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box or scratch? - Page 2

post #16 of 61
Sometimes box mix isn't about being cheaper or easier. It's about an end result that people love. I mostly do doctored box mixes, but I weigh and add extra ingredients and use high quality additions. I've had potential customers complain about past cakes they've purchased from known scratch bakers. They want to make sure my cake will be different, and it is. And they love it. My cakes don't taste like a standard box mix because they aren't. But the mix is a starting point that makes a positive difference. I wish I could find scratch ingredients that gave the same results, but I haven't.
post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by morganchampagne View Post

I personally don't get the doctored mix thing...by the time you add all those extra ingredients you haven't really saved any time and you certainly haven't saved any money...so what's the point? (You in general, not anybody specific)

I'm not being sarcastic by the way so I hope nobody takes offense

morganchampagne:   so what's the point?......I'll venture a guess here as I just don't know.

  • It keeps the flavor in the area of the well know and the familiar taste of box mixes
  • while slightly increasing the fresh high quality ingredients, less chemicals
  • the texture seems a bit less dry & airy
  • like a hybrid, perhaps a happy medium for the masses

????

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~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman  
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post #18 of 61
People like box mixes because the results are pretty much guaranteed, it's a familiar taste and texture for most Americans, and honestly I think it takes away the fear for some bakers.

I make my cakes from scratch usually, I make the occasional box cake if I need to do a cake in a hurry. But like most of the non-Americans, I'd be annoyed if I paid for a custom cake and found out it came from a box. Admittedly, box mixes outside of this country rarely measure up to what is on offer here.
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post #19 of 61
Well I certainly do understand that. But to me when you're adding all those ingredients to a box mix its almost like the baker is trying to mask something, rather than enhance it. That howit comes across to me. There are people who love them and ate very successful and I think that's great. The concept was just a bit lost on me.
post #20 of 61
I came out of "retirement" a couple of months ago to cater a wedding reception including the cake. Since I was there as the caterer. I cut the cake and overheard this as someone took their first bite of cake, "mmm. You can sure tell THAT didn't come out of a box!" Made me smile. Good cake to go out on.
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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.
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post #21 of 61
Most people in my area bake from a box mix. When I first started decorating cakes I used the doctored recipes, never having known (or tasted) any different I enjoyed them. I took a cake to a family event and one person (who happened to be a chef) asked if it was a box mix-she didn't seem to care but the fact that she noticed made me wonder what the big deal was.

Decorating came pretty naturally to me but baking or cooking in general never did. I can follow a recipe but I've never been the kind of person who could just throw a meal together.

I started trying scratch recipes and fresh/higher quality ingredients, I really noticed a difference. Now I'm learning more about the actual science behind baking, I really appreciate what goes into personalizing and perfecting your own recipes. I found my standard recipes before I started selling so I was able to figure in the cost to my cakes, my customers are happy and so am I.

I'm not trying to sound like a snob, this is just what works for me. As others have said, if you put out a product that you're proud of and your customers enjoy who cares where it comes from?!
post #22 of 61

I use box for one reason...I bake for family and that is what we grew up eating and it is a familiar taste that takes us back to our childhood...in my small town most cakes come from our neighborhood grocery store...so most people are use to the premade cakes...so even when I do make a birthday cake the children as well as the adult like them because the box taste so much better than the thawed out and decorated one from the store. But I would like to try the doctored mixes.  I bought the Cake Doctor book but gave it away as a gift.  LOL ! Maybe I need to borrow it.  :)

post #23 of 61

..........SugarLipsBaker~~Welcome to the forum!  The "box vs. scratch" is an on-going, heated debate that will rage over the decades.  Basically, if one sums up 8,000 threads and 20,000 opinions:  If it tastes good and sells well and makes the paying customer happy--who cares...........

 

Ditto, ditto, ditto!!

I  had two bakeries using mixes and did just fine.  As was said, there are many, many opinions on this hot button of a subject

Why not just use what's best for you and your customers and forget about it.

post #24 of 61
I think that we (as bakers) are generally biased by what we are brought up with (given that it is good icon_wink.gif ). My mom baked from scratch and taught me how when I was in elementary school so i wouldn't consider doing it any other way. I am a cake snob too...I have actually asked people before if the cake was from scratch or a box b/c I won't waste the calories on BM cakes. I did taste one about a year ago and it only solidified it for me.
I think that the most important consideration might be what your clientele want. I market to people looking for from scratch and without preservatives as well as gluten free and vegan so it really requires cakes from scratch to get the customers who will pay the amount I want and for them to be happy.
post #25 of 61
I have that book "hello cupcake" which recommend doctored cake box recipes and have mentioned the alterations saying that it makes it pretty much closr to from-scratch ones! Even when building cupcakes projects that need sturdy cake.I was surprised to see that in a book I thought the author will recommend the scratch recipes more.
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post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by morganchampagne View Post

I personally don't get the doctored mix thing...by the time you add all those extra ingredients you haven't really saved any time and you certainly haven't saved any money...so what's the point? (You in general, not anybody specific)

I'm not being sarcastic by the way so I hope nobody takes offense

I think its still cheaper to doctor a cake box than doing it from scratch, in the book I mentioned above they suggest just adding butter milk and eggs to any cake box mix !
Plus buying it from a wholesaler or on larger quantity (10kgs+) would make it more profitable
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post #27 of 61
The boxed cake mixes have a funny taste that cannot be hid by other aromatics. If it is a weeding or someone paid you money then I think baking from scratch is worth the effort. I do not think the boxed mix is any cheaper, anyway.
post #28 of 61

Although I'm a scratch baker only and would be feel very disappointed -if not just plain cheated-if I purchased a custom cake that was made from a box mix...I think it really depends on your audience.

 

If your cake eaters/clients/whatever are only used to eating box mix cakes, then that is what they're expecting and will like..and vice versa if people aren't used to box mixes. 

 

So really- just bake for your audience. Lots of people only eat processed/packaged foods and have no taste or idea for real food. someone who never eats (or just won't eat) processed foods will probably not like a box mix.

post #29 of 61
I'm a snob.

I only bake from scratch, and I only want to eat cake from scratch. With real butter.
post #30 of 61
Scratch baking tends to be cheaper when you work with large volumes, and box mixes (doctored or not) are cheaper when you don't buy in bulk. If you have the volume you can get the best of both worlds by making your own scratch mix in large quantities and storing it for future baking.

Scratch baking is not difficult, but it does require investment in R&D and a good understanding of the science behind baking.
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