Scratch Vs. Boxed

Decorating By CookieChef Updated 11 Oct 2006 , 4:40am by Tkeys

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CookieChef Posted 9 Oct 2006 , 8:36pm
post #1 of 16

How many of you bake from scratch? Who bakes with boxed mixes? How long did it take you to determine what flavors/fillings you would offer to customers? How long did it take to find/tweak the 'perfect' recipes?

15 replies
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karateka Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 12:27am
post #2 of 16

I use scratch recipes. Just me, I guess, but I really don't like boxed mixes. I use The Cake Bible's recipes, and I've developed a strawberry cake on my own. I don't offer a flavor unless I've tested it, and sometimes that takes a while. Dede Wilson has some great recipes in her wedding books that I've used with success.

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Tkeys Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 12:41am
post #3 of 16

I bake from scratch, too. I use some family recipes, and some recipes I've gotten from family friends and a few of the Wilton recipes. I actually don't like boxed mixes either, but i grew up on scratch baking.

I have lots of recipes for cakes, but it took me a bit more time to find a few recipes that were firm enough to use for stacking and decorating.

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chestercheeto Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 12:48am
post #4 of 16

i prefer to bake from scratch, but i will use boxed mixes. there are only 2 scratch recipes that i've made for others. i haven't had the time to test out more, but would like to. when i bake a cake just so i can add another cake to my album, i'll use a boxed mix. it's less effort to make and i just want to get to the decorating already. icon_biggrin.gif

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peg818 Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 11:49am
post #5 of 16

I use both, I do believe that it is important for a decorator to know how to bake from scratch, but believe it or not I have had people insist that they know a good scratch cake when they taste it and i'm standing there telling them i used a mix for that one.

Well, the one thing i do tell all my students, is make the best cake you know how. Because when it comes down to it, many people don't know the difference between scratch and box. Since so many have grown up with box mixes, people don't always appreciate the difference

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GeminiRJ Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 11:57am
post #6 of 16

I use box mixes. For consistency, they are hard to beat. I've eaten way too many scratch cakes that are dry to turn my nose up at a box mix.

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darcat Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 12:11pm
post #7 of 16

I always liked the taste of box mixes better but lately I have been trying scratch and just cant seem to find a good white scratch recipe that I like the taste of and that does not require like 1/2 a doz eggs lol. I just made one yesterday and really didnt like that one either icon_cry.gif . If any one has a good one pls tell me where it is tks icon_smile.gif

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jtb94 Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 12:11pm
post #8 of 16

I use box mixes. They are fast, easy and very economical (sp). I can get DH box mixes for 82 cents.

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Mandica12182 Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 12:14pm
post #9 of 16

I use box mixes...mainly for convenience, I have been thinking about trying cakes from scratch.

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praetorian2000 Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 12:51pm
post #10 of 16

Lately I've been baking from scratch. I use the recipes in the Cake Bible which never fail me. Box mixes tastes ok, but the texture is too soft and weak for me. The Cake Bible has butter and chocolate cakes along with sponge cakes. When I need a spice or banana or something the Cake Bible doesn't have, I turn to recipes from my baking classes or trusted authors.

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FatFace Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 6:56pm
post #11 of 16

I use both. Some of my customers prefer the taste of a mix and others prefer the scratch taste. Baking from scratch is more expensive than a mix so you have to charge more for that extra egg and butter you have to use in the cake. I don't think there is anything wrong with using a mix if you are honest about it. You have to do what's best for your situation.

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misscoffey Posted 10 Oct 2006 , 7:17pm
post #12 of 16

i prefer to make cakes from scratch as i feel they are best for stacking and decorating. i recently used a box mix to test this theory and my whole cake feel apart because the cake was way to soft!!!!
i have been revising recipes to make scratch cakes less dense and i have found that if you separate the eggs first, add the yolks in one at a time and then after adding the flour, add the egg whites after whipping them to a frothy texture. this has done me well so far...

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Tkeys Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 4:05am
post #13 of 16

Not to start a debate on the subject, but I'm always amazed by the people who say box mixes are so economical . . . I live in an expensive area, so maybe that is it, but box mixes are several dollars a box around here, and it sounds to me like most people add extra stuff to them anyway (like pudding, and eggs), and that can be another dollar or so a box. . . my scratch cakes are cheap! I spend a couple dollars on a big bag of flour, and a big bag of sugar, and I buy my butter in large quantities on sale . . . i think i spend MAXIMUM about $.95-1.00 for a double cake recipe, even factoring in the cost of the vanilla (probably the most expensive ingredient).

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mxpark Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 4:17am
post #14 of 16

i use box mixes and doctor them. for me they are cheaper. but as tkeys pointed out...they may not be for everyone. they are also convienant (sp?), consistent, and easy to store. in a house of 9 people, the room in my pantry needs to be for regular food. i don't have space to store large bags of sugar/flour/etc... and for someone who is just starting out, cake mixes are really easy to use for trying out new recipes. i have never had a complaint on any of my cakes and everyone has always said that they are the best cakes they've ever had. so i guess its just preference and cost.

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kathy172 Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 4:19am
post #15 of 16

I almost always use a box mix for my cakes as I do not sell them and am making them mostly for practice. This doesn't include the special diet cakes I make my little one as the mixes for those cakes are horribly expensive.

For those of you that say you always bake from scratch, and forgive me if it's a stupid question, do you find you have to adjust the recipes depending on the temperature or humidity during the year? I find that the gluten free cakes I make from scratch are very fussy about the temp/humidity whereas the boxed mixes bake up the same year round. I'm wondering if that's due to the wheat flour, or if there's some kind of stabilizers in the boxed mixes. I'm hoping to eventually formulate a gluten free, recipe that will have good, consistant results. Thanks

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Tkeys Posted 11 Oct 2006 , 4:40am
post #16 of 16

I haven't found that I have to adjust the recipe based on the temperature or humidity . . . although perhaps the cooking time might vary (not something that has been a noticeable or important difference to me, though, but I cook in so many different size and shape pans, too). It is pretty humid where i live during the summer months, but inside my house, I have air conditioning in the summer, and a humidifier in the dry winter months, so perhaps the climate control in my house helps to regulate that and keep it pretty consistent inside my house year-round.

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