How To Handle This Question Correctly...

Business By cakemeasIam Updated 14 Nov 2009 , 1:51am by CakestyleIN

snarkybaker Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:04pm
post #91 of 267

To me Scratch vs. Box is more about an ethos. When I think scratch, I think Nigella Lawson. When I think cake mix, I think Sandra Lee. Those are just the images those words conjure up for me. Would I let Sandra Lee within 1000 ft of my wedding cake, NO WAY!! That's me...but truth be told, if a cake was really important, I probably would let anybody make it but my staff. I don't usually eat dessert when Im out because I just LIKE mine better.

I have my own vanilla extract blended for me, My flour is milled about 15 miles from my store, our butter comes from a dairy that is about 20 miles away. It makes a difference. I like real butter cake with real european style buttercream frosting. I am less persnickety about whether or not a bead border is perfectly straight, cause, you know...its dessert.

That said, there is a butt for every seat and Sandra Lee sells just as many books as Nigella Lawson. If you are more comfortable baking from a box, and this person really wants a scratch cake, she is entitled to want it. Tell her you use a doctored mix, maybe she'll be interested in a tasting, maybe she won't.

I once had a Father of the bride tell me our Creme Brulee Buttercream tasted like bacon. I told him he probably needed to find another bakery.

Do what you like. Do it well and you'll find your customer base.

bonniebakes Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:27pm
post #92 of 267

I think you need to be honest. I don't have any negative feelings toward boxed mixes or scratch recipes, I personally use both totally form scratch and doctored mixes at times.

But, some people might want to know the answer to that question because of the ingredients that are in boxed mixed that might not be present in a totally form scratch recipe, such as artificial colorings, flavorings, or chemical preservatives. So many people these days have food or chemical intolerances, or just preferences based on other health concerns. If someone is asking, they have a right to know the truth if they will be consuming it.

Mike1394 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:37pm
post #93 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

To me Scratch vs. Box is more about an ethos. When I think scratch, I think Nigella Lawson. When I think cake mix, I think Sandra Lee. Those are just the images those words conjure up for me. Would I let Sandra Lee within 1000 ft of my wedding cake, NO WAY!! That's me...but truth be told, if a cake was really important, I probably would let anybody make it but my staff. I don't usually eat dessert when Im out because I just LIKE mine better.

I have my own vanilla extract blended for me, My flour is milled about 15 miles from my store, our butter comes from a dairy that is about 20 miles away. It makes a difference. I like real butter cake with real european style buttercream frosting. I am less persnickety about whether or not a bead border is perfectly straight, cause, you know...its dessert.

That said, there is a butt for every seat and Sandra Lee sells just as many books as Nigella Lawson. If you are more comfortable baking from a box, and this person really wants a scratch cake, she is entitled to want it. Tell her you use a doctored mix, maybe she'll be interested in a tasting, maybe she won't.

I once had a Father of the bride tell me our Creme Brulee Buttercream tasted like bacon. I told him he probably needed to find another bakery.

Do what you like. Do it well and you'll find your customer base.




I wouldn't let either one in my kitchen.

Mike

heycake Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:58pm
post #94 of 267

I know I'm new here and late to this party, but I just wanted to add my little story. I am a hobby baker and have done a handful of wedding cakes for friends and family. I made a cake a few years ago and at the time was really struggling with this same question of scratch vs. box. I was dealing with the whole "imposter" syndrome of feeling like I needed to bake from scratch to be a "real" baker. I think I read one too many Martha Stewart books. Anyway, I did a taste test for the bride and groom and they chose the mix cake with the shortening based buttercream over the scratch cake with IMBC. I was surprised but glad that I could make their cake the way I'd been doing it.

Well, when I got to their wedding their caterer gave me a little attitude because she could tell that I was not a pro. Her attitude changed though after the cake was set up and especially after it was cut and eaten. She stopped me in the kitchen and asked what recipe I used and said how great the cake was. I sheepishly said, "Oh, it's from a mix". She was shocked. I told her that everyone I had made cakes for preferred the box mix (Pillsbury French Vanilla, not even doctored up) because that is what they were used to. So few people these days grew up with scratch cakes, so the flavor and texture that they equate with home-made is the box mix cake.

Anyway, I've since learned about doctored mixes and found a few scratch recipes that I prefer to mixes but I don't discriminate between them. I agree that many people have an idea in their head that scratch is better than box but they don't really know why. As long as the client is happy with your service, then that's all that matters to me. I have no problem now telling anyone that I bake cakes with all different methods.

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:01pm
post #95 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

I can make a scratch cake with all the ingredients that are found in a cake mix and honestly call it scratch--'cause I measured out every ingredient. The emulsifier I have doesn't have a detectable flavor or taste.

It's kinda like unsweetened piping gel meets shortening.




I love ya, but, I don't understand a damn word you are saying today. In any of your previous posts. I can usually figure it out, buuuuuuuut icon_confused.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:02pm
post #96 of 267

And, I didn't mean to put this little dude: icon_confused.gif I meant to put this little dude: icon_lol.gif Cuz, it is funny. I'm trying, but I'm a little lost!!!!

kaat Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:12pm
post #97 of 267

I'm not really sure how we got to the whole "lying" issue. I believe the question was how to answer diplomatically NOT dishonestly.

And yes, penguins are awesome.
icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:14pm
post #98 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaat

I'm not really sure how we got to the whole "lying" issue. I believe the question was how to answer diplomatically NOT dishonestly.

And yes, penguins are awesome.
icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif




Exactly. There have been some awesome suggestions as well.

costumeczar Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:37pm
post #99 of 267

here we are...
LL

Mike1394 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:51pm
post #100 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

here we are...




Need some Happy Feet, and we all set. icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

Loucinda Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 7:22pm
post #101 of 267

I dunno about that.....those penguins look like they are debating the issue at hand too...... icon_rolleyes.gif

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 7:33pm
post #102 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

I can make a scratch cake with all the ingredients that are found in a cake mix and honestly call it scratch--'cause I measured out every ingredient. The emulsifier I have doesn't have a detectable flavor or taste.

It's kinda like unsweetened piping gel meets shortening.



I love ya, but, I don't understand a damn word you are saying today. In any of your previous posts. I can usually figure it out, buuuuuuuut icon_confused.gif




'K--I'm gonna measure out all my usual ingredients for my scratch cake, flour, sugar eggs, vanilla etc. plus one additional new ingredient--cake emulsifier--the ingredient in cake mix.

The 'bad stuff' in cake mix is this emulsifier stuff so I bought some and I can make 'scratch cake' with it.

See what I'm doing/saying?

So now I gotta scratch cake with cake emulsifier which is the boogey man ingredient in cake mix but it's a scratch cake. icon_biggrin.gif

Deb_ Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 7:50pm
post #103 of 267

"how to handle this question correctly"

I'm pretty sure it's a "yes" or "no" type of question......call me silly but why has this question turned into the type of question that we have to "handle" and "tip toe" around?

Do you use a mix? Yes or No

Pretty simple one word answer is all that is required.

If a sales person starts giving me a "song and dance" answer to a "yes" of "no" question......that completely turns me off.


The only people placing the "stigma" on mix bakers are mix bakers.....please get over it, this topic is so old and beaten.

So to the OP when you're asked do you use a mix answer yes or no. You don't need to defend your technique....be proud of what you do whatever it is.

sadsmile Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:05pm
post #104 of 267

Wasn't the mix born from the need of consistent results for a shelf stable product that is cost effective?

I laugh a little when the behind the scenes is shown on the How is that made show or Unwrapped. Giant bags-o-mix and gallon-mix-o-liquid=vats of consistent product people love.

Deb_ Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:06pm
post #105 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi



Yes, these people come in with their "10 Questions to Ask (any vendor)" and those just piss me off. Not because they're asking but because they don't know WHY they're asking and they don't know what the right answer is! How do I know they dont' know the right answer? Because I've perfected the art of NOT answering their question and then sitting back to see if they realize I haven't answered their question. So far, no one has noticed.!




You'd make a great President.....HE does this all the time!! icon_lol.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:16pm
post #106 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

"how to handle this question correctly"

I'm pretty sure it's a "yes" or "no" type of question......call me silly but why has this question turned into the type of question that we have to "handle" and "tip toe" around?

Do you use a mix? Yes or No

Pretty simple one word answer is all that is required.

If a sales person starts giving me a "song and dance" answer to a "yes" of "no" question......that completely turns me off.


The only people placing the "stigma" on mix bakers are mix bakers.....please get over it, this topic is so old and beaten.

So to the OP when you're asked do you use a mix answer yes or no. You don't need to defend your technique....be proud of what you do whatever it is.




This deserves a round of applause. thumbs_up.gif

Loucinda Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:22pm
post #107 of 267

Hmmmmm.....I thought the question is usually "are your cakes made from scratch?" (which again - what do you tell them if you use premade fondant?) Or is that how the question is going to be posted now to skirt around having to answer honestly about what PART of the cake is "scratch"?? icon_confused.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:23pm
post #108 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

I dunno about that.....those penguins look like they are debating the issue at hand too...... icon_rolleyes.gif




icon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gif

I know, right!

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:25pm
post #109 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

"how to handle this question correctly"

I'm pretty sure it's a "yes" or "no" type of question......call me silly but why has this question turned into the type of question that we have to "handle" and "tip toe" around?

Do you use a mix? Yes or No

Pretty simple one word answer is all that is required.

If a sales person starts giving me a "song and dance" answer to a "yes" of "no" question......that completely turns me off.


The only people placing the "stigma" on mix bakers are mix bakers.....please get over it, this topic is so old and beaten.

So to the OP when you're asked do you use a mix answer yes or no. You don't need to defend your technique....be proud of what you do whatever it is.



This deserves a round of applause. thumbs_up.gif




thumbs_up.gif Agree!

Loucinda Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:25pm
post #110 of 267

edited - didn't want the "thumbs up" inserted here!

PuffCake Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:26pm
post #111 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly


The only people placing the "stigma" on mix bakers are mix bakers




I disagree. I think the only people placing the stigma on mix bakers are the non-bakers (cake muggles) who ask this question to bakers. If a potential customer asks this question for allergy reasons they would say so up front. For example, if my child had a nut allergy and I wanted to order a birthday cake, I wouldn't simply ask the baker if they baked from scratch or a mix...I would point out my child's nut allergy and make sure the baker could make me a nut free cake.

Agreed that when asked if you bake scratch or mix you should answer honestly, but I think the desire for how to diplomatically deal with these "scratch is superior" customers stems from bakers knowing that there IS a box cake stigma among non-bakers. Therefore, they don't want to turn off a potential customer when they know that they make an awesome cake with a mix. Answer the quesion honestly and it's ultimately up to the customer, but I think the OP just wants to know how to discuss this with the customer after she answers the scratch or mix question.

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:34pm
post #112 of 267

A "cake-muggle" to me is someone who calls me on Friday asking for a wedding cake Saturday for 200 to be delivered by 12PM. Someone who asks if you bake from scratch just has a personal preference.

ttehan4 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:39pm
post #113 of 267

If you bake it at home its homemade and it aint nobodys damn business...lol.

I watched a cake tutorial once and the lady said that. I just thought that was funny.

PuffCake Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:39pm
post #114 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

A "cake-muggle" to me is someone who calls me on Friday asking for a wedding cake Saturday for 200 to be delivered by 12PM. Someone who asks if you bake from scratch just has a personal preference.




I first used the term "non-baker". You can disregard the term "cake muggle" in my post if I used it incorrectly.

tatorchip Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:42pm
post #115 of 267

All of this started because I said the words "Trade Secrets"
I don't sell my cakes and I should have not even replied to the question, but I did and can't change the fact that I did.
I compete with my friends on the taste of our cakes and we call it our trade secrets and try to out do each other all in good clean fun.
So that is why I said trade secret because that is what came to my mine.
Indeydebi and Labellaflor accused me of being a lier, that I will defend as not what I was doing.
Trade Secret does not mean lie, it means not telling my secret.
I already posted this on another page it has nothing to do with anyone else but me so please don't take it as aimed at anyone else but me.

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:49pm
post #116 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by tatorchip

All of this started because I said the words "Trade Secrets"
I don't sell my cakes and I should have not even replied to the question, but I did and can't change the fact that I did.
I compete with my friends on the taste of our cakes and we call it our trade secrets and try to out do each other all in good clean fun.
So that is why I said trade secret because that is what came to my mine.
Indeydebi and Labellaflor accused me of being a lier, that I will defend as not what I was doing.
Trade Secret does not mean lie, it means not telling my secret.
I already posted this on another page it has nothing to do with anyone else but me so please don't take it as aimed at anyone else but me.




Actually in my comments, I never once thought of what you had said. Wasn't thinking of them in the slightest.

costumeczar Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:55pm
post #117 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by tatorchip

All of this started because I said the words "Trade Secrets"





Nah, this started about a million years ago when the words "scratch" and "mix" were used in the same sentence.

Deb_ Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:57pm
post #118 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

Hmmmmm.....I thought the question is usually "are your cakes made from scratch?" (which again - what do you tell them if you use premade fondant?) Or is that how the question is going to be posted now to skirt around having to answer honestly about what PART of the cake is "scratch"?? icon_confused.gif




I can truthfully answer yes my cakes are from scratch every part of them....I use mmf which I make and all of my fillings are also made by me.
I tried Satin Ice when I joined CC because so many people on here recommended it, but I honestly didn't like the taste of it and I found it hard to work with.

Macsmom turned me on to mmf and I really like it and it's a lot cheaper then buying the premade stuff. Thanks Macsmom!

I consider myself a "baker" NOT a "decorator".....although I think I'm getting a little better at the latter.

Oh I have to admit that lately the question most asked by people isn't "do you bake from scratch?" it's "do you freeze your cakes?" icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 9:00pm
post #119 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by tatorchip

Indeydebi and Labellaflor accused me of being a lier,



No, I did not. I merely said "don't lie about it". Some people get very nervous about telling someone they use a mix and I was only saying "be proud of what you do ... don't lie." The "you" used was the generic "you", not specifically pointing the finger at tatorchip or anyone else.

I did NOT accuse you of being a liar and I resent you saying so.

tatorchip Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 9:04pm
post #120 of 267

I resent being accused of being one

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