the can of Pillsbury kind!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73

I still have to put up with the cr*p my friend gives me but I don't care! If it tastes good, why change it just so it's 'from scratch', which is a totally debatable expression anyway.



I managed to open a shop based on the business my non-scratch cakes have brought to me.

By the way, did you all know that a certain well known fast food place doesnâtâ even fry their hamburgers on site? That they are shipped in already cooked and are just heated up? Health dept told me this and itâs been confirmed by friends who worked at this place. It's a corporate decision made to insure food safety.... the kids on the grill were not consistenly cooking them to the correct food-safe temperature. I find it hysterical that people who think a bakery must sell from scratch are perfectly happy with buying microwaved hamburgers! icon_lol.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by amandasweetcakes

And everyone raves over my doctored cakes. I do feel guilty,



Why do you feel guilty? what "rule" are you breaking?
icon_confused.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious_Cakes

I'm all about easy scratch recipes too so my chocolate cake is the one on the back of the Hershey box, never had that one turn out dry and it's very chocolaty!



Oh baby this recipe is GREAT!!! As a devoted 25-year box mix baker, itâs a high compliment when I tell you I LUV the cake from this recipe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious_Cakes

icon_lol.gif that's funny! Liquor and cakes sometimes just go together, whether they're going on the cakes, or maybe spills a little, um, somewhere else!



Rum cake â¦â¦ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

HerBoudoir Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 3:14am
post #24 of 52

See, that's what was missing out of my gingerbread mango cupcakes - monkey butt! Now I know for next time. thumbs_up.gif

But you are right - if I'm baking for a crowd, I tend to go with simpler flavors, because "not everyone" likes adventurous combinations like Chai Tea or Chili Pepper Chocolate or some of the other combos I like.

steplite Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 3:25am
post #25 of 52

I read somewhere that Toba charges up to 15.00 a slice for her cakes. The cake on the cover of her book "The well decorated cake" was sold for ten thousand dollars. She talked about it on Emeril's show. Also in her book she says she uses her moist yellow cake recipe 90% of the time. My point is, There is a technique to making a good scatch cake. Do you think all these great cake designers, Collette Peters,Slyvia Weinstock and Toba would be that successful if they made dry cakes? I bake from scatch and yes it took a lot of trial and error to finally get it right. It's a matter of taste. Some people are just more used to the taste of Box mixes and some people are more used to scatch. It doesn't mean that one is better. It's all in how it's made.

indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 3:39am
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerBoudoir

See, that's what was missing out of my gingerbread mango cupcakes - monkey butt! Now I know for next time. thumbs_up.gif




Hey, glad I could help ya out! icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 3:55am
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by steplite

I read somewhere that Toba charges up to 15.00 a slice for her cakes. ......



I have a print out of some of her cakes from her website and keep in my "Internet Cakes" books so brides can see what a "real" expensive cake prices out for. Her wedding dress cake (on her website) breaks down to $60/slice.

steplite Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:05am
post #28 of 52

60.00 a slice! WOW. I bet it wasn't dry either. She knows her work and I bet it was worth every penny.

Mike1394 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:21am
post #29 of 52

Most people also like Wonder bread. They don't really know what a good bread is. This is the American society. We have palates of cement LOLOL. As a whole we love the gummy texture of bread, and cake mixes.

Mike

wgoat5 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 10:29am
post #30 of 52

I make scratch cakes for carrot, hummingbird, italian cream...cakes like that... but.. I have had people say.. " Your white cake is the best I have ever had" ... yep BOX .. with just a couple of additions..

I for one.. doesn't matter what recipe it seems to be do NOT like scratch white.. I always can taste the flour taste in them.

But that is just me.

Plus when you have to make a huge cake and know that your scratch cake tastes different when you have to double and quadruple the recipe that always makes it harder.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%