Recipe For Cake That Will Give The Texture Of A Box Mix?

Baking By cloetzu Updated 11 Jul 2016 , 3:48pm by peachcake

cloetzu Posted 17 Feb 2011 , 10:28pm
post #1 of 56

I have made and eaten mostly box cake mixes up until recently. I'd like to try making my cakes from scratch, and have tried a few recipes but can't find one that will give me a similar result in texture? I prefer how light and fluffy Dunan Hines cakes turn out, and also a moister cake ... I'm wondering if anyone can share (or point me to) some recipes for a basic white/yellow cake and a chocolate that are made from scratch that would be similar to a Duncan Hines?

55 replies
cloetzu Posted 18 Feb 2011 , 12:47pm
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I looked in the 'most saved recipes' list but didn't see alot of cakes from scratch - are people moving away from scratch?

In any case for those that do bake from scratch if you have any suggestions or tips please let me know.

cloetzu Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 6:34pm
post #3 of 56

anyone? please! icon_smile.gif

mo_gateaux Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 6:58pm
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I don't think it's the same crumb, but the Hershey Perfectly Chocolate chocolate cake is very moist and yummy... give it a try! hope it's what you are looking for!
all the white cakes i've tried have come out more like a pound cake. I too am very curious to find a great white cake that has a lighter fluffier crumb and is still moist. can't figure out how the store bakeries do it!

SugarKissesCakery Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 7:30pm
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I'm a little confused. If you like Duncan Hines so much then why not just use that? I've never heard of trying to make a scratch cake turn out like a boxed cake - only the other way around. I personally am a huge fan of the white almond sour cream cake recipe from this website and the Cake Mix Doctor's book. To me, they make boxed cake mixes taste much more like scratch cakes. Good luck to you.

myslady Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 9:15pm
post #6 of 56

search for the scratch wasc cake recipe. It is supposed to be like to box version.

annie84 Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 9:21pm
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I use the wasc scratch recipe and love it! Super moist, light and tasty. It's been awhile since I've had a white cake from a mix but I'm guessing the scratch wasc is pretty similar

Sangriacupcake Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 10:54pm
post #8 of 56

Cloetzu, Cook's Illustrated has this recipe....they actually set out to create a scratch butter cake that was light and fluffy.

Cook's Illustrated Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake

2 1/2   cups cake flour , plus extra for dusting pans
1 1/4   teaspoons baking powder
1/4   teaspoon baking soda
3/4   teaspoon table salt
1 3/4   cups sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
10   tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
1   cup buttermilk , room temperature
3   tablespoons vegetable oil
2   teaspoons vanilla extract
6   large egg yolks , room temperature
3   large egg whites , room temperature

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch-high round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Grease paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar together in large bowl. In 4-cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and yolks.

2. In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With machine running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; continue to beat until stiff peaks just form, 30 to 60 seconds (whites should hold peak but mixture should appear moist). Transfer to bowl and set aside.

3. Add flour mixture to now-empty mixing bowl fitted with whisk attachment. With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour will remain), about 15 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape whisk and sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth and fully incorporated, 10 to 15 seconds.

4. Using rubber spatula, stir 1/3 of whites into batter to lighten, then add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Lightly tap pans against counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any large air bubbles.

5. Bake until cake layers begin to pull away from sides of pans and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pans with small knife, then invert onto greased wire rack and peel off parchment. Invert cakes again and cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

cloetzu Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 5:13pm
post #9 of 56

Thank you!! I will definately try the Hershey cake and the Cook's Illustrated cake! THANK YOU VERY MUCH for posting/responding!!!

I looked for the scratch WASC but i didn't find it/anything???

SugarKissesCakery - yes I know what you mean - i like the box mixes (doctored up a bit) but have requests for scratch so wanted to try some!!

annie84 Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 1:36pm
post #10 of 56

Here's the link for the WASC scratch cake:

cloetzu Posted 1 Mar 2011 , 2:08am
post #11 of 56

i tried the Cooks Illastrated cake - unfortunately I didn't like it ... didn't find it to be fluffy at all compared to a box mix, and you could really taste the baking powder, also was very sweet... too much so actually.

i also tried the hershey cake - good taste but too too moist... maybe it just needed a few more minutes in the oven...

haven't tried the WASC but it's next on my list....

icer101 Posted 1 Mar 2011 , 2:26am
post #12 of 56

I have a recipe from baking911, where she makes a scratch cake that has the texture of a box cake. Yes, SCRATCH to box texture. Can you believe it. I love some scratch. i love some box extenders, etc. Every one likes different things. Glad it is ALL out there.

icer101 Posted 1 Mar 2011 , 2:29am
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cloetzu Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 1:21am
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thanks icer101! I will read that thread right now! can you please PM me the link to the recipe - it was blocked ;(

cloetzu Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 1:06pm
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I read all 23 pages last night! wow - lots of informatino there! now I just have to recap to see which suggestions I need to follow to get the lightest fluffiest version! THANKS!

tgress13 Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 1:34pm
post #16 of 56

You can try the 1-2-3-4 cake recipe on the box of Swanson cake flour (also found here on cc). I use regular flour but you can also use cake flour for an even lighter taste. Sometimes even my family can't tell whether it's from scratch or a box. Also, for chocolate, try the chocolate recipe on the back of the Hershey's cocoa can. It comes out very fluffy like the Duncan Hines Devil food's cake.

Both recipes are super easy to make. Good luck!

LindaF144a Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 1:43pm
post #17 of 56
Originally Posted by cloetzu

i tried the Cooks Illastrated cake - unfortunately I didn't like it ... didn't find it to be fluffy at all compared to a box mix, and you could really taste the baking powder, also was very sweet... too much so actually.

i also tried the hershey cake - good taste but too too moist... maybe it just needed a few more minutes in the oven...

haven't tried the WASC but it's next on my list....

You are a beginner in both making scratch recipes and your taste buds adapting to something made without that chemical taste.

I suspect that you did not taste the baking powder, because this is not too much for this recipe, but you tasted the tang of the buttermilk instead. And did you use cake flour?

Not only are the ingredients important, but the process by which you make the cake is just as important. you will get different results by using the creaming method, the reverse creaming, the two- stage and the whip the egg white method like the recipe is here.

Did you weigh your ingredients? If not you will inconsistent results every time. And there is way more to mixing a scratch than most recipes state. The recipe may say cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy, but how long does that take? Longer than you think.

Start by getting a couple of good books from your library - Bakewise or Cookwise by Shirley Corriher are real good ones. For the two stage method get The Cake Bible. Cook's illustrated has a book called Baking Illustrated. Cakelove is another good book. Basically you should just read any book on baking you can get from your local library and research, research, research. After you have exhausted your local library go to the next town or book stores. I think I was a good six solid months of research and testing before I perfected my scratch baking mixing skills. I'm not surprised that you didn't like these because your skills and taste buds are not there yet.

And each of these mixing methods produces a different cake. IMO creaming method produces the lightest and fluffiest cake, and is has been validated in my research too. This method for the yellow cake recipe is not the creaming method. Search the Internet under cake mixing methods and be prepared to spend the afternoon reading. There is a lot out there.

I feel like Yoda right now. I didn't mean to be a master teacher, I just want to encourage you keep at it and expect those failures. But keep going and one day the heavens will open and angels will sing the second you put that perfect piece of cake in your mouth.

PistachioCranberry Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 2:06pm
post #18 of 56

I agree with LindaF144a.

If you aren't used to scratch, you will always try to compare it to a box and give the scratch the short end of the stick. Baking from scratch does take practice, lots of trial and error to be had until you find what you and your testers love. I have been eating and baking scratch cakes since childhood and I'm still learning new things and constantly trying new things. It's not as easy as going to get a box and having a virtually fool proof way to bake, but in the end it's so rewarding to have great success from scratch baking.

Hang in there and you'll see.

cloetzu Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 10:07pm
post #19 of 56

Thanks LindaF144a and PistachioCranberry - I appreciate the input.

Yes I do think I'm used to the box mixes so now going to scratch isn't easy... and yes I am a beginner so it will take time :0 I've been reading a lot and plan on ready more! and I'm very thankfull to have CC to turn to and all is't great members who are willing to share their experiences and wisdom!

I've made several cakes in the last week (s) from scratch and have not been having any success so was ready to give up.... I've wasted a lot of money and time and it's getting frustrating but having folks encorage me is helping! I will keep trying and learning!

PistachioCranberry Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:57am
post #20 of 56

If you can get Sky High from the library or borrow it from a friend, try some of her recipes. I learned from this site that cake flour needs more moisture than all purpose. I also learned that egg whites dry out a cake, so they need more moisture. It's amazing what you learn from this site and I am grateful for it.

cloetzu Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:55pm
post #21 of 56

thanks - I'll check the library for Sky High icon_smile.gif

Sangriacupcake Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:13pm
post #22 of 56

I've made the Cook's Illustrated recipe 3 times now, and even though I'm not the greatest scratch baker, it has turned out just as high and fluffy as their picture:

It's really tasty, too. This past weekend I turned it into lemon cake by using Penzey's lemon flavoring (the best!) and topped it with FromScratchSF's cream cheese Swiss meringue buttercream. Really yummy!

LindaF144a Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:33pm
post #23 of 56

Could you post the recipe? You have to be a member to see it online.

Sangriacupcake Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:43pm
post #24 of 56
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

Could you post the recipe? You have to be a member to see it online.

It's on the first page of this thread--the one you said is not the creaming method icon_lol.gif I usually have excellent results with their baking recipes.

bobwonderbuns Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:43pm
post #25 of 56

As much as I love scratch recipes, I do find that none of them hold up under fondant. Have any of you ever had this problem?

imagenthatnj Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 7:00pm
post #26 of 56

Cloetzu, Sky High. It will give you delicious cakes. They never fail.

But, here are some recipes from that book that you could try before you get it, if you want to:

(vanilla buttermilk cake)

She does use cake flour a lot, so be prepared to have it.

PistachioCranberry Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 1:13am
post #27 of 56
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

Cloetzu, Sky High. It will give you delicious cakes. They never fail.

But, here are some recipes from that book that you could try before you get it, if you want to:

(vanilla buttermilk cake)

She does use cake flour a lot, so be prepared to have it.

And if you have a Restaurant Depot near you, I bought a 50lb for $15.(That's if you plan to use it a lot, and I do)

cloetzu Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 7:00pm
post #28 of 56

I'm definatley going to have to try the Cook's Illustrated recipe again because it really did not turn out anything like the picture - much much denser... so I must have done somethign wrong.

I also love the comment about 'creaming butter' and that it 'takes much longer then one woudl think' - rarely if ever do recipes (that i've seen) say 'cream for x min', instead they tend to say 'cream until light and fluffy' so i never really know how long that is - can anyone give me a general starting point (time)?

and thanks for the links to those recipes to try from Sky High - I'll give them a shot!

imagenthatnj Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 7:40pm
post #29 of 56

You're welcome. And while you read about the creaming method and find out about the perfect amount of time...I think Sky High uses most the other creaming method. Reverse creaming method is supposed to give you fluffy cakes. Here's a thread from CC and a few more links!

Have fun!

icer101 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 7:59pm
post #30 of 56

There is another site i go on and she has a recipe for what you are asking. A scratch cake recipe with texture of box. I don,t think i can say the site on this site. So google it and it will come up.hth

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