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

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

stephaniescakenj Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:33pm
post #31 of 267

I agree with everyone else, dump the mixes into a container, it's a great idea. I have yet to find a good vanilla cake from scratch so I bake from a box everytime and add some chai spice and everyone raves. they're shocked to hear its from a box actually. I have a few good scratch mixes for other flavors, but taste is what's important so use whatever tastes the best!
Love your kitchen, you're so lucky!!!

michellenj Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:51pm
post #32 of 267

Very cute setup you have there!

Mike1394 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:53pm
post #33 of 267

Sorry I don't agree with the dumping them in a container thing. Either tell them, or learn how to bake from scratch. It really isn't that hard.

Mike

Cakepro Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:00pm
post #34 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Sorry I don't agree with the dumping them in a container thing. Either tell them, or learn how to bake from scratch. It really isn't that hard.

Mike




This issue isn't whether baking by scratch is hard or not - it's that most often, people who are accustomed to box mixes prefer straight-up or doctored box mixes. Many scratch cakes have such a different texture and crumb, that they are just not good to those of us who grew up on Duncan Hines.

Some cakes demand scratch - like red velvet and carrot cake, IMO. However, I would NEVER EVER give up my WASC and the chocolate version of WASC....and they are my best-selling flavors. icon_smile.gif

southerncake Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:15pm
post #35 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Sorry I don't agree with the dumping them in a container thing. Either tell them, or learn how to bake from scratch. It really isn't that hard.

Mike




I don't think it's a matter of "too hard," but simply which taste is preferred in your area.

summernoelle Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:17pm
post #36 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakepro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Sorry I don't agree with the dumping them in a container thing. Either tell them, or learn how to bake from scratch. It really isn't that hard.

Mike



This issue isn't whether baking by scratch is hard or not - it's that most often, people who are accustomed to box mixes prefer straight-up or doctored box mixes. Many scratch cakes have such a different texture and crumb, that they are just not good to those of us who grew up on Duncan Hines.

Some cakes demand scratch - like red velvet and carrot cake, IMO. However, I would NEVER EVER give up my WASC and the chocolate version of WASC....and they are my best-selling flavors. icon_smile.gif




Oh, Cakepro, I sooo agree. I could not survive without WASC and Chocolate WASC.

I used to be a snob against cake mixes, but you can't deny what customers love!

yummymummy Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:21pm
post #37 of 267

summernoelle wrote:

"but you can't deny what customers love!"


And there it is...the truth of it all! Whether your customers love doctored recipes or scratch, it's the cake artist's choice whether he/she wants to give up their secrets icon_smile.gificon_wink.gif

johnson6ofus Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:30pm
post #38 of 267

Us "cake people" perfect a recipe (with or without "pre-measured ingredients), develop a filling, perfect an icing, and then decorate our hearts out. Whew! (Not to mention the actual baking and cleaning). Pre-measured flour and sugar is such a tiny part of our job, that I refuse to "guilt" for it. But like it is said her so many times, "People" just don't get it.....

I have ZERO guilt for boxes--- those companies do NOTHING but perfect their "pre-measured" ingredients- and I take advantage of it! I am not too lazy to measure sugar, flour, powder, and salt--- I just can't get it perfect EVERY time like a box can.

If it concerns you, unpack in the car, and never bring those boxes in the kitchen.....

I don't grind my own cinnamon, grow my own strawberries, or churn my own butter--- but I use boxes, and I consider myself a scratch baker. icon_smile.gif Just how far do you need to go, to be "scratch"? I don't use the "side of the box" added ingredients, and THAT makes it MINE. icon_smile.gif))

Mike1394 Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:31pm
post #39 of 267

It doesn't have to be a different texture.

Mike

-K8memphis Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:32pm
post #40 of 267

If a cake is bad most people will think it is a box mix.
When in reality many more scratch cakes suck.
All present and future company excepted of course.

How many times have you tasted egg white in the cake at a wedding?
That's a scratch cake gone tragically wrong huh.

Just acknowleging that there's a stigma is very good. It's not that mixes are bad. Cake is good. But cake that reflects onto our social order as a society is a power to be reckoned with.

Check back over the thread and pick out the buzz words--look at the discrimination. Odd odd odd most odd Oddy McOddykins.

But cake that reflects onto our social order as a society is a power to be reckoned with.

tonicake Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:35pm
post #41 of 267

I completely understand your situation. I too, hide my cakes in the pantry and shew away any kid that may darken that door when I have any one over.

However, my pastor has put me on the spot by asking in front of the church if I am making the cake for the fellowship and is it home made? I kindly respond, I am making a "Toni" cake."

That is the only way I know to get around the subject. So now, people ask if I'll be providing the "Toni" cake or have I made a "Toni" cake lately. It seems to work for them. As long as it will be comming from my kitchen.

It's my secret and I'll use boxes if I want too!

By the way, your baking/consulting area is very nice.

ladyonzlake Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:46pm
post #42 of 267

I completely understand how you're feeling. When I first started selling cakes that's all I did was box (DH) and everyone LOVED my cakes...they thought it was scratch. Just the same I felt like I was cheating them so I tested recipe after recipe and came up with 2 vanilla scratch cakes that I loved, Sylvia Weinstock and Toba Garrett's recipes. Sylvia's is easiest so I use that now.

I have priced out my scratch cakes compared to enhanced cake mixes and they price out pretty much the same. I think if your customers are happy and you're okay with it then stick with the mix. If you want to go scratch try out the above recipes. Whimsical Bakehouse also has an excellent recipe for white butter cake.

LUV your kitchen!

FromScratch Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:51pm
post #43 of 267

I don't think that this thread is about scratch baking being harder or anything like that.. and more of a no one should feel guilty about using a box mix if that is what works for them kind of a thread.

Though I do agree with you Mike that scratch cakes don't have to have a grossly different texture than mixes do. And I also agree with cakepro tha certain cakes really are better when they are made from scratch with the right recipe.. ultimately you have to find good recipes and it does take some know how.. and if you don't want to go through all of that.. then do what you love. Don't hide it from your customers.. many many many froo froo bakeries use bulk mixes as a base for their cakes.. so what if you buy them in smaller packages.. it's no different. There's nothing wrong with it at all. If it works for you and your customers are happy then all I see is a great business. No need to hide betty under the rug. icon_wink.gif

summernoelle Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:51pm
post #44 of 267

I guess you can reply "I always use my own recipes." That neither admits, nor denies. LOL

snarkybaker Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:52pm
post #45 of 267

JMO, but I think the whole " premeasured ingredients" line is pretty dishonest. If someone is asking you if you use cake mix, then that is what is important to them. There are lots of people for whom it's not important, but if they ask, the answer should be yes or no.

I personall won't eat "fluffy rubber" box mix cake. I can always tell. I also don't eat icing made with shortening. I can always tell, and would be disappointed if I asked and was lied to.

littlecake Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 10:53pm
post #46 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus



I don't grind my own cinnamon, grow my own strawberries, or churn my own butter--- but I use boxes, and I consider myself a scratch baker. icon_smile.gif Just how far do you need to go, to be "scratch"? I don't use the "side of the box" added ingredients, and THAT makes it MINE. icon_smile.gif))




YOU ROCK...i've thought the very same thing myself...

where does it stop?...should we have to grow are own wheat and grind it?....have a bunch of chickens in the yard...so we know our eggs are fresh?

Alton Brown said Duncan Hines was a very fussy food critic who traveled the country, visiting restuarants and writing articles in the paper about his findings.....

i was caught in walmart a few months back with my cart heaped up with duncan hines.....a woman i didn't recognise said..."SO THAT'S YOUR SECRET HUH?"

i just looked at her and said..."yeah. but don't try this at home.." you don't know the missing elements...

icon_twisted.gif and my lil extra "slice of love"

littlecake Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 11:04pm
post #47 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

I also don't eat icing made with shortening.




Hey txkat, do you use SMBC?

i was thinking of trying it...but how is it for you making it in large batches?

i go thru 60 quarts easy on a saturday, i know ya'll go thru tons more than that.

JulieB Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 11:18pm
post #48 of 267

I use all mixes, and freely admit. I may add to some of them, I may not. But I personally do not like very many scratch cakes. I have rarely been asked whether I bake from scratch or a mix, but when asked, I say I use mixes. Nobody's ever complained, but if they have a problem, that's fine, they can go elsewhere. I only ever get compliments on my "light, fluffy" cakes.

-K8memphis Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 12:02am
post #49 of 267

Here are some more answers to "the question",
You are welcome to love or hate them as you will.

You don't have to lie but you don't have to tell either.

Like,

"Oh you know better than to ask that!"

"Well, what do you think?'

"What a controversial subject, which one does your wife/Mom bake?"

"Which do you prefer?"

"Hey, y'know, just like Mom's"

"Can't you tell?" (which one)

"It's an old family secret."

of course there's always

"I could tell yah but then I'd have to shoot yah." When really they qualify for execution just by ASKING!!!

It's tantamount to asking, 'boxers or briefs'--it just should not be asked. If you encounter a cad who asks, and they are just making conversation, blow them off--pick a line from above and smile, laugh, talk about it without answering, blow them off, change the subject.

If it's a client, say, Oh you've had my cake before at such & such an event. Or, here's a sample, see for yourself...stuff like that.

There's no good answer to that question especially when it comes to business. It's a Hatfield or McCoy type issue.

jessieb578 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 12:05am
post #50 of 267

Well, boy....I posted this while at work and just got to my shop and what a tremendous variance in beliefs.

I am definitely saying that scratch is not harder, I just haven't found what I like in scratch recipes yet. I also agree with what someone said that it's a matter of preference. I have been through 2 weeks of class with Toba Garrett, I see her as a master of cake, but I HATE her yellow cake recipe - it's just gross to me! Others love it....

I don't think that I'm so much ashamed that I bake from a mix, I just worry that with a new business that people will look down on me because of that stigma. There are no bakers in town except WalMart and Price Chopper so since I've opened there's been that buzz and lots of questions....I've just said that I keep my cakes a secret. I'm sure there are a lot of chefs out there that don't give their recipes - even many here don't share, why should I? Well...with you guys of course icon_wink.gif

I think for now while I'm comfy with the mix recipes (I do use some scratch too) I'll just tread lightly around the questions and I like the ideas of ditching the boxes.

Hey - we aren't supposed to judge people by their skin - why judge my cake by it's skin (the box)?? You either like it or don't - don't judge before you taste the cake!! icon_biggrin.gif

Oh and thanks for all the compliments on my shop....it's so nice to hear from fellow bakers about my kitchen!! My boyfriend's favorite part is the flat screen in the corner....it was his choice to have it in there. Although Food Network is always on and not his baseball games like he hoped icon_lol.gif

yummymummy Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 12:06am
post #51 of 267

"It's tantamount to asking, 'boxers or briefs'--it just should not be asked"

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif That line cracked me up! Love it!

Shanille21 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 12:44am
post #52 of 267

Your kitchen is so cute!!

i also use box mix. dont feel bad or like otehrs will look down on it. repeat business is all that matters.

one question- what is a wasc recipe?

Shannon

cakesondemand Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 1:02am
post #53 of 267

All of my clients don't care about how I bake the cake they want my fillings and icing and will let me know if somethings not right or different. We are not taking any more orders for July and Aug so my cakes must be good and they are not scratch I use bulk mixes that I have tested before I found the right one's

misha35 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 1:13am
post #54 of 267

Shannon, WASC is white almond sour cream cake - in recipes . i just made my first one a few weeks ago. it's a doctored white cake.

I do think that box cakes & bag cookie mixes are premeasured ingredients, but i would not respond to people with that answer.

for me, it's a matter of convenience & the people I bake for like the taste.

Mike1394 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 1:16am
post #55 of 267

When I used the word hard. I didn't mean as in rocket science. If your using cups & tbls yeah it's difficult to get a consistant cake all the time. If you don't understand which ingredients are tenderizers, and which ones are strengtheners yes, you will have a difficult time tweaking a bad recipe to a good one. I'm not saying one way is better than the other. Just don't try to pass either one by a customer as the other.

Mike

indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 3:44am
post #56 of 267

Potential client: âDo you bake from scratch?â
Debi: âYou couldnât afford me if I baked from scratch.â

Iâve told them âI use the same premeasured mixes used by most bakeries and food establishments in town.â

I just can NOT understand why people feel guilty about using mixes. Ever shop in GFS? See those big 5-lb boxes of cake mix? You think theyâre selling those to housewives? Heck no! They are selling them to bakeries and restaurants and any other business who wants to make a cake!

Ever eat at Applebeeâs, Olive Garden, or any other restaurant? You think they make all of that from scratch? Heck no!!! Have you noticed all the new âsmaller portionâ meals that are being offered now? You think everyone came up with the same ânewâ idea at the same time? Heck no!! GFS revealed those products at their food show a few months ago! So all of those places are ordering those frozen-not-made-from-scratch items for sale in their restaurant.

Most of the natâl hamburger chains donât even fry their hamburgers on site anymore ⦠they arrive at the restaurant already cooked. And youâre feeling âguiltyâ about using a mix?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

I wished I had asked her how the stigma about cake mixes began? It is the oddest thing on the planet!.



Because back in the pioneer days, a woman was MEASURED on her culinary skills. A woman who couldnât make a pie crust just wouldnât be able to âketch a MAN!â A woman who was GOOD at this stuff was considered the Queen of the Ball, uh, kitchen. As the ânew and improvedâ models came in, it somewhat threatened the âstatusâ of the local women who were the champion pie crust makers â¦. Because now EVERYONE could make a good pie crust and they were no longer Queen of the Ball. How did they fight this threat to their self-perceived status? By making snotty little comments such as, âOh, she baked that from a MIX!â

Quote:
Originally Posted by milissasmom

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)!



I particularly liked one Food Channel show where they were in some mom-n-pop diner, and the owners were bragging on how they made everything from scratch! â¦.. as they stood in front of a shelving unit with a couple boxes of Aunt Jemima pancake mix sitting on it!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

I have ZERO guilt for boxes--- those companies do NOTHING but perfect their "pre-measured" ingredients- and I take advantage of it! â¦..I don't grind my own cinnamon, grow my own strawberries, or churn my own butter--- but I use boxes, and I consider myself a scratch baker. icon_smile.gif Just how far do you need to go, to be "scratch"? I don't use the "side of the box" added ingredients, and THAT makes it MINE. icon_smile.gif))



When I get a bride who asks âDo you use fresh or frozen?â (regarding catering), I respond with âI donât grow my own corn or kill my own chicken, so what are you looking for?â

MichelleM77 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 3:52am
post #57 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valli_War

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.




See, I was using a doctored recipe, so I was measuring out flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream anyway to add to the box mix, so going scratch wasn't much of a change for me.

I also found that the scratch recipe that I love for butter yellow cake is just as dense and yummy as the doctored recipe I was using. It's not a different texture either. I have enough bags of flour and sugar in the cupboard, not having boxes of mix saves me tons of space.

Definitely personal preference and what you want to do.

armywife1 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 3:56am
post #58 of 267

Oh my gosh, indydebi! Thanks for a great laugh before bedtime. I love your no BS answers (especially the one regarding 'fresh or frozen'). You should have your own talk show!!! icon_lol.gif

jessieb578 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 4:07am
post #59 of 267

Debi - would you mind seriously teaching me your confidence?? icon_smile.gif I'm so very new to this and your experience and confidence along with the perfect thing to say is so valuable....thank you!! Oh...and I agree with armywife - I think a YouTube talk show should be in the works - 30 Minute Icings With IndiDebi!! You can teach cake and lecture all of us!

Mike, I'm sure not tryng to pass my cake off as anything but good cake. I'm just trying to get across that I'm no gourmet chef who always bakes from scratch, I wasn't taught at the Culinary Institute. I use some doctored mixes and I don't want to be judged by someone who hasn't tasted my cake yet just because I start with ingredients that are measured out for me first.

Shannon - try the WASC!! You'll love it!

k8...great lines!! thumbs_up.gif I could use a few of those!

jennifer7777 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 5:03am
post #60 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Potential client: âDo you bake from scratch?â
Debi: âYou couldnât afford me if I baked from scratch.â

When I get a bride who asks âDo you use fresh or frozen?â (regarding catering), I respond with âI donât grow my own corn or kill my own chicken, so what are you looking for?â




Indy, you are a riot! Shoot, now-a-days people can't afford much whether it's scratch OR box. They better just take it if it's good and call it a day! LOL
But jessieb578...don't do unnecessary worrying about what people MIGHT think. Once you're comfortable and CONFIDENT, I'm quite sure nobody will ask. If you keep thinking about it and wondering who might ask and what to say, then the situation will present itself.
Just keep baking the way you're doing in that pretty little kitchen of yours!

Here's a ghetto-fied analogy of "authentic" value...
Your hairstyle is a weave...
Q: Is that your real hair?
A: NO, but it's mine! And if you had to ask, then that means you wouldn't know the difference anyway.

You bake from a mix...
Q: Is this scratch?
A: NO, but it's just as good or even better, and if you had to ask then there's the proof!

LOL...I know, I'm silly! Hey, what do you expect...it's late on a Friday night!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%