Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

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This web site makes the bold claim that most home bakers
cannot make a cake from scratch better than from a boxed
cake mix.

http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/cake.html

His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.

He also says that making certain changes to the recipe
on the box results in even better cakes.  He cites a
book, _The_Cake_Mix_Doctor_, which agrees with him and
describes some of these methods.

Most of his page describes the experiments he did to
verify the tips in that book, and to compare all of the
boxed cake mixes he could get his hands on.  Most of
the tips didn't pan out, but the modifications he
developed worked very well.

I think this will come as a surprise to many bakers,
that making a cake from a box mix gives a better result
than most bakers can achieve from scratch with butter, etc.

Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
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  The flaw in his argument is that he only tested box mixes against other
box mixes. He may well have identified which box cake is the least awful,
but he hasn't proved  it was better than made-from-scratch because no such
comparison was  made.

 I don't have any problem weighing ingredients exactly.

    Janet



Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
Mark Thorson wrote:
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"MOST" bakers may be the key point. MOST people are lousy cooks in general.
That doesn't mean that a good cook cannot prepare a dish that outshines
something produced in a mediocre restaurant or a boxed mix. If people bake
cakes from scratch using lousy technique, ingredients, recipes, and
equipment, then indeed a box might be better, because it has been
contstructed to be more or less idiot-proof.

I can assure you that I can bake a cake that is better than boxed mixes. I
use cake flour and superfine sugar, I use real butter, and I use the
excellent recipes and techniques found in The Cake Bible and some Maida
Heatter books. I measure precisely. I use good cake pans and magicake
strips. I am careful to remove the cake from the over when it is just done
rather than letting it sit for another 5 minutes to dry out. And so forth.



Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???


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I've found MOST people to be good cooks in general, but I'm older so
probably a lot more from scratch cooks around me.

Cheri


Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
Cheri wrote:
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Most people here do not cook!  Or not what I would call cooking.  Yes, they
can buy some kind of Hormel precooked meat in sauce or gravy and then cook
some pasta or potatoes or rice to go with it.  And that's as close to
cooking as they'll ever get.



Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

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How about precooked hamburger patties? Quoting from one of your posts today:

"That's what happened to me with hamburger patties. I kept buying these
boxes of precooked ones at Costco. 12 patties to a box ... When I cleaned it
[the freezer] out I gathered them all up and there were enough patties to
fill three boxes!"

Felice



Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

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How about them?  That's not cooking either.  I didn't say that it was.



Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
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But you know what you're doing...I'll wager most people don't!

Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
In article <09fd0272-42f3-4caf-ba56-8c56b2429044
@i39g2000prd.googlegroups.com>, snipped-for-privacy@juno.com says...
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mixes.=20

So can I.=20
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   It's hardly rocket science! It's basic cookery skills, one of the first=
=20
recipes and methods taugh to children here in school cookery.

    Janet.


Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
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As a  market researcher of 35 years' experience, I say hooey to the
broad conclusions.

The major flaw is that most folks were raised on mix cakes - doctored
or otherwise - and that sort of taste and texture is what gets
established as the gold standard in the mind of these beholders. Same
reason that McD's usually wins in French fry contests.

Boron

Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
Boron Elgar wrote:
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I actually know quite a few people who say they prefer the type of bakery
icing that has Crisco in it.  Blech!



Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

On 13/03/2011 4:05 PM, Boron Elgar wrote:

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My mother usually made cakes from scratch, except for chocolate.  She
figured that she would have had to pay extra for chocolate to flavour
the cake, so chocolate cake mixes were a bargain.

Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
On Mon, 14 Mar 2011 11:00:46 -0400, Dave Smith

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I think cake mixes are a bargain, and so are those cans of frosting.
And so is the dollar menu at McD's.  I am not being snobbish, just
truthful. If those are things you like a lot, you can eat quite
inexpensively.

Boron

Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
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I tend to agree with you Boron.    I have recipes that start with a
mix and I have recipes that start from scratch....all are valid and
all are yummy.

Some people don't have the time or expertise to bake from scratch.
There is room in the universe for all kinds of cakes and all kinds of
cooks.

We should not be so judgemental of others, we don't know their
circumstances or level of expertise.






Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
On 14/03/2011 7:22 PM, ImStillMags wrote:

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Time?? How much time do you save by making something from a mix compared
to baking from scratch.  You might save a couple minutes.

Expertise?  I sometimes came home from work to find my teenage son
baking cookies.

Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
 =A0I sometimes came home from work to find my teenage son
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Is he married yet?

Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

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One of the best ones though I ever had was 1 I actually made from scratch
for a birthday.
Both the cake & frosting were made following some Hershey cocoa recipes.
Does that make it a cocoa cake, chocolate, or what? Recipe said chocolate.
It was rich, dense, moist. I'm not sure about the cost but taste.... yum.
Every year now I give him the choice of the chocolate one or cheesecake.



Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

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My wife makes that one too.  Very good with a nice chocolate taste.  She
makes a butter cream icing for it.

Since there are two of us, it is a bit much to eat while fresh so I take
some to work where it is well received.


Deep, Dark Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS:
                1 3/4 cup  flour
                2     cup  sugar

                3/4 cup  Hershey's Cocoa

                1 1/2 tsp  baking soda
                1 1/2 tsp  baking powder
                1  tsp  salt


                2    eggs
                1   cup  milk
                1/2 cup  vegetable oil
                2    tsp  vanilla extract
                1   cup  boiling water


Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Add remaining ingredients except boiling water;  beat at medium speed for
two minutes.

Remove from mixer.  Stir in boiling water.    (batter will be thin)

Pour into two greased and floured 9" or three 8" layer pans, or one 13  x
9.

Bake at  350 for 30 to 35; minutes for layers,  35 to 40 min for 13 x 9.

Cool 10 minutes on rack, remove from pans.



SOURCE: Hershey Advertisment

A moist rich chocolate cake for all chocolate lovers



 


Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

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Now you've done it.  Now I'm jonesing for that cake and I'm on a low carb
diet.  Devil!



Re: Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???
On 3/13/2011 10:00 AM, Mark Thorson wrote:
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My favorite cake does indeed come in a box but it's a frozen Pepperidge
Farms coconut three-layer cake. It's tasty and delicate and the right
size - small. My mom used to buy frozen cakes back in the old days but
it never occurred to me do such a quaint thing. I don't know what the
hell they put in those cakes but I'm pretty much hooked. The lemon cake
is good too. :-)

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