cakemeasIam Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:23am
post #1 of

a client inquiring about a future order wanted to know if i make my cakes from scratch- specifically red velvet. she proceeded to say that she had paid a lot of money once for a cake a and it tasted like it came from a box...
help me answer diplomatically...i use doctored cake mixes...

266 replies
leah_s Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:39am
post #2 of

Well, I'd say, "For consistency I use a tried and true doctored mix. I add ingredients that result in a moist cake that all my customers rave about."

If you don't bake from scratch you don't bake from scratch.

tatorchip Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:40am
post #3 of

It sounds like you use a trade secret recipe for your shop, we all have a little secret in our recipes lol
I always try different recipes and at times I mix in pudding per say and when I use box I always doctor so it is my trade secret right lol

elliebuff Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:40am
post #4 of

This is always tough...but in the end, if you don't tell the truth, it may come back to haunt you. I do the same thing with doctored cake mixes--I would say something like, "I generally start with a box mix, but make additions to it to give it my own flavor/touches--I like the smooth texture they bring to the cake. I would be happy to set up a tasting with you if you would like to do that."

Good luck!

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 3:40am
post #5 of

I actually DO tell people: "Like many of the bakeries in town, I start with a mix and add my own stuff."

Dont' lie about what you do.

HarleyDee Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 3:47am
post #6 of

The mix is essentially just the flour, sweetener and leavining and some flavor. Why does that offend some cake muggles?

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 3:54am
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyDee

The mix is essentially just the flour, sweetener and leavining and some flavor. Why does that offend some cake muggles?



Because they THINK everything made in a bakery or a restaurant is made "from scratch".

If they only knew.

My food safety class instructor explained to us how and why a major fast food chain precooks their hamburgers and ships them to the stores, where they are microwaved to get them hot.

One friend loves a local restaurants BBQ ribs. She said to me, "I wonder how long it takes them to cook all of these ribs?" I said, "About 15 minutes. Here, let's drive over to my shop ... I have some in my freezer you can take home with you." icon_rolleyes.gif

If they only knew.

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 3:55am
post #8 of

EXACTLY what Leah_s an Indy said. Please do not lie. For some people they only want to pay big bucks for a scratch cake & that is why they get upset when they get a mixed based cake. When I was looking for a wedding cake, that was a specific question I asked. I was very upset when they said yes and then handed it me a mixed based cake. I felt like I was being tricked. It's just a personal preference thing for some people.

HarleyDee Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 3:56am
post #9 of

I was just about to say, like they think that fast food burger joints take the time to grind their beef, pat out patties and grill them fresh. Riiiight icon_smile.gif

tatorchip Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 3:56am

trade secrets lol

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 4:00am

To me & for my clients as well, if I go to a custome cake person, then I expect a scratch custom made cake. If I go to a regular bakery or Wal-Mart, I expect a mixed based cake. But the bottom line, if it's all the same thing, why do some mix bakers seem to have such a problem with saying they use a mix?

Ruth0209 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 4:02am

I think Leah's response is perfect. Offer her a tasting if she isn't sure. If it tastes good, it tastes good. Who cares how it was born?

cakemeasIam Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 4:03am

oh gosh...i would never lie....not in my DNA. icon_biggrin.gif
i think i was more concerned with her "paid lots of money" and it tasted like a box cake comment...and how to say i do use a doctored mix and my cutomers love it...is perfect. you all rock!! thanks for the help

Lelka Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 4:07am

What about : I use my own "tried and true" recipe that I always get a great reviews of.

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 4:10am
Quote:
Originally Posted by MObeefcake

oh gosh...i would never lie....not in my DNA. icon_biggrin.gif
i think i was more concerned with her "paid lots of money" and it tasted like a box cake comment...and how to say i do use a doctored mix and my cutomers love it...is perfect. you all rock!! thanks for the help




"Oh, well, darlin, if you want to pay LOTS of money for a 100% scratch cake, we can set you right up! Now, how much more did you want to pay for your cake ... that will tell me how close to 'scratch' I can get this."

(but then .... I tend to take the smarta$$ approach to things!)

LaBella, I don't know why some have a problem with it. I sometimes flat out tell them, "If I baked from scratch, you couldn't afford me." No one ever walked out the door after finding out that I start with a mix.

But I will say (thanks to you bad influential CC'ers) that my chocolate cakes are scratch, now.

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 4:19am

So...we're converting you. Come Indy, come to the light side of the force!

Seriously though. I could care less how someone bakes. You do what works for you. My problem is when someone wants to find a round about way to say they bake from a mix. Why not the truth. Same thing with being legal. I feel everyone should be, but don't say your mad cause your competition is steeling business from you and you want to tell on them cause they're illegal and your so law abiding. We know that's not why your telling. Just be honest, ya know what I mean?

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:14am

The resaon people do not like to answer that question and why this comes up so often is because there is a stigma on cake making methods. It may come as a surprise to some of us but if we use mixes we're not considered as brilliant as others of us who bake from scratch. Go figure.

I can bake a cake from scratch using the same ingredients found in a cake mix including the emulsifiers and conditioners. So I think the lines between scratch and mix are not only blurred but silly.

Whenever I've been asked that question it's been for the purpose of soothing someone's prejudice for one method over the other. I am a seller of decorated cake so I don't want to divide my market so I don't believe untempered honestly is the best policy myself.

Unbridled honesty can be a painful thing.
'Do these jeans make me look fat?'

I say I use both mixes and and scratch depending. And beyond that I unashamedly play the 'trade secret' card. But of course will provide the list of ingredients.

If someone asks me scratch or mix my 100% honest answer would be, "That's an ignorant question." And then they might not order from me huh.

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:22am
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

If someone asks me scratch or mix my 100% honest answer would be, "That's an ignorant question." And then they might not order from me huh.




ohhhhhh! So you're saying it might be a bad idea for me to put that response on my list of "Things I'd Love to Say the Next Time They Ask .....". icon_confused.gificon_biggrin.gif

Crap! And it was going to go near the top of the list, too! icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:26am
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

If someone asks me scratch or mix my 100% honest answer would be, "That's an ignorant question." And then they might not order from me huh.



ohhhhhh! So you're saying it might be a bad idea for me to put that response on my list of "Things I'd Love to Say the Next Time They Ask .....". icon_confused.gificon_biggrin.gif

Crap! And it was going to go near the top of the list, too! icon_lol.gif




I'd be proud for it to make the list! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

step0nmi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:26am

i really dislike the fact that this is still such a big deal...but I guess their controversy in everything icon_rolleyes.gif

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:34am

I mean I love making my own cake stands. Nobody cares really. Hey are those store bought or did you make 'em? Hey is that icing from scratch? Did you use merigue powder or egg whites--who cares (I'm not talking about allergies) Did you cook the icing or just open a bag.

But get into that other thing and hooo boy.

So no, to me there's not controversy in everything but there dang sure is cake mix versus scratch. Big time.

tatorchip Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:35am
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

The resaon people do not like to answer that question and why this comes up so often is because there is a stigma on cake making methods. It may come as a surprise to some of us but if we use mixes we're not considered as brilliant as others of us who bake from scratch. Go figure.

I can bake a cake from scratch using the same ingredients found in a cake mix including the emulsifiers and conditioners. So I think the lines between scratch and mix are not only blurred but silly.

Whenever I've been asked that question it's been for the purpose of soothing someone's prejudice for one method over the other. I am a seller of decorated cake so I don't want to divide my market so I don't believe untempered honestly is the best policy myself.

Unbridled honesty can be a painful thing.
'Do these jeans make me look fat?'

I say I use both mixes and and scratch depending. And beyond that I unashamedly play the 'trade secret' card. But of course will provide the list of ingredients.

If someone asks me scratch or mix my 100% honest answer would be, "That's an ignorant question." And then they might not order from me huh.


when I say trade secret I didn't mean lie, I meant that the lady saying like a box mix then she dislikes box mixes and yes say doctored box mix and trade secret just sounds classy to me. I was just trying to help but I am being made to sound like a lier. I don't lie but if someone wants to think that then thats their problem, I don't live my life to please them. a lot of people sell their trade secrets, making dvd's and sell them and I am one of those people that buy them. Coke and other soft drinks have trade secrets and we buy that and they won't tell us the trade secret. I am only saying this to you kate because I have so much respect for you. Thanks for understanding

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:45am

I so agree with you TatorChiplette. 100% honesty is not good salesmanship nuh ugh no way. Of course you didn't, Tator.

I have been playing the trade secret card for a long time. If you've ever gotten into it with one of these ignorant people, potential customers, about scratch and mix--screw it--I have no patience for them.

It's not in any way being dishonest to protect yourself and your business.

Honesty should always be tempered with grace.

Indy tempers hers with humor and spin, good spin--very effective.

Gefion Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:03am

I would be very disappointed if I were told something about "trade secrets" and was given box-cake. No, I don't like it (and thus I don't buy cakes or bread, but bake everything myself).

So please, at least indicate something about pre-measured ingredients or what you prefer to call it.

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:17am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gefion

I would be very disappointed if I were told something about "trade secrets" and was given box-cake. No, I don't like it (and thus I don't buy cakes or bread, but bake everything myself).

So please, at least indicate something about pre-measured ingredients or what you prefer to call it.




So if I measure all the ingredients out including the special emulsifier that is found in the cake mix box but I measure that single ingredient and all the ingredients out my self personally and essentially make a cake mix cake but I measure and combine everything--we call that scratch cake yes?

Would you be ok or disappointed?

Pure vanilla is now a mix--it's vanilla extratives, water, corn syrup and alcohol and that's a mix.

So if we are being honest we need to tell people that we use a "vanilla mix" not to mention the 'flour mix'. Flour's got vitamins and often contains malted barley.

See what I mean, to me it's a dumb looser question (from a client--not a dumb question in these forums) it leads to no where --ain't nobody's business beyond the ingredient list.

tatorchip Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:21am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gefion

I would be very disappointed if I were told something about "trade secrets" and was given box-cake. No, I don't like it (and thus I don't buy cakes or bread, but bake everything myself).

So please, at least indicate something about pre-measured ingredients or what you prefer to call it.


I thank you for the advice, sounds like that would be a good way to go with it, I don't sell cakes, I do it as a hobby and my friends and I compete with each other over our cakes on taste, so we don't tell each other our secrets and that is where my mine was headed, I should have not commented at all due to not selling cakes but I didn't realize it at the time, but the ones calling me a lier and the little game of trying to make me look like one are being unkind, your way of letting me know is very kind and I thank you for it.

Texas_Rose Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 7:08am

You know what's funny? I use the WASC recipe. That's about two-thirds mix. But it doesn't taste like a cake mix. Nobody's ever asked me if it was a mix...I've had some people assume it was a scratch cake and I haven't said anything. I guess it's not such a big deal for me because I don't sell cakes, I only bake for people I like and who deserve it icon_biggrin.gif I have told people where to find the recipe when they asked...didn't tell them that I'm not exactly using just the recipe anymore.

I like to make things from scratch. I bake my own bread when I am not feeling lazy...but cake mix and tortilla mix are the two things I'll buy the mix for because they taste better than what I can do at home.

CakeDiva73 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:03am

My chocolate cake is to die for and it uses a cake mix and then I add butter, sour cream, about $1's worth of dutch processed cocoa and baby chocolate chips.....and a few very secret ingredients icon_wink.gif but I guess that is just a plain ole box mix so I shouldn't be proud of it?

My friend PROUDLY serves her totally from scratch cake and we all gag it down with plenty of milk or coffee. Scratch bakers will then say 'She wasn't making it right'. Well I finally found a completely scratch brownie recipe that tastes better then box so I believe there is a stunner out there. And I know how to bake......

I have tried every recipe from Colette Peters, Cake Bible, highest rated, totally made up by me - everything. Not one tastes as good, let alone better than the Dr'd recipe I use.

If I add a package of pudding to a recipe, is it no longer scratch? I just think there are 3 groups: box mix, doctored and scratch. It is NOT a simple yes or no question, IMHO, of course.

kaat Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 11:56am

Here's a thought...
How many people only "bake from scratch" and then use commercial fondant?
icon_confused.gif

Kay_NL Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 12:30pm

I really love baking from scratch, when we were kids it was always how my Mom did it, and now I do too. I certainly don't care if others use mixes as a base, I know a girl who does quite well using mixes that are not doctored!

I am always honest, I tell people all my cakes and icings are made from scratch except for fondant/gumpaste figures and flowers (which are made from commercial fondant).

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