Cake Mix Versus Homemade

Decorating By Kiki74 Updated 13 May 2009 , 4:57pm by ntertayneme

Kiki74 Posted 11 May 2009 , 2:23am
post #1 of 114

I don't know if this is covered somewhere else on this site but I'm curious. My WCI said she always uses a box mix for her customers. I have been making cakes from scratch but am having trouble finding a recipe for yellow and white cake I like. Is it cheating to use a mix? At times it is more cost effective for me when I only need a cake or two. I always feel guilty. Any thoughts?! icon_confused.gif

113 replies
panchanewjersey Posted 11 May 2009 , 2:30am
post #2 of 114

Don't feel bad your not cheating them on price or anything because as long as they love the flavor and the cake that's what counts. You'd be surprised how many high end bakers use boxed stuff and charge an arm & a leg. Someone on here once said that box cakes are just like scratch with the exception that everything is perfectly measured just for you to just add eggs/water and oil. Saves you all the measuring.

jammjenks Posted 11 May 2009 , 2:30am
post #3 of 114

Oh dear. Yes, it has been covered a multitude of times. Usually these threads end up in a heated debate and get locked. Here's just one example, but a forum search would bring up TONS of threads.


http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-629974-0.html

Redlotusninjagrl Posted 11 May 2009 , 2:39am
post #4 of 114

I am sure others will disagree, but I think using a mix is fine. Lots of bakeries use mixes. You are being paid for your decorating skills. Just be prepared to be honest. If you are selling yourself as a scratch baker only, then I would think it wouldn't be very appropriate to use a mix. I know for me it doesn't matter. I was raised on box mixes so I often cringe when I taste something from scratch as there is often a difference in taste and texture. If I could find a recipe that has good taste and texture I would probably make everything from scratch though. There is a sense of accomplishment in making something from scratch as opposed to from a box. Good luck!

Deb_ Posted 11 May 2009 , 2:46am
post #5 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammjenks

Oh dear. Yes, it has been covered a multitude of times. Usually these threads end up in a heated debate and get locked. Here's just one example, but a forum search would bring up TONS of threads.


http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-629974-0.html




LOL!!! I'm thinking that H & J should put a new addition in the *terms of use* section here on CC............."Member agrees to never start a thread asking advice about scratch vs. mix" icon_lol.gif

Loucinda Posted 11 May 2009 , 3:06am
post #6 of 114

thumbs_up.gif

bakingmama24 Posted 11 May 2009 , 4:21am
post #7 of 114

I used to make all cakes from scratch. I wasn't happy the way some baked into large layers...they were way too dense. Also, grocery prices rose so much that I think it is cost effective to use mixes. Saves a lot of time and mess! I alter my mixes a little so it has a more homemade taste but I am always honest about it.

queenie1958 Posted 11 May 2009 , 4:26am
post #8 of 114

Personally I don't mind cake mixes. I guess it depends on what your making in cakes. I'm making two cakes for my daughters wedding next month, one is a cake mix cake the other from scratch.

JanH Posted 11 May 2009 , 5:07am
post #9 of 114

Here's a link to four pages of threads on this subject:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-596517-.html

HTH

Kiki74 Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:46pm
post #10 of 114

I apologize for bringing up such a heated topic. I'm not familiar with sites like these and wasn't aware that I could search the forum w/o having to read every topic to find my answer. I'll be sure to check in the future. Thanks to all who voiced thier opinion.

lardbutt Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:54pm
post #11 of 114

Whew! I think we dodged that one! I was just about to get some popcorn!

dmhart Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:54pm
post #12 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

Quote:
Originally Posted by jammjenks

Oh dear. Yes, it has been covered a multitude of times. Usually these threads end up in a heated debate and get locked. Here's just one example, but a forum search would bring up TONS of threads.


http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-629974-0.html



LOL!!! I'm thinking that H & J should put a new addition in the *terms of use* section here on CC............."Member agrees to never start a thread asking advice about scratch vs. mix" icon_lol.gif





I agree thumbs_up.gif been covered so many times in so many ways icon_wink.gif

robin5568 Posted 12 May 2009 , 12:00am
post #13 of 114

I have watched this debate over and over and never quite understood. Some people say they can "taste" a box mix. Just for the record I worked several years for the biggest name in "box" cakes. Not to reveal any secrets, but all the ingredients that came in were "exactly", even in the same packing, just tons larger, that you all use when making scratch cake. It just couldn't be possible to taste a "chemical" taste unless you taste that with your homemade ones. It's the exact same ingredients and they don't add any preservitatives that don't already come in the flour, sugar, etc. that you use from the same name brand companies at home. Hope this clears it up for some of you. Others will always swear they can taste the difference. I personally like scratch better only because I add what I consider my own special ingredients but the basics are the basics.

pattycakesnj Posted 12 May 2009 , 12:00am
post #14 of 114

cake mixes are not cheaper and I can smell and taste the chemical taste a mile away with a box mix. JMHO

pattycakesnj Posted 12 May 2009 , 12:01am
post #15 of 114

also Martha Stewart has a great yellow cake that was easy and tastes great

Loucinda Posted 12 May 2009 , 2:04am
post #16 of 114

PLEASE SEE ABOVE POST BY JANH.

Leave the dead horse alone! thumbs_up.gif

Kiki74 Posted 12 May 2009 , 2:11am
post #17 of 114

Sorry for beating a dead horse but some of us are new to the sight and haven't been around enough to know the ropes. Didn't mean to cause such a fuss!

-K8memphis Posted 12 May 2009 , 2:19am
post #18 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by robin5568

I have watched this debate over and over and never quite understood. Some people say they can "taste" a box mix. Just for the record I worked several years for the biggest name in "box" cakes. Not to reveal any secrets, but all the ingredients that came in were "exactly", even in the same packing, just tons larger, that you all use when making scratch cake. It just couldn't be possible to taste a "chemical" taste unless you taste that with your homemade ones. It's the exact same ingredients and they don't add any preservitatives that don't already come in the flour, sugar, etc. that you use from the same name brand companies at home. Hope this clears it up for some of you. Others will always swear they can taste the difference. I personally like scratch better only because I add what I consider my own special ingredients but the basics are the basics.




Bwuwahahahahahaha! So so so so so so true!!

I love myth busting!!!

Twinkies and Ding Dongs are made from scratch!

There are no preservatives in Duncan Hines white cake mix.

There is a huge unfounded stigma on cake mix that needs to be acknowleged by every caker and myth busted away. Let's move on together. No more Jr High type dissing of ingredients. Let's grow up--just a little (growing up) not too much though.

I love you, Robin, and if I was not already married.... icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Loucinda, this subject is far from dead. If our op needs an answer, let's give good answers and if we are tired of this subject, then pass on it. It's not a dead horse. It's a vital area that needs understanding and light.

-K8memphis Posted 12 May 2009 , 2:21am
post #19 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiki74

Sorry for beating a dead horse but some of us are new to the sight and haven't been around enough to know the ropes. Didn't mean to cause such a fuss!




No no no no no--it's not a dead horse.
Not at all--otherwise why'd you ask--why is it asked with very consistent regularity.

It's a flaming hot topic like few others.

No fuss. No worries. Good question.

angelicconfections Posted 12 May 2009 , 2:24am
post #20 of 114

One of the CC great debates, personally i don't think it is cheating to use a mix. That said I do a lot of my own recipies i have perfected a few that are complete scratch but many are doctored mixes. I too have difficulty finding a yellow cake or white cake that isn't dry or as moist as a mix, but...I avoid using choch mixes for wedding cakes, they can be too moist and not hold up to structuring as well. Some it works to use butter instead of oil, for a betty crocker, pillsbury, other grocery shelf mix I use 1 stick 1/2 cup butter to 1/3 cup oil. It is sturdier and tastes better.

Loucinda Posted 12 May 2009 , 2:45am
post #21 of 114

Kiki - first, I apologize to you, I never meant to make you feel bad! (that is the reason I said not to beat the dead horse, I was almost brought to tears just a few days ago over this same subject - didn't want a new person to have to go through that)

K8 - I ALWAYS value and respect your opinion. Thank you once again!! icon_smile.gif (you are my cake buddy hero on here!!)

I will just keep quiet so I don't get MY feelings beat up!! icon_wink.gif

Loucinda Posted 12 May 2009 , 2:52am
post #22 of 114

Robin, you are on my list of heros too, I am copying your post and keeping it in a safe place - so I don't loose it! icon_biggrin.gif

DiscoLady Posted 12 May 2009 , 3:03am
post #23 of 114

This is why I don't bake from scratch icon_rolleyes.gif
And as long as my customers keep coming back for more of my "homemade" cakes I will continue to use boxed. I only use Betty Crocker and if my customers ask if my cakes are from scratch I say heck no!
A moist homemade boxed cake is better than a dry bakery cake any day icon_smile.gif
LL

giraffe11 Posted 12 May 2009 , 3:49am
post #24 of 114

[quote="k8memphis"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by robin5568

I have watched this debate over and over and never quite understood. Some people say they can "taste" a box mix. Just for the record I worked several years for the biggest name in "box" cakes. Not to reveal any secrets, but all the ingredients that came in were "exactly", even in the same packing, just tons larger, that you all use when making scratch cake. It just couldn't be possible to taste a "chemical" taste unless you taste that with your homemade ones. It's the exact same ingredients and they don't add any preservitatives that don't already come in the flour, sugar, etc. that you use from the same name brand companies at home. Hope this clears it up for some of you. Others will always swear they can taste the difference. I personally like scratch better only because I add what I consider my own special ingredients but the basics are the basics.




Bwuwahahahahahaha! So so so so so so true!!

I love myth busting!!!

Twinkies and Ding Dongs are made from scratch!

There are no preservatives in Duncan Hines white cake mix.





Ummmmmmm...... the DH box mix on my roommate's pantry shelf has, in addition to sugur, enriched flour, vegetable oil shortening and leavening.........
polyglycerol esters of fatty acids, partially hydrogenated soy bean oil, cellulose gum and xanthum gum.
I can promise you none of these are in any of my scratch cakes. With the exception of the xanthum gum, they are all created in a laboratory through a series of chemical reactions. Xanthum gum is produced by fermentation of glucose or sucrose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium. And yes, anyone who is used to scratch baking can taste something which they might describe as chemically.
No problem!!!.....there is obviously a market for box mixes and many people who have grown up on them much prefer them to scratch baking. I'm not knocking it. Just don't try to claim that it's all the same.
Very nearly all prepackaged/partially prepared/prepared food has food additives and chemicals to help them last longer and perform correctly.
As far as a Twinkies and Ding Dongs go.......that's just silly, unless you have these things as ingredients in your scratch cakes....
Mono and diglycerides
Polysorbate 60
Dextrin
Calcium caseinate
Sodium stearol lactylate
Calcium sulfate
Sorbitan Monostearate
All of which are chemically-synthesized or chemically-modified items in Twinkies and DingDongs.

I make scratch ding dongs and scratch twinkies......don't have any of the above in them.
Don't get me wrong.....I am no organic cook/organic eater. I am sure I eat as many chemicals and additives as most any other American......kind of impossible to avoid unless you make it your mission in life.
I just think you should probably avoid making big blanket statements about ingredients that are quite obviously not true.
Sorry to go off on a tangent......but if we're gonna beat a dead horse, let's beat it correctly!

-K8memphis Posted 12 May 2009 , 4:38am
post #25 of 114

[quote="giraffe11"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Quote:
Originally Posted by robin5568

I have watched this debate over and over and never quite understood. Some people say they can "taste" a box mix. Just for the record I worked several years for the biggest name in "box" cakes. Not to reveal any secrets, but all the ingredients that came in were "exactly", even in the same packing, just tons larger, that you all use when making scratch cake. It just couldn't be possible to taste a "chemical" taste unless you taste that with your homemade ones. It's the exact same ingredients and they don't add any preservitatives that don't already come in the flour, sugar, etc. that you use from the same name brand companies at home. Hope this clears it up for some of you. Others will always swear they can taste the difference. I personally like scratch better only because I add what I consider my own special ingredients but the basics are the basics.



Bwuwahahahahahaha! So so so so so so true!!

I love myth busting!!!

Twinkies and Ding Dongs are made from scratch!

There are no preservatives in Duncan Hines white cake mix.





Ummmmmmm...... the DH box mix on my roommate's pantry shelf has, in addition to sugur, enriched flour, vegetable oil shortening and leavening.........
polyglycerol esters of fatty acids, partially hydrogenated soy bean oil, cellulose gum and xanthum gum.
I can promise you none of these are in any of my scratch cakes. With the exception of the xanthum gum, they are all created in a laboratory through a series of chemical reactions. Xanthum gum is produced by fermentation of glucose or sucrose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium. And yes, anyone who is used to scratch baking can taste something which they might describe as chemically.
No problem!!!.....there is obviously a market for box mixes and many people who have grown up on them much prefer them to scratch baking. I'm not knocking it. Just don't try to claim that it's all the same.
Very nearly all prepackaged/partially prepared/prepared food has food additives and chemicals to help them last longer and perform correctly.
As far as a Twinkies and Ding Dongs go.......that's just silly, unless you have these things as ingredients in your scratch cakes....
Mono and diglycerides
Polysorbate 60
Dextrin
Calcium caseinate
Sodium stearol lactylate
Calcium sulfate
Sorbitan Monostearate
All of which are chemically-synthesized or chemically-modified items in Twinkies and DingDongs.

I make scratch ding dongs and scratch twinkies......don't have any of the above in them.
Don't get me wrong.....I am no organic cook/organic eater. I am sure I eat as many chemicals and additives as most any other American......kind of impossible to avoid unless you make it your mission in life.
I just think you should probably avoid making big blanket statements about ingredients that are quite obviously not true.
Sorry to go off on a tangent......but if we're gonna beat a dead horse, let's beat it correctly!




Flour and sugar are chemically-synthesized and/or chemically-modified, yes.

It's silly to say this is a dead horse. Why bother to respond then?

Those items you listed in the mix are not preservatives, most of them are emulsifiers.

All eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin as well as fatty acids expressed in in triglycerides--that's in all eggs--it's just some chemical mumbo jumbo names for stuff we eat every day. 'Eggs' we get. Lutein and zeaxanthin and fatty acids expressed as triglycerides--not so much.

All matter is a chemical.

Many ingredients that 'scratch' bakers use have additives.

My point is that Twinkies are made from scratch--they are not made from a mix. No comment on the ingredients. I'm saying they are mixed together from the flour and the individual ingredients. Sure yes lots of weird stuff goes in there, nobody but you said it wasn't. In other words, 'scratch' cakes have some strange bed-fellows.

I'm saying that DH white cake mix has no preservatives.

Some people's argument is that they like 'scratch' because of the chemically taste in mixes. Twinkies are made from 'scratch'.

Some people's argument is that box mixes contain so many preservatives/additives they taste bad. Duncan Hines white has no preservatives. The same ingredients scratch bakers use have the same additives. Check out the weird sounding stuff in eggs--we're all using eggs.

I'm just saying there are examples of these different arguments being myth busted.

__Jamie__ Posted 12 May 2009 , 4:45am
post #26 of 114

Oh damn....Alton Brown is in da' house! (Putting on spectacles and taking notes)....continue girls! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

luvsfreebies72 Posted 12 May 2009 , 4:54am
post #27 of 114

I have all of my adult baking life been a scratch baker, until recently. I began experimenting with some of the "WASC" flavors in the "Gourmet Flavors" thread, out of sheer curiousity and have really, really liked a lot of them (and so has everyone else that has eaten them), so now I consider myself a scratch/box baker. I still bake some things scratch, some things mix. Depends on who wants what. Or what I'm in the mood for icon_lol.gif If I see a fabulous deal on box mixes, you can bet your sweet booty I'd buy them and stock up, much cheaper that way. (I have purchased box mixes as low as $0.50 a box. In L.A. Calif, where things are NOT cheap). If I am making an allergen-free cake, it's from scratch. but guess what? I have to add in all kinds of synthetic stuff to get the cake to not taste like molded sand. so this nonsense of a debate I have seen here regarding all-natural scratch vs chemical-laden box mix doesn't apply to all cakes.

ladyonzlake Posted 12 May 2009 , 5:03am
post #28 of 114

When I started selling cakes I used a box but then I switched to scratch. Now I can taste the difference and I can tell if I'm eating a box mix.

I never noticed it before but there is absolutly a "chemical" taste. I do think about going back to box mixes since they are so easy but I love the taste of scratch and since I do a lot of carved cakes the scratch cakes are not as "soft" as a mix so they work better for me.

I think you do what works for you as an individual and your personal taste.

ladyonzlake Posted 12 May 2009 , 5:08am
post #29 of 114

When I started selling cakes I used a box but then I switched to scratch. Now I can taste the difference and I can tell if I'm eating a box mix.

I never noticed it before but there is absolutly a "chemical" taste. I do think about going back to box mixes since they are so easy but I love the taste of scratch and since I do a lot of carved cakes the scratch cakes are not as "soft" as a mix so they work better for me.

I think you do what works for you as an individual and your personal taste.

BCJean Posted 12 May 2009 , 5:28am
post #30 of 114

I honestly don't understand what the difference between scratch and mix is. I do know there is a difference. I bake from scratch because I like to and because I think the taste and texture are better.
Last week I was in the grocery store, with my teenage grandson. He saw a Duncan Hines red velvet cake mix on sale and instantly got hunger pangs for it. I was tired, he was hungry, so I bought it and came home and baked it. It was okay with him, not something to brag about..... but okay. To me it was too light and crumbly with no taste, except sweet. It fell apart on the plate and I found it difficult to eat with a fork. Now...I did not add sour cream, coffee creamer, or pudding mix to it.

Next subject: I also do not like breads like Rainbo. It is too moist, mashes down, and has no flavor. Thousands of people love it. I like a heavier bread, like Bohemian Hearth. I wouldn't consider having dinner guests without making my own bread.

If I personally asked someone if they made their cakes from scratch and they said, yes...then sold me a mix cake...I would know. There are probably other people who only think a scratch cake would be better and are really expecting the taste and texture of a mix cake.

It is not which is better, it is which you prefer. Chances are when people ask you if you bake from scratch they don't even know what a scratch cake tastes like, as opposed to a mix cake. It is the same as they don't have a clue how many people a quarter sheet serves.

There is no right or wrong answer as to which is better....but please don't tell me they are the same.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%