Okay!!! Finally Feed-Up With Scratch Cakes.

Decorating By MBHazel Updated 13 May 2009 , 4:27pm by STRAWBERRY1390

MBHazel Posted 2 May 2009 , 11:10pm
post #1 of 50

I've been doing scratch cakes for years and all of a sudden I am inthis streak of flops! One right after the other. Sad streaks, fallen cakes, dry cakes, you name it!

I want to know the truth about these DOCTORED cake mixes. Do the additions you make take away the artifical taste that mixes have?

What are the most popular ones that you all do? You know, the ones people rave about and ask for more?

Hurry please, I am running out of flour! icon_cry.gif

MBHazel

49 replies
jonahsmom Posted 2 May 2009 , 11:27pm
post #2 of 50

I don't have the patience for scratch cakes. I ONLY do doctored cakes....my ex-sister-in-law's mother (not a fan of OUR family) had one of my cakes the other day and she raved about it. Says she HATES chocolate cake, but mine was awesome....no body ate my ex-sister-in-law's cupcakes... icon_twisted.gif

ayerim979 Posted 2 May 2009 , 11:30pm
post #3 of 50

well to tell you the truth what i do is add lorrann oils to the mix or depending on the flavor cake box mix usually ask for water in their recipe so instead I add orange juice, coconut milk, pineapple juice etc. The possibilities are endless. Well hope I was of some help .

Sorry bout your bad streak but dont give up

FairyPoppins Posted 2 May 2009 , 11:34pm
post #4 of 50

My scratch cakes are always a flop so I always use doctored cake mix recipes. I love the taste of Kakeladi's WASC cake and the chocolate version. Look at the 'gourmet flavors' thread for some great doctoring recipes.

sweetjan Posted 2 May 2009 , 11:34pm
post #5 of 50

And don't forget the Cake Doctor book....a great way to make some excellent cakes that aren't totally from scratch!

bethola Posted 2 May 2009 , 11:41pm
post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ayerim979

well to tell you the truth what i do is add lorrann oils to the mix or depending on the flavor cake box mix usually ask for water in their recipe so instead I add orange juice, coconut milk, pineapple juice etc. The possibilities are endless. Well hope I was of some help .

Sorry bout your bad streak but dont give up




I have never used lorrann oils. BUT, I use every new flavor coffee creamer that comes out to make a cake, just to see what I can come up with. The latest is the Belgium Chocolate Toffee. YUM! Always use coconut milk when I make coconut cakes.

I just have never been able to make a scratch cake that didn't taste dry. So....doctored mixes are the only way to go! I am sorry you are having a bad time. But, don't discount the cake mix route! Works for me every time!

Beth in KY

Debluvs2bake Posted 2 May 2009 , 11:45pm
post #7 of 50

after four batches lost in one day of yellow cake from scratch, I tried a doctored mix and that's all I use for choco or white cakes now. Still make my special flavors from scratch, but I'm a big fan of doctored mixes now.

MBHazel Posted 2 May 2009 , 11:59pm
post #8 of 50

Okay, I am ready to give it a try. What do you all suggest for the first one!!! Something GREAT!

Also, Beth what did you use the Belguim Chocolate Toffee in, that sounds pretty good.

pattycakesnj Posted 3 May 2009 , 12:05am
post #9 of 50

I say don't give up, if you have a good recipe, scratch is the way to go. I can tell a box mix cake a mile away, I can smell and taste the difference. (A very chemical smell and taste) Plus all those artificial flavors and chemicals can't be good for you. JMHO

bethola Posted 3 May 2009 , 12:17am
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBHazel

Okay, I am ready to give it a try. What do you all suggest for the first one!!! Something GREAT!

Also, Beth what did you use the Belguim Chocolate Toffee in, that sounds pretty good.




I used Pillsbury Dark Chocolate Cake Mix and substituted 1/2 the water with the Belgium Chocolate Toffee Creamer. THEN when I made the chocolate icing....used a little in it too! I used this for a recent groom's cake I did and everyone raved about it.

Have FUN with the creamers. I love experimenting with them. If I find one and don't think I'll be baking soon....into the freezer it goes until I'm ready for it!

GOOD LUCK!

Beth in KY

MBHazel Posted 3 May 2009 , 12:23am
post #11 of 50

Oh Patty, now that is exactly what I am worried about. I don't like that funky taste. icon_rolleyes.gif

But, at the same time, I seem to have lost my touch. icon_sad.gif

springlakecake Posted 3 May 2009 , 12:35am
post #12 of 50

I was a big fan of the doctored cake mixes. I like them because there is no fuss. They come out good all the time and people like them. But since I started a business I was getting uncomfortable when people asked me if I baked from scratch or box. Plus I was sort of noticing the "chemically" taste. I really want to be as best I can at baking and decorating. So I am diving into scratch baking and having fun. As I get new recipes I am going to replace my doctored recipes with scratch ones. It really is more fulfilling to me baking from scratch. I like knowing what I am eating too. It might take me a little longer to prepare, but that's okay. The hardest part is trying out new recipes and having them flunk.

I don't want to talk you out of doctored cakes, because I think it is fine. But if you have been baking from scratch for years, maybe it is something else. Are you trying new recipes? Maybe they just aren't good ones. Have you checked you ingredients? Is the baking powder old? Is your oven temp off?

dailey Posted 3 May 2009 , 12:39am
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBHazel

I've been doing scratch cakes for years and all of a sudden I am inthis streak of flops! One right after the other. Sad streaks, fallen cakes, dry cakes, you name it!

I want to know the truth about these DOCTORED cake mixes. Do the additions you make take away the artifical taste that mixes have?

What are the most popular ones that you all do? You know, the ones people rave about and ask for more?

Hurry please, I am running out of flour! icon_cry.gif

MBHazel




to answer your question, no, it does not take away the smell/taste of the mix. however, i think so many people are used to eating junk food nowadays that they don't even seem to mind it??

pattycakesnj Posted 3 May 2009 , 12:51am
post #14 of 50

ditto what Merissa said, could it be your oven, old BP etc. There is nothing like a cake from scratch and when people ask what is in it, you will be able to pronounce the ingredients. Don't give up, I had to make a carrot cake 3 times this week, it kept sticking in the pan and broke apart but finally, success.

MBHazel Posted 3 May 2009 , 1:10am
post #15 of 50

Well, I just had my oven checked a month or so ago, so I think it is fine. Plus I routinely check it myself. Fresh BP, soda, etc.

The only thing different, and it isn't really different as far as baking, is I have been studying the cakeBible like crazy. And I have all those never do this, always do that bouncing around in my head. Maybe, I am making it too much like science.

As far as the tearing carrot cake, one thing I always do is line the bottom of my pans. Wax paper or parchment and that will never happen. (Well mostly never!)

springlakecake Posted 3 May 2009 , 11:35am
post #16 of 50

I'd say, just do as you always do if it was working for you before!

Cathy26 Posted 3 May 2009 , 12:11pm
post #17 of 50

i always bake from scratch - its a personal satisfaction thing plus it means i can boast about it on my website!!!! - i think it definitly gives me more customers as if they want a box mix cake then they'll buy a shop bought cake but my customers want a fresh home made taste.

saying that ITS NOT EASY !!!!! Grrrrrrr, i had such a bad run for a while where my cakes wouldnt cook in the middle but were burnt on top and then doughy in the middle and some were so dry they had to be literally SOAKED with sugar syrup - also they werent rising great, etc but with the help of CC ive sorted it completly out - heres my tips

use a heating core for 10 inch cakes and bigger. use a flower nail or two for 8 inch and up.

tent your cakes in the oven with foil - stops the top crusting and drying out and gets you an extra inch of height.

wrap wet towels round tins before they go into the oven - stops the sides cooking too fast.

get an oven thermometer - my oven is completely messed up and i need to constantly check the temp.

also, i use Lindy Smiths madeira and chocolate recipes which you can add different flavours to and really are delicous!


Hope this helps!! it really is worth it!

artscallion Posted 3 May 2009 , 12:39pm
post #18 of 50

I always use scratch. I've never made a boxed cake in my life. Though I've tasted plenty of them over the years. And I don't care if a mix has been doctored, lawyered or indian chiefed, I can tell it's a mix at first bite.

Not everyone can tell. And not everyone cares. Most people who only eat boxed cake think that's what cake is supposed to taste like. But there are people out there who usually eat scratch cake. And if you give them a bite of mix cake, they can tell right away.

So, one thing that keeps me baking from scratch is knowing that, if I can tell a mix cake, then chances are one or more people at that shower or birthday can tell too. And I ask myself if I want to wonder if one of the overheard snippets of conversation floating around the room is, "what a gorgeous cake! I'm surprised a cake that nice would be from a mix though!"

MBHazel Posted 3 May 2009 , 1:02pm
post #19 of 50

Hi!

Cathy 24 most of your tips ar ones I use, however, tell me about tenting the cake. How do you check the cake when it is hidden? Also, when do you remove.

Artscallion that is why I have never done mixes, I could always tell. But, I had never doctored one either. And it does seem to be a dying art which makes it more special. Funny, when I was a kid and we would have a dinner at church it was almost a contest to see whose cake got the most raves. Now they don't even bother to take "their" cake out of the plastic take home box from the grocery store.

Thanks a bunch I am feeling inspired again!

springlakecake Posted 3 May 2009 , 1:04pm
post #20 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

I always use scratch. I've never made a boxed cake in my life. Though I've tasted plenty of them over the years. And I don't care if a mix has been doctored, lawyered or indian chiefed, I can tell it's a mix at first bite.




LOL icon_lol.gif

jguilbeau Posted 3 May 2009 , 1:26pm
post #21 of 50

I always use this doctored recipe: Enhanced Cake Formula (I use only 1/2 cup sugar instead of the 1cup called for)
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-1599-Enhanced-Cake-Formula.html
I recently made a triple chocolate fudge cake using Betty Crocker "Triple Chocolate Fudge" mix for a Grooms Cake. Guest ate more of the grooms cake than the Brides cake that came from a very well know local bakery. It was my Godchilds wedding so I was there to cut my cake, everyone raved over it soo much of how moist it was. For my other cake flavors i usally use Dincan Hines.

Lenette Posted 3 May 2009 , 1:47pm
post #22 of 50

I too bake from scratch only. You just need to have a few reliable recipes and good technique. The cake bible is a good book but not the gospel, do what has worked for you all these years!

It is a source of pride that my cakes are homemade and I get comments ALL the time about how most and tasty my cakes are. I grew up on cake mix but I can tell one usually by the smell and I don't care how you doctor it.
In fairness I did try a doctored mix once for a class, it still smelled like a mix when baking and you can definitely tell the taste too, adding stuff doesn't take away from what is in there.

Again, many folks can't tell and don't care but I would rather work hard to make mine the best scratch it can be. Even my DH (big guy, likes to eat) has complained that I have ruined him for the potlucks at work, he doesn't want the cake anymore.

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

pattycakesnj Posted 3 May 2009 , 1:56pm
post #23 of 50

thanks, mbhazel, thats what I did on the last batch of carrot cakes (that of course worked like a charm) but I find lining the pans is a pia

khkakes Posted 3 May 2009 , 2:03pm
post #24 of 50

This is what I do - make what feels right that day. There are some days where I have more patience (usually when the kids are gone) and I make a scratch cake. There are other days where my hair is already on fire and having a cake fail will just put me over the edge - its a doctored box mix day icon_wink.gif On those days I usually use orginal WASC. For the chocolate version I replace the water with cold coffee and half of the flour with a good quality cocoa powder and presto I have a cake I know will come out everytime. And I save my energy for decorating.

I like knowing I can do both! Do what works for you and lower your stress level.

PS I have a close family friend that is a die hard scratch baker - she loves the WASC!

pattycakesnj Posted 3 May 2009 , 2:08pm
post #25 of 50

good suggestion khkakes

Narie Posted 3 May 2009 , 2:10pm
post #26 of 50

mbhazel- I'm a scatch fan too. However, since you are going through a bad patch with the scratch recipes. Give the doctored recipes awhirl. One of three things will happen. 1.) You will be convinced that scratch is the way to go. 2.) You will discover that doctored box mixes are great. 3.) That some of the doctored box mix recipes aren't that bad- in a pinch.

pattycakesnj-I know what you mean about cutting out parchment circles. Then I found these. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000R9J19A/?tag=cakecentral-20 They are bit more expensive than cutting them out yourself but not too much if you get free shipping.

MBHazel Posted 3 May 2009 , 2:29pm
post #27 of 50

Narie-- that's a good idea. Since I have never made a Dr'd recipe. I should give it a try and have that "on the shelf" for during a crisis! THANKS!

Hey Patty, I think lining is a pain too. Not as much of a pain as throwing out and doing over though! By the way, I have found (at the bread store of all places) Already cut liners in various sizes, I have only purchased them a few times (cheaper to cut your own) but they are nice to have when you're in a mood to not cut them.

lomfise Posted 3 May 2009 , 2:32pm
post #28 of 50

I am a dedicated scratch baker too, and as so many of you can smell a cake mix from miles away.
I am proud of being a scratch baker and my philosophy is, that as long as we keep getting so much artifical stuff from all of our other food, I am going to keep scratch baking. There at least I want to know what I serve and eat.
My advise, therefore is to take a deep breath, forget everything you've read about baking, and follow your instincts. If you've been scratch baking for years, they will be trustworthy. thumbs_up.gif
And then just think of this as a higher power testing your patience, kind of like children sometimes (often) do.

Kitagrl Posted 3 May 2009 , 2:38pm
post #29 of 50

I'm really picky about scratch cakes (must be very moist and flavorful, not even in the least dry, and I do not like simple syrup).

So I have a small list of scratch cakes I do and then I used doctored mixes for my vanillas. Sometimes I use doctored dark chocolate mix if I'm going half chocolate/half vanilla because my scratch chocolate is alot more dense and heavy.

If I find a great vanilla cake from scratch I will switch but so far have not found one that is as moist and nice as the doctored box mixes, and mine get rave reviews so I don't want to mess it up until I have something better to replace it.

melhoneybee Posted 3 May 2009 , 2:39pm
post #30 of 50

Mbhazel,

Don't give up!!! I bake from scratch, always will. I don't like the taste, or airy feel of boxed cake mixes, and I would just not feel right about myself if I was making a mix cake to sell to people at the prices most decorator cakes go for, no matter how doctored it was. JMO.

That being said, it was a serious PITA coming up with my scratch flavors! I have created all of my own flavors literally from scratch from the ground up. It took me about a year to get each and every one right. I didn't have any cookbook to look through, or favorite recipe to go to, because although I tried a few at first, I never really liked any of them. I probably tried 7 different recipes that I concocted for chocolate cake, and four for vanilla. I also make a variation on SMBC, and I don't even want to tell you how long, or how many different ways I tried that to get it the way I wanted! BUT, it was soooo worth it! I get so many clients who are starting to order from ME now instead of the big chain shops, because my cake tastes better! I have people all the time tell me my cake is "amazing", "heavenly", and the "best cake they have ever had in their life". No joke, happens all the time.

DON'T GIVE UP!!!! Try and try again, your patience and time will be rewarded, I promise! And I definitely suggest making up your own recipes if your go to isn't working. It's fun (at least I think so...does that make me weird?) and it is so fulfilling in the end to know that your hard work (and tears! lol) really paid off, and you are giving your customers the real deal! icon_biggrin.gif

HTH

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