Converting Mix/box Cakes Into Scratch Cakes

Baking By GateauGirl Updated 12 Aug 2008 , 5:17pm by GateauGirl

GateauGirl Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 4:58am
post #1 of 6

I've seen similar questions to this one but am still not sure I've found the right there some way to take a cake mix recipe and change it into a scratch recipe? I specifically wanted to try a mix recipe based on yellow cake mix (I used a yellow cake scratch recipe & just tried to modify a bit it instead). I used all the same moist ingredients, including eggs & sour cream, that were called for in the mix recipe. My one "different" substitution was a bit of alcohol to achieve the same flavor needed in the mix recipe.

The cake turned out dense, heavy, and chewy, almost like a bread pudding texture! Yuck! icon_sad.gif

Is this because you just can't modify a cake mix recipe to make it from scratch instead, or could my adding alcohol have interfered with the outcome? Looking for tips on this so that I can try converting other cake mix recipes, not just this one with alcohol which didn't turn out. Thanks!! icon_biggrin.gif

5 replies
JanH Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 5:17am
post #2 of 6

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by converting a box mix into a scratch recipe.

There are doctored cake mix recipes that use normal scratch recipe ingredients added to the cake mix (which is not reconstituted per the box directions but used as a base).

The WASC doctored cake recipe is very good; it combines the reliability of a mix with a more home taste. icon_smile.gif

Here's the expanded flavors version of WASC:

A cake that is dense, heavy and chewy is usually the result of overmixing. icon_sad.gif

Technique is more important when making scratch cakes than box mixes or doctored mix recipes. (Although you can overbeat a mix or doctored mix!.)

Here are some cake troubleshooting charts:

7 Professional Secrets to Baking a Great Cake:

Wilton has revamped their website... Here's a link to all kinds of cake baking and decorating help:

Good luck!!!!

Here are quite a few scratch recipes (by type) recommended by CC members:


dandelion56602 Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 5:42am
post #3 of 6

I know what you're asking. You want to bake from scratch, but LOVE a doctored cake mix recipe & want to know if there is a way to acheive that doctored cake from scratch (by adding the ingredients that make the mix a "doctored" cake). I've wondered this myself.

JanH Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 6:37am
post #4 of 6
Originally Posted by dandelion56602

want to know if there is a way to acheive that doctored cake from scratch (by adding the ingredients that make the mix a "doctored" cake). I've wondered this myself.

The only ingredients that are different in a doctored cake mix recipe and a scratch recipe are the ingredients found in the
cake mix - not the additional ingredients.

Cake mixes use cake flour, emulsified shortenings and thickeners/stabilizers.

If you want a scratch recipe to mimic a cake mix formula try a chiffon cake recipe (uses oil) or a butter-type recipe that use shortening (instead of butter).

Here's a shortening based yellow cake recipe:
(Also explains the use of shortening instead of butter.)

Here's a recipe said to have a fluffy cake mix like texture:

Copy Cat DH chocolate cake recipe:

Scratch recipes that use instant pudding mix or (Jello) gelatin:

Adding modified food starch to scratch recipes:


GateauGirl Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 4:57pm
post #5 of 6

Wow!! Thanks so much for the tips! I'll have to try the shortening-based or chiffon recipe, as you suggested, Jan...I really appreciate your help. There's a watermelon cake recipe on here that I've wanted to try...but by making it from scratch, not with a mix. Here I go!!! Will let you know how it turns out.

GateauGirl Posted 12 Aug 2008 , 5:17pm
post #6 of 6

MMM...shortening-based cake seems to have worked! I combined that recipe with the one for a watermelon cake recipe on cakecentral (which called for a cake mix). I substituted cake flour & kept other ingredients the same, and it seems to have turned out well...the truth is in the tasting, but the crumbs sure have been good! Thanks again!

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