Scratch Vs Mix - Just Curious ?...?

Baking By SUNSHINEMOLLY Updated 21 Jun 2011 , 10:30am by boonenati

SUNSHINEMOLLY Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 8:17am
post #1 of 32

I myself have never made a cake or cupcakes from a 'packet', (only due to the fact i love natural ingredients' - but I read on here a lot, that many of you use packet mixes?

You wouldn't use a packet mix if you were selling them would you?
and if you do, do you tell the client?

I wonder if there are any 'organic' or 100% natural packet mixes out there for me to try?

31 replies
scp1127 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 8:27am
post #2 of 32

If you are already a scratch baker, there is no reason to try a mix. Mixes have chemicals in them to offset any errors made by the baker... overbaking, underbaking, wrong amount of ingredients, left out ingredients, etc. You can taste the chemicals if you are used to scratch. On the plus side, they are cheaper if you usually use fine ingredients. They are also a huge asset if you have trouble baking from scratch. They are convenient. It is a question of where you want to position yourself in your market.

CakeFaerieK Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 11:37am
post #3 of 32

I only bake as a hobby for family and friends. I used boxed mixes. I am up front about it. Since it is a hobby and i am now working full time and I have 2 kids left at home and 5 grandkids I just don't have time to do it from scratch.
But when I do the big cookies, those are from scratch.

fedra Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 12:14pm
post #4 of 32

There is a brand called Bob's red mill and I belive the other brand is called Arrowhead. The have organic cake mixes. Central Market, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Trader Joes have a large array of organic and all natural cake mixes. I'm sure you can find something you can try at one of these places.

Noobz Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 12:20pm
post #5 of 32

I'm from the UK, we don't really 'do' box mixes over here. I have tried a cupcake mix for children and it just tasted very artificial but different strokes for different folks I guess.

ApplegumPam Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 12:34pm
post #6 of 32

Unlike the US - packet mixes are NOT cheap here (Australia) - so in fact it IS cheaper to cook from scratch

There are many top end cake decoraters who only DECORATE their cakes - they have outside bakers bake their cakes

Claireybear1121 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 12:40pm
post #7 of 32

I have recently started using boxed cake mixes for smash cakes, but that's it. I'm an all natural Earth mama myself, and everything else I make is completely from scratch. In fact, when I make carrot cake, the carrots come out of my back yard icon_smile.gif

sunset74 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 12:52pm
post #8 of 32

There are bakeries here in the US that sell boxed cake mixes or they alter them to be like WASC cakes. However some still do the old fasion scratch baking. I do a bit of both. I grew up on boxed, and still make boxed for certain things or if I just want a quick cake. I am a WMI so for Mandatory demo's and and the first night of Decorating Basics when I must have a cake to just demo icing, I usually go for a box, mainly because they are cheap. If I am making a cake however for someone probably 80 percent of the time it is scratch. Occasionally I will use a box, but it is usually requested or I don't have all the stuff or time to do scratch. Mainly that is because I do a lot of chocolate cakes that require Blooming of the chocolate which then has to cool and sometimes I just don't have the time for that.

If I get my bakery open though, I believe that everything I will do will be scratch because I feel that if people are going to pay 2.50 to 4 dollars a serving they deserve good scratch cakes. Now i have heard of people requesting boxed cakes so then I would do what the client requested.

Cohaja12 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 1:20pm
post #9 of 32

I prefer scratch. For me it's just as easy (and self-gratifying) for me to bake a scratch cake. Tastes better too!

But, alas, my kids love box mix...especially a modified one.

Spuddysmom Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 1:34pm
post #10 of 32

These "box vs scratch" threads usually generate a lot of heated debate. IMHO stick with scratch, however many folks in the US grew up on cake-mix cakes and they don't like scratch. Whatever your clientele and you are happy with...

Kristie925 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 2:09pm
post #11 of 32

One isn't better than the other, and one isn't more 'right' than the other. Just do what you like and what you feel more comfortable working with. For me, it's boxed mixes. But, as you'll see around here, it's different for everyone.

Paperfishies Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 2:50pm
post #12 of 32

Scratch baker here...I couldn't sell someone a $3 cupcake knowing it was from a box, lol.

scp1127 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 4:26pm
post #13 of 32

People prefer box mixes over a cake baked by a person who does not bake from scratch well. I have never seen, in all my years of baking, someone choose a box mix over a fine scratch cake. On the other hand, the worst cakes I have ever had were poorly baked scratch cakes.

Great scratch baking is an art. It is a skill learned with much practice, a knowledge of baking science, and a passion to reach the top of the field. With that said, I will have to disagree that scratch and box are the same. There is no right or wrong, but scratch baking, done well, and with fine ingredients, is a higher quality product.

I think the debate gets heated, or I know what bothers me in my market, are box bakers passing their products off as scratch or made with fine ingredients. I hope, with the government stepping in on nutritional labeling, that all bakery goods will be required to have a nutritional label in the future. All of the other food industries have to comply, but because unpackaged goods are usually exempt, there is room for deception.

Narie Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 5:16pm
post #14 of 32

Box vs. scratch, do what you and your customers want. I agree with scp 1127 that some of the worst cakes are poorly baked scratch cakes- and I have been the guilty baker on at least one occassion.

Box cakes are pretty much goof proof; however, many of them are pretty blah IMOP. But If you grew up thinking that was the way a cake was supposed to taste, then the taste and texture of a scratch cake would be disconcering.

Those who like scratch cakes will quickly learn to avoid box bakers; and the reverse is equally true.

scp1127 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 5:26pm
post #15 of 32

Nari, I have never found a box cake lover who did not enjoy a great scratch cake. Many times it is a experience that they have never had.

AnotherCaker Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 6:36pm
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I have never seen, in all my years of baking, someone choose a box mix over a fine scratch cake. On the other hand, the worst cakes I have ever had were poorly baked scratch cakes.




Oh that is so true! However, I do think I'd take a bite of a poorly baked dry scratch cake any day over a greasy oily box cake. Blech!

LindaF144a Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 7:20pm
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SUNSHINEMOLLY

I myself have never made a cake or cupcakes from a 'packet', (only due to the fact i love natural ingredients' - but I read on here a lot, that many of you use packet mixes?

You wouldn't use a packet mix if you were selling them would you?
and if you do, do you tell the client?

I wonder if there are any 'organic' or 100% natural packet mixes out there for me to try?




Molly,
You are new. I would highly suggest you do a search here on CC before you bring up this topic. It gets heated for some reason. It has been talked to death, debated to death and the outcome never changes. I am not even going to read what others have said because it will probably be the same thing that has come up time and time again.

There is never really any good reason why this keeps coming up other than the fact that newbies come here and ask before they do their research. And then it degenerates down to the same conversation over and over. I will not be participating in any more "taste great-less filling" kind of debates over scratch vs. mix.

scp1127 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 9:32pm
post #18 of 32

Jamie, last January, my grandson was in the hospital. All of the cakes had their ingredients... flour, eggs, sugar... you get the idea. The cakes were obviously scratch because of the labeling. I got a slice of carrot cake. The cake and icing, cream cheese, were the worst dessert I had ever put in my mouth. Because I have never been anything but a scratch baker, I didn't understand all that I read on CC about people preferring box mixes. After that day, the lightbulb came on. I couldn't brush my teeth fast enough. I passed it around and we all had a laugh.

A great scratch cake is a delicious tasting experience. But it takes awhile to get to that level in baking. If you are not there, use the box mixes. Even mediocre scratch cakes could put you out of business. But, as with any business, you have to be mindful of future competitors. For this reason, I have always suggested to keep working on your scratch recipes in your spare time. You may need them one day. If you haven't worked on them, you may not be prepared for when this whole baking industry gets saturated and some have to go. If you watch the growth of this industry, you will know that the time of saturation is sooner rather than later.

SUNSHINEMOLLY Posted 2 May 2011 , 12:29am
post #19 of 32

Sorry Linda. icon_sad.gif

I usually do a search always before i post anything actually. My bad.
But not heated and the info was interesting.

thanks everyone.

Kristie925 Posted 2 May 2011 , 12:55am
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SUNSHINEMOLLY

Sorry Linda. icon_sad.gif

I usually do a search always before i post anything actually. My bad.
But not heated and the info was interesting.

thanks everyone.



No worries! There is no rule that says you cannot ask a question that's already been asked! I don't like the search feature here and rarely use it! icon_wink.gif

Bettyviolet101 Posted 2 May 2011 , 2:07am
post #21 of 32

Doesn't matter where it comes from I think the outcome is what matters. Taste. If your client likes the taste then do it! Also try to do really yummy combinations of frostings and cake and sell them that way. Get 4 really good combinations and those can be your specialties. icon_smile.gif I don't know what my problem is but I CANNOT get scratch right EXCEPT my apple cake. It is amazingly delicious but its the only one I can do! lol! I am still working on it but I agree when people say a bad scratch cake is much much worse than a good mix cake. I find it funny that people would get really heated about this subject. Sounds like people have a lot of time on their hands.

P.S. Sorry if you have already done/know my suggestions its just something I have learned works personally for me so I figured I would pass it on. Happy baking either way you choose!

steplite Posted 2 May 2011 , 2:48am
post #22 of 32

I'm with you Linda. This subject in the past has gotten TOO heated. The bottom line is do what you do best. weather it be from a box or scratch. Everyone has a preference. Me, I prefer scatch because that's what I like and do best.

If I bake a box mix I always use the extender recipe. Using the added ingredients makes it taste a little better than not adding anything at all. But again that's just MY opinion. I'm not going to say one is better than the other because it's a personal preference. I prefer scatch because that's what I do best.

Sangriacupcake Posted 2 May 2011 , 2:53am
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SUNSHINEMOLLY

Sorry Linda. icon_sad.gif

I usually do a search always before i post anything actually. My bad.
But not heated and the info was interesting.

thanks everyone.




No need to apologize at all! If people don't want to read or respond to a thread they don't have to, and it's certainly not your fault if others get into a heated battle over scratch v. mix or any other topic. Besides, the search function on this site is pretty lousy.

Personally, I use both doctored mixes and scratch...I'm always tinkering with both. icon_smile.gif

DebBTX Posted 3 May 2011 , 6:32pm
post #24 of 32

I only bake from scratch.

You should bake in a way that gives you enjoyment and great results.

Osgirl Posted 8 May 2011 , 3:41am
post #25 of 32

I'm new to this forum (and still fairly new to baking), so I won't answer as a baker but rather a customer. If I were to order cupcakes from a baker/bakery (and pay the going rate) I personally would expect from scratch. I could easily go to the grocery store myself and make cupcakes or a cake from a box and spend a lot less.

If I'm going to spend $2-$3+ per cupcake, I expect something more than a box. I think it's important to be up front with the customer, and my feeling is that most customers would assume it's from scratch.

FromScratchSF Posted 8 May 2011 , 5:04pm
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osgirl

I'm new to this forum (and still fairly new to baking), so I won't answer as a baker but rather a customer. If I were to order cupcakes from a baker/bakery (and pay the going rate) I personally would expect from scratch. I could easily go to the grocery store myself and make cupcakes or a cake from a box and spend a lot less.

If I'm going to spend $2-$3+ per cupcake, I expect something more than a box. I think it's important to be up front with the customer, and my feeling is that most customers would assume it's from scratch.




Osgirl - you are correct, the general public has been lead to believe that bakeries bake from scratch. But, next time you are in your favorite cupcake store getting ready to fork over the $3... ask them if their cake is 100% scratch. Chances are... they are not. Unless that bakery advertises that they are a "Scratch bakery", they are using doctored cake mixes for at least some, if not all, of their recipes. This holds true for all bakeries, not just cupcake shops, including private wedding cake bakers.

Jen

4realLaLa Posted 8 May 2011 , 7:02pm
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osgirl

I'm new to this forum (and still fairly new to baking), so I won't answer as a baker but rather a customer. If I were to order cupcakes from a baker/bakery (and pay the going rate) I personally would expect from scratch. I could easily go to the grocery store myself and make cupcakes or a cake from a box and spend a lot less.

If I'm going to spend $2-$3+ per cupcake, I expect something more than a box. I think it's important to be up front with the customer, and my feeling is that most customers would assume it's from scratch.



Osgirl - you are correct, the general public has been lead to believe that bakeries bake from scratch. But, next time you are in your favorite cupcake store getting ready to fork over the $3... ask them if their cake is 100% scratch. Chances are... they are not. Unless that bakery advertises that they are a "Scratch bakery", they are using doctored cake mixes for at least some, if not all, of their recipes. This holds true for all bakeries, not just cupcake shops, including private wedding cake bakers.

Jen




Yes I agree!

LindaF144a Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:06am
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osgirl

I'm new to this forum (and still fairly new to baking), so I won't answer as a baker but rather a customer. If I were to order cupcakes from a baker/bakery (and pay the going rate) I personally would expect from scratch. I could easily go to the grocery store myself and make cupcakes or a cake from a box and spend a lot less.

If I'm going to spend $2-$3+ per cupcake, I expect something more than a box. I think it's important to be up front with the customer, and my feeling is that most customers would assume it's from scratch.



Osgirl - you are correct, the general public has been lead to believe that bakeries bake from scratch. But, next time you are in your favorite cupcake store getting ready to fork over the $3... ask them if their cake is 100% scratch. Chances are... they are not. Unless that bakery advertises that they are a "Scratch bakery", they are using doctored cake mixes for at least some, if not all, of their recipes. This holds true for all bakeries, not just cupcake shops, including private wedding cake bakers.

Jen




You can come to my place, I am only baking from scratch. It is so important that I put in the name of the store!
Opening soon - sometime in the next 3-4 weeks. You will know when because I won't have time to stalk CC.

Lita829 Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:34am
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

People prefer box mixes over a cake baked by a person who does not bake from scratch well. I have never seen, in all my years of baking, someone choose a box mix over a fine scratch cake. On the other hand, the worst cakes I have ever had were poorly baked scratch cakes.

Great scratch baking is an art. It is a skill learned with much practice, a knowledge of baking science, and a passion to reach the top of the field. With that said, I will have to disagree that scratch and box are the same. There is no right or wrong, but scratch baking, done well, and with fine ingredients, is a higher quality product.

I think the debate gets heated, or I know what bothers me in my market, are box bakers passing their products off as scratch or made with fine ingredients. I hope, with the government stepping in on nutritional labeling, that all bakery goods will be required to have a nutritional label in the future. All of the other food industries have to comply, but because unpackaged goods are usually exempt, there is room for deception.




I wasn't going to comment because this topic has been talked about and debated to death. However, I have to say....Well said, scp. I totally agree.

sweetbeesbakeshop Posted 25 May 2011 , 3:58pm
post #30 of 32

I love baking from scratch, but I'm not the best at it yet- I've had them come out too dry on more than one occassion. Working full time, going to school full time, etc etc I often don't have time to bake from scratch. If I'm asked to bring cupcakes to work, school, a friends..I sometimes use a box-but ALWAYS doctor it up!! I don't think I've ever used it straight out of the box! I always add buttermilk instead of water and tsp of a vanilla...makes it taste a little more "from scratch"

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