Do You Bake From Scratch Or Use A Box Mix?

Decorating By MJTKNT Updated 14 Jun 2010 , 3:06am by jerseygirlNga

MJTKNT Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 3:54pm
post #1 of 15

I'm an extreme beginner in the cake world. I've always loved baking, and I've always appreciated the taste of a cake made from scratch compared to that of a box cake. I've always felt that you could taste the difference. Anyway though- I started a Wilton class this last week and was actually really surprised to hear the instructor say that she only ever uses box cakes for her cakes, and has never been able to get a cake made from scratch to set up and bake right. She makes and sells her cakes, so she's not just a hobbyist. All of the other ladies said they only use box cakes as well. In my naive mind, I always thought bakers would be the ones to do a scratch cake, but I've learned this last week that that's not always the now I'm curious- what do you do?

Box or scratch and why?

If you use box, do you add to it to make it taste different, or just bake as instructed?

How do you know what to add if you do?

14 replies
njoycakes Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 4:12pm
post #2 of 15

Personally I always bake from scratch, but then again I'm in the UK, I don't think our box mixes are as economical as they are over in the US. I'm not sure many people use box mixes in the UK.

mil5nov Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 4:13pm
post #3 of 15

1.Taste much better
2.Less chemical stuff inside- cake is fresher=healthier

ladycakes85 Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 4:16pm
post #4 of 15

Unless you want to be part of a heated debate, I would just avoid this question. There have been several of this same inquiry in past forums and people who prefer one way over another have very strong opinions about it. Check out past postings on this in the forums. You'll have plenty to read icon_wink.gif

In the meantime, just accept the fact that everybody prefers one way or another and as long as the baker is happy with their product, the rest shouldn't really matter anyway. icon_smile.gif

LisaMarie86 Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 4:26pm
post #5 of 15

I think you need to do what you are comfortable with. I prefer box cake mix because I dont have a really good recipe for a scratch cake. I would much rather bake from scratch and am experimenting with different recipes but I havent found one yet that is as moist and wonderful as my doctored cake mixes. Good luck!!!

MJTKNT Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 4:27pm
post #6 of 15

Oh, I'm not trying to start a debate- I'm sorry if this thread is being taken that way. I did a search and didn't see anything, but I'm still new to the forum and may not be using the search function appropriately. I'm not opposed to using a box cake mix. I didn't know that so many did it as it seems. I want to work towards starting a business someday, and I just really want to know what people do so I can try the different methods and see what works best for me.

jerseygirlNga Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 4:36pm
post #7 of 15

Hi MJ... I've been baking since I was 18...many years ago...and mostly from scratch. But, when I started working with fondant (since March) I found two recipes that I really like that are box based and from cake central.

Of course, the basic one seems to detect that its an extended cake mix recipe and the chocolate WASC is the one that everyone comments on being great.

The only thing I do differently, is very little to NO oil. I use applesauce & mayonnaise. I know, sounds gross but it works. Then...I discovered Lorann oils!

If you want to explore together, PM me.

frankdiabetes Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 4:46pm
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by MJTKNT

I did a search and didn't see anything, but I'm still new to the forum and may not be using the search function appropriately.

Hello and welcome! I too find the search function to be sometimes difficult to use on here. I've gotten the most relevant results by doing a google search for " [search term]".

jayne1873 Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 5:31pm
post #9 of 15

This does seem a slightly emotive subject on here but like njoyckes I live in the UK and box mixes are not as cheap as elsewhere and I just started making cakes from scratch so carried on and have never tried the box mixes so wouldnt really know of any advantage/disadvantage.
I think you should try one of the reciepes on here that incorporate box mixes with other ingredients, see how it turns out and make your decision then on what is best for you x

lecrn Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 5:48pm
post #10 of 15

Welcome to CC! This has been a heated debate, but a newcomer my not be aware of that. I have a difficult time with the search here as well. You may have better luck using google as mentioned above.
Anyway, I use mostly box based recipes (except a few scratch). That's what I grew up eating and most of the people I bake for have too. I have the most consistent results & compliments with the box based.
I would suggest trying different recipes to see what works for you and those who will be eating your cakes.
Good luck!

kizrash Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 8:24pm
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by njoycakes

Personally I always bake from scratch, but then again I'm in the UK, I don't think our box mixes are as economical as they are over in the US. I'm not sure many people use box mixes in the UK.

I've been baking for 35+ years and never used a box mix in my life. I'm not opposed to them, just always baked scratch. As 'njoycakes' quoted, box mixes were never that used over here. We were always told they were for people that didn't know how to bake. icon_rolleyes.gif

MJTKNT Posted 13 Jun 2010 , 9:18pm
post #12 of 15

Thanks for the replies. I think I'll try the WASC cake for my next Wilton class on Thursday....and I'll try the google search function as well! TY!

Adevag Posted 14 Jun 2010 , 2:19am
post #13 of 15

Hi and welcome to CC. I too just assumed that bakers only make scratch cakes. I'm not saying anything is better than the other (as I know is not what you are saying either). But I have learned that it is more common for bakers and decorators to use a mix and go from there.
I am just a hobby baker and I bake from scratch. This question comes up every now and then. Sometimes it's from bakers who uses mixes and think they are the only ones and feel guilty that they are not making it from scratch (as if they are not "real" bakers). So the conclusion from many of these "debates" are that, yes baking using a cake mix is probably the norm compared to scratch baking, but nothing is considered better than the other. As long as you are proud of what you make, your clients (if professional) like it and it works for you, you decide in which way you will be baking your cakes.
I too loved baking long before I discovered decorating and I think that is why I will be a scratch baker. I really enjoy the whole process!

MJTKNT Posted 14 Jun 2010 , 2:28am
post #14 of 15

Thanks for your response Adevag. I think I'm the same as you. Right now, I'm a hobbyist, and I love baking from scratch. I'm definitely not opposed to mixes though for future use as I would like to become more than a hobbyist and I can see using a mix for the dry ingredients being much quicker and cost effective in the whole scheme of things. I'm really excited to try the WASC cake later this week. Does anyone have any ideas for words to use in the search function to find doctored or expanded recipes for box cake mixes? I've tried doctored, epanded, cake mix, and box cake...nothing's really resulted in a helpful search...and I find that really hard to believe!

jerseygirlNga Posted 14 Jun 2010 , 3:06am
post #15 of 15

For the chocolate WASC: Amazing Chocolate WASC or cakepro, who was the poster.

I know the WASC recipe from memory and I don't know who the original poster was. I would assume just WASC

Both of the above are box cake extenders. Hope this helps.

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