Londonchic Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 11:54am
post #1 of

Which cake mix do you think taste close to home made?

 

I have someone who is telling me that cake mixes are chemical concotions, I want to give her a slice of cake from a mix to see if she can really tell the difference.

46 replies
bigdad Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 12:48pm
post #2 of

I have used Pillsbury and Ducan Hines but instead of water I use milk and put some van. and almond flavoring in and people love them.
 

KathleenC Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 2:14pm
post #3 of

I was once told by a pastry chef/cake decorator that Betty Crocker was the closest to scratch.  So, if I'm using a mix, that's the only one I'll use (often doctored somewhat).

 

It really is personal taste.  There's lots of different brands out there, and a variety of flavours within those brands. Some won't touch 'em; others use them exclusively.

auntginn Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 3:23pm
post #4 of

When I started I used mixes and only BC, straight as the directions give you.  On this site I learned to doctor them up.  For the longest time I didn't notice any difference but others around me did.  Everyone thought I started baking from scratch.

 

Yesterday I make a cake and did not dr it up.  Wow... did I notice the difference.  I won't be doing that anymore.  The cake was so bland and way to soft.

MadlyBaking Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 4:05pm
post #5 of

London, you could tell them that *everything* is a chemical concoction, including humans.  icon_biggrin.gif  That said, I can taste the stabilizers/preservatives and whatnot, particularly artificial flavors like synthetic vanillin--yuk!  My SIL thought I was being "cake snobby" and has tried the can-you-tell-the-difference test several times with me, including the time she tried it with both of them being boxed mixes--I'm 5 for 5.  Your friend could be being a "cake snob" or they could just have hyper tastebuds like mine.  

meriem Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 6:00pm
post #6 of

AI understand that they may taste the same or may be better for some people. However they are still filled with chemicals and you can't deny that. The chemicals is what makes them last for ages and the reason why you can just add milk or water and you have a cake. I Have nothing against people using them, whatever floats your boat. Just thought I'll mention that :)

cakestomuch Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 6:02pm
post #7 of

ATry the WASC cake recipe which is a doctored cake mix. It is very good. Recipe is here on CC.

http://cakecentral.com/recipe/white-almond-sour-cream-cake-wasc

fcakes Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 6:14pm
post #8 of

I totally can tell the difference between a scratch cake and a box cake. It truly is a chemical concoction!

leah_s Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 7:08pm
post #9 of

If you want a cake that tastes like scratch, learn to bake from scratch.  It just isn't hard.  I learned in 4H at age 9.

costumeczar Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 7:20pm

A

Original message sent by leah_s

If you want a cake that tastes like scratch, learn to bake from scratch.  It just isn't hard.  I learned in 4H at age 9.

Yesssss.....

Spireite Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 8:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s 

If you want a cake that tastes like scratch, learn to bake from scratch.  It just isn't hard.  I learned in 4H at age 9.

I know in the UK we aren't as used to using box mixes....but...why is it so daunting for some people to mix flour, margarine, sugar and eggs in equal amounts and then placing this mixture in an oven for up to an hour?

I have never tried baking a box mix, and never knowingly eaten one so I can't make a judgement as to how they taste.

Although I always make my own shortcrust pastry (for apple and mince pies) my Mother in law doesn't think twice about using ready made pastry...and SHE bakes a better scratch cake than me!!!!

mariets Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 10:13pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spireite 

I know in the UK we aren't as used to using box mixes....but...why is it so daunting for some people to mix flour, margarine, sugar and eggs in equal amounts and then placing this mixture in an oven for up to an hour?

I have never tried baking a box mix, and never knowingly eaten one so I can't make a judgement as to how they taste.

Although I always make my own shortcrust pastry (for apple and mince pies) my Mother in law doesn't think twice about using ready made pastry...and SHE bakes a better scratch cake than me!!!!

I agree, box mixes are something you give the kids to play with on a rainy day.

kikiandkyle Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 10:33pm

AI know when I've eaten box cake because vanillin gives me reflux for a week. Ugh. If anyone is under the delusion that box mix isn't a chemical concoction, take a look at the ingredients list. It is what it is, certainly there is a place for it, it's just not my kitchen.

Lovelyladylibra Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 10:34pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spireite 

I know in the UK we aren't as used to using box mixes....but...why is it so daunting for some people to mix flour, margarine, sugar and eggs in equal amounts and then placing this mixture in an oven for up to an hour?

I have never tried baking a box mix, and never knowingly eaten one so I can't make a judgement as to how they taste.

Although I always make my own shortcrust pastry (for apple and mince pies) my Mother in law doesn't think twice about using ready made pastry...and SHE bakes a better scratch cake than me!!!!

Ewww margarine?? 

I started using the doctored mixes but  to me, I just wasn't a REAL baker/decorator, so i searched and searched and searched for good scratch recipes and edited them to the way they suit me and my customers. I'm now a 100% scratch baker and honestly nothing makes me prouder to say all my cakes are made from scratch :) 

 

oh yeah and to answer the ops question I used to love dh french vanilla box mixes for vanilla cakes. Idk about chocolate i always made that one from scratch. hth

cakesmiths Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 10:35pm

I follow Paula Dean's advice - use a good box mix add milk instead of water, butter instead of oil and 4 eggs instead of 3.  She also adds a teaspoon of vanilla

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 11:05pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesmiths 

I follow Paula Dean's [sic] advice - use a good box mix add milk instead of water, butter instead of oil and 4 eggs instead of 3.  She also adds a teaspoon of vanilla

If you're speaking of the Southern woman with the Food Network shows, who's married to Michael Groover, her name is spelled "Deen," with a double-e.

 

But it's certainly an easy mistake to make, given how unusual the spelling is. And for all I know, you could be talking about somebody else entirely.

 

 

At any rate, ALL baking is an exercise in applied chemistry.

 

And many years ago, I dummied up a box, parodying the Bisquick box, for a product actually called "Scratch."  (Did I ever tell you about my uncle who spent an entire day in the local grocery, trying to find "Scratch"?)

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 1:37am

Found it.
scratchsmall.jpg
The black-and-white portraits near the bottom of the box are, of course, Betty Crocker, and one of several generals named Mills (You do realize the Betty Crocker is married to Gen. Mills, right?)


More seriously, it occurs to me that if you're really looking for something "closest to home made," i.e., to what ordinary civilians make for themselves, at home, then you probably do want any mix, and you probably want either canned frosting, or a dense, non-whipped, cold-process, all-butter BC, made from the recipe that's been on the back of the powdered sugar box since before most of us were born. Because most ordinary civilians don't make complex hot-process or meringue-based BCs, or use rolled fondant, or use ganache, or exotic bakery fillings. Oh, and if it's a sheet cake, well, for a true home made look, feel, and taste, it should be served in-pan. Or if it's a layer cake, the cakes should be de-panned, put together bottom-to-bottom, unsplit and unleveled, on an ordinary dinner plate, with the aforementioned cold-process BC as a filling, then frosted with no extraordinary effort made to hide the seam between the two layers, and with the top left proudly domed.

MeghanKelly Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 2:30am

I have a supply of box mixes that I only use as a base to practice my decorating.  When I make a cake to sell or donate, it's always from scratch.

mclaren Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 3:00am

I've been inactive for quite a long time due to other personal commitments and this week I came back here and lo and behold, just like since many years ago, we are still debating scratch vs mix LOL  icon_biggrin.gif icon_rolleyes.gif  Same old same old....

 

 

 

I only bake from scratch ever since I first learned how to bake cakes many, many, many yrs ago, but to each her own, if you enjoy baking from mix, and people you have been serving the cakes loved them, then hey, continue doing that, don't let others put you (or your skill) down. Taste is very subjective, I may like one thing that others loath. So.... party.gif

 

 

And WOW.. OT..CC has really changed in terms of its layout.. thumbs_up.gif

Spireite Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 10:55am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovelyladylibra 

Ewww margarine?? 

 

Lovely Lady, I only use 'decent' margarine (probably a brand called stork if I can get it) icon_biggrin.gif ...and if it is a special cake I generally use plain unsalted butter....My mother inlaw however, chooses the large 2 litre (?half gallon? not sure on my conversions) tub supermarket own brand (cheapest) margarine....the smell of that stuff makes me gag.

I haven't ever used oil in my baking....Flora and Stork have now brought out a pouring baking oil in the UK that is opaque and goes clear when warmed...my sister did try it and wasn't impressed...so I've decided to stick with what works for me...(She is the non baker in the family)

Spireite Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 11:02am
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbquikcomjamesl 

More seriously, it occurs to me that if you're really looking for something "closest to home made," i.e., to what ordinary civilians make for themselves, at home, then you probably do want any mix, and you probably want either canned frosting, or a dense, non-whipped, cold-process, all-butter BC, made from the recipe that's been on the back of the powdered sugar box since before most of us were born. Because most ordinary civilians don't make complex hot-process or meringue-based BCs, or use rolled fondant, or use ganache, or exotic bakery fillings. Oh, and if it's a sheet cake, well, for a true home made look, feel, and taste, it should be served in-pan. Or if it's a layer cake, the cakes should be de-panned, put together bottom-to-bottom, unsplit and unleveled, on an ordinary dinner plate, with the aforementioned cold-process BC as a filling, then frosted with no extraordinary effort made to hide the seam between the two layers, and with the top left proudly domed.

 Hbquik, You are so funny and spot on...it is so true, x2 7" sandwich tins, placed bottom to bottom, filled with buttercream.... or even strawberry jam and fresh cream if you're  feeling talented...then dusted with icing sugar or covered with buttercream and sprinkled with 'hundreds and thousands'  or chocolate looking 'vermicelli'.....(which we used to call mouse muck when we were children)....

I never knew there were so many different types of BC before coming on this site icon_biggrin.gif

Spireite Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 11:03am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariets 

I agree, box mixes are something you give the kids to play with on a rainy day.

Mariets....this really made me laugh...because that is what some of my school friends do on rainy days icon_biggrin.gif

kikiandkyle Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 11:39am

AMargarine is viewed a little differently in the US and the UK, its usually of a much better quality in the UK, I don't know of many people who would bake with it here in the US whereas we learned to bake with it in school in the UK.

owatto Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 12:15pm

AWe use marge in Australia too. Not so much for baking but as a spread. I will use it in baking when I forgot to soften butter or just forgot to buy some (I live across the road from the shops so its more for when I can't be bothered!) I use homebrand non salted butter for most cakes though... I tried the more expensivs brand (devondale) and it was horrible!

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 3:35pm

On mixes vs. scratch: for cookies, I've never used a mix, but for cakes, I've never gone completely from scratch.

 

On butter vs. margarine vs. Crisco vs. high-ratio, for cookies, I use a 50-50 mix of butter and margarine, and for frosting, I use 100% butter. I was rather shocked when I first noticed that the margarine we currently use ("I Can't Believe . . . ") is actually more expensive than butter.

 

On baking as an exercise in applied chemistry, I will ad that unlike, say, making black-and-white slides (which I've done, and which involves a bleaching bath based on either potassium permanganate or chromic acid), baking is an exercise in applied chemistry that's comparatively unlikely to burn holes in your clothing, your hide, or your benchtop.

JummyCupCakes Posted 27 Jul 2013 , 6:00pm

AI have done scratch and box baking and the doctored mix was way better in regards to moistness. Some of the best US bakers/ pastry chefs use mixes and even some high end 5 star hotels too. So i really don't know what the big deal is. I use buttermilk instead of regular milk, DH MIX, 4 eggs, vanilla and almond essence and it comes out fabulous. Where as I'm STILL on the search for a scratch vanilla cake that doesn't make me either need to drink a glass of water behind of it because its sooooo dry or pat it with a paper towel because its so oily. Judge me if you like but, I'm using DH until I find that perfect scratch cake.

BatterUpCake Posted 27 Jul 2013 , 6:09pm

I love the WASC and all of it's variations. I had never tasted a white cake I liked until WASC and now the only cake I like better is my carrot cake which is a scratch recipe created by my daughter

darkchocolate Posted 27 Jul 2013 , 6:36pm

I love homemade cookies and don't care for the packaged versions.  On the other hand, in my experience a box mix (doctored-my preference) stays fresher tasting much longer than scratch cakes.  I have been trying new recipes.  While usually the first day or two, they are fresh tasting, by the end of the 2nd day and into day 3 they are drier.

 

Any suggestions to help a scratch cake stay fresh tasting(I know some hate the word moist)?

 

Thanks!

BatterUpCake Posted 27 Jul 2013 , 6:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkchocolate 

I love homemade cookies and don't care for the packaged versions.  On the other hand, in my experience a box mix (doctored-my preference) stays fresher tasting much longer than scratch cakes.  I have been trying new recipes.  While usually the first day or two, they are fresh tasting, by the end of the 2nd day and into day 3 they are drier.

 

Any suggestions to help a scratch cake stay fresh tasting(I know some hate the word moist)?

 

Thanks!

What??? Cake lasts in your house longer than 2 days?? lol

darkchocolate Posted 27 Jul 2013 , 7:18pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

What??? Cake lasts in your house longer than 2 days?? lol

Yes, when you have to practice moderation and restraining yourself from eating it. icon_biggrin.gif  Sweets are my downfall, so I have to have self control.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%