I have a fairly large customer base and growing. If I have a customer who knows what flavor (choc, white, ect) they want, I will give them several different recipes to choose from. I am yet to find a customer that chooses a sample from scratch over a cake mix sample. I am looking for a recipe of any flavor that is as good or better than a boxed mix. Any suggestions? Thx!!!!
There are multi thousands of recipes better than a box mix. The problem is the execution. A baker not skilled in scratch baking is not going to be able to bake a better cake. There are no shortcuts. You must start at the beginning, learn the chemistry, proper method, how to determine a balanced recipe, and then practice, practice, practice.
Scratch baking is a learned skill that few choose to master. If you really want to learn, pay close attention to the many scratch baking threads on this site. Bake the cakes along with us and we will help you through it.
Why not try the WASC cake (and variations) - it's a doctored cake mix recipe that combines the reliability of a cake mix cake with a more homemade taste.
Everything you need to know to make, decorate and assemble tiered/stacked/layer cakes:
Above super thread has popular CC recipes for crusting American buttercreams, several types of fondant and doctored cake mix (WASC and other flavor variations) - and so much more!
Scratch recipes recommended by CC members:
A great site for learning proper baking techniques:
I agree with scp1127 that scratch cakes take a tremendous commitment on the part of a baker before that baker ends up with consistent results.
I choose to use a box mix (Duncan Hines) as the base for all my cakes since I started this hobby 2 yrs ago. The commercial emulsifiers allow a consistent result every single time, and by the time I add all the doctored ingredients I have created a fabulous, tasty creation that is light years from a box mix. Using a box mix as a base allows me to bake on rainy days, humid days, hot days, cold days--all with the SAME results. (I recently made 4 separate cakes, Red Velvet, Sour Cream Chocolate, Lemon Poppy Seed, and Sour Cream white for a 100th birthday. The 200 guests went NUTS over the taste of the cakes and fillings. NUTS! All 4 cakes utilized boxes of Duncan Hines as the base mix.)
If your customers are tasting the available options and choosing the box mix, WHY do you want to change to scratch? They obviously prefer the taste of the version made with a box mix. It is easier and more profitable for you to create cakes with a box mix as the base.
Are you doctoring your box mixes? A book I strongly recommend to everyone is "The Cake Mix Doctor" by Anne Byrn. ISBN-10: 0761117199
I use all 3 methods: box mix, doctored mix, and scratch cakes. I use only Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe for my doctored or box mixing. With a WASC you can add various flavors and create multiple flavored cakes by using flavorings/extracts, coffee creamers, oils, syrups and spices. I would suggest trying a few of each type. I would also suggest checking out the recipe section of this website and other food sites. Experiment and tweek until you get the flavors you want. I have a Snickerdoodle cake in the recipe section that is a doctored mix...you may want to check it out...it always gets rave reviews.
Apti is right. A doctored mix is a better way to go while you learn. Don't try to offer a scratch recipe to your clients until it is perfected.
Scratch baking is like taking up painting or tennis. If it is not for you, you will hate the process. And the failures... which I still have when I develop a recipe, are still no fun. But the satisfaction of the creation is worth the hard work... but only if you love it. The box mixes take out the faiure components. They are designed to produce a good result even with over/underbaking, wrong ingredient amounts, over/undermixing, cheap pans... all of the things that make a scratch cake fail.