Before I start I just want to say that this is not intended as a scratch vs. box discussion so please do not turn it into one. There too many hot topics going on right now so we don't need another one.
I do not have much experience with box mixes or with doctoring. I normally bake from scratch because that is how I learned and how I have always done it. Having said that I certainly can see the value of using box mixes in terms of the convenience and also since many people prefer the texture compared to scratch cakes. My personal dislike is only the slight "chemical" or artificial after taste you sometimes get with a box mix. Again, this is probably just me because I am not used to it, so don't get all offended if you are a dedicated box fan. I appreciate that many people dislike scratch cakes.
I recently had to bake 100+ cupcakes so I decided to go for a doctored mix. I had mixed results in my opinion and just want to hear what you experienced "doctors" prefer.
My first batch was the plum and cardamom cake from the Cake Doctor. It us based on a yellow mix with pureed plum and sour cream. I thought it was delicious and the "fake" taste disappeared totally.
The second, also from the Cake Doctor, was the lemon poppyseed cake. This one was based on a white mix with buttermilk, yoghurt and vanilla pudding in it. I really disliked this one, to me it tasted very artificial and the texture was horrible. You could have bounced those cupcakes off a wall, so springy. I am not sure if the texture was a factor of baking cupcakes rather than a whole cake. I had expected the lemon overpowering the artificial vanilla flavour but it was really strong. Is that because white mix has a stronger flavour than a yellow mix, or was it because it had pudding as well?
Finally I baked the strawberry cake with real strawberries and Jello in it. This was OK. Did not particularly like or dislike this one.
How do you doctor your mixes? BTW, I have not tried the WASC cake because I don't like almond.
I can't comment on any of the cakes you mentioned since I haven't tried them.
However, the WASC cake is only one possible variation. Any flavor can be substituted for the almond flavoring in a white cake, but additionally, any flavor cake mix can be substituted for the white.
Here's the expanded flavors version recipe of the WASC cake recipe:
Another chocolate variation by wgoat5:
And a very extensive thread on doctoring cake mixes:
(Instant pudding, Dream Whip, meringue powder, etc.)
Extender & Enhancer recipes:
(See rlsaxe's post.)
(See candy120's posts.)
Wow JanH, thank you for all those links. I am going to make myself a cup of tea and settle down to read it all. Thanks again.