Deniro Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 4:24am
post #1 of

After reading the topic of "wasc- is the cake mix really necessary?" I started to wonder if all bakeries bake from scratch? I love to buy cakes from Raleys supermarket I have to admit their pretty good. I dont think they have pastry chefs behind the counter. I don't even think they bake their cakes their either. From what I hear some supermarket start with frozen cakes. So I'm sure they start from a cake mix to keep up with production. All of us have purchased cakes from bakeries, supermarket or not I bet none of us ever popped that question. I don't really see the harm in it their moist and taste good and keeps the cost down. I'm sure theirs a whole lot more preservatives in the dinner we serve our families everynight!

116 replies
poohthebear Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 5:47am
post #2 of

I have worked for supermarket bakery's and now I have my own. Ican tell you that in the old days supermarkets use to bake their own but just like the fast food chains now they mostly have them come in a box frozen. Alot of them taste ok but they can tend to be dry and the icing comes in a bucket that doesn't have an expiration date on it, that I can remember. The white buttercream was made with all shortening no "butter" to it. Now that I have my own bakery I do use cake mixes doctored up, and my icing is made one batch at a time when needed, with butter. So yes you may pay a little more for a private bakery or an individual that bakes and decorates but to me it's well worth it.

kmoores Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 12:56pm
post #3 of

I worked in a supermarket bakery and can tell you that everything we did came in frozen, batter for muffins, cake batter, icing - everything! Nothing we did was "fresh".

vickymacd Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 1:11pm
post #4 of

I am by no means an expert here( or a professional baker), but most people buy cakes at the above listed places and have no problem with it as they don't know the difference!

I, myself have bought cakes from Costco and have loved them. They're quick and done. But yes, I can tell the difference.

When I want a special cake for my family, I always take the care to use the 'real ingredients'.

but I think most people really don't care as long as sadly, it's cheap.

Deb_ Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 1:12pm
post #5 of

Way back when I was 16........I'm talking 30 yrs ago I worked in an Italian Bakery after school and on weekends. The family owned 2 locations, one on the famous "Federal Hill" in Providence, RI. They baked all of their items fresh and from scratch, bread, rolls, danish, cookies, cakes, italian cream pastries, pizza, muffins etc.

One of my DD's friends works there now, yes, they are still in business it's been passed on for 3 generations..........she said they still bake everything from scratch, however they do freeze some things now. (The father died and the 2 sons took over)

Their stuff definitely stands out from the other lower scale bakeries around here. You get what you pay for in my opinion. They use quality ingredients and bake from scratch and it shows.

banba Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 1:18pm
post #6 of

No I don't think so !!!!

Just taste a slice of cake from a bakery and compare it to cake from a scratch baker.

It would not be a viable business if a bakery had to bake everything from scratch, they would have increased costs right through the entire process from wages to icing and all that goes in between.

Bakeries should start getting their cakes from all us scratch bakers imo.

Bring back "real" cake!!!!

indydebi Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 1:32pm
post #7 of

Pillsbury sells cake mix in 50 lb bags, as do other companies. They're not selling them to housewives. So yes, there are bakeries who use mixes. Some bakers buy their mixes in 18.5 oz boxes from the grocery ... some buy them in 50 lb bags from a food distributor.

Heck, most of the fast food places dont' even cook any food on site anymore. It's all pre-cooked and then microwaved at the individual store.

PistachioCranberry Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 1:35pm
post #8 of

I'm pretty sure there are a few, but I work at one and it's just mixes, mixes and more mixes. Only the cookies are from scratch.

akrainis Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 1:45pm
post #9 of

I also did the supermarket bakery thing and all of the cakes came frozen except carrot, which was a batter that came in a giant bucket. We used Rich's bettercream (also in a bucket) and another bucket frosting. Doesn't matter that they don't have expiration dates because the stuff moves so quickly.

I did once work at a prominent bakery in Manhattan. There had been several newspaper writeups about the place because of the story of the amazing scratch butter cake recipe being passed down for generations. Well, I never knew what the exact recipe was (I just decorated, didn't bake) but I do know it included dear old Dunkin Hines. There was a corner in the basement stacked to the ceiling with rows and rows of DH butter cake.

nickshalfpint Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 1:57pm

The bakery I used to work at made everything from scratch. This is the only bakery I've ever bought my cakes from. Their chocolate frosting is the best frosting I've ever had. No matter how many times I asked, they won't give up the recipe icon_mad.gificon_lol.gif Their cakes are so moist and yummy!

muddpuppy Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:03pm

Non- scratch cakes dosen't mean not "real" cakes as banba says!! Just because us mix users like the convienience of premeasured ingredients!! LONG LIVE MIX BAKERS!! LOL!!

tarheelgirl Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:07pm
Quote:
Quote:

Non- scratch cakes dosen't mean not "real" cakes as banba says!! Just because us mix users like the convienience of premeasured ingredients!! LONG LIVE MIX BAKERS!! LOL!!




AMEN to that! icon_biggrin.gif I doctor the heck out of my mixes. Never had a complaint in fact my customers always say how moist and delicious they are. All my icing are from scratch! A cake I delivered over the weekend.. the lady wrote and said that was the BEST cake she had ever had. I just had to laugh silently! LOL icon_lol.gif

banba Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:12pm

yes I have to agree with indydebi on the 50lbs bags of stuff they are not for home scratch bakers and that's for sure.

If something comes without an expire date then it is not food, edible yes but real food it aint!

I read about so many people here wanting to get a legal bakery up and going why don't a few local scratch bakers just get together, have one shop and supply the cakes themselves all scratch baked and see what happens?

They could source their eggs etc locally which would benefit the entire community and they could potentially drive down costs by sourcing produce locally as it would eliminate distribution costs.

The cake would taste real good and people can be willing to adjust to new things especially when they know it's real food!

People are starting to really think about what they are eating and I think due to this and costs this could be a good way to go?

As oppossed to puming people full of artificial crap that they don't need, is this the legacy we leave? Is this what the next generations inheirit from us, bad artificial diet?

luv2cook721 Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:24pm

[quote="banba"]
If something comes without an expire date then it is not food, edible yes but real food it aint!/quote]

All "real" food expires. The only thing that lasts forever is a Twinkie and that's because there is no real food in it. HA! jk.

Cake mixes are the real ingredients, premeasured for convenience which is why you have to add your own eggs, oil and water, they can't package that. You could make your own "from scratch" cake "mixes" by premeasuring the dry ingredients on a day you have extra time and then pull them out and add the moist ingredients. I would keep them in bags in the freezer to extend the shelf life.

funbun Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:26pm

At my shop we make all of our products from scratch. It can be a pain but it is what has set us apart from the other bakeries. I bake alot of vegan and gluten free products.
I know of a bakery that claims all their product is made from scratch but they use the 50lbs bag of cake mix.
I think that it doesn't matter what you start with, it matters what you end up with. I admit that for family cakes I use doctored box mixes and everyone raves. icon_biggrin.gif

banba Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:28pm

I don't have any issues with box mix bakers, each to their own!

Scratch bakers never seem to get a chance to express their views on cc as it always turns into an argument?

But I do quiet strongly take the view that my bowl of fresh egg, butter, flour and whatever else is definitely not comparable to a bowl of powder!

Anyway, getting off track, I think scratch baking and the demand for it is on the increase so not all bakeries bake from scratch but some places are starting to offer freshly produced products.

costumeczar Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:52pm

I'm with you on this one, banba, you're not alone! icon_smile.gif

muddpuppy Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:53pm

How is the flour that you get out of your bag, any fresher than the flour in a cake mix?

muddpuppy Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:56pm

And how is it that you can state that you feel that scratch baking is better and then get upset when a mix baker says that they think mixes are better... should we not be respectful of each others opinions? Geez, it's just cake...

costumeczar Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:57pm

For me it's the gums that they use in cake mixes (that are there to give a consistent result to the final cake regardless of who makes it and how they mix it) that I don't like. It gives a gummier texture to the final cake.

Let's not start making this into a mix-vs-scratch debate, to each his own. Do what you prefer and leave it at that.

muddpuppy Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 2:58pm

LOL!... I love CC...

-K8memphis Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 3:36pm

Here's a little distinction that one might want to consider.

The opposite of fresh is stale, not frozen.

Pastry chefs use freezers. Freezing product is not a problem. Improper freezing of products of course is an issue. But freezing is a valuable tool.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I always get back to this--the almighty bottom line.

Look around at all the Mom and Pop bakeries that are no longer there. They were slammed by competition --including the Wilton sell out to the homemaker back in the 60's then the big box stores.

Scratch cake without the plastic properties of the special shortenings has a brief and tedious shelf life. Bakers rely on those ingredients to help them make a profit--there is nothing wrong with that. Don't like it then don't buy it.

We had a lovely lovely artisan bread bakery here several years ago. I mean state of the art in a great location. Closed.

The bakery business is much different than the decorated cake business. You have to have a lunch counter or something to support your baking habit.

Great ingredients are great. Some like the multi million dollar enhancing ingredients and some like the measure and mix but all of us are trying to float a nice business. Factor in a world concerned about weight issues including reduced carb intake and that's another huge gut punch. (picture the Pillsbury Dough-boy getting sucker punched and flour coming out dusting everything in sight)

So there's room for everyone. Some don't like the fact that all scratch is tempermental and some can taste the properties in the mix. Wasting energy bashing each other and constantly listing why we don't like the other way is silly and self defeating. That one's gummy, that one's dry--yep true. There's pluses and minuses for each way. But we all need to support each other I think--stabilize prices and keep on keeping on.

There's pretty much enough factors against us that we can't control. United we stand divided we fall--trite but...

It's ok to bake however you want. It's not ok to bash (be negative about) the other guy's choice.

-K8memphis Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 4:03pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by banba


Scratch bakers never seem to get a chance to express their views on cc as it always turns into an argument?




Banba, you have spoken negatively about cake mix cakes and that's why threads break down. Comparing ourselves to ourselves we are not wise.

Every last one of us can point to both kinds of cake that totally sucks so what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by banba

Bring back "real" cake!!!!




Quote:
Originally Posted by banba


If something comes without an expire date then it is not food, edible yes but real food it aint!...

...As oppossed to puming people full of artificial crap that they don't need, is this the legacy we leave? Is this what the next generations inheirit from us, bad artificial diet?




Quote:
Originally Posted by banba

I don't have any issues with box mix bakers, each to their own!

But I do quiet strongly take the view that my bowl of fresh egg, butter, flour and whatever else is definitely not comparable to a bowl of powder!




Go ahead and champion the cause you love but not by pummeling the other (cause).

Every time you go to hit submit re-read your post and exchange the term 'scratch' for 'mix'. Then if it would be concerning that someone said that about your choice then consider re-arranging what you said.

So simply focus on being positive about your choice and leave off the other.

chutzpah Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 5:31pm

I have a bakery and I make everything from scratch. My prices are high to compensate for the cost of raw materials, and I do use the good stuff! Real butter (no margarine has ever come through the door!), quality chocolate and cocoa powder, etc. My customers love my stuff!

banba Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 5:48pm

It's not just flour in the box mix. This proves perfectly what I am talking about.

People genuinely don't understand how the bowl of fresh produce ended up a bowl of powder, yet they still use them not knowing what they are! I don't understand this maybe someone could clarify?

Yes we all know the pros and cons of each type of baking be it scratch, doctored or all mixes. The world is a sorry place if we cannot each have our own opininons on these and DISCUSS these without turning it into an argument. Emotions should not come into it, just plain old facts!

I am sorry that someone would feel that I am "pummeling" them with my views. Would it be possible for someone to tell me which part of what I said was incorrect with regards to cake mixes exactly?

Does somebody belive that if a "food" doesn't have an expiry date that it is still "food"

Can someone actually compare the bowl of fresh food to powder, really? I would be interested in hearing your comparison, this is discussing intelligently right, not which is better!

Why should I or any other scratch baker "leave off the other", this is a site about cake right? Scratch bakers make a conscious decision to bake the way they do for a reason as do box people!

What is the future of cake and what we put into the food chain?

So should we not change, work together and create wholesome treats and invest in our communities, why not? Or just keep churning out the same ole same ole?

Instead of each person trying to have their own business and having to use box mixes due to the pressure of being in business on their own and therefore turning out mix cakes, people could work together and produce something a little more wholesome.

I did not "bash" anyones choice, read back, where did I do that?

Did I speak negatively about cake mixes or state the truth?

Baking is a scientific art form passed down from generation to generation. We passed on recipes using foods that were available not mixes so when I speak of "real" baking this is what I mean.

Maybe I am trying to champion a cause but I am really trying to understand how a person that uses a doctored cake mix really believes that they are scratch bakers?

I am also trying to understand why people that use cake mixes don't accept responsibilty for what they are putting into the food chain? Or stop to even consider what they are doing?

Box mix bakers do not upset me as I have already stated to each their own.

Feel free to blast negative comments at me with reagards to scratch baking I will not be offended, I stand proud of what I am putting into people mouths!

I would like to apologise to the person that started this post, I may have gotten carried away but I think it's time people started to consider their choices.

costumeczar Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 6:03pm

k8memphis, I think that you need to back off and not dole out a lecture if you're concerned about all of us supporting each other. Your second post picking banba's post apart is totally opposite what you're saying about all of us needing to support each other, so I don't see the point of why you posted either time. For pete's sake...

-K8memphis Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 8:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

I have a bakery and I make everything from scratch. My prices are high to compensate for the cost of raw materials, and I do use the good stuff! Real butter (no margarine has ever come through the door!), quality chocolate and cocoa powder, etc. My customers love my stuff!




See ^^^ this is what I meant. It's all positive.

If either side of the debate is derogatory (speaks negatively or puts down the product) of the other is when it gets dicey.

Perhaps another thread entitled "All the reasons why scratch cake is my only choice" might work out good for a very passionate baker entitled to her opinion.

Pass the brownies.

All I did was quote her own words to show her potentially hot spots for mix users.







[White flour itself is bad for us--the life of the wheat, the germ, has been removed. Sugar is not so good for us. So I mean I can't even eat cake. My body can't handle most carbs.]

You say potato and I say celery. sigh

Dizzymaiden Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 8:22pm

The bakery I worked at was in a small farm kitchen - everything was scratch. Sometimes they would use canned items that were not in season, such as cherries.

In a perfect world all bakeries would have green houses with fresh fruit and herbs growning to pick each day...at least mine would!

__Jamie__ Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 8:32pm

I started out with box mixes. As time went by, and I received compliments on taste and decoration, I started to feel uneasy about the compliments on taste. It's from a box. It can't be screwed up. When I decided it bothered me enough, started scratching the recipes. I'll never go back. There is something to be said about a cake that's is scratch from start to finish. In my opion, it's a higher level of quality that is justification for higher prices.

__Jamie__ Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 8:36pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by muddpuppy

Geez, it's just cake...




I respectfully disagree. My cake is a wonderfully moist decadent creation that did not come out of a box, nor was it mass produced in Wherever-ville and shipped frozen to 300 Walmart locations two Sundays ago. That is "just cake".

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