Trying To Go Scratch, But Struggling...

Decorating By sweet1122 Updated 9 May 2009 , 1:04am by Deb_

sweet1122 Posted 5 May 2009 , 6:59pm
post #1 of 24

I've only tried to 3 scratch cakes so I have a lot more to try. The first one came out, well, terrible. The 2nd time I tried Serious Cakes Recipe, and it came out fine. I made it a 2nd time for company at home. We had leftovers and normally I would find myself wanting to pick at the cake, but I really didn't care to have more than the piece I had, which was just okay... I've seen posts and other recipes out there. I have a list to try, but I'm not so enthusiastic and I'm wondering if I'm just a cake box liker. I really want to like a scratch cake. I like everything about it, but having been brought up by the box, is it fair to expect to bake a scratch cake that I will enjoy and crave as much as, or possibly more than a box?

23 replies
pattycakesnj Posted 5 May 2009 , 7:05pm
post #2 of 24

There has been another thread this week on this very issue. I am a scratch baker but based on all the raves here on cc, I decided to try a doctored cake mix recipe, WASC. Well, besides the smell of chemicals baking, the cake came out fine, but when I tasted it, all I could taste was chemicals. Plus, it was not cheaper than baking from scratch. Keep trying, there are some good scratch recipes out there and as someone said on the other link, baking is a science. You must take your time and measure everything exactly. Sorry this is so long, but I really believe in baking from scratch but know that I am in a minority. Good luck

hensor Posted 5 May 2009 , 7:05pm
post #3 of 24

You might want to try the White Almond Sour Cream cake recipe that is posted on this site. It uses cake mixes, but you have to add more ingredients to it. It ends up tasting like it is totally from scratch.

Total Yum Factor !!!!

Kitagrl Posted 5 May 2009 , 7:09pm
post #4 of 24

I started out doing doctored cake mixes and people love them. I have slowly found some scratch recipes I REALLY like and I use them. I have not found a vanilla scratch one that I like as much as boxed yet so I still use boxed for vanilla and occasionally chocolate (although my scratch chocolate is yummy and rich).

You will know when you find a recipe to die for...just keep working on it and until then everybody loves a doctored cake mix! At least my customers do...I've had a few tasting customers actually unknowingly pick a box mix cake over a scratch cake....they love that doctored yellow cake!

destinyrn Posted 5 May 2009 , 7:09pm
post #5 of 24

I've had those days too and I want to give up on baking all together. But I am going to keep going down my list of recipes until I find a scratch cake that I absolutely fanatic about. icon_smile.gif

solascakes Posted 5 May 2009 , 7:40pm
post #6 of 24

It's not so hard to bake from scratch,keep trying .I grew up where there was nothing like a cake mix so i'm scratch all the way,im still not good with chocolate and doctor betty crocker but i know i'll get it soon.Good luck.

solascakes Posted 5 May 2009 , 7:41pm
post #7 of 24

It's not so hard to bake from scratch,keep trying .I grew up where there was nothing like a cake mix so i'm scratch all the way,im still not good with chocolate and doctor betty crocker but i know i'll get it soon.Good luck.

solascakes Posted 5 May 2009 , 7:43pm
post #8 of 24

It's not so hard to bake from scratch,keep trying .I grew up where there was nothing like a cake mix so i'm scratch all the way,im still not good with chocolate and doctor betty crocker but i know i'll get it soon.Good luck.

sweet1122 Posted 5 May 2009 , 7:55pm
post #9 of 24

Its not the difficulty that bothers me. I actually really like the process. Its weird to describe, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and was surprised by that. The only negative I have to the process is that I have to remember to take my butter out in advance. With a box it was grab and go. And now its more grab and go, oh crap I have to wait for the butter to reach room temp. But I just need to think ahead.

I'll continue to go down my list of recipes. I'm trying to perfect a good vanilla (either white or yellow) right now. That seems to be what I bake the most and the Duncan Hines White cake, undoctored, OMG, I can eat that by the chunks... What I've tried so far... not so much. thumbsdown.gif

I'm also wondering if it could be a baking issue. You really can't screw up the baking of a box mix. Over bake your heart away. I get lazy and don't check and they come out perfect every time. I may need to be more diligent with my checking of the cake readiness.

But try try try I will. But unfortunately, my son's 4th birthday cake next weekend will be a box. I just can't risk it. Thanks for all the help and advice. Sorry for posting something that was recently posted.

BCJean Posted 5 May 2009 , 8:06pm
post #10 of 24

I like scratch cakes, a lot. Cake mixes, besides having a chemical taste, are too sweet to me and then people add pudding mixes to them, which adds even more sugar. If this is what you are accustomed to in a cake, then I could see how a scratch cake would not taste as good. I also like butter in my cakes and can't get the crumb I would get with oil but the flavor is more important to me. I ice and decorate with buttercream. The combination of the sweet icing and the not so sweet cake works really well for me.

notjustcake Posted 5 May 2009 , 8:42pm
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

just keep working on it and until then everybody loves a doctored cake mix! At least my customers do...I've had a few tasting customers actually unknowingly pick a box mix cake over a scratch cake....they love that doctored yellow cake!




WASC is what this customer picked over the other scratch recipes. She never even asked if I baked from scratch.

notjustcake Posted 5 May 2009 , 8:46pm
post #12 of 24

Nothing beats cake batter from a cake from scratch! I can tell the difference in the batter but I must be nuts! I do not smell chemicals baking or in the cake once baked, especially in WASC icon_confused.gif

blondeez Posted 5 May 2009 , 8:56pm
post #13 of 24

I wish I could bake from scratch. Heck I wish I could bake from a box. It seems lately that any time I try to bake anything bigger than a 8 inch round it comes out aweful. So i end up buying a cake from my bakery and taking it home to ice and decorate it. I plan on spending a weekend just baking and seeing what I can improve on.

Anyways, Good luck to you and hope you find that perfect reciepe

CakesByLJ Posted 5 May 2009 , 9:00pm
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet1122

The only negative I have to the process is that I have to remember to take my butter out in advance. With a box it was grab and go. And now its more grab and go, oh crap I have to wait for the butter to reach room temp. But I just need to think ahead.




Well, if that is all that is bothering you.. there is an easy solution.. Put your cold butter in the microwave and hit defrost.. icon_biggrin.gif Test yours for the right amount of time, mine takes exactly 1 minute on defrost... results in perfect room temp butter. Eggs can be placed in a bowl of warm water a few minutes. Liquids.. microwave to room temp. hth icon_biggrin.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 5 May 2009 , 10:03pm
post #15 of 24

What she said^^^^^^. I never wait for things to come to temp...no patience for that! Butter sticks at 15 second intervals in the microwave does it everytime!

__Jamie__ Posted 5 May 2009 , 10:05pm
post #16 of 24

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-6865-Buttermilk-White-Cake.html

This is so easy, and such a light mosit heavenly cake...it's my fave, and it's the most requested after I hold tastings. Beat the he** out of that butter and sugar though, and fold in the whites carefully and thoroughly at the end...you will fall in love!

__Jamie__ Posted 5 May 2009 , 10:06pm
post #17 of 24

I meant....MOIST....not mosit...I swear if I could learn to type slower one of these days...sheesh!

i_heart_pastry Posted 5 May 2009 , 10:26pm
post #18 of 24

Here's my favorite vanilla scratch cake:

www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Coconut-Layer-Cake-102696

You can't taste the cream of coconut in the cake, but the butter flavor is divine.

I too can taste the artificial flavors in many cake mixes. I seem to be especially sensitive to synthetic vanillin (the artificial vanilla flavor). However I like most of the boxed chocolate cakes, but still not as much as scratch. Of course, I'd never turn down anything chocolate!


Bec

teenycakes Posted 6 May 2009 , 12:47am
post #19 of 24

Sweet1122,

I bake from scratch all the time. One of the best books available IMHO is Michele Foster's book, The Sugar Fix, from Authur house. Here's the link.

http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=22039

I downloaded it electronically a year ago and it was only $3.95....the BEST money I've ever spent on a book hands down. Buttermilk is the key ingredient in most of the recipes, but the results are great. The vanilla, chocolate, and spice are very good.

Good luck caking,

Teenycakes

sweet1122 Posted 8 May 2009 , 6:44pm
post #20 of 24

Oh my goodness. Thank you all SO much! I can't wait to give these recipes a try. I've definitely decided to make this work. I love a challenge and I'm sure I'll figure out something that works! Having a recipe that has one of your stamps of approval on it makes me feel SO much better. Thanks a million to you all!!!

__Jamie__ Posted 8 May 2009 , 6:48pm
post #21 of 24

Teenycakes....you hit it right there...buttermilk!

springlakecake Posted 8 May 2009 , 7:05pm
post #22 of 24

I know how you feel. I have recently started my mission to go all scratch. I have 3 recipes now (chocolate, apple cinnamon, lemon coconut) I think honestly it has been harder to find the standard flavors (choc. white etc). I'd really like to find a white/yellow cake. Then I htink I'll feel pretty well set.

I have really wanted to try that coconut cake that was posted. I actually just bought the cream of coconut last night. I also bought some white cake mix because I have a couple of white cake orders and I am not satisfied with the recipes I have tried. I really didn't like buying any more cake mixes! I really am starting to like the idea of knowing what is in the recipes!

I also sort of like the process of baking from scratch...from a box, not so much.

Gefion Posted 8 May 2009 , 7:19pm
post #23 of 24

If it helps any, almost all excellent scratch bakers have been baking from scratch all their lives. It takes practise and knowledge to become really good. It might help to read up on theory, like forming an emulsion in your cake batter and avoiding gluten development.

But don't give up! It's well worth the practise to get rid of the chemicals in your cake.

Deb_ Posted 9 May 2009 , 1:04am
post #24 of 24

I love Sylvia Weinstock's Classic Yellow Cake recipe, (it's a very light yellow) I increase the sourcream to 1 1/2 cup instead of just 1 cup.

Just google it and it will come up.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%