Unpopular Opinion About Box Cakes

I was dissing my own baking, “concrete” as in “eating a sidewalk”

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I hope you do!

Oh, didn’t we all! It was so good!

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I couldn’t eat it as a skinny teenager, so I ate it as a pudgy teenager instead.

I’ve been told, about the frosting, that at least it has less sugar than Nutella. :open_mouth:
I have not investigated that claim.

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Yes! Cake baked from a boxed mix, covered with homemade frosting, was often dessert for Sunday dinner when I was a kid. We’d have dessert with dinner one day a week and Sunday was the big day.

I never made a cake from scratch until I grew up and left home. I tried box mixes with varying results now and then, but because I bake a cake so rarely now I prefer to mix my own.

Still, I see the appeal of a boxed mix. How I used to thrill to the possibilities of the cake mixes in the cupboard. We’d typically have a few varieties on hand when I was growing up. Those boxes held big promise for a modest price and manageable effort.

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Sheet cakes, no icing was the rule in our house when I was a wee one. My mother, who worked, could whip one up from scratch no problem, but the time consumed to bake a layer cake complete with icing wasn’t on her agenda.
I still like no icing cakes. :wink:

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The Godiva chocolate brownie mix is not bad. Not bad as in Panda Express is not bad for American Chinese fast food.

As far as box mixes go, it’s certainly better than most.

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Before lockdown, I was known for my brownies. Everyone loved them. Little did they know that my helpers were Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, and Ghirardelli (whichever was on sale) with a couple of teaspoons of vanilla added. I also would underbake them slightly. I don’t especially enjoy baking, so everyone was happy.

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Ghirardelli Is the secret to my bonfire s’more recipe. Shhh. I’ve made hundreds on the road…and for parties. Homemade don’t work the same.

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Do you use the chocolate or one of their mixes?

Both. The mix holds up the best to a s’more foil wrap fire pit.

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I specifically exempted specialty cakes from my list. I agree that certain things such as carrot cake cannot come out of a box.

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My father would have never tolerated that . . . he had to have dessert every day. I still remember the first time I visited him at work: Hershey’s kisses in one desk drawer, chocolate bars in another, a package of cookies in the third. Silly me, I thought the drawers would be filled with office supplies :crazy_face: At least I know I come by my sweet tooth honestly.

I’ve made cakes from scratch, but from a convenience\cleanup standpoint I generally stick to boxed. Though I agree home made frosting is best. Brownies, on the other hand, are simple enough and don’t require special flour, etc. In fact I just made a batch of my one-bowl brownies two days ago. It was snowing and the gooey chocolateness made me feel warm.

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My sister bakes delicious homemade brownies too. She’s made all kinds of versions. Including beet, avocado, black bean…she would laugh at using a mix for anything. But she loves my s’mores! Shhh.

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I rarely make anything from a box, but I would definitely choose a cake mix over a brownie mix. My favorite brownie recipe is just chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla and a pinch of salt, all of which I always have on hand, and is just as fast as a mix unless you count the extra 2 minutes to melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave.

I agree that box mixes for simple cakes, especially yellow and white, can be hard to beat with a scratch recipe. Part of the problem is that for every great cake recipe out there, there are 100 that are mediocre, and it is impossible to know exactly how one will turn out until you try it. I have a trusted recipe for white cake that I like more than box mixes, but I haven’t found the magic recipe for yellow (for my taste).

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Your ingredients sound a lot like my recipe. Except I melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler and the just add the other ingredients into the chocolate, so only one pan to clean. It only takes a few minutes to melt because instead of using solid baking chocolate I use the cocoa powder (I prefer King Arthur’s double chocolate) + veg oil method for producing unsweetened chocolate.

Years ago a coworker introduced me to a brilliant brownie hack for a nice variation. When you remove the brownies from the oven, poke holes in them with a toothpick, layer Andes mints on top, and spread them across the top. The result is a brownie that has a mint chocolate frosting as well as pockets of chocolate mint inside the brownies. (Yes he was a stoner bachelor, but the trick has stood the test of time for decades.)

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I have to admit that I reach for a box when the grandkids are over and want to. make cupcakes. We do, however, make the frosting. Usually lavender or blue, plus as many sprinkles as they can get away with.

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Mine is one bowl as well - I melt the chocolate and butter together in a large glass bowl in the microwave, then sit that bowl on the scale and plop in the flour and sugar with a mixing spoon so I don’t have to dirty any measuring spoons! The recipe is Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies from David Lebovitz - they are so simple and SOOOOOOOOOOO fudgy!

I love the Andes mints idea too. Stoners know!

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For homemade brownies, this recipe is our absolute favorite and they are stupid simple. I guess, we all have our tried and true!

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@MissDior, what are your thoughts on doctoring up a mix? Sometimes a dry mix is just a launch pad.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold