Mix Vs. Scratch

Decorating By sweettoothmom Updated 13 May 2009 , 1:38am by Evoir

sweettoothmom Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:23pm
post #1 of 49

In the area of the world that I live in everyone turns thier nose up to a scratch cake. They want the store bought cake mixes and frostings.

I was brought up on scratch baking. Eating a store bought cake was a rarity in our household and it never tasted as good as a scratch cake.

Have people forgotten what a REAL cake tastes like? The real frosting vs something out of a can?

I still swear by the fact that I MAKE my cakes not simply dump them out and mix it up.
I control the quality and contents of the ingredients. If someone wants all organic I can do that. If someone is lactose intolerant I can do that, if someone has nut allergies no problem I can do that! In fact I dont allow nut products in my house my son is an allergy sufferer and therefore I can honestly say we wont have nuts! Now we may be nuts but that is a new topic hee hee.
Back on the topic at hand. Has anyone else run into this issue?

48 replies
Jovy Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 7:43pm
post #2 of 49

My mom have been a cake decorator for ever. Im now thirty something and my mom have never used a cake mix. she always makes her cakes from scratch. I am learning now how to make them from scratch and I have a long way. When we go to weddings or any festivity where there is a cake, we are always judging the cake and we can tell from cake mix or real cake.

My opinion is real cake taste better. Sometimes people does not care about how you prepare the cake they just want a cake that taste good and that's it.

smab109 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 7:53pm
post #3 of 49

I would do a search on this topic, you will find it has been discussed (it can get heated) repeatedly.

JanH - where are you with your links? icon_wink.gif

Pookie59 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 7:54pm
post #4 of 49

Everyone has their preference. I would say that I prefer some types of cakes from scratch (red velvet, Italian cream, carrot, banana), others from box mixes (white especially). It depends on the cake. I have yet to find a white cake/scratch recipe that comes out as light and moist as Duncan Hines, but I'm not crazy about some of their other flavors. However, I never, ever use frosting out of a can!

milissasmom Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 7:56pm
post #5 of 49

I'm a SCRATCHER...I don't use box mixes. Never have and probably never will. Mostly because I can't make a box mix to save my life!!!!! And I don't like the taste. However, I don't think it is too much of a big deal as much as it is just a personal preference. I don't like the taste but some people love the taste of box mixes. I don't like DRY cake at all weather it is from a mix or from scratch. Everyone can not make a knock out good, moist scratch cake! Some folk can't make a box cake mix taste good if their lives depended on it (my right hand up in the air...me me me...). So I don't knock box mix bakers (just because I don't like the taste/texture of them and can't bake them) and I hate it when folk knock scratch baking just because they are not good at it and can not produce a quality product or just don't like the taste/texture. I think that you can be sucessful with both styles!

APrettyCake Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 7:59pm
post #6 of 49

I can tell a boxed mix from a scratch cake no matter WHAT you add to the mix to make it "different". I think it says a lot about your business what kind of cake you prefer to have your name on. Not to say that in a pinch a boxed mix won't work, and some people really do want that store bought taste, but I have not had any customers ask for it specifically icon_rolleyes.gif
Plus, there are SO many easy breezy and YUMMY scratch recipes out there, it is really worth the time and effort to try them. We all have our favorites and with practice, can eventually make them in our sleep!
I went to a good friends wedding last year, and while the cake was pretty to look at, it was most definately not from scratch and the icing tasted like shortening and sugar stirred in a bowl and slathered on a cake. What was important was that the bride thought it was good, though, so I kept my mouth shut icon_razz.gif

foxymomma521 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 8:13pm
post #7 of 49

I have to say, I REALLY wish people would do a search before posting a thread like this. All that comes of it is a heated debate about who is better than who... seriously, this gets posted like once a month...

indydebi Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 8:40pm
post #8 of 49

Well, here's a nice little 18 page thread that can get the OP started on the research.... http://forum.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=592926&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0

one down .... 999 to go! thumbs_up.gif

TC123 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 12:48am
post #9 of 49

Hmmm... I'm wondering, then... If discussions on this topic get heated (for WHATEVER reason), maybe there should be a forum post just for scratch cake bakers. You can even call it something to that affect, to attract the CCers you'd wish to converse among. If people are interested and continue posting to it, it won't get lost in all the forum topics... Just a thought... To keep EVERYONE happy... icon_smile.gif (That would be okay, wouldn't it?)

Thank you, indydebi, for posting the link! You're a GEM!!! thumbs_up.gif

Mike1394 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 10:20am
post #10 of 49

It's actually a "fun" topic on how it relates to our "American" palates. There are alot of people that are only 2-3 generations removed from Europe, Middle East, wherever. How the different textures effect different people. The opinions on which is better is just as diverse. The answer being NEITHER is better. It depends on who yuor customer is, and how you plan to serve that customer. Now I did use a box the other day. I made some "Hostess" cupcakes complete with the swirl "e"s. So it just depends on the application

There are some very crappy scratch recipes out there. The issue being with those, at sometime someone made it, and thought it was great. Me personally I don't care for the texture of a box. The tastes are great, I just don't care for the texture. I'm also leaning towards less, and less preservatives.

Mike

Carolynlovescake Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 5:10pm
post #11 of 49

*runs to the closet*

*puts on her fire retardant clothing*

Ok I'm ready to play!

mamajan61 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 5:55am
post #12 of 49

I agree with Mike.... There are different cakes for different occasions....

I, myself, have some awesome scratch recipes handed down from my granny.... but i will also use a mix... my mother probably rolls over in her grave when I do that... but, you know, some people DO like the taste of the box mix over the scratch cake mix...

Just like my children... I raised them on "old fashioned home cooking" all the way down to fresh made pasta for spaghetti night... but my daughter would rather have mac & cheese out of the box ANY day.... she's an "instant" kind of girl... She would rather have her wedding cake made from box mixes than to have one of my scratch cakes...

The palettes are so different just like each of us are different.... Thank God! I'm glad we're different...

varika Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 6:12am
post #13 of 49

I'm envious of people who can make a cake from scratch. Pretty much every time I try, the cake falls. The last one I tried, red velvet, fell BOTH TIMES I tried it, and I still can't figure out why.

That said, I do not know if I have ever had a scratch cake. I can't tell.

milissasmom Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 6:46am
post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by varika

I'm envious of people who can make a cake from scratch. Pretty much every time I try, the cake falls. The last one I tried, red velvet, fell BOTH TIMES I tried it, and I still can't figure out why.

That said, I do not know if I have ever had a scratch cake. I can't tell.




Did you use flower nails and baking strips??? I have never had my Red Velvet fall (it's my best selling cake)! I make this at least 3 times a week in all different sizes. I baked it in a half sheet cake a couple of weeks ago and it was perfect! Don't give up icon_smile.gif Try using the fllower nail in the center of the pan with the baking strips. I think I used 2 or 3 nails in my half sheet pan. It just might work for ya!

varika Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 7:12am
post #15 of 49
Quote:
Quote:

Quote:
Quote:

varika wrote:
The last one I tried, red velvet, fell BOTH TIMES I tried it, and I still can't figure out why.


Did you use flower nails and baking strips??? I have never had my Red Velvet fall (it's my best selling cake)! I make this at least 3 times a week in all different sizes. I baked it in a half sheet cake a couple of weeks ago and it was perfect! Don't give up Try using the fllower nail in the center of the pan with the baking strips. I think I used 2 or 3 nails in my half sheet pan. It just might work for ya!




No, I didn't. It was my first attempt at making red velvet cake--three 9" rounds--before I even had my baking strips or had even heard of them. I've been holding off on trying again because my mother swears SHE can do that recipe without it falling, and I want to watch her fail. icon_evil.gif

I haven't given up, though, I've just been waiting for it to cool off around here some! The electric bill is pushing $500 without running the oven! icon_eek.gif

foxymomma521 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 11:26am
post #16 of 49

OMG! $500! Where do you live??!!

JanH Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:39pm
post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by smab109

JanH - where are you with your links? icon_wink.gif




Scratch vs. Box Mix Cake threads:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-594185-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-595264-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-586612-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-590933-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-586612-30.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-585880-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-584879-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-584494-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-582807-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-579863-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-579307-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-492173-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-498523-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-479223-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-484043-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-442793-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-437023-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-395413-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-363963-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-368123-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-357343-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-350923-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-304973-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-304913-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-251991-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-245971-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-211741-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-199341-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-194921-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-174211-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-153521-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-146741-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-117381-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-115431-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-112251-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-109701-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-91411-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-86461-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-70321-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-56846-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-54232-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-49415-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-52482-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-49297-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-48676-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-43557-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-40623-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-40022-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-32614-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-38204-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-37304-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-34666-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-26625-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-31506-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-27051-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-22159-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-22903-.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-15588-.html

"Homemade" thread:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-589024-.html

HTH

P.S. Quite a few threads were lost in the Crash.

foxymomma521 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:56pm
post #18 of 49

LOL... nice job JanH!

born2bake Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:16pm
post #19 of 49

I prefer the taste and texture of a scratch to a box, but in a pinch a box will work for me and then I only use specific flavors of specific brands. If I need to do a cake in a pinch, I use a box, I'll tell the customer with short notice a box will be done in place of scratch. I'm still new so it takes me longer to do scratch as I'm double and triple checking my ingredients and measurements to make sure I have measured correctly and put it in the bowl (I get nervous and fear I'll forget to add an ingredient - it's happend). I'm mostly a fan of the Cake Bible cookbook and some recipes found on line.

born2bake Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:31pm
post #20 of 49

Jan H. - I had to chuckle at the threads, I can only imagine how many times you've posted these threads for this type of discussion. But I also stop to think that if someone had the time to read all these threads, they would have the time to make a box mix and a scratch mix, taste both and decide for themselves which they like better.

foxymomma521 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:34pm
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by born2bake

But I also stop to think that if someone had the time to read all these threads, they would have the time to make a box mix and a scratch mix, taste both and decide for themselves which they like better.



icon_biggrin.gif

-K8memphis Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:36pm
post #22 of 49

For what it's worth the Duncan Hines classic white cake mix siting here next to my monitor says it has no preservatives. So that makes it more challenging to detect what is not in there.

ICES and Food Tv and cake clubs and cake classes should all come with an automatic cake tasting to see how correct our palates are. There's a great idea there. Please pass it on.

HerBoudoir Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 2:57pm
post #23 of 49

I prefer to bake scratch, and prefer my scratch cakes to just about anything I've ever tried. Baking is a hobby and a joy for me, and I really like tweaking ingredients and trying different things. I found by making sure I used top-quality cocoa, chocolate, and some other ingredients, it really improves the resulting cake. Heck, I've even started to brew my own vanilla extract and can bore you to tears discussing differences between tahitian vs. madagascar bourbon vanilla beans icon_smile.gif

But that said - it's truly a matter of what you're used to, grew up on, and like. Scratch cakes are just different from box cakes, even if you doctor them (which to me is hardly more work than starting from scratch in the first place).

I tried the "Darn Good Chocolate Cake" box mix with sour cream and pudding doctor - I was surprised that I liked it. Not as good as my sour cream chocolate cake, but still. At some point I want to try WASC, but I have a good vanilla cake recipe that I love (which I think will be amazing once that vanilla extract is brewed!)

I never - absolutely never - will use canned frosting. I prefer a version of SMBC that I make, but will make a simple American buttercream if I'm in a hurry.

I have a friend who LOVES my baking - is always my biggest cake fan. That said - the cake she liked best that I made? A box red velvet with orange cream cheese frosting that I made for a Wilton class to be quick. Grrrrr.......lol

cakesbycathy Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 3:09pm
post #24 of 49

Seriously, if Jan's post doesn't get the point across - that this topic has been discussed ad naueum - then nothing will!

akgirl10 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 6:25pm
post #25 of 49

Why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends...


It's like there's a CC requirement to have a thread like this posted at least once a week.

I use both mixes and scratch and honestly I like a cake somewhere in between the two most times. I'm thinking of making a scratch butter, and a mix, stir them together and bake.

-K8memphis Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 7:14pm
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

Seriously, if Jan's post doesn't get the point across - that this topic has been discussed ad naueum - then nothing will!



I just started posting here last month in June. I imagine there are other people who still want to talk about it so they post. It is an intriguing subject and I do not tire of the debate. I like to talk to people. I'm not convinced you are nauseated or why would you post?

I think complaining is nauseating.

foxymomma521 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 7:46pm
post #27 of 49

If you find it interesting, please refer to past threads. The debate gets old because by the end it almost ALWAYS gets out of line. Scratch bakers start insulting mix bakers, mix bakers get defensive and start insulting scratchers... it goes round and round then the thread gets locked. Seriously, I can't stand when this kind of thread starts.

Mike1394 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 8:06pm
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

If you find it interesting, please refer to past threads. The debate gets old because by the end it almost ALWAYS gets out of line. Scratch bakers start insulting mix bakers, mix bakers get defensive and start insulting scratchers... it goes round and round then the thread gets locked. Seriously, I can't stand when this kind of thread starts.




Then why did you give it a BUMP back to the top?

Mike

foxymomma521 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 10:01pm
post #29 of 49

My intention was not to BUMP the topic, but to respond to K8memphis... just as I am to you now... that was kinda rude Mike icon_confused.gif

-K8memphis Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 11:02pm
post #30 of 49

The debate is old but it is still germaine. It is still alive, pertinent, intriguing.

FoxyM, you have about 20% of the responses here.

I think the op has a right to ask about this cake issue if she wants to because this is a cake board. Jan's exhaustive list proves this is a very hot topic.

I think you should start your own thread about not allowing/liking/being tired of this topic.

Why pick on the original poster because you don't like their question? Why have you responded 5 or 6 times.

I made some clear and valid points about mix versus scratch.

Another one (clear and valid point) is I think cake mixes are better for weddings and commercial use because you can manipulate them so much more than recipes.

The palate issue that Mike brings up is huge too. Some like soft & melty some like a little more tooth. But I think that's the balancing act right there.

Notice how many of us see the ingredients and empty boxes used in the cakes made for the tv competitions? Duff, Colette, Brownwen et cetera. Notice how much time they spend extolling the virtues of one over the other?

The other day these poor little chickies were all organic scratchers and they lost big time in the taste department. ouch

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