If You Use Cake Mixes, ?

Business By newb2 Updated 10 Aug 2010 , 3:48am by kansaslaura

newb2 Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 10:22pm
post #1 of 91

I do both scratch baking and doctored mix baking for family and friends (I'm not in business). I'm curious though for those of you in the business if you use cake mixes and someone asks you about it how do you respond? For some reason I feel slightly embarrassed to admit it's a cake mix, am I crazy? Do you give out recipes when asked?

90 replies
TexasSugar Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 10:42pm
post #2 of 91

I'd search the board for past topics on it.

The general thought is be proud of what you do and be honest when ask.

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 11:20pm
post #3 of 91

Yes, I do both and tell my clients if they ask. Lying about it is bad business practice. I have had no one ask me in the year that I have been doing this, only telling me that my cakes are very good.

newmansmom2004 Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 11:39pm
post #4 of 91

I will give out a recipe if it's one that was not originally mine...and I do share some here on CC as well. (Hey, that's what this site is for, right??)
However, if it's one I've slaved and stressed over and have perfected I politely tell people I'm flattered but my recipes are sacred. So far no one has slapped me for it. icon_wink.gif

3GCakes Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 11:50pm
post #5 of 91

It is not a question that is posed to the majority of bakers, but....

I think most people are more worried about ingredients, not necessarily recipes.

If someone asks what goes into your cakes, most people who sell have to list it anyway.

If someone is asking what your ingredients are, it's probably due to an allergy perhaps, or an aversion to certain ingredients. Keep a list handy.

An ingredient list is not the same as divulging a closely held recipe (which will include the mixing instructions, the exact quantities, etc). Most businesses are NOT required to divulge closely-held recipes....but most MUST divulge ingredients in descending order by weight.

It helps to know WHY you use each ingredient, and it will benefit your business to know what each ingredient consists of and to be able to back up your ingredients. If you can't support your ingredients, don't use them.

There are some cakes made with some ingredients and some cakes that omit those ingredients. Just be able to still be able to sell your cake without compromising on the quality that your clients expect.

cakelady31 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 12:03am
post #6 of 91

Definately answer honestly. And why not? There is nothing wrong with either way of baking! thumbs_up.gif
Depending on the job, some of my cakes are scratch, and some are from a commercial mix that I use. That is what I tell people if they ask. icon_smile.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 12:42am
post #7 of 91

I tell people who ask--maybe 1/100--that I start with familiar flavored mixes but that I add so many other ingredients it results in a completely new and better cake that I call my own.

As for recipe requests, the answer is always, "No, sorry, I don't give out my recipes, but I'll be happy to discuss making a cake for you............"

Rae

indydebi Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 1:54am
post #8 of 91

First, why are you slightly embarrassed? You're not one of those folks who are under the silly impression that all bakeries, restaurants and food businesses make everything from scratch, are you? icon_biggrin.gif If that were so, then GFS and Sysco would own big barns and fields instead of big warehouses with lots of freezers in them. icon_lol.gif

I would tell those rare RARE brides who asked, "Like most bakeries, I start with a mix and add my own stuff." Once in a while, I'd add "You couldn't afford me if I baked from scratch."

One thing I will miss since closing the shop is going to the food shows. I always loved seeing the new foods at the show, then watching all the commercials for restaurants advertising their "new and exciting!" dishes .... which were the same frozen and pre-prepared items I saw at the show.

Always loved picking up an order from one of these suppliers and seeing chefs from the big name (read: "expensive") restaurants in town picking pu the same stuff I was using.

If waht you use is good and it's what your customers love, then be proud of what you make. Mix, scratch or a combination of both, it's what got you to this point. Why would you be embarrassed about that? icon_confused.gif

If you serve a stranger or even your own family something that you're "embarrassed" about, then I say you should change your cooking/baking style right now.

Loucinda Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 3:24am
post #9 of 91

Go indy! icon_biggrin.gif Yes, I use a box as my base, although in 5 years I have never had anyone ask me that question. I do get a lot of "this is the best cake I have ever eaten" though....and I have been asked if I ever freeze my cakes. (No, I don't - everything is baked fresh for your event) icon_smile.gif I am proud of my product!

4realLaLa Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 4:50am
post #10 of 91

Although, I bake from scratch I don't think there is any shame in a good box cake. I think it's a shame if someone lies about it though. People will appreciate your hard work whether your cake is box or scratch (and a lot of people probably won't know the difference anyway).

Caths_Cakes Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 5:10am
post #11 of 91

Personally for me, im a box mixer. . For one reason only . . I cant bake to save . . Well anything! i mean litterally, i can cook a christmas dinner for 15 perfectly and put it all on piping hot on time . . . But when it comes to make sponge cake *shudders at the mere thought of it* ends up in a huge disaster, it turns out Cheaper, Tastier and all round healthier for me to use a box, And im proud of it cause even though it came from a box, I still make it Look good!

elvisb Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 5:19am
post #12 of 91

I start with a box mix and dress it up with my own add-ins. I am honest with my customers if they ask. Honestly, they are usually shocked to find out I'm a box baker. If your customers/family are happy with the end result, there is no shame in using a mix. It's just premeasured ingredients anyway. It's what you do with it that counts.

tmac670 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 5:34am
post #13 of 91

I tell my students that they paid some food scientists a lot more money than I will ever make to make a product that you can depend on every time. No reason not to use a box mix. Play with it, make it your own. NO SHAME!!!

EvMarie Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 5:38am
post #14 of 91

Slightly off topic....when you list ingredients as a "mix" baker, do you list ingredients exactly how they are listed on the side of the mix box? ( of course in addition to your add - ins, per weight)

I'm not selling cakes, just cookies now - but I just wondered if anyone had the quick answer?

icon_smile.gif

On topic - when I did make cakes, nobody asked if I used a mix or baked from scratch. I tried scratch white cake once. ONCE. I like add ins for the few flavors I do make and a scratch chocolate recipe from hershey. (although, I add coffee to it) LOVE the cherry cake recipe from CC. It starts with a white cake mix.

SaltCakeCity Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 6:17am
post #15 of 91

I also start with box mixes. I've had a few people ask about my recipes because they taste delicious, not because they were curious about whether they were box or scratch cakes. I haven't had any complaints about the taste and all of the those who know that I start with mixes as a base have come back for more! Bake on and be proud!

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 11:08am
post #16 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvMarie

Slightly off topic....when you list ingredients as a "mix" baker, do you list ingredients exactly how they are listed on the side of the mix box? ( of course in addition to your add - ins, per weight)

I'm not selling cakes, just cookies now - but I just wondered if anyone had the quick answer?

icon_smile.gif

On topic - when I did make cakes, nobody asked if I used a mix or baked from scratch. I tried scratch white cake once. ONCE. I like add ins for the few flavors I do make and a scratch chocolate recipe from hershey. (although, I add coffee to it) LOVE the cherry cake recipe from CC. It starts with a white cake mix.




I have to label everything in my state, so I do list all the ingredients that are on the box plus whatever I add in it.

mamawrobin Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 11:18am
post #17 of 91

I've never actually had anyone ask that question. I certainly wouldn't be embarrassed to say that I start with a box mix. I have only 3 recipes that I bake from scratch and they're my grandmother's recipes. I don't bake them from scratch because I think they're "better" I bake them from scratch because of the recipe.

EvMarie Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 9:11pm
post #18 of 91

Thanks Mama_

I was just wondering about listing those wacko "xamthagum" type ingredients. I don't know that anyone purchasing a cake would be paying THAT much attention. I'm sure they'd just love to have it look nice and taste great. But, I'd imagine some people do read the ingredients. I figured, if anything called negative attention, it'd be listing funky stuff like that. Although, people buy mixes themselves and bake with no thought about it all!

Shoot, I eat those cheapo sweets sold for less than a $1. I'm sure those are loaded with things that are for sure one molecule away from plastic!!! Ha ha ha

mamawrobin Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 10:50pm
post #19 of 91

No kidding icon_lol.gif I eat a twinkie now and then icon_wink.gif but I scoop out the "cream filling" I just like the cake. icon_smile.gif

MichelleB0802 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 11:27pm
post #20 of 91

i've read about adding things to box mixes...

just wondering what you add to the mix and how does it affect the end result. are you adding just flavoring or an egg or two, or sugar of some sort.

I'm a new baker and i have no idea what i would add to a box mix to enhance it

kelleym Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 1:01am
post #21 of 91

I wrote an article on Scratch vs. Mix. icon_smile.gif

newb2 Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 4:45am
post #22 of 91

Thanks so much for all the replies, I really appreciate the feedback. I'm not embarrassed by the end result at all just the "stigma" attached to mixes, this article was very helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

I wrote an article on Scratch vs. Mix. icon_smile.gif




Again, thanks for all the replies.

indydebi Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 4:46am
post #23 of 91

THere's a stigma to mixes? icon_confused.gif

kelleym Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 5:08am
post #24 of 91

In my opinion, there is. Otherwise there wouldn't be so many threads with people asking what to say if a customer asks if they use them.

7yyrt Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 5:25am
post #25 of 91

MichelleB0802
Try the gourmet flavors thread, many recipes there. http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-614554-gourmet.html
The document - http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=df4f9hbq_46cs9f28fs
Image

mamawrobin Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 6:32am
post #26 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

In my opinion, there is. Otherwise there wouldn't be so many threads with people asking what to say if a customer asks if they use them.




Really icon_confused.gif Even though these threads are usually started by people that aren't actually a business but rather "newbies" baking for friends and family? "Slightly embarrassed" because of the "stigma" icon_confused.gif If the "many threads with people asking what to say if a customer asks if they use them" were started by say...Edna, Indydebi, Sharon(sugarshack) , Leah, or someone else that actually sells a lot of cakes then I would say that maybe there is a "stigma". However, these questions are usually ask by someone that is "new to this" or admit they have never actually been asked the question but feel the need to start a thread "just in case someone should ask". That's my opinion thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 11:40am
post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawrobin

.....these threads are usually started by people that aren't actually a business but rather "newbies" baking for friends and family?



And usually are under the impression (tho' god knows why!) that all foods in retail food establishments are made "from scratch". I REALLY wish I knew why people think that way. Seems like I've spent years correcting that thinking .... even my own family!

-K8memphis Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 11:41am
post #28 of 91

I have worked for people who average 25-30 wedding cakes a month sometimes as many as 20 in one week who are extremely weird about the idea of clients finding out they use a mix because of the stigma. Either that they did use a mix and they hid the stock of voluminous evidence in the walk-in or they avoided using a mix because they din want people to deal with the stigma.

Debi, you've responded to my posts before where I mention the stigma--you sound like you never heard of it before. I mean maybe you don't agree but it certainly has been discussed and it does exist in my opinion, and in the hearts and minds of people I work for and lots and lots of other people. It's an elephant in the living room.

Combining ingredients in one package makes a mixture, a mix. Flour is a mix, vanilla is a mix, powdered sugar is a mix etc. So long as people list every ingredient they use they are thoroughly fulfilling their obligation.

Xanthan gum is a legitimate thickening ingredient especially useful in glutton free diets--let me recommend that you look up the definition for each strange sounding ingredient so that you can be well advised on the nature of the beast.

Now before Meowcat or some of thier ilk comes over and says something untoward--we all need to fully disclose every ingredient. However "cake mix" is not an ingredient per se. If someone requests a 'scratch' or a 'cake mix' cake to provide less would be not right.

Do not flame me--it makes me feel threatened due to ptsd, ibs and fibromyalgia.

Please disagree, please let's debate but do not harrass me,

-K8memphis Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 11:49am
post #29 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawrobin

.....these threads are usually started by people that aren't actually a business but rather "newbies" baking for friends and family?


And usually are under the impression (tho' god knows why!) that all foods in retail food establishments are made "from scratch". I REALLY wish I knew why people think that way. Seems like I've spent years correcting that thinking .... even my own family!




So only business' can be affected by the stigma and not individuals? What do you mean?

Understanding that all retail food establishments do not make their stuff from scratch does not fix the cake mix stigma or folks would not keep posting. It's like the oil spill--doesn't mix with water and survives on it's own to float in to shore and spoil it.

-K8memphis Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 11:58am
post #30 of 91

I like your article Kelley!

Just a coupla differences though-- I don't think scratch cakes are chemical and preservative free--it all depends on the ingredients used. Preservatives can be placed on packaging of ingredients. Every ingredient we use is a chemical by definition.

Duncan Hines white cake says it's preservative free so if someone wants preservative free then Duncan Hines white cake mix is where to start.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%