Do I Avoid The "do You Use A Mix" Question??

Business By jessieb578 Updated 2 Jul 2008 , 3:07pm by FromScratch

jessieb578 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:04pm
post #1 of 267

I know it sounds funny because people love my cake, I just feel like I'm less of a baker if I use a mix and I'm scared someone will walk in my shop and see a box mix!!! icon_confused.gif Am I making any sense??

My cake shop is just an open kitchen that is decorated nicely (very small, but it works). I have a granite top island and beautiful stools for consultations. I did my best to make this small 16x16 space workable. It's free space - so I did what I could! point is that I bake right where people can see and I'm constantly worried someone will see that red and yellow box mix and say "HEY! I paid $270 for a wedding cake that was Betty Crocker??" I know darn well the money is for the talent and the product....but still.

I'm so stupid too because when I go to Walmart or something to buy some mixes, I pray I don't see anyone I know icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

I know that restaurants use many things that are pre-made/pre-mixed, so why the stigma around the baking from scratch thing???

I just can't seem to find a scratch vanilla that I like.

266 replies
jessieb578 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:05pm
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I meant to say why the stigma around baking from a mix.....duh, my mind wasn't communicating to my fingers!!

MichelleM77 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:08pm
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You have a very cute set-up!

I felt the same way and it bothered me so much that I switched to scratch. I don't know what else to tell you other than get over it or switch. LOL! icon_smile.gif Or weigh out what one mix weighs and dump a bunch of mixes into a different container and weigh out what you need when you bake.

jessieb578 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:15pm
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I want to switch...although my WASC cake I'd never switch icon_lol.gif I love that thing!!

The thing is too is that I'm in a little, lets say.....artsy, fartsy area and they're all about the scratch thing, I'm just not getting the great results from scratch that I'd like.

You're right! I guess I just need to keep looking for better recipes - or get over it! The weighing out thing might work.....

jessieb578 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:16pm
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Thanks!! I love my little shop. I want to switch...although my WASC cake I'd never switch icon_lol.gif I love that thing!!

The thing is too is that I'm in a little, lets say.....artsy, fartsy area and they're all about the scratch thing, I'm just not getting the great results from scratch that I'd like.

You're right! I guess I just need to keep looking for better recipes - or get over it! The weighing out thing might work.....

MichelleM77 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:23pm
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If you want to try some recipes...I love the recipe on here from the Mermaid Bakery (she is a CC member) and it's called Vanilla Butter Cake from the Mermaid Bakery or something like that.

crisc23 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:29pm
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OMG I feel your pain. I catch myself trying to HIDE the boxes of mix when I buy them. I try to make special trips to the store for them early or late so no one I know will see me!!

Im a closet mix baker!

jessieb578 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:30pm
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Really??? Thanks so much. I wish that there were a section on here in the recipes section that you can have reviews of the recipe and not just rate it.

I learn so much on allrecipes that way....

Thanks so much for the recommendation, I'll def. try that this weekend!! icon_wink.gif

yummymummy Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:31pm
post #9 of 267

I feel the same way! I'm almost ashamed that I use doctored recipes! icon_redface.gif Allthough I do have a handful from scratch. I don't tell people I bake from a mix or from scratch...I just say that I don't give any of my baking secrets/tips away and mention that as long as I deliver a tasty cake, that's what matters most to me. icon_smile.gif

nannie Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:31pm
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your shop is lovely. small ,functional but very tastefully decorated.

lu9129 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:33pm
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I agree! I will never give up my WASC cake!!!

Cute, cute shop!!!!


dee-lite Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:34pm
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When people ask if my cakes are scratch I just say "I do use a box mix that way I can put all my efforts into decorating and my icing is homemade " icon_smile.gif and I have never had anyone look down their nose because I use a box mix .In fact it is usually them who chime in and say "box mixes are so good these days" Don't sweat it .

jessieb578 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:34pm
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thanks so much!! I was so nervous about making a shop that was cute and functional!!

HA! Closet mix baker! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif That is SO me!! I totally try to hide my mixes too! I feel so much better to know I'm not alone.

Valli_War Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:42pm
post #14 of 267

I have heard that if you bake from scratch, your expenses are going to go up. Don't know for sure, I don't have a business of this. But, if you think about how much time you'll be spending measuring all the ingredients, you definitely will make less money per hour if you go scratch way. Why don't you take out the card board box of the cake mix and put the plastic cover in a ziploc bag and mark it with it some code and dump it in a big container. That way noone will see the cake mix box, just premeasured mix. If someone does ask you a question, you can say that you measure flour baking soda, baking powder and that kind of ingredients before hand per batch to save time.

Just my opinion I have nothing against either way. I do both depending on how much time I've on my hand.

NikkiDoc Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:44pm
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How about this...get rid of all the boxes. Keep one if you need it for measure reference. Write in sharpie on the bag or on a label the flavor of the mix before you even leave the store parking lot. You could have some labels already made up in the car and ready. Put all of those red and yellow boxes in your trunk for clean disposal later, once you are away from your shop. This way there is no bright colored boxes to catch the eye of your clients. There will still be bags, but that's not nearly as noticeable. Darn, I'm sneaky... icon_evil.gif

I know it's not much help, but I think that's what I would do if I were trying to avoid the mix question...and if I had a shop I would avoid it too, sister. icon_wink.gif I also use mix most of the time...extended of course.

After you go through all this extra trouble for awhile, you may not care anymore about the issue. That could be a good thing too.

fishinglady Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:45pm
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I always use cake mixes, so whenever someone asks me how I make my cakes taste so good, I always state that I start with a basic recipe and add additional ingredients to develope the flavor or texture they are wanting. This advise was given to me by my Wilton instructor who was a wedding cake specialist and used nothing but mixes.

jennifer7777 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:45pm
post #17 of 267

Try to stop the guilt. You know, I used to stress myself out SO MUCH about "scratch" cakes. I even made sure that for every box mix, I would have a scratch recipe, and if I didn't, I didn't offer that flavor. Guess what I do now?...BOX!!! I use box now for orders. After talking with SEVERAL people over this matter, I resolved myself to enjoy the convenience and consistency that comes with a box. Yes, most bakeries, restaurants, places of the sort use mix.
I've said several times on here's the icing that can make/break a cake for the most part. And I agree with Indydebi when she told me before that people who will say "I can tell a box a mile away" don't even come close to a foot! They don't know dit!
I went to box because that's mainly what people know. With scratch cakes there are so many different textures that I got sick of getting different responses (some good, some not so good) all because of people's palates.
Since I have gone back to box (minus some standard fool-proof scratch that I won't give up because they are too damn easy and I get rave reviews for those) I have gotten nothing but good reviews. I look at them like, the cake ain't nothing different than what you've had before...but you know what bomb-a** buttercream!

Girl, don't the most, try to get some cabinet space or a special container for those boxes so people don't see and keep it pushing.

southerncake Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:48pm
post #18 of 267

First of all, I love your kitchen!!

My sister works for a local restaurant on Saturdays (worked there full-time while in school and just couldn't give it up all together!) that claims to be "all fresh and homemade and from scratch." Every time the newspaper does an article on her it talks about the "love" she bakes into her scratch desserts and the huge amount of time she puts into her fresh homemade soups, etc., etc., etc. I've had brides tell me that when she gives them a price for catering, she always explains that she is much higher than everyone else in town because everything is made with the finest ingredients, blah, blah, blah...Needless to say, everything is from a box or frozen.

Her system for not seeing the boxes, etc., is to remove them from the boxes and put them in bins to keep everything separate. There is a big bin of white cakes mixes, a bin of chocolate, etc. My sis has spent many a morning taking bags out of Duncan Heins boxes and quickly destroying the evidence!

milissasmom Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:52pm
post #19 of 267

I am a scratch only baker because it's my preference! There is NOTHING wrong with using box cake mix girl!!!!!!! Please....I WISH I could make one taste good to me but I can't. I make scratch, my clients LOVE it...And a nother thing i KNOW for a fact is that there are TONS of professional establishments that use BOX mixes for tons of things (even Pancakes, waffles etc)! These are all things I do from scratch but if box mixes make your life easier or if it's just what you prefer, I don't think your clients will care honestly. Just produce a good, quality product and tell them it's HOME MADE and you really shouldn't have a problem! No guilt with this one, you are doing NOTHING wrong!!!

raquel1 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:53pm
post #20 of 267

I love the idea of just getting rid of the box/evidence icon_cool.gif . I always worry that someone is going to go into my pantry and see the boxes...I use the large quantity recipes that uses boxed mix in it for both my buttercakes and plain chocolate, and I get great reviews on them. So I'll be empying those boxes... icon_rolleyes.gif Thaks for the idea I can't believe I didn't think about it before instead of worrying.
By the way, I love your set up. It is compact, pretty, and functional!

jennifer7777 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 8:55pm
post #21 of 267

Forgot to say...cute shop!
And if wording is your thing, I learned this from some cake friends...instead of saying "baked from scratch", people say "baked fresh".
I even had someone tell me that baking with mix is still "scratch" because you have to ADD ingredients to produce the product. It's not like you get a ready-baked cake and then decorate it. No, there is even work in putting together a box! You see how it's easy to twist and turn wording and definitions? You will drive yourself crazy!
Bottom line, if mix works for you, then keep MIXing it up! thumbs_up.gif

-K8memphis Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:01pm
post #22 of 267

I met a lady once who knew Duncan Hines. Apparently he was a real dude, who knew? And later on I wished I had asked her how the stigma about cake mixes began? It is the oddest thing on the planet!

Truth to tell, bad scratch cakes far and away suck worse than a cake mix ever could. If there's a metallic taste it's from the pan or from the baking powder. Lots of scratch cakes have baking powder. So something happened in advertising or some tipping point somewhere back 50 years ago to equate cake mixes and more importantly cake mix users with dog poo. Partakers of scratch cake are poor unfortunate souls don't know no better.

Let me hasten to say I do both scratch and mix--

But this subject totally fascinates me.

Idea for you with the cute cute shop. At home or in the car take the cake mixes out of the boxes and place all the bags into large plastic containers and mark them so you know what you have.

I don't know why but that stigma is there. If you're so open like that I'd totally protect my business. Whosoever can huff and puff and try and blow my house down opining that I might not be honest or something with keeping them under wraps but that's ok with me. You have my permission to show all your clients all your cake mix boxes.

They're called pre-measured ingredients.

Children Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:04pm
post #23 of 267

I am also a extended box baker except for my chocolate cake and everyone loves them. I agree with everyone I would pre-measure or leave it in the bag...which ever works best for you..then put in a big bin.

I think the bc is the main key....don't get me wrong the cake has to be good but I think it is the bc that gets em.

I feel bad because I don't have an extended recipe for my lemon cake that everyone LOVES...I just use a box...kinda feel guilty icon_redface.gif , but on the other hand should I switch if everyone loves it?

Cute kitchen by way! thumbs_up.gif

coldtropics Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:04pm
post #24 of 267

I too think your shop is great. So far as the cakes... if i used box mixes... i would not attempt to hide that fact.. nor would i volunteer that thats what im doing. Most brides or anyone paying $400.00 would be dissapointed to find out that their cake came from a box. Thats pretty much a fact. I dont use box mixes or anything premade but if I did i wouldnt be dishonest about it i would just explain the reasons why.. consistency etc. If you feel convicted about it... there are many scratch recipies on cc that are fantastic. Just practice practice you'll get it.

Staceface81 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:09pm
post #25 of 267

I believe this is where indydebi would chime in and say " It's home-made." icon_smile.gif Who cares if it's a box? YOU made YOUR home. That makes it homemade. icon_smile.gif Next time someone says, do you use box mixes? Say - I make everything homemade!

moreCakePlz Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:11pm
post #26 of 267

If someone asks, tell them that to save time and expense you buy your âdry ingredientsâ pre-measured and boxed.

Check out the ingredients label on a box of white cake mix. There is nothing in that sucker beside flour, sugar, baking power, salt, preservatives, and a little bit of flavoring. Ta-da, âdry ingredientsâ (not cake mix) by Betty Crocker.

FromScratch Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:12pm
post #27 of 267

I bake from scratch.. and I'd never look down on someone for using mixes. I bake from scratch because I love to do it. But if scratch baking ain't your love.. don't sweat it. If anyone asks tell them your cakes are homemade with love.. because they are.

c420 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:26pm
post #28 of 267

I am one of two professional bakers at my kids school(which is small). We both provide cakes very often for events and I cannot tell you how many times I have been approached and told that my cakes taste SO much better than hers! My cake is usually gone before hers and the main difference in our cakes is she uses all scratch where I use a box. We both use Italian Meringue buttercream for icing. I really believe that the majority of people like box cakes. Some will think they like scratch better but when put to the test box has won every time. I used to feel not right about using box mixes but almost every place I know of around Milwaukee uses them! If people like the taste and the decorations and pay the price you ask, who cares! If you really have problems then go to scratch recipes or do both and let people choose for themselves. I think you'll see quickly most folks are accustom to those little boxes som many of us depend on!

Ironbaker Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:29pm
post #29 of 267
Originally Posted by k8memphis

I met a lady once who knew Duncan Hines. Apparently he was a real dude, who knew?

I don't know why but that line cracked me up! icon_lol.gif

I also bake from scratch because I love to, baking was first for me before decorating. I don't find it that much more expensive, depends on the recipe but even still, I love to do it.

Just love what you do! Don't stress or worry over it, you don't want stress in your cakes, just the love!

Cakepro Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:31pm
post #30 of 267
Originally Posted by fishinglady

I always use cake mixes, so whenever someone asks me how I make my cakes taste so good, I always state that I start with a basic recipe and add additional ingredients to develope the flavor or texture they are wanting. This advise was given to me by my Wilton instructor who was a wedding cake specialist and used nothing but mixes.

Really?! What was your instructor's name? icon_biggrin.gif

~ Sherri

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