This is a serious debate that has caused arguments between bakers all over the world. Some argue that home made tastes better, and is a healthier option and others argue that box mixes are fool proof, and that science can’t be beaten by conventional ingredients and equipment.
Most of us have taken a quick look at the ingredients list on a box cake mix, and I know I’ve been guilty of dismissing certain cake mixes as being full of chemicals. The thing is that baking is all about chemical reactions, and those ingredients each play an important role, in achieving a fluffy, moist, sweet, and soft cake. It is true, that some box mixes contain more ingredients than others, and so if you prefer using box mixes, it’s worth getting to know the ingredients, and experimenting with brands to find the perfect mix for your baking.
Now, let’s take a look at baking from scratch, which is my preferred method, except when I’m in a hurry and need to whip something up with minutes to spare. Baking cakes and other treats from scratch allows a baker to have more control of the ingredients they use, and the baked products have a delicious homemade taste and mouthfeel, when the recipe is successful. Baking from scratch gives the baker a sense of pride and accomplishment, that’s different to the feel you get after using a box mix.
The biggest difference between cake mixes and mixes from scratch are the emulsifiers used in box mixes, which allow fat to mix with water to create a more stable batter, which in turn, allows the batter to hold onto more air bubbles, resulting in a moister, fluffier and softer cake with a perfect, and consistent crumb. When using a box mix, it’s important to carefully follow all the directions for use, in particular the mixing time and speed, which affects how much air is incorporated into your batter.
The following two lists highlight some of the pro’s and con’s of dry cake mix from my point of view. Feel free to use these lists, and your experience to make up your own mind.
Pro’s of using a dry cake mix
- Consistent results.
- Time saving.
- Usually easy to follow recipe.
- Science based formula.
- Longer shelf life.
- Stay moist for longer.
- Lighter, fluffier cake
Con’s of using a dry cake mix
- Taste (depending on preference)
- More ingredients in dry mix than homemade
- Less of a sense of accomplishment
In conclusion, it is perfectly ok to use dry mixes, and the truth is that there are many bakers that do! It is also perfectly fine to prefer baking from scratch.
Feel free to browse our site, to shop our dry mix range, as well as to get some of my favourite bake from scratch recipes!
I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to contact me by email [firstname.lastname@example.org].