Cake mix vs. Cake from scratch

I realized that a lot of people use cake mixes versus making the cake from scratch. I’m wondering what is your preference here on Cakesdecor.com and why?

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14 Replies

caymancake ...

Hi Sophisticated, I am mostly a scratch baker, with one exception – the WASC which is a doctored cake mix…although I do have a scratch recipe for that too! I really enjoy scratch baking, I think it adds a personal touch and signature flavour to my cakes that makes it all my own. Many of the bakers here in Cayman – including some custom bakeries use box mixes and many customers are fine with the familiar flavor of a box mix. But for me, now that I am used to the taste and textures of a scratch cake, I really dislike the chemical taste of a box mix. Hope that helps! What are your thoughts on this topic?

Lailaa ...

Hello :)

When I started Caking a little over a yr ago all I used was boxed cakes. The thought of making a cake from scratch. I would get so Panicked and nervous. Being a New Cake Decorator/Baker The thought of doing the whole process seemed very overwhelming! I have always made my frostings/Icings from scratch, But Now a yr later I bake from scratch! I totally agree with caymancake, with adding you’re own personal touch! I find it more satisfying giving my customers baked goods from scratch! But it takes lots and LOTS of practice! After Baking cake after cake that tasted like cornbread lol. I have finally got it down. Cake boxes (If you can find one that doesn’t taste like the yucky chemicals) They are good if you’re new and just starting out. I just LOVE this website! Take Care :)

I Sugar Coat It! ...

I am a fairly new baker and I bake from scratch 99% of the time. I don’t sell my baked goods, but if I did I couldn’t see myself selling a boxed cake, as I would expect a cake I purchase to be scratched-made. My preference!

Stevi Auble ...

I scratch bake 100% of the time. For two reasons mainly, first my cakes are quite expensive (mostly due to design) so I feel that if a client is paying for a higher end cake that better darn well be something made from quality ingredients and not taste like something they can purchase at a grocery store. Secondly, box cake is way too light and fluffy, leaving far too much room for error when stacking. And forget sculpting it, there’s no way, you need a much denser cake for that. I have always baked from scratch from the beginning, and believe me I am not a baker, I have had countless numbers of baking disasters!! Even now it is the least fun part of the job a, but it is a necessary one. That’s just my tow cents ;) Good luck with whichever route you choose!!

Tiffany Palmer ...

I do both. When I was first starting out I only did boxed mixes, then started doctoring them. I have just recently found 4 scratch recipes I actually really like so will use them from now on. But I still get a lot of requests for wasc and so I use boxed cake mix for those flavors. I think whatever you’re comfortable with, go ahead and do. Don’t worry that others only bake from scratch. Once you find scratch recipes you like you can tweak them to make a bunch of other flavors as well. I always make all my own fillings and icings because I do those well and they taste much better than pre-made. Baking from scratch though is still a work in process for me but finally starting to figure it out. :)

Bonnie ...

I love that everyone was so kind with this topic. I agree do whatever works for you. I debate this a lot myself. I have lots of scratch and then I do the WASC recipes also. People love those WASC recipes. So It worries me to switch completely. I love to bake though and for my own family I like scratch. So I keep testing and thinking about it. :)

Nikki Belleperche ...

I use scratch recipes, doctored mixes, and just plain mixes for my cakes. It depends on the flavor. I’m coming up on 2 years now as a baker/decorator and over that time I have experimented as much as my time and budget has allowed me to. When I find a scratch cake that comes out great then I stick with it but it doesn’t beat the box or doctored recipe I was using before hand then I stick with what I know tastes better. I have never had a complaint on any of my box mix cakes! Any many people order them time and time again.

Sophisticated ...

I appreciate all the answers. I myself like to bake my cakes from scratch because I feel that if the client is paying the extra $$$ I owe it to them to give them something different than what they would get from the store. But as a lot of you mentioned everyone does what’s more convenient for them, and I totally respect that.

sully ...

i do like from scratch I think it gives a personal touching for yur business, but i have noticed that a a lot of people are expecting a premade box cake I think they are used to the flavor, but don’t get me wrong I do have a lots of people that love my cakes from scratch… like they said whatever works for you and the most important thing is to be honest with your clients who are the ones paying for the product… God bless everyone…

Carolina Cardoso ...

I make all my cakes from scratch! You never know the products they put in the cake mixes, and a cake made from scratch always taste better and as more personality. =)

The Cherry on Top ...

I wouldn’t even consider using a box mix and always make my cakes from scratch. I have customers who tell me they are disappointed now when they buy a cake from the supermarket because it just doesn’t compare. For me the flavour of the cake is at least, if not more important than the way it looks and I get such a confidence boost every time someone tells me they think my cakes are delicious. However, I have been baking since I was 12 and it has taken me years to find the recipes I can really rely on for the results. There’s a huge amount of trial and error and you eventually develop an intuition for how to make your cake as perfect as you want to be so I can understand someone starting out by using a boxes mix. But, when you get the hang of baking there is so much satisfaction to be gained from making your own cakes.

Michele ...

I bake from scratch but struggle with my white cake. I’ve got many others down (chocolate, RV, spice, banana, carrot) but that darn white cake. I’m considering trying out some professional baking mixes just for my white and marble cakes. I have a couple of local bakeries that bakes the BEST white cake from scratch. It’s nice and fluffy and moist even out of the fridge. I just can’t duplicate it. Anyone got a great white cake (or marble) scratch recipe they’d like to share?

I promote I bake from scratch to help justify my prices even though it really doesn’t make much of a difference in base cost. I just want my cake to taste as great as it looks.

If your customers are OK with it, bake from a box if that’s what works for you! And I must say I love all the positive advice and that it’s not turning into a “battle”. I’m loving CakesDecor!

Aine Cuddihy ...

It has to be scratch for me. I hate the taste of boxed mixes. I can always taste the additives they put in. Anyway those chemicals can’t be good for you. I live in Ireland anyway and there isn’t a big selection of boxed cake mixes so I don’t even have to look at that section in the supermarket. I think scratch cakes have their own individual flavours and there’s nothing to beat a nice home made cake. Love this site. I’m new to it and already addicted. Good luck to all fellow bakers and thanks for all advice. I can only aspire to some of your wonderful creations.

CrystalMemories ...

I WANT to bake from scratch and I have a few good recipes, but I have reverted back to box for white cakes and a sturdier chocolate cake because the scratch cakes I’ve found just aren’t good. I’d also be interested in a good white cake recipe if anyone has one :)