Box Mix Or From Scratch?

Decorating By lmnettles Updated 7 Oct 2008 , 2:15am by tinygoose

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lmnettles Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:12pm
post #1 of 11

Do you use boxed mixes for your cake or do you make them all from scratch? Also if you do use a box mix what kind do you use? I sort of feel like not making a cake from scrath is cheating but at the same time it takes so long to make one compared to a mix. What do you all think? icon_smile.gif Thanks!

10 replies
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PinkZiab Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:15pm
post #2 of 11

You'll get a million answers, all different. There's a pretty even split here on CC. I'm a scratch baker, because it's my personal preference, but either way, as long as it tastes good and your customers are happy, don't sweat it.

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SugarFrosted Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 8:05pm
post #3 of 11

It's a personal choice. This has been a topic of debate on CC as long as I've been here. Lots of threads on this subject.

Perhaps if you try to think of a box mix as pre-measured ingredients prepared mise-en-place by your sous-chef Betty (Crocker) or Duncan (Hines) it may help you think of it less as cheating. Since baking is chemistry, premeasured ingredients are not necessarilly a bad thing. A little too much of this or a bit too little of that when measuring your own ingredients and you may end up with a cake that did not rise, or some other problem.

I'm a box mix baker and have been all my life. I have a few scratch cakes I bake, but I do those very very rarely.

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sweettoothmom Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 9:47pm
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My personal preference is scratch all the way but that was what I was brought up on. The people in our area are used to boxed cakes and prefer them to scratch. icon_eek.gif

It really is up to you though. I know a few great cooks who doctor up a box mix and you would swear it is a scratch cake. They use boxed cake because it ensures continuity.

I have read just about every thread on CC about this one (i think) and really it is all up to you. No one but you needs to know it is scratch or a mix. You can buy Duncan or Betty in bulk at sams clubs to use as a base.

It might even save some money. Best of luck to you no matter what you choose. Your customers will come back for more.
I mean who in thier right mind doesnt LOVE a scrumtious cake??? thumbs_up.gif

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jammjenks Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:23am
post #5 of 11

I posted this on a similar topic this morning:

As for me-I use all three types. Some are doctored mixes, some are scratch, some are undoctored mixes. There's no need to feel guilty no matter what you choose to do. Whatever satisfies you and your customers is what you should make. And no matter what, hold that head up high and know that you are making a great product that any customer should be proud to receive. Remember, baking/decorating/selling cakes has many parts. Not only are we bakers/decorators, but we are salespeople too. Be your own best salesperson.

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bettinashoe Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:43am
post #6 of 11

I only cook from scratch, not only for cakes but for everything. That is my personal preference as I absolutely love to cook. It relaxes me and also mentally stimulates me. Mixes are a time saver and also turn out very consistent. I don't often hear about someone having a cake failure with a mix and there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a mix. I've gotten distracted before and failed to add basics like sugar! Again, as everyone has said, it is a personal choice. Just follow your heart and take pride in your product because whether it is scratch or pre-measured (I like that), it is your product!

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Kitagrl Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:46am
post #7 of 11

I keep adding some really yummy scratch recipes to my repertoire...but my customers really love my doctored cake mixes (they don't know its that) so I figure if it ain't broke, I won't fix it!

I use doctored cake mixes for party cakes most of the time, and scratch cakes for weddings and/or if someone requests a certain flavor.

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flowers40 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:48am
post #8 of 11

I use doctored cake mix. I use the cake extender recipe in all my cakes. It usually calls for flour, sugar and a couple more eggs. This helps give my cakes better texture, so they are not crummy. I also like my cakes to be a bit more dense, because I use fondant on almost all my cakes. I also use coffee and chocolate (dry form) in my chocolate cakes, and sourcream and flavored creamers in my white cakes. I also add extra eggs. When people ask me if it is a box cake mix, I tell them yes, because starting with a box mix is cheaper than starting with cake flour. I try to keep my expenses down, and that's the best way for me to do so.

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__Jamie__ Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:51am
post #9 of 11

Wow...I feel a lot better having read the responses to the OP's question. I was starting to get down on myself for not trying to make scratch cakes yet. I had a fear that someday I would make a bee-yoo-ti-ful cake, get paid a nice amount of money for it, and then hear a fork clatter as someone shrieked "This is Betty Crocker!! We've been duped!" icon_biggrin.gif

Well, that was a bit dramatic, but you get my drift. I think.

I guess it all boils down to actual presentation and taste over what the dang ingredients are, eh?

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MaloSlatko Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 2:07am
post #10 of 11

I guess it all boils down to actual presentation and taste over what the dang ingredients are, eh?


Like bettinashoe, I cook and bake everything from scratch because it is my preference. Also, I have had lots of practice and support from two foodie parents since I was old enough to stir something in a bowl.

The important thing is to keep your customers happy and to be honest IF they ask whether the cake is scratch of from a mix. I mean seriously... if you ate a bar of Lindt chocolate and loved it and the someone told you it was Godiva, would you decide you don't love it??


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tinygoose Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 2:15am
post #11 of 11

Scratch cakes only for me. I can totally tell the difference now that I have switched to scratch, and I don't like to eat cakes made from mixes anymore. Every once in a while a doctored mix will get by me, but I don't use them. I use mixes for practicing carving cakes now, since they are so much cheaper to make. Scratch cakes are not that much harder than mixes, but they are sooo worth it.

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