kristyaaa Posted 17 Jan 2014 , 11:37am
post #1 of

AHi all, fairly new here. I a thinking about registering my kitchen and starting a cake business. I'm pretty confident in my decorating skills (might have to submit some pictures to the peer review club :/) but I'm not the best baker. I have a few good recipes but I can't beat some of the bakels mixes. Is it acceptable to use mixes if you are running a business? I feel like it is if they are quality but what does everyone else think? Is it professional?

120 replies
Smckinney07 Posted 17 Jan 2014 , 12:04pm
post #2 of

ALots of people on Cake Central use WASC (there's a thread with tons of flavor variations). It's a highly debated topic box vs scratch-that and pricing are probably the most popular threads.

I've tried a couple of the WASC variations, many swear by them. It's really a personal decision, scratch baking is hard! It took me a while to develop my recipes and I'm still learning about the science behind baking.

I bake everything from scratch right now and I use very high quality, fresh ingredients. I'm proud to tell my customers that and it sets me apart from others in my area (who all bake from mixes).

As long as you can produce a consistent, good tasting product then who cares what you use. As long as your honest with your customers!

I think that's one reason people like to use the mixes because they are typically fail proof and can produce a more consistent recipe (especially if you don't know much about scratch baking).

I started with doctored mixes (I can post the link to the variations), but now that I've made scratch recipes I'll never go back-many people don't know the difference, or they didn't care but some can so again, that's up to you.

Smckinney07 Posted 17 Jan 2014 , 12:06pm
post #3 of

AOne thing to keep in mind: you should have a couple sturdy recipes for carved/shaped cakes.

I like to use mudcake.

Smckinney07 Posted 17 Jan 2014 , 12:27pm
post #4 of

AHere are Macsmom's flavor variations. I've tried the White Chocolate Raspberry & Vanilla both yummy. Chocolate & Orange Dreamsicle are super popular with CC members also.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wBMz4wGYM-f4XKECyQEodFVwB0QHjQ2xQCeMG20bmws/mobilebasic

kristyaaa Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 7:33am
post #5 of

AThanks heaps for replying. I will have to try a few of these variations :)

FoxtailBakeshop Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 7:18am
post #6 of

Please make your cake by scratch.  It is so important to not loose the art of baking.  We are forgetting how good fresh local ingredients can taste.  Also knowing that your product doesn't have any chemicals in it is a very nice thing for yourself, clients and children.

enga Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 10:21am
post #7 of

And use unbleached flour ;-D

nancylee61 Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 10:37am
post #8 of

AHi, I am new to making cakes for,money, but not baking, and I will only back from scratch. Otherwise, why shouldn't y clients go to the grocery store and get their cakes? I also use organic eggs and butter, and other organic ingredients whenever possible.

A very popular commercial bakery in my area has great decorating skills, but bakes from mixes and her. cakes taste it. People don't seem to mind though - in the summer, she does about 10 wedding cakes a weekend! Nancy.

MKreger2504 Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 2:24pm
post #9 of

AAt Nancylee61 That bakery just has a loyal customer base which may not care so much about the tasted of the cake. All you need to do is spread the word of mouth about the great things you do and you can grow that big too if you wanted. It's all about getting their trust.

nancylee61 Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 10:45pm

Thank you for the encouragement!! That is really nice of you. I do make very good cakes. Now, I have to make very good decorations!!!

Nancy

bischi Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 10:50pm

I am pro from scratch, and because i was raised in Europe, and people want tasty cakes there, with no chemicals ...but here(Canada) they do not care so much about the taste....:(

legina2005 Posted 29 Jan 2014 , 2:24am

AI live in a very small town. I don't have access to a lot of great ingredients. I wish i did. I would live to bake from scratch but i am very scared to do this!! Please don't judge me i need to be pointed in the right direction. There is another baker here who bakes from scratch and get cakes are dry. So i have been told. I get lots of compliments on the moistness of my cakes. If i could have a recipe for Moist cakes from scratch I WOULD BE FORGET GRATEFUL!

SPCOhio Posted 29 Jan 2014 , 3:33am

A

Original message sent by legina2005

I live in a very small town. I don't have access to a lot of great ingredients. I wish i did. I would live to bake from scratch but i am very scared to do this!! Please don't judge me i need to be pointed in the right direction. There is another baker here who bakes from scratch and get cakes are dry. So i have been told. I get lots of compliments on the moistness of my cakes. If i could have a recipe for Moist cakes from scratch I WOULD BE FORGET GRATEFUL!

Start here: http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/white-cake-part-3-with-recipe/

She just started selling her recipe and trust me, it is worth it. If you truly want to be a good scratch baker, you have to be willing to invest some time in learning the science behind baking and to invest some time and money into experimenting. You can write down other people's recipes all day long, but when you understand the science, you will be able to improvise and customize recipes to be unique to you, which sets you apart from others. Pick up a copy of How Baking Works by Paula Figoni. Do a search of these forums for posts by scp1127 and FromScratchSF (first people who came to mind, though there are many other knowledgeable bakers here). When done correctly, scratch baking yields an incredibly delicious result that is not dry and the quality immediately shines through!

SPCOhio Posted 29 Jan 2014 , 3:34am

AOh, also try The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum.

legina2005 Posted 5 Feb 2014 , 9:16pm

Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bischi Posted 5 Feb 2014 , 9:48pm

today I tried this one http://addapinch.com/cooking/2013/01/25/the-best-chocolate-cake-recipe-ever/#axzz2sUEGUzAc and it is delicious....do not be scared , just search on internet ,look at reviews and try just half of recipes just to see if you like it or not..trust me the taste is much better if you bake from scratch and not so many chemicals....good luck

 

.

SassyCake Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 3:29am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smckinney07 

One thing to keep in mind: you should have a couple sturdy recipes for carved/shaped cakes.

I like to use mudcake.


Do you have a recipe for carved cakes??

legina2005 Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 12:11am

I can totally understand the appreciation part.  But when your only option for shopping is Walmart.  You are limited, unfortunately!!!  But I am taking notes to make a shoppping run!!!

MBalaska Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 12:41am

Quote:

Originally Posted by kristyaaa 

Hi all, fairly new here. I a thinking about registering my kitchen and starting a cake business. I'm pretty confident in my decorating skills (might have to submit some pictures to the peer review club :/) but I'm not the best baker. I have a few good recipes but I can't beat some of the bakels mixes. Is it acceptable to use mixes if you are running a business? I feel like it is if they are quality but what does everyone else think? Is it professional?

 

Professional Bakers are buying tons (literally) of those 50 lb commercial cake mix bags.

Lot's of home bakers are buying those 15 oz. box mixes at the grocery stores.

 

Read the labels: as to the chemicals, when you add a box of pudding mix to a 'scratch' recipe you're adding chemicals.

When you make a WASC mix with a box, you're also adding chemicals.

When you purchase pre-made cake from the grocery or big box store you're eating chemicals.

 

When you actually bake using only real food ingredients with real food extracts. Then you can call it scratch baking.  Whether it was baked in a commercial kitchen, a home kitchen, or on a camp stove.

That is scratch recipe baking.

 

And it's all good.  It all gets eaten.  The decision is yours and yours alone to make.

morganchampagne Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 4:52am

AI recently did a little taste test with my family and friends. The only person who detected the difference was my dad. They really had no preference. They liked both.

So I would tell you to research and try things. I knew a lady who bragged about scratch baking and her cake was no good. Do what's best for you

morganchampagne Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 4:53am

ABut just for disclosure I do bake from scratch. I have also eaten box mixes and loved it. It depends

cakebaby2 Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 7:10am

Box mixes are unpopular where i live and a lovely hotel run by lovely people has lost its customers recently because a new junior member of staff has gossiped that the cakes are box mixes.

The kid was crazy because she had a job in these straightened times in a very rural area.

.

I suppose it depends on the palate of your target customer, if they've been raised on mixes, that's what they like and those that have been raised on home baking don't want anything but real cake with fresh ingredients.

I imagine all the preservatives in mixes would make them last longer than a fresh scratch cake too. 

aprildaisy Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 1:08pm

My son likes the Spice Cake box mix so I make it for him; however, I have been making a lot of scratch cakes to find a white scratch cake that works for me. I've made hummingbird cakes all my life and those are only made scratch. To me, scratch is better now that I have good recipes to use. 

Narie Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 1:38pm

Box mix vs. scratch???  If you are a good baker, scratch is great.  If you are not, box mix is the way to go.  Personally, I do both.  I am a good baker, but I have found that some box mixes are excellent- not all. However, there are a lot of less than wonderful scratch recipes out there.

 

If it is an Angel Food cake, definitely box.  The one and only time I made a scratch Angel Food cake the silly thing fell out of the pan as I was cooling it. It was flat as a pancake and totally inedible. I have never had something like that happen before or since. 

cakebaby2 Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 3:39pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Narie 
 

Box mix vs. scratch???  If you are a good baker, scratch is great.  If you are not, box mix is the way to go.  Personally, I do both.  I am a good baker, but I have found that some box mixes are excellent- not all. However, there are a lot of less than wonderful scratch recipes out there.

 

If it is an Angel Food cake, definitely box.  The one and only time I made a scratch Angel Food cake the silly thing fell out of the pan as I was cooling it. It was flat as a pancake and totally inedible. I have never had something like that happen before or since. 

Don't paying customers expect a scratch cake? I would imagine that's why they order a custom cake.

I may be wrong but I am an experienced home baker (30yrs) of making birthday cakes Christmas cakes bread, biscuits. We never buy those things.

When the kids got to the big party with friends stage I got some really awesome and very expensive custom cakes for them.

I'm past the class party stage now but if I pay a small fortune for a cake I expect it to be made with fresh ingredients. Obviously that doesn't include hobby bakers or pro's who admit they use a mix up front.

morganchampagne Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 3:46pm

A^^ no. Some people are paying for a beautifully decorated cake they don't really care if it's boxed or scratch as long as it tastes good.

cakebaby2 Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 4:07pm

Yes that's true. I would never have thought to ask before I just assumed a custom cake would be.

cakebaby2 Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 4:08pm

I mean I assumed it would be scratch, wasn't very clear there.

Narie Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 7:56pm

Possibly in Scotland custom cakes are all scratch, but not in the US.  Some are made by scratch bakers, many are not. I guess it must be a cultural thing. After all Americans eat Twinkies, Hostess Ho-Hos and Little Debbie cakes, they aren't going to fuss about a well made (doctored) box cake.

cakebaby2 Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 8:33pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Narie 
 

Possibly in Scotland custom cakes are all scratch, but not in the US.  Some are made by scratch bakers, many are not. I guess it must be a cultural thing. After all Americans eat Twinkies, Hostess Ho-Hos and Little Debbie cakes, they aren't going to fuss about a well made (doctored) box cake.

Well I went out and bought a packet of "Victoria Sponge" all ready in a packet courtesy of a delightful lady known as Mrs Crocker. I put it under my raincoat and told the girl at the checkout it was for a friend, she looked at me very suspiciously.

It's hidden in the cupboard under a rather lovely PVC thong and  basque set I bought for a pensioners bingo night last year, because I've got visitors and I cant let them see it.

I'd be kicked out of the WRVS or The Rural as we call it in the sticks.

I'm going to try it tomorrow. 

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