Box Cake Vs From Scratch

Decorating By connerart Updated 8 Mar 2009 , 6:38am by Creative_chika

connerart Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:10am
post #1 of 70

I am new on CC and was wondering what everyone perfer. I use to do cakes from scratch but my grandmother-in-law told me that she actually uses the box cake. I have been playing around with it and so far like Pillsbury but notice that a lot of you uses DH. It is much easier.
Didn't know if it matters with your customers. Do you tell them that you use a box cake?

69 replies
maryjsgirl Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:14am
post #2 of 70


sugarwishes Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:18am
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Have you don a search yet? Someone just posted this same exact thread a couple days ago. icon_biggrin.gif

Deb_ Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:26am
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Yeah, definitely do a search cuz these threads never turn out good icon_cool.gif

BTW ~ Scratch icon_smile.gif

alvarezmom Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:27am
post #5 of 70

I made cakes from scratch and Dr. Box Mix. I actually prefer now to Doctor the box mix. I dont tell my customers..none have ever asked. If they ask then I tell, but if they dont then I dont. I get rave reviews on how it is so moist. Normally I just add a box of pudding to the mix and it comes out GREAT!!! Stay's moist for a long time.

There are allot of CC'ers who only bake from scratch and you have some that just use box, and then you have some; like myself who Dr the box mix.

It's really up to you and how you want to make your cakes.

connerart Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:35am
post #6 of 70

Thanks. I have been searching for the topic but got my own post. But still lookingicon_smile.gif

foxymomma521 Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:40am
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Yeah, for some reason the "search" has hasn't been working... I'm gonna go with do whatever works for you... Check the recipe section and try the highest rated recipes to get an idea of some faves...

Chef_Rinny Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:43am
post #8 of 70

I do both. I used to only do scratch baking, but now prefer a good doctored cake mix like WASC. It's always moist and comes out consistently good. I will only use DH Moist Deluxe, I've just had better luck with that brand than with others. It's really all in the preference, but for me if it's for friends or family I do a doctored mix, if it's for a paying customer I do scratch cakes b/c thats what they expect.

enoid Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:43am
post #9 of 70

Depends on what type of cake someone wants, if I have all the ingredients for scratch, if I the right box mix on hand and/or what mood I'm in.

connerart Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:43am
post #10 of 70

okay, I thought it was me and that I don't know how to look it up icon_smile.gif Not too good at it some times.

__Jamie__ Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:50am
post #11 of 70

Scratch....scratch, and scratch. Scratch. I love to able to say that what I produce is top quality, with the freshest ingredients....and no box mix taste. Seriously....those who used to use box mixes, can't you just tell now when something is from a box? Ew. Box mixes make for pretty cake, I'll give ya that, but nothing beats scratch.

And for those who will inevitably think I have a thing against box mix users, I don't, so don't go there. It's tiring already. icon_smile.gif

CareyI Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:51am
post #12 of 70

I am a pillsbury fan! icon_biggrin.gif You can doctor those too if you choose. The store by me has the best selection in Pillsbury. I have tried the others too. My next pick would be Betty. I have had the worst results with Duncan Hines. Everyone has favorites....just use what works best for you. I get my box mixes for 88 cents plus sometimes with coupons too. I have heard WASC works great with Betty. Good luck! thumbs_up.gif

kcw551 Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 1:58am
post #13 of 70

Definitely do with what makes you happy. Everyone has their own strong opinions about this and the debate goes on and on...... I use box mixes and sometimes doctor them up and everyone is always asking for my scratch cake recipes. Shhhhh... that's my secret! I'm not even going to tell you the brand I use!

bbmom Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:02am
post #14 of 70

I used to make from scratch in fact I was a bit of a boxed mix snob, then one day I bought boxed because I had some coupons and when I made it, my husband said mmmm what'd you do to this cake? Its way better than usual. So now I do boxed or doctored. Its easier than scratch too.

connerart Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:07am
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I'm still looking for the thread but am done looking. Well for now. Thanks for everyone's opinions. It helpsicon_smile.gif

sayhellojana Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:11am
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I bake from scratch. I understand the appeal and convenience of box for those that bake many cakes at a time, though. I just couldn't imagine buying a cake, thinking I just paid top dollar for a good product, and have it be from a mix anyone could buy at a store. doctored or not. There are many good scratch recipes that are just as easy and cheap as box.

brandywinecakes Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:12am
post #17 of 70

I use boxed mixes. I tried making a scratch cake once and it was the driest cake I've ever put in my mouth. I'm sure that there are some better recipes out there than what I used that may change my mind, but I have always had people say that my cakes are great, so why change anything? I thought about trying the WASC recipe that everyone here raves about, but it seems like more work and I'm trying to cut down on the time it takes me to make a cake. Like the others said, I think it's personal preference.

kake4me2 Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:14am
post #18 of 70

It's kinda like the "Homemade" or "Semi Homeade" debate, If I follow a recipe, get my hands dirty and use my oven....its Homemade!

Scratch or box mix, if your a good baker and you doctor it up you shouldn't be able to tell the diff.

Bake a cake 100% from scratch and then bake one of macsmon Dr up wasc recipes and let people try to guess.... I bet no one will be able to.

The only diff will be the cake mixes because the flavorings, and additions are they same....

I'm a believer!!!! (fyi the search for the thread gourmet flavor for the recipes)

sweet1122 Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:21am
post #19 of 70

The specialty bakery shop where I took my cake decorating lessons uses only DH doctored somewhat. Our instructor said everyone has their own preferences, but said that the bottom line is that its cheaper and the customer really doesn't know the difference.

Since I'm just getting started making more and more cakes and trying to focus more on the icing and decorating, I choose DH (I don't even doctor yet...), but I'd like to someday play around with some doctoring and some scratch recipes.

cakesbydina Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:21am
post #20 of 70

It's funny to see this thread today because lately I have been getting a lot of flack for baking my cakes from a box ( doctored to the hills). I am charging $3 per slice for buttercream and $4 per slice on fondant cakes. People have been telling me that I should not price my cakes along with other bakeries that are baking them from scratch. Bakers with storefronts are competition but are ALL of them baking there cakes from scratch? Or should be adjusting my prices if I am not. Confused now.

giraffe11 Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:25am
post #21 of 70

I bake from scratch because the mixes taste chemically to me, even doctored. And especially chocolate boxed cakes taste kind of like chocolate taste at all. Kind of sad.....if I am going to spend calories on chocolate cake, I need to taste chocolate!
I have tried a few times, but would just prefer to feed my family (and others) real ingredients. (Besides, my mother has a cow, whenever anyone tries to give her anything from a can or a box!) icon_lol.gif
To be fair, though, I don't use much processed food of any kind, for the same reason. Now don't get me wrong. I live in a city, so I am not farming my own foods or anything. I do use frozen vegetables, pre-made breakfast cereals and pastas, and occasional salad dressings I can find that don't taste too awful......I just don't go much beyond that.
I know many people who prefer the boxes and there are also plenty who can't tell the difference. That's OK by me, as long as there is truth in advertising. To each their own.
If you want to use a mix, use a mix. But if someone asks, be honest. If they care enough about the issue to ask, you can bet they can probably tell the difference. Yes, I know there are many who claim that 'no one' can tell the difference between a scratch cake and a doctored mix. And folks I know who grew up on box mixes honestly tell me they can't and I believe them whole-heartedly. But I can tell the difference......1 forkful is all it takes. I may still eat it, or not....depends on my mood and if the icing is any good icon_wink.gif .....but I can tell the difference. Even a scracth cake with pudding mix added tastes different than a regular old scratch cake. It is not hard to tell at all.....

Edited to add that I obviously do use artificial dyes and colorings in my cakes and cookies all the time.........cause well, otherwise you couldn't decorate very well. I have tried, in the past, to use only natural dyes......beet juice, boiled onion peels, etc........but it's WAY too much work and the results are not good. Now, I'll only do it by special request. So see............I am not totally up on an 'all natural' high horse icon_lol.gif . But I am picky.......oh well.

sweet1122 Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:28am
post #22 of 70

I don't know that the customers know. I think maybe they just assume... We only knew because we saw the boxes and boxes and boxes of them in the back, where the classes are held. We were all SHOCKED and she pointed them out during our first class. I would have assumed at the prices they charge that they were baking from scratch.

kake4me2 Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:32am
post #23 of 70
Originally Posted by giraffe11

But if someone asks, be honest. If they care enough about the issue to ask, you can bet they can probably tell the difference.

Maybe.... but more importantly is the right thing to do. Also there could be allergy, religious(kosher), or other issues etc...

As the the price issue...scratch may take different ingredients (not always more), but all the same expertise goes into the baking and decorating proccess and the overheads are the same so why should the price be different.

Specialty cakes are always priced higher so thats a mute point.

doughdough Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 2:39am
post #24 of 70

Wow...we're a couple pages in this thread and a fight hasn't started yet!! *sniff* I'm so proud of everyone! icon_smile.gif

Carolynlovescake Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 3:05am
post #25 of 70
Originally Posted by bakerbear

Wow...we're a couple pages in this thread and a fight hasn't started yet!! *sniff* I'm so proud of everyone! icon_smile.gif


maryjsgirl Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 3:18am
post #26 of 70

Maybe no "scratch vs mix" threads can be found through the search, because they've all been locked or deleted?


kbak37 Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 3:36am
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uh...oh..not this question! I'm hiding. icon_cry.gif

cakesbydina Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 3:40am
post #28 of 70

quality feedback please. Cake prices the same for scratch vs. box or not?

sayhellojana Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 3:57am
post #29 of 70

4littlewops - my personal opinion is that boxed should be less. Scratch cakes are better quality ingredients. You are not getting the chemicals, preservatives or additives. Scratch cakes (some) take more time. It's just an all-around higher quality product. again, my personal opinion. And no, I'm not downtalking boxed mix bakers. I understand the benefits of that too.

__Jamie__ Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 4:07am
post #30 of 70
Originally Posted by 4littlewops

quality feedback please. Cake prices the same for scratch vs. box or not?

Personally, I could not feel proud of my cake if it at the base of it was just dumped out of a plastic bag into the KA and whirled around the bowl a few times.

There is something almost....magical, about measuring out cake flour, scraping vanilla beans, zesting a lemon, whipping the egg whites, folding them carefully into the batter.....I could go and on.

That's just me, have no opinion on what others do. And you bet, I am considerably higher priced than the other decorators in my area, my costs are higher.

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