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From Scratch that tasted like Boxed Mix?  

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Call me crazy, but I cannot find a from-scratch recipe that tastes as good, and comes out as fluffy and moist as boxed cake.  If I find one that tastes decent, it's too dry, too dense, or there's something else weird about the consistency.  If I find one with a good consistency, it doesn't taste quite like I want it to.  What gives?  Does anyone have a fool proof recipe?  White or yellow?  Thanks!

post #2 of 39

I love Betty Crocker's Silver White Cake Recipe!  It's never failed me!! I like to add 1 tsp of almond extract as well as the vanilla

post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much I will try that!

post #4 of 39

Thanks, that sound like a good one to try!

post #5 of 39
FromscratchSF (a CC member) has a recipe that, if I remember correctly, she actually developed to taste & feel like boxed cake. Her blog has variations for other flavors, too.
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 

Oh cool I'll have to check it out.  My Mother and Sister in Law both make everything from scratch and can't understand why I liked boxed cake.  Maybe because I grew up on it, who knows.  But it is ALWAYS consistently moist, fluffy, and tastes as cake should (in my opinion). I think if I'd grown up on scratch cake Id be used to it and like it better

post #7 of 39

I know you are looking for something from scratch, but one of my friend's posted this on FB and it sounds pretty good!  It's how to make a box cake taste like it's from scratch.


Step 1: Look at the directions on the cake mix, Step 2: Add one more egg (or add 2 if you want it to be very rich), Step 3: Use melted butter instead of oil and double the amount, Step 4: Instead of water, use milk. Step 5: Mix well and bake for the time recommended on the box.

post #8 of 39
Try bakerella moist yelow cake, I love it taste better than box
post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks Tatiana!  I would definitely try that for myself.  I hate to use a box if I'm charging someone for the cake though - it feels like cheating or something.  I use boxed cake mix all the time if it's just for me, or my husband. We don't mind the box :o)   And SO much easier!

post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 

I found it, thanks!!

post #11 of 39

When you do try it let me know how it turns out.  I don't make cake for my family (hubby can't eat it and we have an infant.  I don't need a whole cake for myself), but I am really wondering how it tastes.   Good luck!

I'm the same way about the box cakes.  If someone is paying good money then you want to give them the best quality possible!


Oh, I've been checking out this site and everyone talks about WASC cakes.  I googled it and learned what it was.  White Almond Sour Cream Cake.  I found a recipe on that sounds amazing but still uses box cake.  Definitely worth checking out!

post #12 of 39
Honestly,I'm very glad that scratch cake doesn't taste like box cake. Those chemically tasting, wonder bread texture things are an abomination. I learned to bake when I was 9 years old in 4H. Seriously, its not "rocket surgery". Now I have a culinary degree, same opinion. Anyone can learn to bake from scratch. Its what cake is supposed to be. Same difference between wonder bread and a nice artisinal loaf.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 
Leah. Let me preface this by saying comments like yours are the reason I hesitate to post to forums. There's always someone who likes to be condescending. Let me reiterate, I am not a professional baker. It's a hobby. I've only made two cakes that someone paid for, neither of which were boxed cake. Both came out fine and got rave reviews. I understand that baking a cake from scratch is not "rocket surgery" as you called it. I have a masters degree. I'm not an idiot. I also started my last post off by saying "call me crazy, but" to make sure everyone knew I AGREED that boxed cake isn't as good before I got 100 replies like yours. I was simply asking for help for a better recipe. Congrats that you started baking at age 9. My interest in baking came later in life. At 9 I was busy composing music on the piano! And can we stop using extreme words like "abomination" while discussing something like cake? It's cake. Thanks for the condescension and help!
post #14 of 39

More information would be helpful.  For instance what recipes have you already tried?  Second what exactly do you want it to be like?  Taste like a box cake and be fluffy and moist like a box cake?  So why have you been disatisfied with the flavor of the cakes you have made?  Given you are looking for a white or yellow I would suggest the flavor is "off" for two reasons.  One .as off-putting as you find Leah's post she gave the reason why--their taste is impact by the stabilizers and other chemical agents that are added to them.  So if you are looking to replicate something with that taste profile you will have a difficult time doing so.  Two the artificial flavors of box cakes will impact their flavor profile.  If you are used to those artificial flavor profiles and like them---you will not be able to produce them using quality extracts--the cakes will not have the flavor you are looking for.


As for texture again it will be hard--not impossible--to replicate as it is produced by the chemical agents added to the box mix.  Cooks Illustrated has a yellow cake recipe that is designed to replicate the texture of box yellow cakes.  The recipe is the Fluffy Layer Yellow Cake--I have tried it.  I find it okay, but that is because I do not prefer the ultra-light texture of box cakes--you may find that you like it.  Most scratch recipes will not have that texture precisely because that texture is produced by including additives and it is difficult to produce without them.  


So what gives?  You are looking to produce something from scratch that is made with the inclusion of additives and artificial flavors.  If you know this, then you know it is going to be impossible--yes even Cooks recipes only approximates a box yellow cake--to produce what you are looking for--if what you are looking for is the flavor, texture and moistness of box.  There are plenty of tried and tested yellow cakes that are moist--but they will not have the texture you are looking for.  Most taste great as for yellow cakes, the dominant flavor is yellow--and imo, nothing beats a yellow cake made with homemade vanilla.  But if you are looking for a flavor profile that includes chemicals and artificial flavors--no yellow cake will do.  


If that is the flavor and texture you want--then by all means use it.  As to feeling like cheating (which seems to be the reason you are looking for a scratch recipe) that is a subject that has been beaten to death on this forum.  On my view--if it works for you, then use them--be honest with a client if they ask--and most definitely do not beat yourself up about using them.  Plenty of people do.

post #15 of 39

Chrissie, you rock

'nuf said

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