I know that everybody has their own feelings on box vs scratch - which tastes better, is better for you or is just all around better. But, I seriously need somebody who has done both to seriously discuss the cost of box vs scratch. I generally use the box mix as a base, I add a lot of other ingrediants to get the taste and consistancy I am looking for. And I have to say I get consistancy in my results just about everytime. I don't get consistancy in my results from scratch cakes. My general opinion is cakes that call for cake flour cost far more than cakes I bake using the box mix as a base. I usually add, all purpuse flour, sour cream, clear extracts, several extra eggs, sugar, pudding, baking powder in addition to the general box mix ingredients. So is my assumption on from scratch cakes using cake flour costing more than Doctored box mix correct?
From what your adding to a box is the same as your adding to cake flour. A box is more than cake flour. If all those ingred plus the cost of the box NO it is not cheaper. Actually it would be more expensive I would think cause you have the cost of the box.
To come up with a true answer for your question you can calculate the cost of each method. I save my receipts when buying supplies so that I know how much the ingredients cost me. I make a copy of the recipe then I break it all down by calculating the cost of the ingredients by the measurements called for in the recipe, writing the cost for each ingredient on the copy then adding them together.
Example: If one dozen eggs cost $1.80 and I use 4 in the recipe, divide $1.80 by 12 = .15 x the 4 used = .60 for eggs. For flour, sugar etc. I refer to a chart in a cookbook that shows how many cups a 5 lb. bag yields and break that down into the measurements used in the recipe. I hope this makes sense. It's the best way that I've come up with to do a true side-by-side comparison for cost.
I wouldn't think that it would be that different to be honest. Boxed cake mixes cost like $1.00 around here. Just my thought...I haven't added it up yet. You would probably have to do it yourself to be honest though...cause it seems like you add a lot of stuff to it. And you may not be able to get sugar for the same price I get it, etc.
i calculated this once. I used the WASC recipe as a guide and found that using box mix is only slightly expensive than doing it from scratch. but what i like about it is that it's consistent, every time. I have also tried using just the box mix and whatever ingredients it called for and people just raved about the cake.
I would love to bake using a box mix all the time. for me it's mroe convenient and consistent as I still have some trouble with baking LOL but it's not easily available where i'm from. it costs around $3 to $5 here too when you convert it.
Based on an unfrosted cake, it costs me about $3 to make my yellow cake and $4 to make chocolate
I've found that it's not the cost of box mix vs flour and sugar that's my problem, it's by what kind of flavor of cake, fillings, and icings I make.
Like, for all of my chocolate cakes, ganache, and fillings, I use Ghiradelli chocolate chips and baking bars. I notice a major difference when I use that brand over Hershey's or Nestle. They simply taste better. However, I do use Hershey's cocoa powder for buttercream icing and homemade MMF. It holds up better than when I use Ghiradelli cocoa powder and the taste difference is not as significant.
I always use butter, fresh fruit, milk, and cream instead of oil and water. I don't have a freezer, so I can't buy those items in bulk like I can dry ingredients.
If someone requests a fruit flavor that's out of season, that can get pricey. Last week I had to make raspberry filling and the cost of the berries alone was $8! ($3.89 per carton, and I needed two) I ended buying a bag of frozen berries but that still was $6.99
Thats why I only do cakes for friends, family, and co-workers. I've made cakes where the ingredient cost alone was over $50, so I'm more than happy to just have my supply cost covered. They're willing to pay it because they know the quality of my cakes are worth it.