Box Or Scratch?

Decorating By kristiemarie Updated 15 Apr 2011 , 5:52am by scp1127

kristiemarie Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 4:00pm
post #1 of 94

I am curious to see how many use scratch versus box cakes and if you are just a hobby baker or a seller.

If you could answer the poll, I'd be forever grateful!

There should have been another line...about being a seller and doctoring up a box.

93 replies
Cupcations Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 4:25pm
post #2 of 94

I use boxes docter it up & sell, I picked answer #4 since thats not an option, good thread though thumbs_up.gif

m0use Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 4:47pm
post #3 of 94

I use a box as a base and doctor them up. The Cake Mix Doctor Books have some good recipes that have become my staples icon_smile.gif

Lita829 Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 4:47pm
post #4 of 94

Not to sound like a snob or elitist but....100% Scratch. No box cakes come from my kitchen.

imagenthatnj Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 4:55pm
post #5 of 94

Scratch, hobby baker.

bellaloco Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 4:57pm
post #6 of 94

I make all my cakes from scratch...for a few reasons.

1-I pride myself in using the best quality ingredients possible...it's what sets me apart from many other "at-home" decorators trying to make it in my state (Utah). I use all organic ingredients, and have had many clients tell me how much they can tell a difference.

2-I have culinary student interns that help me sometimes to get their credit hours and their schooling requires that everything they make be from scratch.

Hollylop Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 5:12pm
post #7 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lita829

Not to sound like a snob or elitist but....100% Scratch. No box cakes come from my kitchen.




Me too. I admit it - I'm a Cake Snob. icon_lol.gif

carmijok Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 5:28pm
post #8 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lita829

Not to sound like a snob or elitist but....100% Scratch. No box cakes come from my kitchen.




I'd pit my doctored box cake against your scratch cake anytime and dare you to tell the difference! (I did this once to someone who 'always could tell' and guess what? She couldn't! ) In fact the bakery I worked for used the doctored box mixes and we were constantly told how much better our 'scratch' cakes were to their homemade.
From a box or scratch, taste is what matters--and how you get there shoudn't matter.

AnotherCaker Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 5:44pm
post #9 of 94

Box mix. No wholesome gourmet ingredients infused scratch recipe will ever come from my kitchen....

So, if someone answered with the above reply, I wonder if it would draw the defensive "I'll pit my blah blah blah against your blah blah blah anyday...." replies that this subject always does? Interesting thought.

I don't give a rat's butt what anyone else bakes with. I'm concerned with being the best baker I can and giving a good product for the money, which I have decided for my company, will only be scratch baked recipes containing the finest ingredients possible. And I market myself that way, without drawing attention to the people who don't.

My choice to be scratch-only doesn't mean it's a slam against your decisions to be otherwise.

Really, why does it turn this way? Same old same old....

jason_kraft Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 5:49pm
post #10 of 94

Scratch only...it's cheaper than box mixes if you buy ingredients in bulk, about the same amount of effort, and based on our research customers tend to like scratch cakes better. This is especially true for gluten-free box mixes, which are overpriced and of subpar quality.

imagenthatnj Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 5:51pm
post #11 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie-

Box mix. No wholesome gourmet ingredients infused scratch recipe will ever come from my kitchen....

So, if someone answered with the above reply, I wonder if it would draw the defensive "I'll pit my blah blah blah against your blah blah blah anyday...." replies that this subject always does? Interesting thought.

I don't give a rat's butt what anyone else bakes with. I'm concerned with being the best baker I can and giving a good product for the money, which I have decided for my company, will only be scratch baked recipes containing the finest ingredients possible. And I market myself that way, without drawing attention to the people who don't.

My choice to be scratch-only doesn't mean it's a slam against your decisions to be otherwise.

Really, why does it turn this way? Same old same old....




thumbs_up.gif

I was thinking the same thing.

kristiemarie Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 5:51pm
post #12 of 94

Thanks everyone! I didn't mean to make this a "what's better" thread. I really am not comfortable with baking and think that it will hold me back if I have to go scratch because I don't think my cakes will taste as good as they should. I wanted to see, honestly, how many people use box because my husband thinks that the only way to be is scratch; that using a box is sort of cheating.

Obviously, many of you use and sell successfully by doctoring box mixes up and no one seems to be calling you cheaters so....

My point is that seeing others use boxes makes me more comfortable in my decision to use dr. boxes!

Chala86 Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 5:52pm
post #13 of 94

I make scratch cakes - admit I've never tried a box cake but I enjoy the actual putting together of the cake, seeing it come together. I believe it's cheaper here in the UK to make from scratch - someone please correct me if I'm wrong. Would be interesting to know what nationality people are along with their answer....

Mb20fan Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 6:02pm
post #14 of 94

ImageImage
It shouldn't matter to each other who does what, IMO. This topic as well as the "legal" issue usually doesn't end well.
ImageImageImageImageImage

sadsmile Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 6:03pm
post #15 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lita829

Not to sound like a snob or elitist but....100% Scratch. No box cakes come from my kitchen.



I'd pit my doctored box cake against your scratch cake anytime and dare you to tell the difference! (I did this once to someone who 'always could tell' and guess what? She couldn't! ) In fact the bakery I worked for used the doctored box mixes and we were constantly told how much better our 'scratch' cakes were to their homemade.
From a box or scratch, taste is what matters--and how you get there shoudn't matter.




Sounds like you need a visit from Bobby Flay.
And I used to rock a box mix I doctored before I even had a pc to be on a forum to know what that means...

So I ask this... if you feel you need to doctor it then you can't be completely happy with it to begin with right? Let that sink in a bit... really.

I know I wasn't. And as soon as I could correctly learn the methods of scratch baking for various recipes- that is what my family preferred.

Case in point, my son just last week was begging for me to make box cake one time because he missed the flavor, since that's what he had when he was little.

And It does have that commercial chemical- fake flavor like super sweet kids breakfast cereal taste. Don't tell me it doesn't cause it soo does. And that's OK if that's what you or your customers like. Some people really just gotta have their Capt'Crunch.

But when a box mix was made for them they couldn't eat it all and they were clutching their tummies saying it's not as good as they thought it once was, but now it's like a rock in their tummies and they didn't feel good.

Wholesome ingredients are far better for your body. And a family who eats more wholesome ingredients will know and can tell the difference.

Maybe the people you tested that against don't, but I would question two things. The quality of that scratch cake and the discerning pallets.

Sorelle Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 6:05pm
post #16 of 94

I sell, use both scratch and doctored box mixes depends on the cake. I have never found a red velvet box mix that I can doctor as well as scratch, as well as carrot cake, strawberry etc..but two of my best sellers are the wasc recipe and "dreamsicle" I do lots of taste testing with fam and friends to make my final choice of doctored or scratch.

AnotherCaker Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 6:05pm
post #17 of 94

Image

STEALING this! icon_biggrin.gif

Mb20fan Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 6:12pm
post #18 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie-

Image

STEALING this! icon_biggrin.gif




Have at it...Lol. Image

LindaF144a Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 6:16pm
post #19 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lita829

Not to sound like a snob or elitist but....100% Scratch. No box cakes come from my kitchen.



I'd pit my doctored box cake against your scratch cake anytime and dare you to tell the difference! (I did this once to someone who 'always could tell' and guess what? She couldn't! ) In fact the bakery I worked for used the doctored box mixes and we were constantly told how much better our 'scratch' cakes were to their homemade.
From a box or scratch, taste is what matters--and how you get there shoudn't matter.




I can tell the difference immediately.

They look different. It is not always a matter of taste, but I can tell by the appearance, not the taste.

And if I can't tell right away, my body will know in about 2 hours. For some reason, I do not do well digesting box cake mixes. It took a long time to figure that out. But I used to work in a bakery that did doctored cake mixes. Whenever I indulged in the scraps I paid the price. Whenever I refrained and ate my own from scratch I was fine. Now I avoid a cake mix cake if I can tell it is that. If I can't, I don't eat it.

costumeczar Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 6:31pm
post #20 of 94

Scratch only, and I sell cakes. I can tell the difference too.

FromScratchSF Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 6:34pm
post #21 of 94

I didn't know you could make polls here icon_biggrin.gif

But I don't think this is going to be very scientific - scratch bakers flock to these threads proudly talking about their scratch achievements looking for converts - but I don't think box bakers will as much, especially ones that sell cake, since they don't see what the big deal is about baking from scratch and think Betty Crocker does it better.

I've seen a LOT of box vs. scratch threads without polls attached - and the majority of the responses seem to always be WASC or a specific doctored box mix, leading me to believe that 90% of the users of this site are box mix bakers. And they steer clear of these threads since they tend to turn into mud slinging contests.

Jen

EDIT: Just realized you didn't include "Doctored Mix Cake Seller". This poll is now no longer that interesting as the real question remains how many people sell doctored box mixes.

cakula Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 6:52pm
post #22 of 94

iam still a beginner in baking learning still...
i have seen the recipe (WASC) in that also it says to use box recipe
2 boxes white cake mix
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teas. salt
8 egg whites
2 2/3 cups water
4 Tbls. vegetable oil
2 cups (16oz carton) sour cream
2 teaspoon clear vanilla flavor
2 teaspoons almond extract

i dont think its from scratch right since it uses 2 cups white cake mix
pls correct me if iam wrong as i also want to try this recipe
so do i need to buy cake mix and then start with rest of the ingredients...

FromScratchSF Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 7:02pm
post #23 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakula

i dont think its from scratch right since it uses 2 cups white cake mix
pls correct me if iam wrong as i also want to try this recipe
so do i need to buy cake mix and then start with rest of the ingredients...




Correct, if your recipe calls for a box mix that you then add stuff to it, it is NOT a scratch cake.

Jen

mkolmar Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 7:06pm
post #24 of 94

I could care less what people use.
What matters to me is what my clients like.
When I started learning cake decorating I used doctored cake mixes. Check out my old threads on here for proof. People liked them, but some didn't.
It was obvious it wasn't from scratch because of the texture of the cake. A lot of people are raised on mix so they never noticed it, but those raised on scratch could tell one bite.
I branched out into scratch baking and haven't looked back. I have yet to have 1 person say that box mix/doctored mix is better than the cakes I make today. I have a strong word of mouth following. I wouldn't dare go back to a mix/doctored mix now.
I can also tell a box mix or box mix based cake a mile away. You can tell by the mouth feel. I have yet to be fooled as well as my entire family and we're a huge brood.

acarolann Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 7:06pm
post #25 of 94

Just like to throw in my opinion. I think the whole scratch vs. doctored mix debate can be a bit silly. I think regardless of what method you choose...its most important to price your cakes based upon what it costs YOU to make, along with labor and raw materials. AND not worry about what you are doing from a wrong or right standpoint. Being fair in your pricing is what is key here. If your customers like the doctored mix, then go for it. IF they dont, you will find yourself being a scracth baker out of sheer neccesity.


The biggest thing is that you just dont bake a cake, ice it up and sell it. What we do is make cakes that most people cant do. You turn the doctored box mix into a car, a purse, animals, and whatever else. Because think about it what good is scratch baking if you find that your cakes always end up on cake wrecks.com. In the end your customers will help you decide what's best.

FromScratchSF Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 7:10pm
post #26 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

I'd pit my doctored box cake against your scratch cake anytime and dare you to tell the difference! (I did this once to someone who 'always could tell' and guess what? She couldn't! ) In fact the bakery I worked for used the doctored box mixes and we were constantly told how much better our 'scratch' cakes were to their homemade.
From a box or scratch, taste is what matters--and how you get there shoudn't matter.




Just sayin... ingredients in Duncan Heines "Golden Butter" cake mix:

Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono- and Diesters Of Fats, Mono- and Diglycerides). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Dextrose, Modified Food Starch, Salt, Cellulose Gum, Maltodextrin, Artificial Flavors, Colored with (Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake), Gum Arabic.

Notice the lack of butter in the above list.

Ingredients in From Scratch, SF's Yellow Buttermilk Cake:

Cake flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, buttermilk, vanilla.

You know what else tastes great to a lot of people? Cigarettes. icon_razz.gif

sadsmile Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 7:25pm
post #27 of 94

I was going to say something about cigarettes... haha.
A person who smokes doesn't realize how it smells until long after they quit. Nor does the average dog owner know how they, their clothes, house and things smell to someone who does not have a dog.
And so it goes with the pallet. It is acclimatized to what it knows and what tastes familiar. That's why kids often won't eat much at other people's houses during a sleep over, unless it's boxed food that their tongues know.

bellaloco Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 7:34pm
post #28 of 94

I am also not "dogging" on anyone that uses boxed mixes. I learned to bake with boxed mixes and used them for years. IMO, boxed mixes don't hold up to carving as well as the recipes I have adapted for my 3D cakes. If someone doesn't feel comfortable making scratch cakes yet, I have no problem with boxed mixes. After I started learning how to bake from scratch, I developed an extreme excitememt every time I tried a new recipe, and it just fed my desire to try more.

My dietary choices, along with my business plan has changed in the last year. I want to offer my clients what I feel is the best, and if I wouldn't put it in my body, I am not going to serve it to my clients. A lot of my clients are Vegan, and the rest come to me specifically because they are looking for organic ingredients.

Box bakers don't want to have to defend their position, but neither do I. I don't care how someone else runs their business.

Lita829 Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 7:56pm
post #29 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lita829

Not to sound like a snob or elitist but....100% Scratch. No box cakes come from my kitchen.



I'd pit my doctored box cake against your scratch cake anytime and dare you to tell the difference! (I did this once to someone who 'always could tell' and guess what? She couldn't! ) In fact the bakery I worked for used the doctored box mixes and we were constantly told how much better our 'scratch' cakes were to their homemade.
From a box or scratch, taste is what matters--and how you get there shoudn't matter.




Whoaaaa....this thread has really blown up.....I love it icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif . Carmijok, I wish you lived closer because I'd love to have a bake off and challange your claim. I bake exclusively from scratch for all the reasons stated from everyone else here. I also LOVE the challenge of pushing myself to learn and master baking techniques. BTW...I can tell a box cake from scratch a mile away. A woman I used to work with made cakes and when I tasted her cakes...I knew immediately before asking her and getting confirmation, that they were from a mix. I am not trying to bash box cake makers...each to his/her own. What I will say is that anyone who has tried one of my cakes, or anything else I make, ALWAYS come back. They love 'em. I admit to not being the best decorator in the world but I can bake my butt off. And yes I do it....FROM SCRATCH icon_wink.gif

I don't need any short cuts to create a delicious product.

costumeczar Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 8:17pm
post #30 of 94

That's right, scratch it...scratch it like mad! icon_razz.gif

Butter, sugar, eggs, flour, milk , yum yum!

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