Ladies Who Have Cake Shops...

Business By Roxybc Updated 11 May 2014 , 12:31pm by cakebaby2

Roxybc Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 8:37pm
post #1 of 38

Just wondering if those of you who run free standing cupcake shops or very busy at home cake businsses - Do you use boxed cake mixes? I love the taste of boxed cake mix cupcakes and many of the cupcakes I've had from successful independant bakeries taste exactly the same as ones made from cake mixes, so I'm wondering if it's actually possible that they are not made from scratch. I just made my first batch of cupcakes from scratch yesterday, and they turned out great - very similar to boxed cake mix ones, so I'm also assuming that it is possible to make great tasting cupcakes from scratch.

Just wanted to know your thoughts....

37 replies
cocorum21 Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 8:43pm
post #2 of 38

Some people use box some people use mix. It's really what works for you. If you do a search on "scratch vs box" or "scratch vs mix" you'll come up with lots of post on this very thing.

indydebi Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 8:50pm
post #3 of 38

Lots of commercial bakeries use mixes ..... they buy a 50 lb bag of cake mix from (for example) Pillsbury and just add water. (You didnt' think they were selling those big bags of cake mix to housewives, did you?)

Roxybc Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 9:00pm
post #4 of 38

Well, I've never actually seen 50lb bags of cake mix, but then again, I've never looked. I'd love to open up my opwn cupcake shop before, but always thought that I would have to make them from scratch to be a legit cupcake bakery. I live in the UK now and cake mix is very hard to find, and when you do find it it's very expensive. I wonder if there is anywhere here that sells bulk cake mix. Where do bakeries in the US get the mix from? Wholesale baking suppliers or direct from Betty Crocker - if that's possible....

cocorum21 Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 9:03pm
post #5 of 38
indydebi Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 9:08pm
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxybc

but always thought that I would have to make them from scratch to be a legit cupcake bakery.


There are multiple opinions on this and neither side is right or wrong, but please don't get caught in the trap of thinking every business that sells food makes it all from scratch. If that were the case, the wholesale food distributors would own cornfields and dairy barns instead of warehouses with giant freezers.

Roxybc Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 9:15pm
post #7 of 38

Ahh nice! I wonder if there is a place like that in the UK. The thing is that they don't even really have cupcakes here like American cupcakes. They have these gawd awful things called fairy cakes that are like smaller dryer cupcakes with icing that you pour on and crusts over - they just aren't good. I don't know where I would start to look for commercial cake mixes - I've done a google search and can't find them. Shipping from the US would just be too expensive.

leah_s Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 10:10pm
post #8 of 38

So, then, make your cupcakes from scratch. You can mix up your own flour, sugar, baking powder and such and then add what you need to it.

clever_girl1971 Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 10:29pm
post #9 of 38

Actually, depending on the cake called for, I have also blended batters. Sometimes I'll make a pound cake for structure and blend it with a box mix for flavor. As long as the batters are well blended, it shouldn't give you any trouble. Cupcakes are small and don't require much structure, so they can be fluffier and softer (like a cake mix) but something bigger like a birthday cake or a wedding cake requires more strength depending on how you're going to finish it.

saracupcake Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 10:36pm
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxybc

Well, I've never actually seen 50lb bags of cake mix, but then again, I've never looked. I'd love to open up my opwn cupcake shop before, but always thought that I would have to make them from scratch to be a legit cupcake bakery. I live in the UK now and cake mix is very hard to find, and when you do find it it's very expensive. I wonder if there is anywhere here that sells bulk cake mix. Where do bakeries in the US get the mix from? Wholesale baking suppliers or direct from Betty Crocker - if that's possible....




All the wholesalers I've ever been in carry cake mixes, I just checked Bookers online

http://www.booker.co.uk/catalog/browsecategory.aspx?categoryName=304955&view=UnGrouped

Sugarshack the online decorating store also has some in smaller quantities if you want to try it.

I've never used any of the cake mixes but I have used McDougals scone mix and it's good.

KlyKat Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 8:57pm
post #11 of 38

I use the 50lb bags of Pillsbury and my customers love it!!! But, I'd like to add some stability to it for carving and such. How much pudding, sour cream etc...would I add???

K'ly

KlyKat Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 1:10pm
post #12 of 38

Anybody???

notjustcake Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 1:29pm
post #13 of 38

There is a local bakery where I live award winning, featured on food network, very expensive cake, very expensive classes, I called and ask and she said they use fresh eggs and start with a cake base, so there you have it but they charge $40 for a sloppy iced tiny cake....

I know there is a huge debate about baking from a mix because of people with allergies but really if I was one of those people and I didn't know where the cake came from I wouldn't eat it.
If my kid has the same allergy and I order a cake I'm going to bring that up and if that bakery doesn't offer a scratch cake the I buy somewhere else.

I think a doctored cake mix is best for cupcakes because they tend to be dry that's just my opinion

anabelz01 Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 2:48pm
post #14 of 38

Hi, I'm from the UK and I have had a go with a madeira cake mix that seems to be available from a few of the cake stores on the internet (.co.uk sites) ... try this link http://www.cakecraftshop.co.uk/shop/8/391/index.htm they also sell in individual portions so you can try it out, they do madeira and chocolate, both just add water. I've tried them and they are pretty good, much more dependable that some scratch recipies I have tried, always come out good! They arn't cheap though, they are also very heavy and cost quite a bit for delivery. I like to have them in stock in case I don't have the time to make a scratch cake.

Thought that might help!

Anna - Essex

David7 Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 8:19am
post #15 of 38

AHi I live in the uk and if you look online for vintage rose sugar craft supplies ,they sell bulk cake mix from 1kg upto 12.5kg.good luck.

nancylee61 Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 9:15am
post #16 of 38

AHi, I just was saying on another thread, I went to am event last night, and I know the professional baker used a mix. How did I know? I could taste the chemicals. I also just found out mixes have a type of antifreeze in them. And we wonder why we get all these new, weird diseases? (Not just from cake, I doubt anyone eats enough cake to get sick.)

Having said that, I'd say if you are going to use a mix, you need to be honest about it to customers. We have a very successful bakery near where I love, and my students have worked there and talked about the big box of mixes they use. When you ask the owners, though, they swear they bake from scratch. That is unethical, in my view.

cakefat Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 9:30am
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancylee61 

Hi,
I just was saying on another thread, I went to am event last night, and I know the professional baker used a mix. How did I know? I could taste the chemicals. I also just found out mixes have a type of antifreeze in them. And we wonder why we get all these new, weird diseases? (Not just from cake, I doubt anyone eats enough cake to get sick.)

Having said that, I'd say if you are going to use a mix, you need to be honest about it to customers. We have a very successful bakery near where I love, and my students have worked there and talked about the big box of mixes they use. When you ask the owners, though, they swear they bake from scratch. That is unethical, in my view.

 

I agree with you completely- on overloading of chemicals having dire health related consequences and also bakers/bakeries not being honest/upfront about using cake mixes. Not letting their consumers be informed is just shady. Not all consumers care/understand/know (and that's their market) but a lot of people do and those people should have the right to know if they're eating added chemicals from a cake mix.

 

If someone (at least in the US)  isn't proclaiming to be a scratch baker on their marketing materials- then I'm just going to assume it's from a mix. Sad, isn't it? 

petitecat Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 9:33am
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancylee61 

Hi,
I just was saying on another thread, I went to am event last night, and I know the professional baker used a mix. How did I know? I could taste the chemicals. I also just found out mixes have a type of antifreeze in them. And we wonder why we get all these new, weird diseases? (Not just from cake, I doubt anyone eats enough cake to get sick.)

Having said that, I'd say if you are going to use a mix, you need to be honest about it to customers. We have a very successful bakery near where I love, and my students have worked there and talked about the big box of mixes they use. When you ask the owners, though, they swear they bake from scratch. That is unethical, in my view.

 

I agree, very unethical. 

 

Roxybc, why not do a taste test on some strangers- make both box mix and scratch cakes and see if there is a preference for either. If you want to start a business I guess it might help to find out from the beginning whether you'd succeed with the box mix cakes to begin with! If you were to choose box mix for your business, I'd be upfront about the fact to your customers when they ask. Honesty is the best policy and all that :)

hunnibee66 Posted 27 Apr 2014 , 11:01am
post #19 of 38

AI guess the benefit of cake mix is consistency in terms of repeat orders. A mix will taste exactly the same every time you make it whereas I find the freshness off the eggs, brand of flour/butter etc., can actually make a difference to the flavour. But maybe that's one of the charms of homebaking. I just do cakes for family and friends and usually if I just want a plain madeira I use a specific mix (for me my enjoyment comes from decorating rather than baking and madeira is a bit of a boring one to make IMO - do enjoy its flavour though!), however I use jam I make myself at home and that and the decoration is usually what gets the mention so there is a definite appreciation for homemade goods and the work that goes into them :)

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 1 May 2014 , 11:04am
post #20 of 38

It is absolutely possible to be successful/etc using mixes, I make everything, right down to my bean paste from scratch, but I have had customers who don't return because they want that 'moist fluffy' texture of box cakes. That's fine, there are bakers to accommodate those customers, and I can accommodate the others.

   
I am a hippy-dippy eater/baker, I love it when bakers use quality ingredients and bake from scratch, but I also hate fear-mongering.
The majority of bakeries in North America use box mixes, and not a single one of them has ever served a slice of cake with anti-freeze in it. (unless they are sociopaths)

Cake mixes do not have antifreeze. Some mixes have propylene glycol, which is sometimes a component of anti-freeze. (This is done to replace the ethylene glycol, which is the nasty stuff that kills dogs)

 

There have been no studies that suggest even a relatively high, consistent intake of it, over long term periods, is carcinogenic or toxic.

The internet is a great place for bloggers who know nothing about science, to scare regular people with chemical names. Most people just assume they did their research, and repeat it/share it on FB.
I served a cake at a children's party last week with tocopherol, pantothenic acid, malic acid, and chloride in it. Also known as 'apple'.

*edit* I didn't even notice the OP date, sorry.

bilbo Posted 1 May 2014 , 12:38pm
post #21 of 38

I always wonder at people who scream at box mixes but use recipes that have high-ratio shortening or buy pre-made fondant. All kinds of chemicals in both of those, or how about those Loranne emulsions -- fake, fake, fake-- people pour bottles of that in their cakes, or red velvet cake with the food coloring. Unless you make everything from scratch, jumping on the "how dare you use chemicals" bandwagon is disingenuous.

MimiFix Posted 1 May 2014 , 2:03pm
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bilbo 
 

Unless you make everything from scratch, jumping on the "how dare you use chemicals" bandwagon is disingenuous.

 

I agree. As human beings we are great at rationalizing our own behavior while attacking others for doing (basically) the same thing.    

-K8memphis Posted 1 May 2014 , 2:03pm
post #23 of 38
nancy--sometimes you can taste the pan the cake was baked in--might/might not be the cake mix -- and it could also be a reaction of the baking soda
 
then some comments just in general~~~

 

there are seriously questionable ingredients in enriched flour alone-- how many people have serious health issues from any wheat product, dairy, soy, potatoes, beef, refined sugar, chocolate, coffee, corn, eggs, yeast etc.-- if we wanna be righteous about making the world a better place we'd get the h out of caking fast --

 

 refined sugar (any overdose of sugar including fruit and especially juice) diabetes, tooth decay-- we take it for granted because it is so common -- diabetes and the complications thereof are maximumly horrendous--they are now saying that arthritis and heart disease are the results of inflammation -- a great percentage of foods inflame -- and conversely those health conditions vastly improve by consuming the non-inflammatory foods-- just never eat sugar again and it will help big time -- ugh --

 

propylene glycol is used in inhalers and other pharmaceuticals--it's often used in food color--we rub it in our skin in moisturizers--i  mean every live birth results in a death--everything is killing us if you look at it that way--hell, who knows that little dab of proplyene glycol might help preserve us in the long run? idk

-K8memphis Posted 1 May 2014 , 2:18pm
post #24 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 
 just never eat refined sugar again and it will help big time -- ugh --

 

cakebaby2 Posted 10 May 2014 , 4:32pm
post #25 of 38

AI don't mind ads long as I know it's a box mix. If I fork out hundreds of pounds for a cake then I really don't want to be told it's the work of an artisan baker only to discover its a betty. Crocker original mix.

nannycook Posted 10 May 2014 , 5:33pm
post #26 of 38

AOooo, I just a few pages back to our awful fairy cakes, and trying to resist replying back, I must say it was abit rude!!

FioreCakes Posted 10 May 2014 , 6:19pm
post #27 of 38

Quote:

Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 
 

It is absolutely possible to be successful/etc using mixes, I make everything, right down to my bean paste from scratch, but I have had customers who don't return because they want that 'moist fluffy' texture of box cakes. That's fine, there are bakers to accommodate those customers, and I can accommodate the others.

   
I am a hippy-dippy eater/baker, I love it when bakers use quality ingredients and bake from scratch, but I also hate fear-mongering.
The majority of bakeries in North America use box mixes, and not a single one of them has ever served a slice of cake with anti-freeze in it. (unless they are sociopaths)

Cake mixes do not have antifreeze. Some mixes have propylene glycol, which is sometimes a component of anti-freeze. (This is done to replace the ethylene glycol, which is the nasty stuff that kills dogs)

 

There have been no studies that suggest even a relatively high, consistent intake of it, over long term periods, is carcinogenic or toxic.

The internet is a great place for bloggers who know nothing about science, to scare regular people with chemical names. Most people just assume they did their research, and repeat it/share it on FB.
I served a cake at a children's party last week with tocopherol, pantothenic acid, malic acid, and chloride in it. Also known as 'apple'.

*edit* I didn't even notice the OP date, sorry.

 

YES. exactly. Are you in science? I have my PhD in pharmacology and I can't help but roll my eyes at some of these statements people make! Most new diseases aren't new at all...people have had them for years they just didn't have a name!

nannycook Posted 10 May 2014 , 6:25pm
post #28 of 38

AAll I know there are 4 ingredients in my cakes apart from some flavorings, I.e fresh lemon zest orange zest.

howsweet Posted 10 May 2014 , 8:14pm
post #29 of 38

A[QUOTE name="FioreCakes" url="/t/626643/ladies-who-have-cake-shops/15#post_7515472"]   YES. exactly. Are you in science? I have my PhD in pharmacology and I can't help but roll my eyes at some of these statements people make! Most new diseases aren't new at all...people have had them for years they just didn't have a name! [/QUOTE]

What drives me crazy is people who worry about what's in something they might eat a small serving of 3-4 times a year, as in birthday cake.

As for propylene glycol, I don't think it's unwise to avoid food products containing it.  I don't mean look for processed, packaged foods using a substitute for it. I mean avoid foods with additives. We know from experience that something thought to be safe can later turn out not to be. Down the road, we may know some of them really were safe and some were not.

-K8memphis Posted 10 May 2014 , 8:45pm
post #30 of 38

it goes both ways though--maybe the additive makes something better or less harmful who knows i sure don't--but it is used in inhalers too by asthmatics and sinus peeps so --

 

but what killeth me is how long 'fresh' produce lasts now--it is scary-- i can keep 'fresh' kale for weeks and weeks in the fridge--

it is embalmed produce--scary-- i guess it is irradiated -- it's great for the farmers & grocery stores -- so how good is that for us to eat i wonder

 

 

Quote:

Definition of irradiate (v)


  •  
  1. expose somebody or something to radiation: to expose somebody to or treat somebody or something with radiation or streams of particles
  2. preserve food: to treat food with electromagnetic radiation to kill microorganisms and slow down the process of ripening and gradual deterioration or rotting
  3. light something up: to make something brighter by shining light onto it

 

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