Unpopular Opinion About Box Cakes

The good ones are better than scratch cakes.

I’m referring to the basic mixes, not some specialty extravaganza you inherited from your Hungarian grandmother, with sour cream and ripe plums. Those types of cakes can only be made by scratch.

But the basic chocolate, vanilla, or gold cake layers are better than anything you can come up with, because science.

They will be the right cross between fluffy and moist. They will taste better because the chemists have come up with bakery emulsions that far outstrip so-called natural ingredients in flavor.

Canned frostings are terrible, though. My solution is to bake a box cake and cover it with homemade frosting.

One day I’ll experiment with a scratch cake and a bakery emulsion to see if I can match the box cake masters.

I realize that taste is subjective, and this goes against everything foodies believe, but I believe that most people, if given a blind taste test, would agree with me.

I make my own cookies, breads, pizza, and even a pretty good country phyllo dough. But cakes? I leave them to the boxes.


If this falls into your basics idea, my wife has been baking the box mix for angel food cake for decades. She loves that cake mix.


By co-incidence, my companion in life has today made a first attempt at Devils Food Cake, from scratch. Total failure and it’s now in the rubbish bin. Got distracted and forgot to put any sugar in it. Tasted vile.


Your SO has my sympathy. These things happen esp. w/complex recipes & DFC is a complicated cake, esp. nowadays because most recipes call for both cocoa powder AND melted chocolate. Really, the whole thing is silly. Unless you’re a dedicated baker the expense just isn’t worth it.

Haha. I wasn’t thinking of angel food cake as it’s pretty simple but I bet there is something in this that makes it better than mine. I happen to have 5 extra egg whites hanging around so I might use them in an angel food cake.

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Not quite cake but the spirit is the same.

I’m heading to Bermuda in a few weeks to move a boat to Puerto Rico. I have a soft spot in my heart for H.M. Customs Bermuda and Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) Bermuda. They are examples of what government institutions should be.

This trip I’m taking three boxes of Betty Crocker Supreme Triple Chunk brownie mix with me. One for Customs, one for Bermuda Radio, and one for my boat crew. It just isn’t worth running around for the discrete ingredients to make brownies from scratch.


I like cake mix cakes, and doctored cake mix cakes. I’ve mostly made cakes from scratch the past 15 years. From age 12 to 25, most cakes I made were made from a cake mix. I’ve only made angel food cake from the mix.

I also like commercial frosting, from the dry mix or from the tub. I don’t buy it often, but when I was a skinny teenager, I’d eat that frosting out of the container with a spoon.


Are brownies a standard “bribe” to the authorities when you arrive in port?
I’d imagine it might work the world over.

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No. It’s a “Davism.” grin Mostly people complain. I look for things to be grateful for and express my appreciation. Usually letters to management for individual efforts, and something else (like brownies) for groups.


Shame. I’d rather have liked the idea that HM Customs could be bribed with brownies. I wonder if it might work with the Revenue part of the organisation.


I exempted brownies from my prime directive, but I might try this.

All that melting & mixing…

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I’ve never cared much for Angel Food Cake, but I can certainly see the allure of Betty Crocker AFC mix. Why go through all that trouble of beating a dozen egg whites to the proper consistency etc. when you can just add water to a mix and get the same result. I don’t blame her one bit. In fact, I applaud her.:slightly_smiling_face:


@Miss_belle, my wife just read your post and is smiling ear to ear.


Odd man out, here. We make several “scratch” cakes that are little more work than box cakes.
Carrot cake, and its cousin chocolate carrot cake. Guinness chocolate cake. Sponge cake for birthday sheet cake. Lemon/yogurt or sour cream cake. They come together easily and taste “real”.


I’m right there with Dave on brownie mix. I have a couple of recipes for killer brownies, but why, when boxed is easy and good. The Godiva mixes are da bomb.

But for cakes? Nah, I’d rather just not have cake. They’re always tough and taste like chemicals. I can have a yogurt cake in the oven in no more time, and it tastes better.

And my grandmother was known across several counties for her angel food cake. She would come back and haunt me if I ever made one from a box. (She taught me how to make her recipe, so mine are as good as hers, according to my dad and my granddad before he joined her.)

If box cake mix (or packaged frosting) works for you, you do you…no judgment.


The only thing she adds to the box mix is vanilla and almond extracts. Her family loves it with sliced oranges. I wouldn’t dare suggest she make a angel food cake from scratch. Nor will I ever bake one. Why mess with a simple pleasure.

Now I want to bake a cake . I have never made one . I don’t even know what I need . I’m anticipating being on my knees looking through the oven door while baking .Sounds fun .


Also, if you’re me, those discrete ingredients have a tendency to turn to concrete. :upside_down_face:

I read your post out of order and out of context. All I could come up with for the initial letters was “Betty Crocker: A F’ing Cake! Mix!” :grin:

I have the opposite problem. Since I’m only on a given boat for a week or two, what the heck do I do with a five pound bag of flour? Too much of that sort of thing is a budget buster. I generally have $16.50/person/day to work with.