Cake Mixes: Devil’s Tool or Modern Day Convenience?

DSC02903I love to bake. I find it relaxing and in stressful times, focusing on following a complicated recipe, is a zen like experience that takes me out of myself. It is a total escape for me. I have been baking for over 45 years and have some tried and true recipes that I have been making since I was a child and some new ones that have become favourites. With the internet, there are always new recipes to try and I subscribe to a number of food blogs.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a recipe calls for a cake mix! Why would a ‘recipe’ for cake call for a cake mix? If you are baking, obviously you have baking ingredients on hand. I have never used a cake mix. NEVER. Why would I? They are basically pre-portioned and packaged baking ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, along with some unpronounceable and unintelligible chemical preservatives to make the mix shelf stable for all eternity. And then you still have to ADD eggs and oil anyway. For any of you food or baking bloggers out there, sorry, but I stop subscribing to your blogs when you post a recipe for cake that starts with a cake mix.

This Devil’s Food Cake is the best chocolate cake ever! It has become my ‘go to’ cake for birthdays and other celebrations, and it only takes about 10 minutes to mix up. I have made it in a tube pan, as a layer cake, as cupcakes and as shown above, a heart shape for Valentine’s Day. Why, oh why, would you ever use a cake mix?

Now frosting used to be an entirely different matter. Despite the chemicals, I happily used Betty Crocker Creamy Deluxe Chocolate Frosting. No chocolate frosting I ever made came close to its creamy chocolaty goodness until my favourite food blogger, Liz Feltham, gave me her recipe.

What about you? Are you annoyed if a recipe asks you to use a cake mix? Or do I need to get a life?

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12 thoughts on “Cake Mixes: Devil’s Tool or Modern Day Convenience?

  1. Could not agree more! It always makes my heart sink when I see something scrumptious, only to realise that it requires a mix. This even happens on very well established food blogs! I also agree that part of the enjoyment is watching it all come together – plus, cakes taste so much nicer when made from scratch!

  2. I agree! It is so annoying when I’m on allrecipes.com or Pinterest and am looking for a cake recipe and an ingredient listed is a box mix?! So unhealthy, too.

  3. Cake mix is NOT and ingredient. It’s a chemical S#!^ storm that makes lazy people happy. A recipe for a cake that calls for a cake mix is like having a recipe for soup that calls for a can of Campbell’s soup. NO NO NO!

    • Agreed! Btw, do you have a recipe for spaghetti sauce? That starts off with just tomato sauce? I made tomato sauce last fall, but haven’t come up with the right combination of ingredients to make a good spaghetti sauce. The sauce I made is quite acidic and when I add sugar to balance that out, it gets too sweet.

      • Gonna weigh in here 🙂 2 methods with which I have had success to reduce acidity are as follows:
        1. Add tomato paste, a little at a time, with a little salt. It might seem counter indicated but salt actually emphasizes sweetness (hence the addition of salt in baked goods). The key is to use very small amounts and work up.
        2. Baking soda will counteract the acidity; again start with a small amount say 1 teaspoon per quart of sauce. Stir it in it will bubble on top when it stops bubbling, taste.
        I hope these help!

  4. Agree 1 gazillion percent. Why WOULD you want all those chemicals, preservatives, artificial colouring? You wouldn’t! And thank you for the shout-out, you are the best!

  5. I completely agree with your view on cake mixes and never keep a recipe if it has cake mix as an ingredient.

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