Box Cake Mix

Decorating By elaine Updated 20 Mar 2015 , 4:30pm by -K8memphis

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elaine Posted 21 Feb 2005 , 11:28pm
post #1 of 36

Do most people in the the cake baking business bake their cakes from scratch or is it a box? If it's from scratch where can I get a good recipe? I've tried baking a yellow birthday cake from scratch and it tasted like flour. Is it supposed to taste like flour? I'd appreciate any info? Thanks

35 replies
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Kiddiekakes Posted 21 Feb 2005 , 11:45pm
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No ,I doubt any cake is supposed to taste like flour..It may be just the recipe isn't great!! I use boxed cake mixes all the time and I never had a complaint about dryness etc..I use Betty Crocker.Last week they had them on buy one get one free.Now this is only a personal opinion because there are bakers out there who only bake from scratch and never use a cake mix.It depends on you.I still think mixes are cheaper and you still get a great taste.Scratch mixes cost more with all the flour,sugar,baking soda,eggs etc...Just my two cents!!!

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Godiva Posted 21 Feb 2005 , 11:49pm
post #3 of 36

Well...many differ in this aspect. I personally feel that if you're charging someone for a cake, you should give them there money's worth. They can bake a cake out of the box for $1.59 (avg). They're paying us not only for a nice looking cake, but also a good one. I learned from a culinary professional that you must always offer the freshest of ingredients to your customers...Fresh butter, no veg. short., milk, eggs...all the good fats that make for a moist and delicious cake. NEVER a cake from the box. I would never dare charge someone for a mix cake...I don't even serve them anymore. Besides, if I were to do this, what will make me different from the bakeries?

In regards to your flour tasting cake, is it moist? Do you use the creaming method for your cake, where you mix butter and sugar, then eggs one at a time, and then alternate flour and milk? Alternating your flour with milk, allows for the batter to absorb the flour and helps to mix properly, reducing that flour taste. Hope it helps...

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Kiddiekakes Posted 21 Feb 2005 , 11:58pm
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Hey Godiva,

I just knew I was opening up the floodgates to this topic..Ha!Ha! Happy Baking!!! icon_smile.gif

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Godiva Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 12:03am
post #5 of 36

icon_lol.gif Your message hadn't posted when I posted mine...Guess yours was on the way....
The funny thing is that here I was thinking...Oh oh...what am I getting myself into here...

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MrsMissey Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 12:07am
post #6 of 36

..let the floods begin!! If I am making a specialty cake, like German Choc., Carrot Cake, Coconut Cake and of course cheesecakes, they are entirely from scratch. If it's an occasion cake, simple b-day, shower or somthing like that, then I feel a customer is paying for all the adornments and embellishments, yet still getting a great tasting cake, even if it's a doctored cake mix! Just my humble opinion! icon_wink.gif

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Godiva Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 12:19am
post #7 of 36

I totally understand the cost and time factor...
But to me it's like someone walking into a dealership and ordering a Red Corvet with leather interiors, and when they get the car, the get the Red Corvet with imitation leather interiors...Still looks the same...but is it what they paid for?

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elaine Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 12:21am
post #8 of 36

I would love to make a great tasting cake from scratch. Godiva, do you know where I can find a good recipe? I really don't remember what technique the recipe called for, but the taste was terrible and no one finished their piece. Not even the children. I love the taste of a boxed cake, but I really would rather bake one from scatch if I'm trying to sell them. People probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference, but I'd feel proud to say it's from scratch.

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MrsMissey Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 12:30am
post #9 of 36

LOL! Godiva...funny you should pick that senario...we have a car dealership and just happen to sell Chevrolets!! LOL!!! icon_lol.gif

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Godiva Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 12:32am
post #10 of 36

Toba Garett has this recipe in her book, which is absolutely delicious...
3 Cups Flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or regular milk)

Pre mix your dry ingredients...cream your butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time until mixed, then alternate flour and milk 3/2...Do not overmix, or your cake will come out hard...

I always use cake flour instead of regular flour on my yellow cakes, as it is a lighter flour and makes for a light and fluffy cake...
Also, you can use this base and make other flavored cakes from it using other extracts and oils...Almond oil works very good with the cakes as does the lemon...

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Godiva Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 12:34am
post #11 of 36

icon_lol.gif have got to be kidding me!! No way!

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cakeconfections Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 12:35am
post #12 of 36

well i dont sell them, but i really dont find anything wrong with a doctored cake mix. Not everyone has had the privelage or abitltiy to train with culinary professionals. There are a lot of great books out there that help to doctor a cake mix. You can still use the butter, milk and egge, the "freshest ingredients" and a box mix. THere are also many other wonderful things that you can add to a box, like pudding, buttermilk, sourcream. With all those things it ends up to be a great great cake. Not everyone has the skill to make a cake from scratch and have it taste as they would hope. I look at a cake mix as a step in the right direction, or shall we say cliff notes in the world of baking. The flour and sugar has to be good and fresh or they could not put it in the box and sell it.

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MrsMissey Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 12:36am
post #13 of 36

Godiva...cross my heart!!! !!!

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Godiva Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 12:50am
post #14 of 36

I wish I also had the privilege as many to train with pros and learn how to bake...I was only able to take a basic decorating class, not baking. Like most of the members of this board, I've also learned from books (I have one too many), as I couldn't afford the tuition for the FCI. icon_cry.gif I've learned from observation and practice, and some other techniques on this very board.

And I absolutely don't think there is anything wrong with making mix cakes for friends and family. That's what I started on when I was a kid and its a good start for many...Even when I have cravings and no time, I grab a Devils Food Mix (but just for me) icon_lol.gif But I thought I should learn the basics before I moved on. My first tries were not all that great... icon_redface.gif My poor husband was muy guinea pig..poor thing. They were dry, crumbly, some floury tasting...But as they say practice makes perfect. It';s a matter of finding the recipe that works for you and working the batter....But that's just me... icon_biggrin.gif

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elaine Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 1:06am
post #15 of 36

Godiva... thanks for the recipe. I'll try it this week for my husbands b-day, but if it doesn't turn out right I'll have to turn to the box. I really appreciate all the advice.

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tcturtleshell Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 4:35am
post #16 of 36

My kids love my scratch cake. It is good but the outside always gets hard like cornbread! My kids always ask me to make my cornbread cake! It does taste good but it is too heavy. It's my grandma's old recipe the 1,2,3 scratch cake. I would rather bake cakes w/ cake mixes & dr them up!! Much better color, flavor & texture~ nothing wrong w/ that~ icon_biggrin.gif I'm thinking of up my scratch cake now that I'm thinking about it. It would be good w/ some sourcream in it... hmmmmmmmm.... icon_rolleyes.gif

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CarolAnn Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 5:03am
post #17 of 36

I never make my cakes from scratch. I use Duncan Hines Classic White for all my white cakes and whatever brand I'm used to for the other flavors. I do mostly white though and I get raves all the time for them. I'll never tell. I never had a grandmother to teach me about cooking/baking and my mom didn't have patience for teaching 6 girls much in the kitchen so I'm a little bit envious of those who did. I'll just change that and say I'm pretty happy for those who did have someone to lovingly teach them. Now THAT's a blessing!!

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tcturtleshell Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 5:54am
post #18 of 36

Shoot my Mamaw popped me one time w/ her peach cobbler pan because I didn't wash it good enough for her! That might be the reason I don't like peaches... icon_cry.gif She is a great cook.. still is at age 89. Her chocolate pie is the best & cornbread dressing mmmmmmmmm!! My mom is the better cook though. She has taught me so much. I am so thankful to have them & my other aunts. We have wonderful cooks in the family. Good ole' country cookin' icon_wink.gif

4 girls Carol Ann oh my goodness!!! icon_eek.gif I am the oldest of 3. I don't know how you made it!! I bet you have lots of great stories to tell. tapedshut.gif

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tcturtleshell Posted 22 Feb 2005 , 5:54am
post #19 of 36

I just realized you said 6 sisters.......... WOW!!!

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katsass1961 Posted 12 Mar 2015 , 1:59pm
post #20 of 36


Will you post the baking directions for the Toba Garett Cake recipe, please?

thank you.

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SweetDesire88 Posted 17 Mar 2015 , 4:45am
post #21 of 36


             I know what you mean "cake from scratch" it is a little work.  My first scratch cake was butterscotch it was fluffy not to sweet and super yummy. Cake mixes are fine but you always have that one client that asks " Are your cakes from scratch?"  that's when you that guilt feeling, been there.  I was honest with my clients ( were my first cakes) but they told me they didn't mind atleast they knew they were getting a fresher cake vs store bought.  Most cake from scratch are slightly different, once you master a basic cake (try white cake) from scratch, it will easy up. Then you can proudly say " my cakes are from scratch!" 

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CarolAnn Posted 17 Mar 2015 , 1:02pm
post #22 of 36

I have never had anyone ask me if I make my cakes from scratch or a cake mix. I've had several try to find out what my secret ingredient is though!  My first comment to this question, made back in 2005, was that I never make cakes from scratch,  but that's not true in 2015. I do have some favorite scratch recipes I like to use, but then the rest are adjusted cake mixes. I say adjusted rather than doctored because I don't think there's anything wrong with cake mixes that they need fixing. There are so many things you can do to enhance cake mixes to ramp em up, from enlarging the volume of the batter to making the taste go POW!  I have known people who just cannot make a decent cake mix cake to save their lives. I've never understood that, but my mother in law is one of them. I ALWAYS make the cakes for our family gatherings, to save us all from her cake things.

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SweetDesire88 Posted 17 Mar 2015 , 5:40pm
post #23 of 36

I do have people that ask me if my cakes are from scratch, I reply with a question " Did you enjoy the cake?" and there is silence. I have to confess I sometimes use cake mix. But the cake its self isn't called cake, you add buttercream, fillings etc.  

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jgifford Posted 17 Mar 2015 , 11:37pm
post #24 of 36

Elaine, you indicated that you intend to sell cakes in the future.  First of all, if you don't even have a good basic scratch recipe, you're light years away from being ready to sell the first cupcake.  Not trying to discourage you here, but that's just basic.

 Do your research - - and that doesn't mean trying a recipe just once.  Ask friends and relatives if they would share their recipes, google recipes for whatever flavor you're working on at the time, try the "best ever" recipes in magazines or in the newest cookbook on the shelf.  Learn the science behind baking so you can taste a cake and instantly know what needs to be changed to make it better.  It takes time, energy and money to get to the point that you're ready to sell.  You need to actually make the cakes and taste-test them.  You'll go through a lot of flour, sugar, eggs and mixes.

 As far as the debate between scratch vs. mix, it's all a load of BS.  It doesn't matter which you use as long as you're confident that you're giving your customer the best-possible tasting cake you can.  Most customers won't care, and even fewer will ever ask. 

I wish you all the best.


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remnant3333 Posted 19 Mar 2015 , 4:16am
post #25 of 36

 I had a lot of doctored cake box recipe books but since they downsized the cake boxes I am not sure if you would add the same amounts of add ins from the recipe books. Does anyone here still use the old recipes books for cake mixes that used to be 18 ounces for what is now the 16 ounce box of cake mix and if so, does your cake turn out like it used to? I am just curious. I have been  wondering about getting rid of my old cake box books thinking that they would never come out right anymore!

I have started making from scratch cakes because I never know when the box cake mixes in a year or two will downsize their cakes again to make more money!! I used to make doctored boxed  cake mixes in the past before the cake boxes were downsized and I used to enjoy them.  

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-K8memphis Posted 19 Mar 2015 , 11:32am
post #26 of 36

If I use a mix I buy enough to make up the difference to equal 18 oz -- or when circumstances permit just use 9 oz cake mix for a small batch and add half all the other ingredients in the doctored recipe

then you have enough mix left over to make up the difference two more times -- perhaps a little inconvenient but it works --

 so if you buy 3 cake mix you use 9 oz of one then you have 2 full 18oz mixes left - just roughly - the ones I've seen had 15 oz per box I think -- anyhow close enough for me

 but if it was 16 oz per box then buy 4 and use the 9 oz in a small batch and you'd have enough for 3 more 18 oz mixes--

 how's that for over thinking pre coffee too early in the morning hahaha

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-K8memphis Posted 19 Mar 2015 , 12:45pm
post #27 of 36

but remnant, you could buy similar flavors, carrot, lemon, orange, yellow/white -- and a red velvet, fudge, german choco, devils food -- yellow, butter, white, french vanilla -- 

but i would not get rid of those books -- i doubt that they will be revised for the smaller mixes -- another idea is that you can just short each ingredient a bit -- it will bake up fine

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Jedi Knight Posted 19 Mar 2015 , 3:26pm
post #28 of 36

Ten. Year. Old. Thread.

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Pastrybaglady Posted 19 Mar 2015 , 5:01pm
post #29 of 36

@Jedi Knight , Ha ha,  good catch!  Old, but still relevant apparently.

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cccnomo Posted 19 Mar 2015 , 5:41pm
post #30 of 36

I use an old recipe posted by Cake Central years ago (tho I've adapted slightly).  It ALWAYS turns out delicious and moist. Perhaps you could try using yellow cake mix instead of white?  Here you go:

White Almond Sour Cream Cake

2 boxes white cake mix

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

8 egg whites

2 2/3 cups water

4 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups (16 oz) carton sour cream

2 tsp clear vanilla extract

2 tsp clear almond extract


Mix all dry ingredients by hand using a whisk in a very large mixing bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and beat on low speed for 2 minutes.  Bake at 325 degrees.  (Think I baked cupcakes for 20 minutes.)


Buttercream Dream Frosting


1 stick butter (unsalted)

1 stick butter (salted)

1 cup shortening

2 lb. bag of confectioner’s sugar

3 tsp clear vanilla extract

5-6 tbsp milk (cold) – I might have added a little heavy creamJ


Cream butter and shortening.  Add vanilla then confectioner’s sugar.  Allow sugar to blend well and then add milk.  Gradually add preferred food coloring (I use Wilton brand).


I bought in the Wilton section of cake decorating isle at Walmart the 3 large decorating tips and used the swirly one for frosting.  Super easy!

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