Cake Mixes versus Scratch Baking

Cake Mixes versus Scratch Baking

Written by: Dennis Reinhardt


Time to read 3 min

Recipe from scratch or cake mix? Everywhere there are bakers, this question splits them. Both approaches are worthwhile, and your priorities and tastes will usually determine which to choose.


Unquestionably convenient are cake mixes. They save you from measuring many ingredients and guarantee consistency. Because you know it will bake up the same every time, cake mixes are a great option for dependable and fast baking.

Though a little more labor-intensive, scratch baking provides its own sense of fulfillment. You may choose every ingredient and omit preservatives and chemicals. Many find the process satisfying and relish the depth of flavor that comes with handcrafted cakes, even with the additional processes. Remarkably similar in preparation time are cake mixes and scratch cakes; they both take five minutes to mix and thirty minutes to bake. But cleaning up after scratch baking might be a little more involved.

Taste and Texture

Scratch cakes are usually the best tasting cakes. Rich and buttery, scratch cakes have a soft, delicate crumb that boxed mixes may find difficult to equal. They stay clear of the sometimes flat, unduly sweet flavor profile that comes with pre-made mixes. The subtleties of flavor from vanilla, fresh butter, and other premium ingredients make scratch cakes a sensory experience.

But cake mixes are made to be dependable; they provide a consistent texture every time. This can be a big benefit for people that value convenience and consistency. Though cake mix is simple, its flavor frequently evokes a sentimental comfort that might be alluring.


Bakers that are health-conscious may prefer to work from scratch. Cake mixes often have artificial additives, while Healthfulness cakes let you select premium, natural ingredients. This facilitates the catering to dietary needs and constraints. Making scratch cakes to suit vegan, gluten-free, and other dietary requirements offers people with food sensitivities a better choice.

The fine print on those cake cartons has a few ingredients that don't appear to belong. Things like modified cornstarch, cellulose gum, partly hydrogenated soybean oil, and polyglycerol esters of fatty acids. This may be a strong argument in your favor of handmade over boxed mix if health is a major consideration when you eat cake.


And there's more variety with scratch baking. Recipes can easily change to suit certain requirements or produce unusual tastes. Adding various extracts, varying the sweetness, or incorporating fresh fruits—scratch baking offers countless creative possibilities. Though they can be modified, cake mixes are usually less adaptable than making them from scratch.

A chocolate enthusiast can customize a scratch cake with cocoa powder and chocolate chips, or a citrus lover might add fresh lemon zest and juice. A ready-made blend makes it more difficult to get this degree of personalization.

Consistency and Reliability

Consistency of cake mixes is one of their main benefits. Because every box of cake mix is designed to produce consistent results every time, it's a dependable option for people who do not bake often. Particularly helpful for new bakers or those working under pressure is this regularity.

But scratch cakes are occasionally a little more finicky. The caliber of the ingredients, the accuracy of the measures, and even the baker's familiarity with the recipe can all affect how well a scratch cake turns out. These are easy to control factors for frequent bakers, but they could be difficult for less skilled bakers.

Environmental and Ethical Considerations

Deciding between scratch baking and cake mixes can also have ethical and environmental ramifications. When materials are bought in quantity for scratch baking, packaging waste can be lower than with single-use cake mix boxes. Purchasing organic and local ingredients for scratch cakes also helps to promote sustainable agriculture and lessens the carbon impact of shipping processed items over great distances.

Our Verdict

At Baker’s Authority, we believe there’s a time and place for both cake mixes and scratch baking. Your best friend if you need a fail-safe solution or are pressed for time is a cake mix. Baking from scratch is the way to go if you have the time and want a more individualized, tasty cake. Every technique has its place in the kitchen; which one to choose ultimately comes down to personal tastes and requirements.

What you value most in your baking experience ultimately determines your decision. Both using a box or your preferred recipe might yield mouthwatering, pleasing results.

Enjoy your baking journey, and remember, there’s no right or wrong choice – just delicious cake!