Does The Use Of Box Mixes Baffle You?

Lounge By Coral3 Updated 24 Oct 2010 , 4:47pm by cakelover25

Coral3 Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 10:46pm
post #1 of 82

I'm constantly surprised at the number of recipes on here that use box mixes in them. I don't get it - you'd think that keen bakers would all bake from scratch. I wonder if it could be a cultural thing? I'm in Australia and grew up never once having tasted a box mix cake, and nobody in my family or in fact nobody at all that I know uses box mixes. I just find it really bizarre. icon_confused.gif

81 replies
pinkjacs Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 10:50pm
post #2 of 82

I totally agree with you I have worked t perfect my from scratch recipe and I am proud of it!! I come from a family of home baking and I would find it hard to pass off a box cake as home made!
Dont mean to offend anyone tho

hollyberry91 Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 10:55pm
post #3 of 82

I've wondered the same thing especially the recipes that call for flour added to a box mix, im sure there is some benefit for using mix instead of all flour but i don't know what it is?? Not hatin on box users just not sure why they use them as a base isn't it more pricey that way?

pinkjacs Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 10:59pm
post #4 of 82

My cakes are costly to make average cake is about 7-8 eggs and 400g butter and its always good stuff I use so I woul have thought cake mixes would be cheaper??

imagenthatnj Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:00pm
post #5 of 82

Yes. Me too, totally surprised. If I could grow the grains to make my own flour, I would...I love from-scratch everything. I think it has to do with making a profit. I wish I could taste one of those doctored mixes and see if I could tell the difference. Maybe I have eaten a cake from a mix at birthday parties and I never knew!

kleenzac Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:00pm
post #6 of 82

It possibly is a culture thing. I'm in Australia too and box mixes aren't the norm here, especially for bakers.

janieltilda Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:14pm
post #7 of 82

I'll actually defend box mixes (without taking offense from those who think they're useless): First off, they're much faster to put together than making a cake from scratch. There's no bringing butter to room temperature or sifting flour several times or careful measuring. This can leave time for other things, like decorating (which I personally like to spend more time on).

Secondly, I have found it very difficult to emulate some of the qualities of a box mix that I like so much, namely the soft crumb and not-buttery flavor. I am not a fan of the denser, buttery cakes that many from-scratch recipes I have tried tend to be. This is mostly for yellow cakes, I think.

Also, it's easy to turn a box mix into your own creation. I like adding flavors and making swirls of flavors.

This isn't to say that I don't see the merit in baking completely from scratch, but sometimes, I simply don't have time for it! Now what I ALWAYS have time for is making my own frosting. I think it's MUCH easier to tell from-scratch frosting from the gross, sugary canned stuff. But ask people to tell the difference between a boxed cake mix and a from-scratch cake? That's much more difficult.

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:21pm
post #8 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by janieltilda

I'll actually defend box mixes (without taking offense from those who think they're useless): First off, they're much faster to put together than making a cake from scratch. There's no bringing butter to room temperature or sifting flour several times or careful measuring. This can leave time for other things, like decorating (which I personally like to spend more time on).

Secondly, I have found it very difficult to emulate some of the qualities of a box mix that I like so much, namely the soft crumb and not-buttery flavor. I am not a fan of the denser, buttery cakes that many from-scratch recipes I have tried tend to be. This is mostly for yellow cakes, I think.

Also, it's easy to turn a box mix into your own creation. I like adding flavors and making swirls of flavors.

This isn't to say that I don't see the merit in baking completely from scratch, but sometimes, I simply don't have time for it! Now what I ALWAYS have time for is making my own frosting. I think it's MUCH easier to tell from-scratch frosting from the gross, sugary canned stuff. But ask people to tell the difference between a boxed cake mix and a from-scratch cake? That's much more difficult.




I agree. I also get consistent results practically 100% of the time, which is what I love about box mixes. I do agree that it probably is a culture thing. Box mixes such as Betty Crocker has been around for decades in America.

myslady Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:22pm
post #9 of 82

Probably because you can add just about anything to it and still get a cake. Scratch batters don't always allow for that flexibility as easily.

The main reason for using mixes is product consistency. With grocery stores, they want the product to be the same from location to location. As people bake differently and some can't bake at all, this helps ensure that.

The reasons I have seen given why some use boxes: A lot of people in the US grew up with box mixes and that's what they are used to, others focus more on the decorating than the cake, and some use boxes for convenience. Although by adding in all that other stuff, it kind of defeats the purpose.

yummy_in_my_tummy Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:24pm
post #10 of 82

I have to agree with janieltilda! I use a box mix with an extender (like the WASC recipe), and then tweak it to reflec the flavor/type of cake I'm making. I don't think it's cheating - I look at it the same way as using MMF vs Satin Ice or Fonderific (sp?). You can go home made or store bought, but use store bought fondant isn't cheating - a ton of professional cake decorators used purchased fondant because it takes too long to make it from scratch icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:34pm
post #11 of 82

I honestly don't get box mixes either. I've been baking from scratch since I was 9 years old in 4H. And I take two basic flavors, white and chocolate , and use those as the base to offer nearly every one of my 31 flavor choices.

Melvira Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:36pm
post #12 of 82

This is the oldest, most debated topic on this website, and has led to more fights than I can even count, so tread lightly. (Not that anyone has been outwardly rude, I just wanted to give a quick heads up, just becaue it turns SO ugly SO fast!!)

Personally, I see the merit in both types of baking. I enjoy both, I like the results of both, depending on what flavor I'm making. But I won't use canned frosting. I hate it...just my personal taste preference...but there are some who use it all the time without batting an eyelash. They actually prefer it to home made. Takes all kinds of us to make this world go 'round, right? thumbs_up.gif

TrixieTreats Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:39pm
post #13 of 82

I think there can be value found in both methods. I think when it comes down to it, a box mix is just pre-measured ingredients. It is all the same stuff in there that a scratch recipe has. I think some cakes are more than fabulous in an enhanced box recipe, and others are far superior from scratch. It is a matter of preference, resources, time, and interest.

The only thing I think should be pointed out is that though some may think they don't eat mix cakes...I am willing to bet my left pinky toe that if you have ever purchased or eaten a cake or cupcake from a retail bakery, market, or other commercial source....at least some significant portion of those bakers use a professional mix. It is likely not the brands we see on a consumer level at the grocery store, but a mix none the less.

Spuddysmom Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 11:58pm
post #14 of 82

Ah yes, as Melvira said, this is a "hot button" topic. Personally I eat and enjoy scratch cakes - I hate the texture of cake mix cakes and to me they have an odd aftertaste, that being said most of my friends LOVE cake mix cakes and believe they are eating a from scratch cake when they are not.. I think it is what you were raised on.

madgeowens Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:02am
post #15 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I honestly don't get box mixes either. I've been baking from scratch since I was 9 years old in 4H. And I take two basic flavors, white and chocolate , and use those as the base to offer nearly every one of my 31 flavor choices.




Give me a scratch recipe to try, I have yet to find one that I like......I will try always another......everyone loves my cakes.........thats the important thing....of course how can you not love free cake? lol

onemissa Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:03am
post #16 of 82

I've had both and it varies on brand and recipe. But really I think it comes down to the baker. Like someone else said some people just can't bake. Oh, and almost all retail bakeries use cake mix that they buy in bulk.

BlakesCakes Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:06am
post #17 of 82

My understanding is that cake mixes are very expensive and hard to come by in OZ, so of course they're not the norm. Here in the US, they are available everywhere and have been used for years, so in many places, they ARE the norm.

Yes, consistent results, time savings, and lower cost are 3 big positives. Also, mixes have a longer shelf life, so when something takes several days to decorate, the cake is like fresh baked when served.

And, believe it or not, when a person has been "raised" on cakes from mixes, they often dislike denser, more buttery, and (perhaps) drier scratch cakes.

As long as a baker provides a product that is consistent and that the people eating it like, then that baker isn't doing anything WRONG and no one has the right to condemn that baker.

Rae

kathyx1 Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:07am
post #18 of 82

I think we have very different box mixes in Australia, not as good maybe. Each to their own (style of baking that is) icon_smile.gif

sweet_honesty Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:09am
post #19 of 82

I think it's just changing times. Box mixes weren't all that popular when I was a child and that wasn't so long ago I would like to think icon_smile.gif

They have however gained popularity and have taken off quite a bit and I find that baking from scratch is dying off here. In fact people tend not to bake anymore and prefer to just buy cakes.

To each his/her own but sometimes I think the people believe that baking from scratch is much harder than it really is.

And to be honest either they aren't foolproof or I must be in the 1% that are really slow because I have never had a box mix come out right for me. Also there is a taste that mixes have that I just can't describe. It doesn't taste bad but there is an aftertaste that I pick up that I don't like.

cathyscakes Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:13am
post #20 of 82

I love to bake from scratch, and I make a great chocolate cake, carrot cake, but I have yet to make a white cake that I like. Believe me I have tried. So I will forever make my white cakes from a mix. I just like the fine crumb, and flavor.

victoria7310 Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:23am
post #21 of 82

I think it may well be a cultural thing. In the UK box mixes are not commonly used either. They are available, just not very good. I now live in the US and do still bake from scratch, but have noticed the wide availability of the box mixes, whilst I've never used any of them, they must be good or all the bakers here wouldn't swear by them.

chrisviz Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:26am
post #22 of 82

Hate to admit it...cause I do like to make things from scratch...but I think when you have grown up on box cakes like I have here in US...you prefer them. Anytime I have ever tried to make a "scratch" cake I get complaints that it is dry. So I will stick to the doctored box cakes for the time being until I find a winner scratch recipe.

sugarandstuff Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:33am
post #23 of 82

I use scratch for my cakes, but doctored mixes for my cupcakes - and this is just based on the feedback I've received on different trials. I make my own fondant because it's cheaper, but am starting to wonder if I'm just adding stress on myself as a new decorator with that - it's very fussy - or at least mine is. I may cave in soon and order fondant.

BluntlySpeakingKarma Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:44am
post #24 of 82

No, I don't get it. I don't understand someone paying for a custom cake that is just a regular old Betty Crocker box mix, with or without "enhancements". We make everything from scratch using really top shelf stuff, very good but freakin time consuming. Sometimes, I wish we could just dump a bag of mix into a bowl and call it done.

Karen421 Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 12:55am
post #25 of 82

WOW! Guess the memo on - this can get very heated - didn't get passed along.

How about, it is a personal opinion - scratch is great, box mix is great, and we all leave it at that. thumbs_up.gif

Coral3 Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 1:45am
post #26 of 82

It's interesting that many box mix devotees view scratch cakes as being dry. I can't stand dry cake, so all of my scratch recipes are really moist and will stay moist for anywhere between 4 days to two weeks, depending on the recipe. The fact that some scratch cakes can be dry is more a case of a cake being only as good as the recipe you used.

kansaslaura Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 1:57am
post #27 of 82

I would love to have a recipe from OZ or the UK, Scotland and see how they compare to what we bake up here in the states. I have both doctored cake mixes and scratch in my bag of goodies. I never ceases to amaze me how many people think that a cake mix is how it should taste. I love the buttermilk chocolate recipe that has been passed down through our family, but some people, those who prefer mixes think it's too dense.

madgeowens Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 2:33am
post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen421

WOW! Guess the memo on - this can get very heated - didn't get passed along.

How about, it is a personal opinion - scratch is great, box mix is great, and we all leave it at that. thumbs_up.gif




I agree thumbs_up.gif

MrsNancyB1 Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 4:50am
post #29 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisviz

Hate to admit it...cause I do like to make things from scratch...but I think when you have grown up on box cakes like I have here in US...you prefer them. Anytime I have ever tried to make a "scratch" cake I get complaints that it is dry. So I will stick to the doctored box cakes for the time being until I find a winner scratch recipe.




Ditto word for word.

KimAZ Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 5:20am
post #30 of 82

I use box mixes because they are always consistant, premeasured and taste perfectly fine to me. Not to mention they are so much cheaper than buying all the ingredients seperately. I get them for $1 a box. It's totally normal here and what I've eaten my whole life.

Where I live, I'd venture to say that the biggest portion of people who have their own shops use box mixes to make their custom cakes. Everyone raves on the taste. Never a complaint!

Guess it's all a matter of your own tastebuds.

KimAZ

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