Ah, the same old debate….should I use cake mix or make a cake from scratch? Yeah, yeah, I know, cake mixes are ever so convenient, inexpensive, and pretty much guarantee good results every time, right? That’s what the manufacturers want you to think! When I tell people I make all my desserts from scratch, they tend to stare at me open-mouthed like I just told them I have a pet dinosaur. Oh, people!
Growing up in Europe, I didn’t know what cake mix was until we moved to Canada. My young and naive self thought all cakes were made the “old-fashioned” way; by measuring and mixing ingredients straight from our cupboards and fridge. My mom and Baba always made everything from scratch. Whether it was dinner or dessert, we always knew exactly what was in it. This magical “cake in a box” thing astounded me. I think we tried the boxed mixes a couple of times, and then abandoned the idea because my mom didn’t like the way they tasted, which was pretty much like the box they came in. Yay, let’s all chomp on some cardboard! No, thanks. So, she kept on making all our cakes and desserts from scratch. No wonder all of our friends always looked forward to our birthday parties. I heard the comment “your mom makes the best desserts” on more occasions than I can count. And why not, the woman obviously knows what she’s doing 🙂 The same goes for cookies, cupcakes, pancakes, brownies, etc. To us, there was no such thing as a boxed mix.
As an adult, I think I’ve used boxed cake mix only a couple of times. I really don’t like the taste of it either, and truthfully, it isn’t really all that much work making a cake from scratch. Or I’m so used to it that I don’t notice the amount of work lol Either way, I prefer to know what is in my food, so making things from scratch is the way to go, for me at least. I get so excited about making something delicious (I know I’m a nerd, you just feel free to chuckle at me) that I want to take the time to do it right, and I don’t want to sacrifice quality and taste for convenience. If you don’t have the time to make a cake, then don’t! Although cakes and desserts are not the most healthy of snacks, at least I know that the ones I make were made with fresh ingredients and free of chemicals and preservatives. As a very picky eater, this is important to me. When the mood for cake strikes (which is often!) why should I go all the way to the store to get a mix when I already have everything I need in my cupboards and fridge? It just doesn’t make sense. Plus I hate grocery shopping and avoid the grocery store except when necessary.
Check out the ingredients below. These are from a box of Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix:
F: Wheat Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Polyglycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Modified Cornstarch, Colored Withsugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono- And Diesters Of Fats, Monoand Diglycerides), Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate). Contains 2% Or Less O (Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake).
Sound delicious? Not so much. Personally, I don’t know what half those words mean. It sounds like a science experiment. I’m sure I could “Google” them or look them up, but I think it’s probably better not to know. This is just my opinion though; if you like cake mix, then to each his own. But at least we can pronounce “flour”, “sugar”, “milk”, “eggs”….
Have a sugarrific day!