Main Difference Between Boxed And Homemade Cake?

Decorating By MerlotCook Updated 9 Aug 2009 , 12:50pm by Deb_

MerlotCook Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 1:34am
post #1 of 61

I made a birthday cake for a very good friend of mine. The next day he asked me if it was made from scratch and when I said yes. He told me he'd never had a cake baked from scratch with homemade frosting. Very odd, in my opinion. He said he liked it after he "got used to it". What would have been the reason he "had to get used to it"? I kept asking him what was different and he said he couldn't describe it. I normally bake from scratch, but I've had boxed cake, too, so I don't know what he is referring too. Anybody have any ideas? TIA!

60 replies
diane Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 1:37am
post #2 of 61

i know what he means, and so does my family. i usually do box mixes doctored up, so that is what they are accustomed to. when i did a scratch recipe, they didn't care for it, actually, they hated it...until i found a recipe on the web and made some changes to it. now they actually like this scratch recipe better than a box mix.!!! icon_wink.gif

7yyrt Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 1:42am
post #3 of 61

Scratch recipes seem to be more dense than mixes. (I hate fluffy cake.) icon_biggrin.gif

diane Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 1:47am
post #4 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yyrt

Scratch recipes seem to be more dense than mixes. (I hate fluffy cake.) icon_biggrin.gif




fluffy cake...now that's a new one! icon_cry.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 1:49am
post #5 of 61

I think cakes from a mix have a very distinct taste. I don't care what the flavor, the have this one simliar taste to them, and they the texturres are all similiar. A lot of people are very used to boxed cake mixes, especially the texture, and tend not to llike scratch cakes. But I notice not everyone can bake a good scratch cake. When they do get a good scratch cake, (which they all taste different from each other and the texture is different) they do like them. My friend LOVES cakes from a box and doesn't like scratch cakes. Shes not used to them and she says she likes that taste mixes have. She does like mine though. You must have very good recipes. thumbs_up.gif

2SchnauzerLady Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 2:03am
post #6 of 61

To me, box cakes are sweeter. Of course, I grew up with a mother who baked from scratch, and her cakes were always dry. I found out since I joined cc the reason was she baked them too long. Her chocolate chip cookies were always like hockey pucks the day after she baked them because she would add extra flour to make a stiff dough!!!

varika Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 2:05am
post #7 of 61

Just a thought, but I did notice that when I made a chiffon recipe for the first time, it was a lot closer to the texture and taste that I get from a box mix--not exact, but much closer than my usual basic yellow butter cake recipe. There's definitely a difference in texture between a sponge-type cake and a butter cake. I'm sure somebody here with more science to them than I've got could explain precisely why.

My family loves my scratch cakes as much as box mixes, though. Actually, amusingly enough, my father's FAVORITE OF FAVORITE cakes is scratch yellow butter cake with Wilton's buttercream only with all butter instead of shortening. No hazelnut and chocolate IMBC for him, just "that plain cake you make that's so good." icon_lol.gif

Deb_ Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 2:05am
post #8 of 61

For me personally the biggest difference is the taste.

I was raised on scratch cakes, but when I met my DH I had my first experience with eating a cake prepared from a box (by his Mom).

The way I can explain it is......ya know when you drink a diet soda/drink, you can taste that chemical sweetener flavor? Well for me, when I taste a cake from a box, I detect that chemical "too sweet" taste.

I'm sure someone that is used to boxed cakes doesn't detect that taste at all.

It's definitely all about what we're accustomed to. My DH who was raised on boxed cakes is now a "scratch convert". He asked me a few months ago to "humor him" and bake him a boxed cake with canned frosting.

He was shocked that he didn't like it anymore....he seriously accused me of "sabotaging" the mix, which is ridiculous.

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 2:09am
post #9 of 61

LOL! icon_lol.gif Your husband is hilarious. And yes, Dkelly hit the nail on the head. Its that chemical taste that they all share. TNT Fundraiser you are killing me over here. icon_lol.gif Thanks for the laugh...though your mom may not appreciate it.

varika Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 2:33am
post #10 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

The way I can explain it is......ya know when you drink a diet soda/drink, you can taste that chemical sweetener flavor? Well for me, when I taste a cake from a box, I detect that chemical "too sweet" taste.




I can attest that I dunno whatcher talkin' about! I don't taste anything "chemical" about a box mix. And, amusingly enough, I've become so used to diet soda--I can go through an entire 12-can case in one day when I'm stressed--that it's REGULAR soda that gives me the funny too-sweet aftertaste! So yeah, it's definitely a case of what you're used to on that front.

majormichel Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 2:34am
post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNTFundraiser

To me, box cakes are sweeter. Of course, I grew up with a mother who baked from scratch, and her cakes were always dry. I found out since I joined cc the reason was she baked them too long. Her chocolate chip cookies were always like hockey pucks the day after she baked them because she would add extra flour to make a stiff dough!!!




lol, hockey pucks icon_lol.gif

Tiffany29 Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 3:06am
post #12 of 61

I also grew up with a mother who baked from scratch so that's what I know. I'm not big on boxed cake mixes. I normally bake scratch cakes. I have a friend who likes to tell ppl "she makes her carrot cake from scratch, with real carrots!"....Um, I didn't know there was any other way!! icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 3:15am
post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

He asked me a few months ago to "humor him" and bake him a boxed cake with canned frosting.



My youngest asks for this every year on her birthday. She turns 17 this monday and tonight she asked me for a cake. I made a face and said, "You want a cake on MONDAY!?" (big wedding this weekend. I dont' have time for a freakin' cake.)

She laughed and said, "oh you can do it! I just want a chocolate cake from a box with canned chocolate icing! That's it!" icon_lol.gif

krazyb5 Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 3:37am
post #14 of 61

I make them from the box, because people seem to like them more , they are also less complicated to make and take less time to bake. I have a recipe to make from scratch and I only use it for family special occasions, they consist of more ingredients, longer process and more time to bake.

JanH Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 3:53am
post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by varika

Just a thought, but I did notice that when I made a chiffon recipe for the first time, it was a lot closer to the texture and taste that I get from a box mix--not exact, but much closer than my usual basic yellow butter cake recipe. There's definitely a difference in texture between a sponge-type cake and a butter cake. I'm sure somebody here with more science to them than I've got could explain precisely why.




Here's a previous thread on cake texture:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-4784873.html#4784873

HTH

Deb_ Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 3:57am
post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by varika

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

The way I can explain it is......ya know when you drink a diet soda/drink, you can taste that chemical sweetener flavor? Well for me, when I taste a cake from a box, I detect that chemical "too sweet" taste.



I can attest that I dunno whatcher talkin' about! I don't taste anything "chemical" about a box mix. And, amusingly enough, I've become so used to diet soda--I can go through an entire 12-can case in one day when I'm stressed--that it's REGULAR soda that gives me the funny too-sweet aftertaste! So yeah, it's definitely a case of what you're used to on that front.




totally off topic but have you read about the dangers of diet soda recently? I'm not being a smart allec at all here, the stuff in there is dangerous especially if you're drinking a 12 can case in one day. icon_eek.gif

I happen to be extremely sensitive to artificial sweeteners and I hate the aftertaste they leave behind. I'm not lying when I tell you that I have never in my life had more then a sip of soda. I hate the stuff. We were raised on milk, water and juice.

So it's all what you're accustomed to for sure.

varika Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 4:14am
post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

totally off topic but have you read about the dangers of diet soda recently? I'm not being a smart allec at all here, the stuff in there is dangerous especially if you're drinking a 12 can case in one day. icon_eek.gif

I happen to be extremely sensitive to artificial sweeteners and I hate the aftertaste they leave behind. I'm not lying when I tell you that I have never in my life had more then a sip of soda. I hate the stuff. We were raised on milk, water and juice.

So it's all what you're accustomed to for sure.




Nope, and I have no intention of doing so, either, because frankly, I switched to diet after gaining close to a hundred pounds in one summer of drinking regular soda. And yes, I know, milk, water, juice are better for you--but they don't have caffeine and that's how I medicate my ADD since I don't HAVE medical insurance right now.

Trust me, the numbers go waaaaaaay down when I'm on medication. A case can last me up to ten days at that point.

Besides, literally EVERYTHING is dangerous for you--oxygen is a caustic, and water is a poison in sufficient quantities, causes respiratory distress if inhaled, and is the most prevalent greenhouse gas in existence. I don't let myself worry too much because I am generally extremely healthy aside from my weight.

My dad's super-sensitive to Nutrasweet, too. Not allergic, but in the sense that he's the one in the local million to whom it tastes desperately bitter instead of sweet.

saffronica Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 5:22am
post #18 of 61

When I was in college, I started whipping some cream to put on a pie I had made. My roommate looked at me as though I were crazy and asked, "What are you DOING?" She had never had real whipped cream before, only Cool Whip. She thought the whipped cream was okay, but she still preferred her Cool Whip. Many people are so used to that certain indescribable preservative flavor of boxed mixes that they think cake tastes funny without it. And even though I'm a doctored mix girl (at least until I find a scratch recipe I like better!), I still cringe when someone tells me they have the best recipe EVER and starts listing ingredients like Cool Whip or packaged cookies.

AnnaJo Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 5:54am
post #19 of 61

I love scratch cake but I can't find a good recipes for it. The ones I have tried for some reason come out hard. Dose anyone have a good recipe for a yellow cake?

Mike1394 Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 9:25am
post #20 of 61

The main difference for me is the oil vs butter. Scratch cakes can come out just as moist if the technique for mixing is there.

Mike

Tiffany29 Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 11:27am
post #21 of 61

I need a good scratch recipe for yellow cake too. I've tried many but they are too dry. If anyone has a great recipe can you please pass it along? TIA

CakeDiane Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 11:41am
post #22 of 61

The scratch cakes I've tried have been dry and nothing special...I've settled into using doctored mixes--I kinda feel like that's the best of both worlds...

Doug Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 12:44pm
post #23 of 61

and Alton Brown, food science guru, said to use box mixes because of the superior leavening agents and more consistent quality of ingredients -- oh and premeasured too.

I too use doctored box mixes.

and even as DH says you can (in their sites FAQ) -- sub butter for oil and milk for water (and use creaming method of scratch)

if simply comes down to what works and tastes right for you.

---

it's that tastes right that's the challenge!

I will NOT eat any green cooked veggie! -- nope can't make me! Nor cooked carrots, or cabbage or cauliflower. But serve any of them raw, and I'm there!
Yet others look at me and go eeewwww, while digging into the their cooked spinach or brussle sprouts, etc.

we're back to that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" or for us

good eats are in taste buds of the eater.

Shelle_75 Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 1:10pm
post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

We're back to that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" or for us

Good eats are in taste buds of the eater.




thumbs_up.gif

ziggytarheel Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 2:49pm
post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by varika

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

totally off topic but have you read about the dangers of diet soda recently? I'm not being a smart allec at all here, the stuff in there is dangerous especially if you're drinking a 12 can case in one day. icon_eek.gif

I happen to be extremely sensitive to artificial sweeteners and I hate the aftertaste they leave behind. I'm not lying when I tell you that I have never in my life had more then a sip of soda. I hate the stuff. We were raised on milk, water and juice.

So it's all what you're accustomed to for sure.



Nope, and I have no intention of doing so, either, because frankly, I switched to diet after gaining close to a hundred pounds in one summer of drinking regular soda. And yes, I know, milk, water, juice are better for you--but they don't have caffeine and that's how I medicate my ADD since I don't HAVE medical insurance right now.

Trust me, the numbers go waaaaaaay down when I'm on medication. A case can last me up to ten days at that point.

Besides, literally EVERYTHING is dangerous for you--oxygen is a caustic, and water is a poison in sufficient quantities, causes respiratory distress if inhaled, and is the most prevalent greenhouse gas in existence. I don't let myself worry too much because I am generally extremely healthy aside from my weight.

My dad's super-sensitive to Nutrasweet, too. Not allergic, but in the sense that he's the one in the local million to whom it tastes desperately bitter instead of sweet.




I understand where you are coming from, I really do. I've had my doubts about some of the issues with diet sodas. BUT, I have to say that more and more I am hearing about TREMENDOUS bone loss at a very early age due to drinking that many diet drinks a day. I've heard it first hand from friends and I've read a story here on this message board.

Of course, you can do what you want and maybe you won't have a problem. But please at least educate yourself. I have a relative who has had a horrendous year because of a sudden bone problem that is likely linked to her many diet drinks a day. She would do anything to not have had to go through this past year.

Just lookin' out for ya!

MerlotCook Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 3:48pm
post #26 of 61

Wow! It sounds like I might have to try doctored mixes, as it seems most people where I live don't eat scratch cakes! I certainly don't want my cakes to be considered "yucky" and hurt my orders! Thanks for all the different views!

Narie Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 3:55pm
post #27 of 61

I've made scratch cakes for years-a great recipe, precise measuring, technique and not over baking are key. I have a wonderful sponge cake recipe I've made for years. Won a blue ribbon with it at the county fair in the seventies. However if I leave it in the oven an minute or two too long... it is good, not great. Although I usually don't make box cakes-except for angel food which I never make from scratch, I do use them on occastion. Why? They are easy and reliable. As far as yellow cake is concerned, my favorite is the Busy Day cake I learned in 4-H 54 years ago. It is almost as easy as a box mix and definitely reliable. (It was designed for 10 year olds learning to bake, so technique isn't an issue.) It has a coarse texture which might not appeal to people used to the 'fluffy' texture of box mixes.
As Doug said, "It simply comes down to what works and tastes right for you."

Doug Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 3:57pm
post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narie

IAs far as yellow cake is concerned, my favorite is the Busy Day cake I learned in 4-H 54 years ago.




is it this one?
http://www.bigoven.com/48066-Busy-Day-Cake-recipe.html

FromScratch Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 4:31pm
post #29 of 61

A big difference is the texture. People who are used to box mixes think that scratch cakes are too dense and can seem dry because mixes have that really wet yet at the same time very airy texture. Scratch cakes tend to have a tighter crumb.

It's all about what you like and what you are used to. I can't stand mix cakes. I know others who will only eat mix cakes. It really depends on the person.

Also, mixes are harder to mess up than scratch cakes. Mixes can take a lot of abuse (add-ins) where a scratch recipe can be thrown off quite easily. You really have to know what you are doing to make (and modify) a sucessful scratch cake. Overmix it and it's tough... overbake it and it's wickedly dry... add too much sugar and/or liquid and it will collapse on you when youtake it out of the oven into a gummy mess... add too much flour and it will taste like and have the texture of sweet cornbread... add baking soda when it says baking powder and you will throw off the pH to a point where it will be disasterous... too much butter and it will be greasy and dry at the same time. It's a delicate balance that's for sure, but I prefer it to box baking. Some don't want to bother with it and that's fine by me. I just love the process from start to finish.

momg9 Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 4:50pm
post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaJo

I love scratch cake but I can't find a good recipes for it. The ones I have tried for some reason come out hard. Dose anyone have a good recipe for a yellow cake?




I recently made the starlight cake in the red Betty Crocker Cookbook and my family really liked it.

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