To Scratch Or To Box????

Decorating By princesscatt Updated 12 Nov 2009 , 4:59pm by BarbieAnnPlaysWithHerFOOD

princesscatt Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 3:14pm
post #1 of 48

Ok, so I've made a few cakes in my new cake adventure and so far the only thing that works for me is to doctor a cake mix. I've tried to make both chocolate and vanilla cakes from scratch and the end result is just not as good as it is when I doctor a cake mix...but part of me feels guilty for not making these cakes from scratch...anyone else feel this way?? Have any really good recipes to share for sturdy but delicious cakes??

47 replies
Caths_Cakes Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 3:23pm
post #2 of 48

i dont see why you should feel guilty. it takes just as much to decorate a box mix as does a scratch mix. personally i much prefer box mixes all round and make them work for me. just because you didnt mix everything together doesnt mean you didnt make it look beautiful! Be proud of your work and use what works for you!

-K8memphis Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 3:25pm
post #3 of 48

Yes we mostly all feel this way even though some of us won't don't admit it. Now folks in other countries probably don't get this--but we in the states mostly all have this psychological weirdy thing about scratch and mix--there's tons of threads about this phenomenon.

There's a thread going currrently too.

I think it is great reading--many wonderful insights and outlooks.

Brb with the link

And don't mind if someone says 'oh this subject has been beat to death' it has not or you wouldn't of asked huh--this question gets asked with regularity--it is purely fascinating.

caseyhayes Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 3:27pm
post #4 of 48

I've had more compliments on doctored mixes than scratch mixes.

-K8memphis Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 3:27pm
post #5 of 48

Oh and before long--somebody's gonna come along and say don't lie about using mixes--I can never reason as to why the 10 commandments comes up like that--ignore that implication too--

brb with the link...

-K8memphis Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 3:29pm
post #6 of 48
-K8memphis Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 3:30pm
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caths_Cakes

i dont see why you should feel guilty.




I know! Me too! But still I do!!! Shoot me!!!

amysue99 Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 3:50pm
post #8 of 48

I use a doctored mix for the same reason. My scratch chocolate cakes are dry and my scratch yellow cakes taste like cornbread. I use the WASC and it's variations for almost all of my cakes and people love it!

-K8memphis Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 4:02pm
post #9 of 48

I always have some scheme going for my next cake business (can't do it from home) but so now my son is into the act w/me--seriously encouraging me to get one going, setting deadlines & goals--sweet, cool.

But he's been to culinary school & has worked in the finest restaurants in the country--he wants me to perfect an efficient durable SCRATCH recipe--I said, Jon I like my wasc. He said, Mo-om!

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Just put me out of my misery somewhere-- icon_biggrin.gif

Jaimelt76 Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 4:35pm
post #10 of 48

I too use a doctored box mix. I am using what works for me right now. Someday when I have more time to mess around with scratch recipes I will. The french vanilla sour cream cake recipe from Ultimate Cake off is a wonderful scratch recipe, but I have only made it once and am not sure if I can pull it off again.
I love when someone asks me if my cake is a scratch recipe and I tell them no. They will argue with me until I tell them that it is a DH cake mix with a ton of other things added.

-K8memphis Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 4:41pm
post #11 of 48

Snarks brilliantly said that she uses a thermometer in her cuppies. That will be my saving grace in using all 'scratch'--using a thermometer. Not to mention I purchased the cake emulsifier ingredients that are used in cake mix. So I will be able to do a wasc 'from scratch'.

tatorchip Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 4:43pm
post #12 of 48

I am a hobby baker and I use doctored cake mix. I loved my Grandmothers scratch but could never get her recipe down, it was in her head no recipe but I love my cakes also. So does everyone I make it for.

K8 your son loves you, so good to have things to share, finest restaurants wow I would be so proud,

never fell guilty, just feel good that you make great tasting cakes.

beehivebaby Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 5:01pm
post #13 of 48

I feel the exact same way!!! there yummy but I don't tell there from a box, even though by the time we're done dr..them they really are not !!! I'm going to experiment with some scratch ones..just haven't had success yet!! I'm sure there has to be some good ones that aren't to complicated!! lol..it is weird to feel bad about telling people there from a box...

amysue99 Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 5:05pm
post #14 of 48

It does feel wierd, and some people (esp. cake people) will really turn their noses up. But, in truth, my cakes taste great and that's what keeps people coming back!

jessmeyer Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 5:33pm
post #15 of 48

when you guys are talking about doctoring a box mix, what do you add? I use box mixes, and dont add anything, and Ive never had any complaints!

__Jamie__ Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 5:41pm
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by princesscatt

Ok, so I've made a few cakes in my new cake adventure and so far the only thing that works for me is to doctor a cake mix. I've tried to make both chocolate and vanilla cakes from scratch and the end result is just not as good.....




Not as good how? Texture? Taste? Sturdiness? Consistent results each and every time you bake the recipe. It isn't hard, it really isn't. It takes practice, and it takes dedication and it takes focusing on the recipes and following directions. I don't understand it when I see people say they have so many problems baking from scratch. I have a feeling it is because they think it should be as easy as whirling a mix around in a bowl. Simple things like lowering your oven temp, and really taking the time to cream the butter and sugar long enough will produce really great results, when before you had disastrous. If you are truly interested in mastering scratch baking, don't give up. Set aside a Saturday to try out diff recipes, and record your findings, what went wrong, what went right, what you tweaked here and there....it's actually pretty fun! icon_smile.gif

Jaimelt76 Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 5:45pm
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessmeyer

when you guys are talking about doctoring a box mix, what do you add? I use box mixes, and dont add anything, and Ive never had any complaints!




My white I use the WASC from here. For my chocolate I add choco milk in place of the water, choco pudding, and sour cream( I believe this recipe is also on here, it is from the cake mix doctor).

sadsmile Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 5:45pm
post #18 of 48

Kate you are entertaining to read... I just knew you'd be in here on this thread..LOL

Like I said in the other thread mixes were the invention of need. There was a need for a speedy, consistent and economical way for bakeries to produce product in mass to make business work.

A product that can be counted on for consistency is one that will succeed.

The method of mixing and baking is still something that can make one person's box cake very different from another's.

What about bakeries who use 50LB bags of cake mix? That's still a mix even though it didn't come from a box. icon_wink.gif

You think those garlic knots you get with your spaghetti are made from scratch then-think again. Ok they were made from scratch at a factory from a mix that was made from scratch at another factory, then they were frozen or partially baked and frozen and boxed up and sold at bulk prices to restaurants who defrost and bake them up. At least a very large % of restaurants do this-so don't think I am saying all. I know somewhere there is a few fabulous places that still do it all old school- but do they start with raw ingredients or a mix? LOL

I do not sell to the public. I doctor mixes. I have only found one scratch recipe that I like, but I will keep looking.

I don't box my cakes up after they are done so I don't do boxed cakes..LOL How's that one Kate?

sadsmile Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 5:52pm
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__



it's actually pretty fun! icon_smile.gif




Image

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif See there's something you all need to know about Jamie...

On another note: did you guys know that Vanilla was used in ancient herbalistics(is that a werd? icon_confused.gif ) as an aphrodisiac and a soothing and calming agent? No wonder we all are hooked on cake.

__Jamie__ Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 5:55pm
post #20 of 48

Sweet Sad!

Pookie59 Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 8:54pm
post #21 of 48

I don't see why it matters one way or the other so long as the end result is a quality product that the customers like. I think some cake mixes are pretty good, but there are some cakes that I always make from scratch because either there isn't a box cake in that flavor or the box cake isn't as good.

CrazyCakes13 Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 9:15pm
post #22 of 48

I'll throw my two cents into the ring here. I use both. I have found a chocolate cake recipe from scratch that I love, and a butter cake scratch one that I'm getting to like. But, if time is of the essence or ingrediants are scarce, I'm all for doctoring a cake mix. I've had compliments on both and no one I've ever known about can tell the difference. Also, I like the Cake Mix Dcotor cookbook. Many times it's helped me out!

indydebi Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 9:21pm
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

Kate you are entertaining to read... I just knew you'd be in here on this thread..LOL

Like I said in the other thread mixes were the invention of need. There was a need for a speedy, consistent and economical way for bakeries to produce product in mass to make business work.

A product that can be counted on for consistency is one that will succeed.

The method of mixing and baking is still something that can make one person's box cake very different from another's.

What about bakeries who use 50LB bags of cake mix? That's still a mix even though it didn't come from a box. icon_wink.gif

You think those garlic knots you get with your spaghetti are made from scratch then-think again. Ok they were made from scratch at a factory from a mix that was made from scratch at another factory, then they were frozen or partially baked and frozen and boxed up and sold at bulk prices to restaurants who defrost and bake them up. At least a very large % of restaurants do this-so don't think I am saying all. I know somewhere there is a few fabulous places that still do it all old school- but do they start with raw ingredients or a mix? LOL




YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As a caterer, I KNOW what foods I'm eating in restaurants came from Sysco, came from GFS, came from McFarland Foods. And you know what else? I dont' care!! I will NEVER understand why people think if you BUY food, it must be from scratch, ergo they THINK all bakeries and restaurants cook from scratch. It's JUst. Not. True. Once people understand this, then this debate will cease and desist. Except for the following factor......

Part of the stigma is just women cattiness. Yes, it is. Women are their own worst enemy .... I've said it for years and will say it for years to come.

Before the invention of mixes, a woman's ability to "ketch a MAN!" was judged on her ability to bake a cake and make a pie crust. A really good cake/pie maker was prophesied (sp?) to be a great "ketch fer a man!"

Then the mixes came along. now EVERYONE could make a good cake. The good bakers were suddenly "challenged" by Average Suzy Homemaker. So mix bakers were looked down upon because they "cheated" (cheated? it's illegal to use a mix? icon_confused.gif ) and it was said they weren't making "real" cakes. All part of female cattiness to "preserve" their self-perceived standing as the County Fair Blue Ribbon baker.

Well, Aunt Bee and Clara Johnson I'm not.

I admire the talent it takes to bake from scratch. I openly tell people I use a mix.

When this stops being an issue in YOUR OWN MIND, then it's no longer an issue.

Who puts the stigma on it? Not the scratch bakers, not the mix bakers, but each individual baker who, iin their own mind, for some unknown reason, thinks it's "wrong" to bake a cake with a mix.

And by the way, when my family wants mac-n-cheese, it comes straight out of the blue Kraft box! icon_biggrin.gif Not that I want to get anything started on scratch or boxed mac-n-cheese or anything .... just sayin'! icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif

sadsmile Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 9:35pm
post #24 of 48

Now now Debi you must be fair at least half if not more of that box is orange! icon_lol.gif

dstbni Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 9:38pm
post #25 of 48

I guess I've had the opposite experience. I bake my cakes from scratch, not because I think I'm superior, but because I SUCK at making cakes from a mix. When people taste my cakes, they usually say "oh wow, this is great! What mix did you use?" Then they are surprised to hear that I bake from scratch, mostly because they know that you can get great cakes from a mix, and it's usually cheaper and easier. So here I am, feeling like a sucker because I do things the hard way!

-K8memphis Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 12:01am
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

...And you know what else? I dont' care!! I will NEVER understand why people think if you BUY food, it must be from scratch, ergo they THINK all bakeries and restaurants cook from scratch. It's JUst. Not. True. Once people understand this, then this debate will cease and desist. Except for the following factor......

Part of the stigma is just women cattiness. Yes, it is. Women are their own worst enemy .... I've said it for years and will say it for years to come.

Before the invention of mixes, a woman's ability to "ketch a MAN!" was judged on her ability to bake a cake and make a pie crust. A really good cake/pie maker was prophesied (sp?) to be a great "ketch fer a man!"

...When this stops being an issue in YOUR OWN MIND, then it's no longer an issue.

Who puts the stigma on it? Not the scratch bakers, not the mix bakers, but each individual baker who, iin their own mind, for some unknown reason, thinks it's "wrong" to bake a cake with a mix
.




I sincerely want to not care however, I caught this virus honest. I got it from a guy--I had made a tiered cake by hand--my mixer was in storage and I made the whole damned cake by hand--no mixer. Jerk questioned me about scratch or mix and he carried on & on about his mother's cake being the best scratch blablabla

Continued in next post because this screen here is too jumpy...

-K8memphis Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 12:20am
post #27 of 48

Previous to that I had gotten Rose Levy B's Cake Babble book and I was so energized by it and her and I was gonna do all scratch recipes, birds would sing, bells would ring.

Then--I realized how in love with herself she was but that was ok nothing wrong with being head over heels in love with yerself I guess, I mean she wrote a book & all----but then I read the mean part in there about the 'insipid cupid pillars'.

Well silly insipidous moi, kid you not, I had just purchased said insipid cupid pillars and I was one of the ones churning out the 'hulking white baroque numbers'--the cakes she was dissing in print in a book called a bible.

Those two events plus the fact that everybody gets it wrong when they declare my cake either scratch or mix depending on what they love the best--then I'm supposed to go in the lion's mouth & correct them all? I don't wanna go there professionally--screw it is my philosophy.

So I avoid it as best I can professionally. I just don't wanna go there with clients. Which is prolly why I like to talk about it so much with other cakers.

-K8memphis Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 12:26am
post #28 of 48

I am not alone. I've worked for people who hide their cake mix in the walk in so no one can see it. There's a new thread started on this today. It's a for real thing whether it's poo pooed or acknowleged or not.

That just the way it goes.

princesscatt Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 5:05pm
post #29 of 48

You girls are awesome! I LOVE THIS WEBSITE! LOL...

You are all right...why should I feel guilty. I have tried a few scratch recipes and have taken my time sifting and creaming and measuring and they just don't do the job I need them to do. So instead of giving up on my cakes I take a little help from a mix and add my own spin on things...I don't bake so a man will love me.. I bake b/c I love to do it...so hopefully whoever eats my cakes will get a little bite of love along with the mix! LOL

I do honestly love this website...in my search for recipes on the web I have stumbled on other sites but none that have so many wonderful people who are willing to share their experiences and recipes just so someone like me who has the same passion can share those recipes with my friends and even my little ones. There are even some sites who charge you just to look at their recipes...ridiculous!

jenmat Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 5:35pm
post #30 of 48

I think baking is a skill no matter how you slice it- scratch or box, its still a matter of try and try again.
Some of us get really good at making IMBC. Some are best at Fondant, some loooove the crisco and butter stuff.
I make from both scratch and mixes- whatever recipe makes the best tasting cake.

There are times I do feel guilty about the whole thing. I do feel its more work to make a scratch cake, so I feel I'm cheating if I don't. Then I think- cake mix was made to make our lives easier. I've never heard anyone say- your clothes are sooo white, do you use a wash machine or a rock?
Then I eat some cake, and it makes it all go away....yum...cake....

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