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Do you use Boxed Cake Mixes?


pam claughton
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www.topsecretrecipes.com has a clone this week for Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Yellow Cake Mix http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/recipedeta...ogin=yes&id=476 . (Sorry the egullet link feature doesn't seem to be working at the moment) I haven't tried it yet but thought some may be interested in it as an alternative.

I just made this cake and I like it. I can't really compare to a box cake as I haven't made one since I was a kid, but this clone was a good, moist cake. The only thing I changed was that I used butter instead of shortening and omitted the butter flavoring.

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in response to the title of this thread:

Hell No.

Do you do tier cakes?

I can't reply for FoodMan, but I do tier cakes and don't use cake mixes. I modified a few well-known recipes and get cakes with a texture that is great for tiered cakes (at least in my opinion). They don't get hard upon refrigeration and taste good. I use a combo of butter and oil for the fats.

I can't stand the chemical taste of most boxed mixes. FWIW, I have a sensitivity to anything metallic, so I don't even use regular baking powder. I often wonder if it is because my mouth is so full of metal fillings (I've always had a sweet tooth) :hmmm:

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in response to the title of this thread:

Hell No.

Do you do tier cakes?

I am no professional baker, just a home baker and I do a lot of layered cakes but not tier cakes. I think I've done only one tiered cake for my son's B-day and it worked out pretty good.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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in response to the title of this thread:

Hell No.

Do you do tier cakes?

I am no professional baker, just a home baker and I do a lot of layered cakes but not tier cakes. I think I've done only one tiered cake for my son's B-day and it worked out pretty good.

in response to the title of this thread:

Hell No.

Do you do tier cakes?

I can't reply for FoodMan, but I do tier cakes and don't use cake mixes. I modified a few well-known recipes and get cakes with a texture that is great for tiered cakes (at least in my opinion). They don't get hard upon refrigeration and taste good. I use a combo of butter and oil for the fats.

I can't stand the chemical taste of most boxed mixes. FWIW, I have a sensitivity to anything metallic, so I don't even use regular baking powder. I often wonder if it is because my mouth is so full of metal fillings (I've always had a sweet tooth) :hmmm:

It's all good. I just find it ever intriguing to see such strong feelings towards something that resides on the same shelf as the other ingredients in the store.

Does a cook use frozen phyllo? powdered hollandaise? crackers from a box?

Raisins? Hell no, I dry my own!

Pre-milled flour? No, I mill my own flour!

One would hardly receive such a passionate response from the latter questions. Interesting.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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For me, I simply don't like the flavor and texture of most mix cakes and certainly all canned frostings that I've tried. I am not outraged that a cake is made from a mix; it just doesn't taste as good to me. Many cakes from commercial bakeries have this same taste and texture. It's hard to find a good bakery but when I do I patronize them! The difference in taste is by far the most significant factor in my avoidance in making cakes from mixes but secondary issues are my preference to use less processed ingredients and the satisfaction and enjoyment that I get out of baking, which I guess I've never really thought of as anything else other than 'scratch' baking.

I know some of your examples are tongue in cheek, but depending on the ultimate taste and healthiness of a product I don't mind buying some prepared foods from the market, especially some basic building block ingredient like raisins or flour that would be very difficult to produce at home and that I don't think would taste very differently than if I made them myself. For me, there is a significant difference in taste and texture between scratch and mix cakes so these are not at all analogous examples.

(I haven't tried the powdered hollandaise but I have to admit that sounds iffy to me...)

As much as I love desserts, for the most part I only prefer eating ones that taste good and so would much rather pass on a mediocre tasting dessert rather than insist on having one if I didn't have the time to make it.

(One disclaimer: I could see being caught as a working mother and making cupcakes from mixes occasionally as a practial consession! No canned frosting though as I don't use Crisco, etc for frosting and really dislike both the taste and nutrition profile.)

Also: peace and happiness to anyone that enjoys, wants or needs to cook from mixes! I do wish that that less commercial bakeries would do this though.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I mainly bake cakes from scratch but I will also use boxed on a rare occasion, a spur of the moment emergency. I stick to Duncan Hines for mixes because I feel they taste better and I don't taste the levening as I do in the others.

To improve the texture and flavor I substitute buttermilk for the water, always add extra vanilla, add extra spices or zest, add cocoa powder to the chocolate mixes along with a scoop of instant coffee.

Edited by Susie Q (log)
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I mainly bake cakes from scratch but I will also use boxed on a rare occasion, a spur of the moment emergency. I stick to Duncan Hines for mixes because I feel they taste better and I don't taste the levening as I do in the others.

To improve the texture and flavor I substitute buttermilk for the water, always add extra vanilla, add extra spices or zest, add cocoa powder to the chocolate mixes along with a scoop of instant coffee.

Thanks for the tips from your experience. I just may try your suggestions to retest my comments above and see how a mix tastes when using a better brand, buttermilk, etc. :smile:

Welcome to eGullet by the way, also! :smile:

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I mainly bake cakes from scratch but I will also use boxed on a rare occasion, a spur of the moment emergency. I stick to Duncan Hines for mixes because I feel they taste better and I don't taste the levening as I do in the others.

To improve the texture and flavor I substitute buttermilk for the water, always add extra vanilla, add extra spices or zest, add cocoa powder to the chocolate mixes along with a scoop of instant coffee.

Thanks for the tips from your experience. I just may try your suggestions to retest my comments above and see how a mix tastes when using a better brand, buttermilk, etc. :smile:

Welcome to eGullet by the way, also! :smile:

You're very welcome and thanks. :biggrin:

I agree about canned and "lard" frostings, and bakery cakes that taste like they came from a mix.... YUCK!

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Does a cook use frozen phyllo? powdered hollandaise? crackers from a box?

Raisins? Hell no, I dry my own!

Pre-milled flour? No, I mill my own flour!

Does a cook use frozen phyllo? Sure, I have not the time nor the skill to make it at home and packaged ones are quiet good.

powdered hollandaise? Hell no

crackers from a box? Usually yes, because they taste good although I've made pretty good saltines a couple of times

Raisins? Perfectly good raisins are available at the store in bulk, and making them at home is not feasible or efficient

Pre-milled flour? Same as raisins.

:smile:

I do not use boxed cake mixes for the same reasons Ludja listed. I basically see no reason to use them. Please however do not take my comment as an attack on anyone who does. I was just answering for myself.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Does a cook use frozen phyllo? powdered hollandaise? crackers from a box?

Raisins? Hell no, I dry my own!

Pre-milled flour? No, I mill my own flour!

Does a cook use frozen phyllo? Sure, I have not the time nor the skill to make it at home and packaged ones are quiet good.

powdered hollandaise? Hell no

crackers from a box? Usually yes, because they taste good although I've made pretty good saltines a couple of times

Raisins? Perfectly good raisins are available at the store in bulk, and making them at home is not feasible or efficient

Pre-milled flour? Same as raisins.

:smile:

I do not use boxed cake mixes for the same reasons Ludja listed. I basically see no reason to use them. Please however do not take my comment as an attack on anyone who does. I was just answering for myself.

No no no no no. No worries. I mean countless cake buddies, myself included, from sea to shining sea recognize this stygma about cake mix. We all share it. I think it was beautifully illumined in your response. We are each entitled to our love or not of the lowly cake mix but there's a much bigger question here. And there's some kind of larger social statement I can't put my finger on.

So my conundrum is not at all that anyone is passionate about their choice of scratch or mix but my conundrum is that the scratch or mix issue fuels sucha fire. Why? Follow me for a minute, please.

And it's as difficult to make a mix taste above average as it is to make a scratch cake with a wonderful pleasing texture as a mix, honestly. 'In the master's hands' & all that good stuff. They each can get a bad rap but one can honestly make a great and foolproof product either way. But think about it, I have made as well as been served dog poo scratch cake but it doesn't raise the blood pressure across the board like an unassuming box of cake mix.

But therein lies the rub, it's neither unassuming nor does the mystery conclude with that little lonely maligned box alone. There is some kind of underlying assumption that cake mix is socially unacceptable, personally offensive and mildly toxic (just taking it to an extreme) to some of us. If I use Bisquick to make biscuits, the hue and cry is not near the same level. But maybe it's because biscuits are not marketed like cake. We don't light the candles on the birthday biscuit. Bride & groom's do not share a bite of biscuit while we ogle to see if gets rubbed on the face. A biscuit rub is not as exciting as buttercream on the cheek & up the beak anyway.

I hate hamburgers made from frozen patties. But this aversion of mine is not unique to me and it no where near reaches the levels of hysteria like the cake cliques.

I know many bakers who buy mixes and wish to god they made mission impossible packaging that would self destruct in 30 seconds. They carefully quickly bind up the trash and hold their breath until the guilty evidance is safely in the dumpster. Turn the boxes inside out lest the bag get a hole in it exposing thier personal shame, yea, damage their reputation and impact their bottom line. More than once a lackey got an upbraiding for not keeping the boxes of radioctivity under wraps lest the glow in the dark catch the vigilant eye of a cake clique-r.

The ignornace is further confusing. A majority of the public will only subscribe to the texture of a box mix but will attribute it to scratch beginnings and vice versa. :rolleyes: It's amazing. I wish psychologists would chime in. I wish the origins of this could be discovered.

And FoodMan, your brilliant synopsis of this controversy set the stage so I could launch this burning question. :biggrin:

(Would to God I could be so succinct. :rolleyes: )

It's not whether you prefer a mix or scratch it's why does it matter SO MUCH more than it should and why is there such diehard terminal confusion surrounding it. A baker can absolutely throw half the baby out with the bathwater by simply declaring mix or scratch and loose half their clientelle when the truth is declared either way. Add to that that great portions of the departed will be gone for the wrong reason. They either think what they like is scratch when it's mix or vice versa. But if they never know they'll be happy customers for life.

But I just want to roll back the hands of time and discover the triggering incident if there was one. What set this off. (Never mind how to fix it.) Can she bake a cherry pie charming Billy?

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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I always make some types of cake from scratch (coffeecakes, crumb cakes, tea cakes, pound cakes) and would never ever stop to consider using a mix for that type of cake.

For layer cakes and sheet cakes that are iced, I have sometimes used cake mixes and sometimes made them for scratch. If I'm making a birthday cake I ask the recipient what they want. Sometimes they want cake mix. I don't have a problem with that -- plus it saves a ton of work. Sometimes they want scratch and that enables me to be more creative (but it takes much more time and uses more expensive ingredients). I refuse to use frosting from a can though, I just can't do it. Canned frosting tastes gross to me. I don't mind the taste of cake mix as much. If I'm making a cake just for fun I will make it scratch. If it's going to a potluck or similar event it will probably be an iced sheet cake from a mix.

For me the main difference between scratch and mix is the texture. Scratch cakes always seem more substantial. I think especially with birthday cakes people are expecting the texture of the mix -- because lots of our mothers and grandmothers used cake mix for that type of occasion.

On the other hand, the best brownies to come out of my kitchen as of yet are made from the Ghiradelli boxed mix. I'm still trying on that one.

ETA: Also I thought cake mixes are in the "chiffon" cake genre and I don't think it's fair to compare a chiffon cake to a genoise cake or a butter cake. I've never made a scratch chiffon cake so I don't know how that texture compares to a mix.

Edited by jadenegro (log)
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jadenegro, go to RecipeGullet and get Ling's recipe for the brownies.

I don't use cake mixes because I don't think it's any more difficult to make cakes from scratch--why I think this I don't know, because I am the lucky baker of at least 2 failed genoises.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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jadenegro, go to RecipeGullet and get Ling's recipe for the brownies.

I don't use cake mixes because I don't think it's any more difficult to make cakes from scratch--why I think this I don't know, because I am the lucky baker of at least 2 failed genoises.

:laugh::laugh:

I am the lucky maker of sink hole cakes, scratch and mix (doctored).

If only there were a market for them!!

So yes there is the element of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. So bad cake is not unique to scratch or mix, but generally mixes get blamed.

Think it's just industrialization? Naw, it's too explosive a subject. It can be a genuine Pandora's box if not handled carefully. Get out your magnifying glasses & figure this out. Just a Hatfield & McCoy type feud of the ages type thing? Bet it started somewhere with an in-law!!!!

What do y'all think???

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Kate, okay, that means that scratch/mix/doctored cakes have the same difficulty level. Thanks for confirming it for me! :smile:

Though, my younger brother says that with most mixes, I have less bowls to wash--and this is definitely true, LOL.

I think it's that some people think that mix cakes, with all their attendant chemicals, are bad, and if they are paying someone for their cake, then it had darn well be from scratch.

On the other hand, there are people who expect and want box cakes. Either they know very well what they want or they believe that scratch cakes are inferior to mixes.

If you're a bakery, then balancing the two is...Like Kate said, easier to keep it a trade secret.

If you're a foodie, well...At some level, you're a snob. There will be things you'll refuse to eat on the principle of it, even though you think you don't want to eat it because you don't like it, which might not be the case. Cakes from mixes are a prime example.

And the thing is, bad scratch cakes might well because the baking powder used has aluminium or that the recipe's not well-balanced and has too much of something. They are not thinking, "A mix cake, doctored or not, may well be better than eating a bad scratch cake."

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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Get out your magnifying glasses & figure this out. Just a Hatfield & McCoy type feud of the ages type thing? Bet it started somewhere with an in-law!!!!

What do y'all think???

Okay, since you asked :laugh:

My theory is that our mothers introduced us to cake during our formative years. Some mothers were non-cooks and some were great cooks. My mother, for instance, was a non-cook with very low self-esteem. However, every year she banned everyone from the kitchen, pulled out a cake mix and with much trepidation, made a birthday cake. The "homemade" cake made her so proud and everyone enjoyed it and praised her heartily. She had no desire to be a scratch baker, but she did want to do something special for her children and family every year and believe me, doing it from a mix was a huge step!

For others, perhaps it is the opposite. Their mothers or fathers were great bakers and their childhood memories are of well-made scratch cakes. A box cake would be a ridiculous shortcut -- a sign that their parent just didn't want to take the time.

At any rate, cakes are tied closely with family customs and rituals and many of those cakes have been Duncan Hines. When non-cake mix users make a blanket statement that all cake mix is bad, cake mix users may perceive that as a slight to their family and/or the way they were brought up.

As for what's better -- family biases aside, it's hard to say. I've had some outrageously good scratch cakes and some pretty darn bad scratch cakes as well. Cake mix cakes usually taste the same to me these days, but every once in a while someone will doctor one up and it will taste as good or better than a scratch cake. After reading this board and other boards and honing my own skills as a baker, I've become extremely self conscious and apologetic on the occasion when I've had to use a mix. Usually people just laugh and say how much they love the cake while I sit there and feel guilty for "cheating".

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I think Claire's assessment is valid.

I also think there is a vast ocean of misinformation and hysteria and myth concerning baking in general and cake baking in particular.

And the following is my editorial comment. No bakers were harmed as a result of this broadcast, the names have not been changed, the innocent are laid bare, and go ahead, try it at home even though this is written by a professional.

Baking is such a science, so unlike cooking. One baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'I swear by this'. And as I was recently reminded by Sweetside, even within each baker's method of operation are unique and opposing skill sets and tools for the slightest change in any ingredient or oven or mixing method or whatever. The humidity can destroy you if you're not careful, aware and etc. How about the joys of altitude.

It is simply not true that cakes made from cake mix taste metallic. Anymore than saying scratch cakes are rubbery. Some are some are not. Often, the metallic flavor can come from the cake reacting with the cake pan or from the beater scraping the mixer bowl etc.. Other factors are improper formulas, bad emulsions, uneven heating and other skill and technical factors. Sometimes the cake planets are not aligned properly and it doesn't freaking matter what you do it ain't happening.

So going forward, I'm operating under this conclusion. I know that much more important than specific ingredients, whether pre-measured as in using mixes, or stirring up your own measured amounts, the single most important factor in cake baking is who is doing it.

And I would sure like to start with you, yes you who are reading this today to consider having a change of heart and mind about cake mixes and cakes mixed from scratch et al. Let's consider ratcheting it down a notch. Very very good cake can be made with those million dollar babies, cake mixes. As well as very very good cake can be made from mixing up a recipe if it's done right. Consider saying, "in my experience" rather than the slash and burn condemnation of entire methods that endorse misinformation. Including the hugely erroneous assumptions made constantly that if it tastes good (to you) it's then the best [scratch or mix] cake ever depending on in which camp you reside.

Don't ask, don't tell and please let's start clearing this up and pass out good information. I now return you to your regularly scheduled message board.

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I think what we're saying without saying it is that cake mix is a class issue.

As food increasingly becomes a class issue -- a global class issue.

Last night I went to Citarella to buy fresh fish, organic eggs, organic yogurt and olive rolls. And I gave some money to the man begging out front, the one with one foot.

And I was acutely aware of food as a class issue.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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I think what we're saying without saying it is that cake mix is a class issue.

As food increasingly becomes a class issue -- a global class issue.

Last night I went to Citarella to buy fresh fish, organic eggs, organic yogurt and olive rolls.  And I gave some money to the man begging out front, the one with one foot.

And I was acutely aware of food as a class issue.

Yes! There's the sound bite I was looking for. Albeit a sorely misaligned one. The results of using a mix or using a scratch recipe are virtually indistinguishable to most of the world. If the guests were polled at any wedding, no group would get it right whether it was a mix or from scratch. I know that big name people use mixes. The water is so muddy, it's a class-less class issue. It's become an Emperor's New Clothes thing that all of us have perpetuated.

Who's on 1st?

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Well, I would actually argue that a wedding cake is also a class issue. As are many of the symbols of the wedding itself -- symbols of the class of the couple, the status of the bride, etc.

Class is not necessarily about taste bud reaction. Case in point, many of the dishes that are now making Mario Battali famous with the people who can afford to eat in his restaurant were originated by Italian peasants. Hamburger is now the hot food in upscale New York restaurants. A trend started by a restaurant that copied the White Castle mini burger concept . . .

I completely enjoy a slice of white sheetcake with sparkly white icing that is clearly not made with butter. I crave this taste sometimes, and my favorite example comes from my hometown bakery and is based on Hough's Bakery (Clevelanders will recognize this) childhood experiences. So I totally relate to the "box cake taste" concept. I like it.

On the other hand, as a baker, it is important to me to experience shopping for my ingredients (organics, farmer's market, best fruit and nuts), create a mise en place with them (a big part of the relaxation of cooking, very sensual) and then combine them in the alchemy (often shared with me by some master of the art such as Nick Malgieri) that results in a delicious, tasty, fresh, extremely pleasing eating experience.

As far as I know, I cannot go into Key Food and buy a box of that.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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My point is to say that cake mix is not toxic waste. It need not be feared. It is not only a legitimate product it's a versatile ingredient in it's own right. Who makes the cake is much more important than the specific ingredients. The best ingredients wil not a great cake make.

Is the shunning of such a prolific product not curious? We were told that our Russian exchange student might have a reaction to our serving of corn as it's animal feed to her. Ok country to country yes that's understandable. This cake mix revulsion/aversion is within our borders and within each of us. It's a crazy stigma.

You know some of the chichi-est places use mixes. I am particularly referencing celebration cake.

While I think cake mix is so much more than sheetcake, I still challenge New York to start a trend. Mix it up with Ann Byrn, the Cake Mix Doctor. Make it popular.

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... The results of using a mix or using a scratch recipe are virtually indistinguishable to most of the world. If the guests were polled at any wedding, no group would get it right whether it was a mix or from scratch. ...

I think you are probably right, but to me the differences are huge. I guess maybe my taste buds are just wired differently, but I also know many of my friends can taste the difference. I think it would be worth an experiment. I might just try it with my co-workers one of these days (when I have a little more free time LOL).

Personally I don't think of it as a class issue - after all, a cake mix is basically just the dry ingredients for a cake. I think it is funny that many people disdain a cake mix because it is full of 'chemicals.' If you are using cake flour, you are using a very highly processed, highly chemical product so no one should be looking down on mixes. The problem I have with them is that their taste is so very different and usually not in a good way. The only cake mix I have ever liked (and I've tried lots) is the Duncan Hines French Vanilla. However, it's been years since I had it and they made have changed it by now. For me it's not a class thing or an 'I'm superior' thing, it's a taste and texture thing.

Around here, there is a sort of 'reverse' snobbery. Sometimes people think I make things from scratch because I must think I'm better than they are. Or something like that. At any rate, many people think I am wasting my time when I could have a product just as good without all the work. To me it's worth it (and really not that much more work).

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I had never seen a "box cake" until I came to Canada in 2001.

I guess there *must* be insta-cake available in South Africa, but I have never come across it. I was raised on scratch cakes and even cakes that were bought came from a local Dutch bakery that made from scratch. The "tuis nywerheid" ("home industry" - small co-op stores) offerings that were especially helpful for the 7am Mom-I-forgot-I-need-cake-for-school-today emergencies, were also all made from scratch by women whose families had been doing so for generations.

Generally I don't like the taste or texture of box cake. I find it too sweet and the texture is spongy and weird in my mouth. There's also the sameness of flavour that is disappointing. Don't even get me started on the idea of icing/frosting from a can! :shock:

That said, since going gluten free in April 2005 (celiac disease) my tune has changed. I'm getting the hang of baking without that wonderful, evil protein, but there's a white/yellow mix by Celimix that I would go so far as to say is better than any regular mix I've tasted. Goes together in a snap, always bakes perfectly, has a great texture - even more so for being gluten free - and lasts for days.

How the mighty have fallen :rolleyes:

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The results of using a mix or using a scratch recipe are virtually indistinguishable to most of the world. If the guests were polled at any wedding, no group would get it right whether it was a mix or from scratch.

I would agree with this. Most people wouldn't know the difference. I've been with different couples that had eaten cake at an affair. One said, "the cake was so good" and the other chimed in with, "Yeah, but it was from a mix." This has happened on more than one occasion. I can tell a cake made from scratch verses one from a mix. I prefer a scratch made cake, if it is good. I've had nasty scratch cakes too! :blink: However, I feel that cake mixes are shortcuts. Even if the end results are good, I feel it is a shortcut. I think that is fine for homebakers. Many people don't know how to make a cake from scratch or have the time to do so. But, I feel that for people that make their living from baking cakes, they should do it from scratch. It's like my husband and I going out to dinner at a nice/pricey restaurant and being served green beans from a can. They were good. But for what I paid for the meal I expected to get fresh green beans! Not shortcut green beans.

I also balk at the long list of ingredients in a cake mix. I don't usually cook with shortening or artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and wouldn't REGULARLY use an "ingredient" that contained them. I bake for my friends, family and customers the way I bake for my family. The one exception is Red Velvet Cake. I had requests for it and so I make it. Red food coloring and all. But only one ounce. I think that's red enough.

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Other than the preservatives/ingredients issues - which, obviously, a packaged cake mix probably has some stuff in that you don't keep on your kitchen shelves, and some people prefer not to eat that stuff - and various allergies, etc. that would dictate leaning toward a scratch cake recipe where you know exactly what's going into your body, I feel this one of those arguments that really has no true answer.

To me, the real question is: Did you enjoy that piece of cake? If the answer is yes, then does it matter whether it's a mix or a scratch recipe?

If the answer is "no," then I say subtly or tactfully inquiring about the recipe is probably fair, just so you can avoid it in the future (whether it's scratch or mix). Life's too short to eat icky cake when there's so much good cake out there :raz:

...now back to my regularly-scheduled lurking...

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That said, since going gluten free in April 2005 (celiac disease) my tune has changed. I'm getting the hang of baking without that wonderful, evil protein, but there's a white/yellow mix by Celimix that I would go so far as to say is better than any regular mix I've tasted. Goes together in a snap, always bakes perfectly, has a great texture - even more so for being gluten free - and lasts for days.

How the mighty have fallen  :rolleyes:

FYI, The Gluten Free Pantry makes a brownie mix that produces one of the best brownies I've eaten, including scratch. I first had it years ago at one of my kids' friend's birthday celebration. We use it sometimes even though no one here has any wheat issues.

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    • By amyneill
      Hi all!! 
      I work at an amazing little New Zealand Style ice cream shop in the beautiful Denver Colorado. I was hoping to get a little help on the subject of adding fruit into ice cream after extracting it and ensuring that, when the ice cream is frozen, the fruity bits don't turn into rock hard shards. I am planning on doing a cherry chocolate ice cream and I was going to soak some dried cherries that we're no longer using for something else. I was planning on using some brandy and a ton of sugar, but I was really hoping someone had a tried and true method they could send my way so that I KNOW that the fruit will be luscious as it's frozen. If you have a certain sugar ratio. I know there is the brix test, but to be honest it's been many years since pastry school and I am very rusty. Would love to hear from some of my fellow sugar-heads. 
      Thank you!
      Amy
       
    • By MightyD
      cakes, cookies, pies, that makes you smile!!!!
    • By meryll_thirteen
      Hi guys! I got excited to post something as this is my first one.
      So, the top 3 desserts I like to eat when I was still in Philippines were Halu-halo (literally means mix-mix in english), brazo de mercedes and chocolate crinkles.

      1. HALU-HALO is one of the popular food during summer. This is basically:
      shaved ice with evaporated milk,
      sugar,
      and the following:
      - nata de coco (coconut cream based on a google search, these are cube-like jellies),
      - sweetened red beans,
      - sweetened bananas,
      - cooked sago or tapioca,
      - ube or purple yam,
      - leche flan (this is also one of the best desserts to eat),
      - macapuno (made of coconut),
      - sweetend jackfruit,
      - sweetened kamote (this is similar to sweet potato but caramelized),
      - sweetened kaong (sugar palm fruit)
      - and topped with a scoop of ice cream.
      These fruits are usually bought in jars (found mostly in Asian grocery stores). You basically put the fruits at the bottom, add sugar (if you want because almost all the fruits are sweetened so it's already sweet), then you fill the cup/bowl with shaved ice and add milk. And most importantly, mix it well before you eat because you don't want to eat shaved ice with milk only and then eat the really sweet fruits last.

      2. BRAZO DE MERCEDES
      Yah, I think the name is Spanish? I tried making this but I just failed. It's kinda hard to do and takes a lot of patience but it's really worth it. This is my favourite cake! In Philippines, most bakeries sell this but my favourite is from Goldiluck's which is located in shopping malls.
      Brazo de Mercedes recipe

      3. CHOCOLATE CRINKLES
      These are my favourite chocolate cookies! I think this one isn't really from Philippines but they are really popular. I was kinda shocked when I came here in Canada, because they don't sell these cookies in the bakeries I've been to so I tried baking these on my own. Since my post is getting long, I'll put the recipe as a link at the bottom.
      http://sweb2.dmit.na...rinkles-recipe/
      I hope you enjoyed my post! Happy eating and baking everyone!
    • By ChrisZ
      Hoping for some help.  I accidentally melted an old mould that is very important to us and I've had no luck searching around for a replacement.  
      If anyone knows where I could buy one - or even has one to spare they would be willing to sell - please send me a message.
      The mould (label attached below) was originally labelled as "Easy as ABC gelatin mould", although we just call it the alphabet mould.  Yes there are lots of alphabet moulds around, including new silicone ones, but we need the specific designs on this one to replace the one I damaged.  Depending on the cost, I would consider paying for postage internationally (to Australia).
      Thanks in advance!

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