I am still very new to baking cakes and decorating but I would really like to turn this into a business and through advice of some people regarding the baking of cakes there has been many suggestions of using recipes that include cake mix. My question is is it frowned upon using these recipes? Do I need to let people know that I do use a cake mix? Should I charge less because of this? Thank you in advance for your input!
I personally only know one shop in my area who does cakes completely from scratch. All other custom cakes shops use box (or bag) mix with or without other additions. There is nothing wrong with a box mix at all in my opinion. They are consistant and taste just fine. Most people are totally used to the flavors, texture and consistancy. There is no need to tell anyone what you use. Just because the ingredients are premeasured for you and come in a box is no big deal.
I'm sure you'll get many opinions on this topic but just so long as you like what you make and your customers do as well, it does not matter.
I use 'doctored' cake mixes all the time & if people ask I do tell them, but you'll probably find that most don't ask.
In my personal experience, I get much more consistent results with a cake mix than from scratch. But as with most things, I think it comes down to personal preference.
If you look in the forums, you'll find PLENTY on this topic. I use doctored mixes and it actually costs me more to make a doctored cake instead of a scratch cake. Reason why I do this is because in my area, that is what people are used to. I did a wedding cake last weekend and when the bride and groom placed the order, they ordered a "devils food" flavored cake! But if asked, I don't lie. But, I do scratch as well. I have 2 types of clientele (the other is fancy million dollar home owners...I live in Hawaii on a secluded island and they buy luxury homes here for vacations) and for them, I make scratch...their palettes are more "sophisticated." *yeah yeah* It's totally up to you...JMHO
I think many cake shops use box mixes or doctor mixes but most people don't even ask. What's more is that most people cannot tell the difference.
I only make scratch cakes and I advertise this.
IMO, the important thing is not to lie. If you decide to do box mixes that's fine but if someone asks you should be honest. Whenever I am offered cake, I ask if it's scratch and if it's not I usually don't eat it but that's just a personal choice.
I use box mix. Pillsbury put a lot of time in their test kitchens and saves me the time. If someone ask me if my cake is a box mix or about it I say I make my cakes myself with the best ingredients. Pillsburys ingredients are good and so is what I add to them
I prefer to make scratch cakes because I like to be able to make recipe substitutions based upon the dietary needs of the client(gluten free, sugar free, vegan, nut allergy). Cake mixes also have alot of preservatives. Doctored cake mixes can taste as good as a scratch cake. I would recommend The Cake Mix Doctor book for some good recipes. You will get nice moist cakes and pretty consistent results with a cake mix. I use oil in my scratch cakes when I want a very moist cake. I use butter recipes when I want a firmer texture. Whether you choose to bake from a mix or from scratch just be truthful when asked. Also a good idea to have a binder with ingredient lists used in cakes, fillings, and icings for quick reference for customer inquiries with dietary restrictions.
I use a doctored box mix and if people ask I tell the truth. As a home baker, I don't usually hear anything about it being from scratch, I hear people saying that my "homemade" cake is so much better than a store bought cake...in those situations, I don't feel the need to give any additional information.
You should do what you feel comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with using a cake mix or a doctored cake mix. Many people grew up with that type of cake and prefer it. If you do a cake mix, I don't feel you have to advertise that you do them, but I would be completely honest with someone if they asked you. I've never been asked myself, but I'm a family and friends baker.
If you want to get into scratch recipes, I'd say start doing your research now because you'll probably go through several recipes before you find one that works for you.
As far as pricing, there are so many things that factor into it. I don't think you have to plan to charge less for your cake, but your cake prices should be enough to cover what it costs you to make the cake, cover your labor as well as profit.