Wasc - Why Is The Cake Mix Necessary?

Decorating By Bonniecakes08 Updated 15 Apr 2013 , 3:31pm by ddaigle

Bonniecakes08 Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 6:20pm
post #1 of 72

Hi, I bake from scratch and was looking for a sturdy cake recipe for sculpting, someone mentioned WASC recipe. I wonder what the cake mix adds to this recipe. Why use a cake mix and then add ingredients? Why not just bake it from scratch? I would prefer not to add the trans fats, and artificial stuff like propylene glycol monoesters of fatty acids???!! I'd like to hear from those who bake using mixes. Why don't you bake from scratch? I don't mean to be in any way insulting, I'm just curious and would like to understand. Thanks!

71 replies
cvoges Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 6:39pm
post #2 of 72

This site is full of dedicated box mix bakers, as well as dedicated scratch bakers. Then there are those like me who ride the fence. I bake Hummingbird, Carrot, Red Velvet, Chocolate, and Yellow cakes from scratch. I just like them better. However, when it comes to white cake, I just can't get it right, and I'm old enough that I don't mind throwing in the towel for this cause. I like the consistent results that I achieve when using the WASC, as opposed to my not-so-consistent results with scratch white cake recipes. That's it.

val_nutrimetics Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 6:42pm
post #3 of 72

Hi,

I bake using mixes, I think mainly because they are what I am used to. I find that the texture between scratch and mix cakes are different. Also, it takes more work and time to bake from scratch and I have two young boys and it is much easier and quicker for me to bake from a mix.

Val.

__Jamie__ Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 6:52pm
post #4 of 72

For friends and family and some sculpted cakes, I'll use cake mix. For everything else....scratch allllll the way. The texture and taste just can't be beat. And I'll say it again...once you have tried scratch a few times, and then go taste a cake mix....wow! What a difference. It just isn't that much more work scratching a cake, but the differences are night and day, in my opinion.

banba Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 7:04pm
post #5 of 72

WASC can be made from scratch and I may not be totally right but as far as I know the original one is a scratch cake.

There is a cc member how has the scratch recipe but sorry can't remember who off the top of my head.

By the time you add all the other ingredients to the box mix you could have a scratch version done in the same amount of time!

But box will taste different to scratch and the texture will be different due to the lack of "enhancements" in the scratch recipe.

-K8memphis Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 7:11pm
post #6 of 72
Quote:
Quote:

Particular emulsifier-containing shortenings are suitable for use in cake mixes which are shelf stable and which can be utilized to provide high-specific volume, good grain structure, excellent eating quality cakes. These shortenings have a relatively high-solids content at room temperature, a relatively low-solids content at mouth temperature and some solids content at the highest temperatures encountered during storage. The shortenings comprise a propylene glycol monoester emulsifier with a particular ratio of fatty acid ester chains to provide high specific volume cakes.




from http://www.freepatentsonline.com/3622345.html

MaisieBake Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 7:58pm
post #7 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonniecakes08

Why not just bake it from scratch? I would prefer not to add the trans fats, and artificial stuff like propylene glycol monoesters of fatty acids???!!




This stuff is what makes the box mixes foolproof.

twooten173 Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 8:08pm
post #8 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonniecakes08

Why not just bake it from scratch? I would prefer not to add the trans fats, and artificial stuff like propylene glycol monoesters of fatty acids???!!



This stuff is what makes the box mixes foolproof.




And let me tell you these scratch recipes aren't! I've tried many times (with help from CCer's) and haven't had much luck. I'll keep trying but if the cake is for someone, I have to stick with what works.

michellesArt Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 8:08pm
post #9 of 72

i find that ican't waste the time or ingredients to come up with a consistantly good scratch cake so why not use what is time tested, quick and easy-plus that you can enhance with some great recipies? i'm in awe of scratch bakers but as someone else said i have children and another job so for me it's mix icon_smile.gif oh except carrot cake

TEE39 Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 8:44pm
post #10 of 72

I find cake mixes to be a whole lot cheaper especially when bake alot of cakes , the ingredient for scratch cakes can really add up when your baking probono. icon_smile.gif

sayhellojana Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 9:00pm
post #11 of 72

I prefer scratch, every once in a while I'll play with a mix, but I'm pretty much scratch all the way. Now, you can make WASC from scratch. Just use almond in place of vanilla and sour cream in place of milk in your favorite white or yellow cake recipe. I use Serious_cake's

m1m Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 9:06pm
post #12 of 72

"By the time you add all the other ingredients to the box mix you could have a scratch version done in the same amount of time!"

I have wondered the same thing myself.

So far, I've always used box mixes due to cost and convenience, but my next goal is to try scratch cakes.

jdconcc Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 9:13pm
post #13 of 72

Are mixes an american thing? I know we have basic box mixes over here but they're mainly for kids cupcakes... or I've missed them. I always bake from scratch but I can see the appeal of mixes in certain situations I've just never seen them to use them. Anyone in the UK know about these?

FullHouse Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 9:14pm
post #14 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by m1m

"By the time you add all the other ingredients to the box mix you could have a scratch version done in the same amount of time!"




I used to bake only scratch and didn't have a problem with results, BUT it is way more expensive than doctored cake mixes so I know mostly use mixes especially since I make so many for kids who don't reallly appreciate the difference. I also find people love my doctored chocolate cake mix to the point where they don't stop talking about it. If I decide to let them know if was a doctored mix, they are shocked, even those who bake regularly; so I guess a mix can't be all that bad.

m1m Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 9:32pm
post #15 of 72

I have the "Confetti Cakes" book and the "Cakes to Dream" on book. Both of the decorators use scratch recipes that call for cake flour. Since my next goal is to try scratch cakes, I went and bought some. Boy is that stuff expensive!

miss-tiff Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 9:45pm
post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by twooten173

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonniecakes08

Why not just bake it from scratch? I would prefer not to add the trans fats, and artificial stuff like propylene glycol monoesters of fatty acids???!!



This stuff is what makes the box mixes foolproof.



And let me tell you these scratch recipes aren't! I've tried many times (with help from CCer's) and haven't had much luck. I'll keep trying but if the cake is for someone, I have to stick with what works.




I bake both scratch and doctored-mix cakes, and for me it's the consistency. I have a scratch chocolate cake recipe that I enjoy, but for some reason it doesn't always turn out right. So, if it's important that the cake turn out right the first time, I'll doctor a cake mix.

eilidh Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 9:53pm
post #17 of 72

Yes I think the box mixes are an Amercian thing as when I have been there I have seen lots of these different mixes. I also only bake from scratch but as you said I think that is a British thing as our box mixes are just so awful! I don't find bakin from scratch a hassle at all but then I don't know any different as that is how we learn as kids here, and I have all the ingredients so enerally only need to top up on the things I use a lot of eggs, sugar, marg and flour. icon_smile.gif

cuteums Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 9:59pm
post #18 of 72

So I am going to add another question to this thread. Does anyone have a good scratch recipe (vanilla or choc.) that is durable enough for carving, and doesn't taste dry?

-K8memphis Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 10:19pm
post #19 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuteums

So I am going to add another question to this thread. Does anyone have a good scratch recipe (vanilla or choc.) that is durable enough for carving, and doesn't taste dry?




See this is another reason to use a mix.

I mean scratch cakes have their purpose and so do mixes.

When I carve I want to use cold cake and during the process of creating this cake I want to chill it. So there are few scratch cakes I'd recommend for this.

Because when you take a great scratch cake and chill it it will often come out dry in the mouthfeel.

So mixes are nice to restore the cake to a nice mouthfeel as explained in that article I quoted up thread. The one about the Mono and Ester family.

So long story short you wanna nice cake to carve and have a good shelf life and a good mouth feel and have a nice high volume, relaxes at room temp add a little propylene glycol monoester emulsifier to your scratch cake. icon_biggrin.gif

banba Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 10:21pm
post #20 of 72

I think if you have only really ever eaten box cakes it could be difficult to appreciate the taste and texture of a scratch cake.

The two types are worlds apart.

I am a scratch baker but my absolute ideal cake would be scratch taste and box texture.

I have been baking for twenty years and cannot achieve the above and the reason I can't is because one of them (texture) is "artificial".

Box mixes are not widely used by homebakers in Europe. They are too expensive here and the variety is crap, pretty much Betty Crocker FULL STOP.

And the majority of us like home baking as it's what we were reared on.

But today's kids are different they have been reared on box mixes, mom's don't have as much time for baking these days.

People are forgetting how to really bake and sadly they don't have the time. It's as if an "art" is being lost.

Maybe mixing the two together is the way to go?

jdconcc Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 10:21pm
post #21 of 72

I use one that Nigella Lawson has in her book for cupcakes and I just make it bigger it's never failed me and it's quite dense so good for carving but moist at the same time:

Here's the recipe as it is in the original, I find quadruple this for a 8" pan and it turns out quite deep, you could probably use 3 times as much and it would be deep enough to cut in half and fill.

125g unsalted butter softened
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs (room temp)
125g self raising flour (is this what cake flour is in the US?)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (I just flavour my sugar with pods and skip this)
2-3 tablespoons milk

mix all together in cake mixer or use old fashioned victoria sponge mehtod, either works really well. and a 8" (four times this volume) takes my oven about 2 hours on 150 degrees, but it all varies. The recipe takes 15-20 mins for cupcakes at 200 degrees. For chocolate I weigh the flour then take out about two tablespoons and replace with cocoa powder.

Hope this helps. xxx

eilidh Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 10:23pm
post #22 of 72

not sure how this will translate but for carving I use the following;

Weigh however many eggs you think your cake needs eg. 5 for a 7 inch square with their shells on. Set aside and then weigh equal measures of self raising flour, marg and caster sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Once mixed and eggs added bake at 170 oC for about 40 mins (I just keep an eye on it once I smell the cake). sorry don't know how to convert to cup sizes etc.

vemorgan Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 11:16pm
post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuteums

So I am going to add another question to this thread. Does anyone have a good scratch recipe (vanilla or choc.) that is durable enough for carving, and doesn't taste dry?




Try a pound cake recipe. Pound cake is what is recommended for 3-D cake pans because it's "durable". That should stand up to carving. And if you bake it just long enough, not too long, it should be moist.
Try looking on this site for poundcake recipes, or www.allrecipes.com. I got some good ones. (Too long to post!-)

Bonniecakes08 Posted 31 Jan 2009 , 11:45pm
post #24 of 72

Thanks for all your responses. I'm beginning to think that using the doctored mixes might be the best way to go. I always have to worry if my scratch cake is going to taste good this time, especially chocolate, as someone said, when chilled, it tastes dry and gets crumbly.

milissasmom Posted 1 Feb 2009 , 12:02am
post #25 of 72

You know, I don't think it really matters as long as you find something that works for you!!! I am a 100% scratch baker. Never, ever had a dry cake leave me EVER. But I have been doing it this way for 20 years so I have it down to a science. BUT, I tried the WASC and couldn't get it to taste good to save my life! Boxed ANYTHING just doesn't work for me
icon_sad.gif So I really don't think there is anything wrong with using boxed mixes or anything wrong with baking from scratch either. I think the key is finding whatever works for you and perfecting it! Especially if your clients don't care if it's scratch or not (and MOST don't as long as it is Freshly Made)! I would say try the WASC and play around with it...it just might work for you!!! Good luck!!!

7yyrt Posted 1 Feb 2009 , 1:46am
post #26 of 72

JustDarling,
If your self-raising flour is the same as ours, it's most definitely NOT what cake flour is in the US. Here cake flour is a soft wheat, hard wheat is bread flour, and all purpose (simply called flour) is sort of a mixture of the two.
Self-raising flour has leavening added.
You can make a 'fake' cake flour by replacing some of the regular flour with cornstarch.

cvoges Posted 1 Feb 2009 , 2:21am
post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by banba



And the majority of us like home baking as it's what we were reared on.

But today's kids are different they have been reared on box mixes, mom's don't have as much time for baking these days.

People are forgetting how to really bake and sadly they don't have the time. It's as if an "art" is being lost.




I was raised on a farm, and we had access to all the fresh things that make scratch baking so wonderful--eggs, milk, cream, and butter. It's hard to make the switch to box mixes after that experience, but I still depend on the WASC for my white cake.
BTW--my own kids won't eat the WASC. They say they're sick of "wedding cake." However, everybody else loves it.

loriemoms Posted 1 Feb 2009 , 2:40am
post #28 of 72

I bake both as well...I personally prefer a scratch cake, but people are just used to the soft mouthfeel as you call it (I love that term!) of all those soft cake mixes. I also bake high volume and its easier to doctor a cake mix sometimes.

Whoever stated its the same amount of work....I dont know what recipes you have..I would love to see them! The recipes I use require all kinds of sifting and adding the butter first and then adding flour and milk alternating and such. With a doctored cake mix, you litterally just dump everything in the mixer and go. I wish scratch was that easy! It comes out perfect everytime at half the time. Also, the expense is SO high..the cost of cake flour is A LOT higher then mixes and added regular flour.

I also like to freeze cakes to carve them and I agree, the scratch cakes just dont seem to taste as well when they are frozen or cold, even defrosted. They also do not have the shelf life for a cake that I know is giong to take me a day to decorate.

JessDesserts Posted 1 Feb 2009 , 2:53am
post #29 of 72

I was 100% scratch baker until recently when I became interested in decorating.

It was very expensive to keep baking from scratch just to use the cakes as bases to practice decorating.

A friend suggested I use box mixes, even if only for this purpose. Sounded OK to me. I wanted to continue to bake and practice decorating; it was a fabulous idea for my wallet. The problem was it tasted nasty. I couldnt continue to serve them to my friends and co-workers.

Enter doctored cake mixes. Well hello there. I admit, I was impressed. Honestly. I didnt think a few additions could alter the taste of box mixes as much as they did.

Thanks to the generosity of my fellow CC'ers, I have found a plethera of doctored cake mix recipes and have enjoyed many of them. My friends and co-workers are honest with their feedback and are always pleased with the results, as am I.

I havent met / spoke to many people that are in the middle like I am, it seems to be pretty black and white for most people.

I have not found a doctored cake mix receipe for a chocolate cake that even comes close to my favorite chocolate cake recipe, but, I also no longer think I am an exclusive scratch baker.

I have always been willing to try new things and I am glad I found this site. Which inadvertantly led to finding doctored cake mixes. One of my favorite things is how versitile they are. Once you have a 'master' recipe like WASC, you can swap the ingredients for just about anything and any flavor. The possibilities are endless from just one recipe. Not too shabby.

If you try it and you like it.....great.

If you try it and you dont like it....oh well, at least you tried it.

twooten173 Posted 1 Feb 2009 , 5:50am
post #30 of 72

For those of you in the UK, I'll bring you some mixes next time I'm there. Honestly, I would love to know what you guys thought of them since you are box cake virgins.

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