Thread Number: 73172  /  Tag: Recipes, Cooking Accessories
Betty Crocker's New Cake Mix
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Post# 966464   11/6/2017 at 19:20 (321 days old) by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        

Has anyone tried Bettyísô Original Recipe Scratch Cake Mix? three flavors Golden Yellow, Chocolate Joy and German Chocolate Delight Three times the price of the bargain mixes. Calls for butter 3/4 c. 3 large eggs, and 1 c. of milk. Once combined, directions call for 2 min. beating time at high speed. I wonder which original recipe is being referenced? I have not come across any cake recipes having these titles among my Betty Crocker recipes.

Is it really correct to refer to these mixes as "original"? I read that early cake mixes were made having the shortening, flavor and dried eggs and dried milk in the mix. Polls taken is that most people did not buy them because they tasted too artificial. New formulas were developed requiring the addition of fresh eggs and water. Lots of posts from the 1950s Betty Crocker cake mixes verify that fact. Anyone know if Betty Crocker cake mixes always called for eggs? Early Swan's Down cake mixes were "all you add is water type of mix"


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Post# 966466 , Reply# 1   11/6/2017 at 19:31 (321 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

They tell you everything but the weight. Something tells me the "original" contained some extra ounces of mix the modern version conveniently omits in the name of profit. A pretty picture with a retro look does not necessarily make a good cake.

I've been known to use a boxed mix, well tchotchked up of course, and I still prefer the Pillsbury.
I also have to compensate for the missing mix.

Post# 966467 , Reply# 2   11/6/2017 at 19:36 (321 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Russell, the only cake mixes that I recall that didnít require eggs were Jiffy Cake Mix, they are single layer size. I havenít used one in over 30 years, so they may require eggs now, but at one time they didnít.

I started making cakes with mixes, by myself when I was about 11 in 1962. All the mayor brands, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Duncan Hines called for eggs and water, some oil. It wasnít until the late 60ís or so that oil also became an expected addition by the baker. And Iíve seen in old magazine ads where in the late 40ís/ early 50ís milk was a required addition in Betty Crocker cake mixes.

I often use milk in place of water when using a mix, which is seldom. Just because the instructions call for water doesnít mean you canít substitute milk, the cake will be richer.


Post# 966482 , Reply# 3   11/6/2017 at 21:36 (321 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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about 19 ounces.  Box says 12 servings at 45g each that works to be 540 grams. 

Post# 966485 , Reply# 4   11/6/2017 at 21:50 (321 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

I’m somewhat puzzled by cake mixes.  A plain yellow cake is so easy to make, it seems odd to buy a mix that requires eggs and butter.  The only other ingredients are flour and sugar.  Half the work of making a cake is buttering the pans, a task I really dislike for some reason—and the box does nothing to help with that.

Post# 966492 , Reply# 5   11/6/2017 at 22:05 (321 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Iím not crazy about greasing cake pans either. I use baking spray with flour in it most of the time, unless I particularly want the flavor of butter on the crust. Its so much easier.

I prefer to make my own cakes from scratch too most of the time. Once in a blue moon Iíll use a mix, but I always doctor it up, use butter and milk in place of the oil and water. And Iíll often add an extra egg too.

And when I make a butter type cake from scratch I use the reverse creaming method, instead of creaming the butter and sugar the traditional way. The cakes come out better this way in my opinion and its almost as easy as making a mix. Just add the dry ingredients to your mixing bowl, use the mixer on low to mix them together, add the softened butter and mix with the dry ingredients on low until uniformily incorporated, should look a little like wet sand. Now add the eggs and other liquid ingredients and mix on low for 30 seconds, increase speed to med and continue to beat for another 2 mins. Then just bake as per recipe directions. Couldnít be easier. Most of the time I donít even use the stand mixer for this, just pull out the hand mixer. When I make cakes this way they seem to rise higher and retain their height when cooled. The crumb is moist and tender. Give it a try and youíll really like the results and the ease.

Post# 966496 , Reply# 6   11/6/2017 at 22:22 (321 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I, too, am puzzled by cake mixes. They really don't offer a whole lot of convenience as far as I'm concerned.


My mother was not much into baking. She did use cake mixes, I think, particularly IIRC for chocolate cakes. But the #1 cake she made was from scratch--a simple recipe that she was able to do in one bowl. If she'd found that cake onerous vs. a cake mix, I suspect she'd have just used a cake mix.


I will admit that I'm a bit curious about these cake mixes, and I'd be willing to try one just to see what its like. But I can't imagine I'd actually regularly use these even if I started baking regularly again.

Post# 966499 , Reply# 7   11/6/2017 at 22:43 (321 days old) by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        
19.2 oz

is the stated weight of the Golden Yellow mix. A mix that has less in the box yet costs more than twice as much as the other mixes. For that price, I expect it to be indistinguishable from a scratch cake.

In the early 1950s Betty Crocker had a Party Cake mix s that had directions for making flavor variations white (using egg whites), yellow (using whole eggs) and spice (adding cinnamon, ginger, cloves, & nutmeg). Devil's Food was a separate mix.

Why are they called Devil's Food when the flavor comes from chocolate or cocoa.

Post# 966501 , Reply# 8   11/6/2017 at 22:47 (321 days old) by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        
Betty Crocker Party Cake Mix

from the 1950s


Post# 966528 , Reply# 9   11/7/2017 at 05:24 (321 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
You have to understand.....

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First and foremost until (was it?) Fanny Farmer and others sat down and did the hard work working out measurements, cake baking was much about science. Nearly everything was either done by weight, or worse "a pinch, one teacup full, a spoon full, etc...). Well you can see how that might throw a novice housewife or cook off.

Just a bit of history, a "pound cake" in French is "Quarte Quarts", because the original recipes used by bakers called for one quarter each of main ingredients (butter, eggs, flour and sugar).

Cake mix has been around since the 1930's (invented as way to use up excess flour a mill had lying about spare),

The idea was simple; create a standard and easy way for even a young housewife/inexperienced cook to bake a "perfect" cake. Everything needed was measured out and included in the box; all one added was milk or water.....

As to eggs; early testing in the USA and later in Europe found that housewives wanted to feel as if they were putting something of their own into the foods they prepared for their family. So cake mixes often left out the eggs, so Madame (or anyone else) could do so themselves and thus feel involved in the process.

Canned foods of course had been around since the Victorian era. But by the 1920's and 1930's there was a movement to produce wholesome either ready made or things made from packets/mixes. This was first and foremost introduced as a time saver for the housewife. But also it was felt nutritional value could be standardized and (hopefully)the ingredients pure and fresh.

It is around this time you start to see Wonder and other packaged breads. Previously you either went to the bakery daily or made your own.

Those of us who make cakes from scratch likely don't think much of it, and can do so with ease. Not everyone however then or now has that sort of time and or skill. Equally they may not wish to bother.

Just listen to "Betty Crocker"

Or would you rather do this?

You see from the last video what one meant. To young housewive/novice baker just what does "cream sugar and butter together" mean? How long does one mix a cake until the batter forms "ribbons" when beater or spoon is lifted? Just what are those "ribbons" anyway? If making an angel food cake or anything requiring egg whites, what are "stiff peaks"?

Post# 966534 , Reply# 10   11/7/2017 at 06:13 (321 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

I will second Launderess above.

A small thing I'd like to add: a lot of places like Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen and even the Culinary Institute of America strongly suggest that one should measure at the very least the flour by *weight* not volume.

Once you have an accurate scale, and the electronic scales go for 10-20 bucks nowadays, it's actually easier to measure, because you can put a bowl on the scale, zero it, measure an ingredient, zero the scale again, measure the next one etc. There is less stuff to clean up, and it's faster.

It also eliminates one of the biggest problems in baking -- people frequently blame the flour for absorbing moisture but testing reveals that flour doesn't absorb *that* much moisture, and one can eliminate the problem nearly completely by putting the flour in a rubbermaid-like container.

The problem appears in the first place because different methods (and different people trying to follow them) produce a wide variance in the quantity of flour: for example, people who first sift the flour and then carefully spoon it into the measuring cup will likely get about 4 oz/cup of the average all-purpose flour; the "dip and sweep" method tends to get anywhere from 4.5 to 5 (most common) to 6 oz/cup. The problem, as you see, is that 4 to 6 oz/cup is a much larger difference than what the ambient moisture can do to flour.

The other problem is, of course, that if you have a bunch of books, it's impractical to have to look up every time to see how this particular book measures their flour: do they spoon it into the cup without sifting, do they sift, do they just dip and sweep or something else?

All doubt could be removed simply by saying "10 oz of flour".

I used to have a heck of a time baking bread and cakes until I started using weights instead of volumes. If a recipe/cookbook doesn't provide the weight, it's simpler to go to the section where they tell you how to measure the flour by volume, find out how many grams (preferable) or ounces per cup and then annotate the recipe with the weight they intended.

Have fun!
†††-- Paulo.

Post# 966539 , Reply# 11   11/7/2017 at 06:34 (321 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Began weighting ingredients for baking

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After starting with the "Cake" and Bread Machine" Bible books and haven't looked back. Once you start measuring by weight (which is how all professional bakers do things and have done so for ages), it makes things so much easier, and faster.

Once you've got that bit down it is easy to scale up or down a recipe by merely working out the ratio of various ingredients. Again this is how professional bakers can make two layer cake into four, six or whatever is needed.

Post# 966574 , Reply# 12   11/7/2017 at 10:37 (320 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

I haven’t made a plain yellow cake in a while, but Eddie, you have inspired me to try the reverse-creaming method again.  I have used it before with success, but it’s been a while.  I usually make a génoise cake, which I happen to like; it’s great in trifle.  I also make pound cake using Flo Braker’s method, and that works really well.  And I make the pound cake that Hans posted a few years ago—I make that one a lot, actually.


Launderess hit the nail on the head when she pointed out that the mixes were not intended for people who regularly bake.  All they need is a bowl and a spoon, and the only technique required is stirring.  That would have been a miraculous wonder in the mid-20th century.  These days, though, it seems like people who don’t bake just pick up something at the bakery and never even consider making something themselves. 

Post# 966576 , Reply# 13   11/7/2017 at 10:40 (320 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

And I weigh everything when I bake.  I started doing it 20 years ago, and I never looked back.  Scales are so cheap and small now that anyone can use one, and the results speak for themselves.  One of the big surprises for me was how easy it became to make biscuits.  Those are notorious for going wrong, and I had my share of misfortunes in the past.  But with a scale, they come out right every time.

Post# 966604 , Reply# 14   11/7/2017 at 12:47 (320 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Iíve never gotten into the habit of weighing flour for baking, too much trouble for me, I keep it simple. But I do aerate the flour before I measure. I keep my flour in a large Rubbermaid container with a stainless steel 1/2 cup measuring cup. Before I measure I take out the measuring cup, put the cap back on the container and shake it upside down a few times, the volume will increase by a few inches in the container. I then dip the meauring cup in the flour and sweep of the top. This works well for me, not scientific or acutely accurate, but my results are always good, so Iím good with it too. Everyone that bakes has their own methods and tricks. I guess if Iíd started out weighing flour when I first began baking over 50 years ago, thats what Iíd be comfortable with. But I have the greatest appreciation for bakers that do weigh, shows that they want to do their very best! And I always am learning, especially from members who post here.

Post# 966605 , Reply# 15   11/7/2017 at 12:58 (320 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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Overhere in Europe we always weigh our ingredients. Cups and spoons are something extraordinary here. I saw them for the first time on my first trip to the USA.

Post# 966625 , Reply# 16   11/7/2017 at 15:45 (320 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Perhaps the biggest development for home baking

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Came with ranges/ovens that offered thermostatic temperature control. This gave housewives/anyone else baking a way to accurately control oven temperature which we know is important to baking cakes, breads and so forth.

In ovens of old such as AGA types you had a "baking oven" and perhaps a "roasting oven", with temps controlled more by distance from fire and or using dampers. Not exactly a foolproof way of baking.

All this meant you needed considerable skill and experience in baking to produce good results. Cakes back then were a rare treat. The most common would likely have been sponge, Genoise, and pound cakes.

What you did get most often were pies, biscuits and other pastries. These are more forgiving once you learn how to work with dough. Then you had fried things like donuts, fritters and so forth. And of course cookies....

All this was assuming one even had an oven. In many communities it was common for housewives to take their baking over to the local baker and use those ovens.

Post# 966628 , Reply# 17   11/7/2017 at 16:01 (320 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
Cake Mixes

After baking hundreds, if not thousands, of cakes over the past 40 years I've only used a mix once, and that's because it was given to me. I must say, it mystifies me why anyone would use them! The exception would be young people who didn't keep the basic ingredients in their homes.

I don't know whether anyone else has done them, but the most challenging cakes are those made with whole wheat flour--real whole wheat flour, not the junk found in the grocery stores, warm and fresh from the mill. Because they tend to be heavier, they can be more difficult to make. I've always enjoyed making angel food cakes, my favorite recipe is probably the Marion Cunningham/Fannie Farmer recipe. However, it's entirely possible to make a delicious whole wheat angel food cake, particularly if one is using soft white or golden wheat.

One of my favorites to bake for others has been the Bevelyn Blair peanut butter pound cake with peanut butter frosting, done in either a tube or a Bundt pan. Always a hit. Also, her red velvet pound cake (which is really just a conventional pound cake colored with red food coloring) with cream cheese frosting. I've enjoyed making, for Christmas or Hallowe'en parties, a pound cake in a Bundt pan where I'll bake one in one color, red for instance, then another in green, then after they're done, slice them and alternate the colors before icing or glazing. The amazing Maida Heatter has a scrumptious lemon loaf cake with a lemon glaze drizzle that's been a hit for me.

Post# 966640 , Reply# 18   11/7/2017 at 16:34 (320 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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When I'd forgotten the "joys" of measuring for cakes when I commented that it seemed like cake mixes really don't make things more convenient. It's been so long since I baked a cake (probably close to 21 years now)...I got by fine years back with measuring cups. The biggest problem I had with one cake recipe that I worked with (from Fannie Farmer) was adjusting for the all purpose flour we used instead of real cake flour. Fannie Farmer, helpful as ever, had some suggestion that worked.

This post was last edited 11/07/2017 at 16:53
Post# 966646 , Reply# 19   11/7/2017 at 16:51 (320 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
All purpose flour

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Like many things meant to perform for a wide variety of others (cake, bread, etc..) always isn't the best thing for cakes. Or other baked goods for that matter IMHO.

Cake flour is softer which makes for a tender crumb.

The only so called *AP* flour one would ever use for baking is White Lily...

Of course one must take home economy into consideration. If one rarely bakes then a bag of AP flour will likely suit because it can used for nearly everything. Unless one has large enough freezer storage space, and probably vacuum sealing equipment it rarely pays to lay in large amounts of flour just for one purpose such as cake or pastry. The stuff goes buggy after awhile and or just otherwise isn't up to the job.

Being as this man know people who do or did stockpile White Lily and other special flours. This was more because certain flours are only sold in a geographical area. So getting one's hands on the stuff usually means mail order, or something similar.

White Lily long known in the South was hardly a "Yankee" cult following until word got out.


Post# 966649 , Reply# 20   11/7/2017 at 16:57 (320 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I vaguely recall using cake flour at least once. But it was definitely not a routine staple item when I was growing up. (I have a vague memory that there might have been one box that my mother used one time for one recipe...and then rotted on the shelf until it got tossed.)



Post# 966654 , Reply# 21   11/7/2017 at 17:02 (320 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

White Lily and Martha White makes good quick breads, cookies and crust, IMO.
I prefer a good bleached white flour for cakes. Adluh is great. So is Hudson Cream and, of course, cake flour such as Swan's Down.
I like to sift plain flour two or three times before measuring for cakes and just once for cake flour..

Post# 966656 , Reply# 22   11/7/2017 at 17:09 (320 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I buy bread flour in 25 lb bags, Put it in two gallon zip-lock bags.  It lasts me 4 months or so as I make 1 large sourdough rye usually weekly.  Also use the bread flour for my sweet doughs at Christmas and Easter, always make poppy seed rolls.  When I make a cake my go to is a Chiffon cake, most use AP flour, some call for cake flour, always keep both on hand.  Proper creaming is the key to a good cookie or cake - or frosting for that matter.

Post# 966663 , Reply# 23   11/7/2017 at 17:52 (320 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Slightly OT but what's everyones experience with recipes baking times in correlation with how ovens manage temperature? Ever since getting this GE dual oven gas range everything takes longer to bake than recipes call for. I got an oven thermometer for it and have been keeping an eye on it and it appears to keep + - 10 degrees from setpoint. 

So is it correct for me to assume that most if not all recipes are accounting for ovens with a wider temp swing or run hotter than setpoint? 

Post# 966684 , Reply# 24   11/7/2017 at 19:20 (320 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Four years ago when I got the big KA, I soon thereafter acquired a digital scale.  I weigh flours and sugars when baking as well as chocolate chips, oats, ...  I predominantly use King Arthurs White Whole Flour and through research have prettymuch gotten results for cakes, cookies  quick breads as well as breads rolls (use vital gluten for lighter rise for these).  People were surprised when I told them what flour is used.  I also weigh the whole wheat baking mix when I make biscuits or other recipes on the box.  Also weigh cereal each morning, frozen veggie proportions, 3 oz. of meat when apportioning leftovers after a roast or meat loaf.  Also my baby carrots for snack packed in my lunch. 

Post# 966686 , Reply# 25   11/7/2017 at 19:30 (320 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        

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Probably the right answer is to do what you have already done; using a properly calibrated oven thermometer get to know how evenly or whatever your oven heats.

Some ovens are remarkably accurate, others swing widely, and cost is not an indication of quality in that area.

Many bakers/cooks will also make a few tests using recipes that *never fail* to get an idea of what a new oven is like. One can tell by how cake turns out if there are any problems with the oven and or if corrections need to be made.

Post# 966687 , Reply# 26   11/7/2017 at 19:32 (320 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Anyone remember

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When box cake mixes gave directions for hand mixing?

IIRC on Duncan Hines the box stated something like 300 strokes or some such.

Can you imagine a busy mother counting up to 300 only to be continuously distracted and so forth. "Now where was I"? " Was it 200 strokes or 20"? *LOL*

Post# 966690 , Reply# 27   11/7/2017 at 19:35 (320 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I have an absolute aversion to weighing any food, I was tramatized by Weight Watchers, having to weigh and measure everything, LOL!

Cooking and baking are something that I enjoy and Iíve never had any complaints about the results, so Iíll keep it simple. I can eyeball somethings just by site, if Iíve prepared the recipe many times before.

Likewise,I won my life long battle with weight control once I lightened up and trusted my eyes to judge correct portion size.

When I do measure while cooking and baking standard measuring cups and spoons are working well for me. If it ainít broke donít fix it.

Post# 966698 , Reply# 28   11/7/2017 at 20:40 (320 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Eddie I can understand.  The opposite was with me.  I felt being empowered when I started weighing.  Amazes me who a specified servicing per package of item turns out to be.  Has helped me with portion control. 

Post# 966700 , Reply# 29   11/7/2017 at 20:51 (320 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Bob Iím glad it works for you, I know anything that helps you to take good care of yourself is a good thing!

Years ago when I first started going to WW it helped me too to get a proper perspective on just what a 1/2 cup of rice was supposed to look like, for example. You do this measuring and weighing long enough and youíll be surpirsed that the portions sizes get to be instinctive for you. Thats when youíll hopfully trust your eyes to tell you what the correct size should be.

Post# 966736 , Reply# 30   11/8/2017 at 01:23 (320 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Insightful article, Launderess. I'm tempted to get a second oven thermometer just to make sure the first one is right. I've suspected the longer bake times are due to how fast the burner cycles on this oven, I've never seen an oven burner cycle so fast. And in the article they suggested that the recipes on the box are indeed being conservative as I suspected.

The message I'm getting is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to how hot or cool an oven runs, but the perfectionist in me doesn't want to accept this and wants to experiment and analyze this oven and the overall subject at hand until I'm blue in the face.

Post# 966742 , Reply# 31   11/8/2017 at 02:03 (320 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

Funny thing, scales. Coming from health care I'd see variations of 10+ pounds from one set to another weighing patients. It's why they tell people to always weigh themselves on one set all the time. Most of those little bathroom scales aren't very accurate at all--digital or not.

I can remember as a chemistry major in college using those Mettler scales; heaven only knows what kids use today. Most accurate scales are still the kind with weights on one side and the item on the other.

Here in the humid South, the weight of flour can vary enormously from season to season and even week to week. And that's with air conditioning! I've found that weighing, for breads and cakes at least, can at times be correct and at other times be way, way off. The trick is to do enough bread doughs and enough cake batters to know what it should 'feel' like and look like.

Post# 966745 , Reply# 32   11/8/2017 at 02:36 (320 days old) by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

It reminds me somebody I know very well... (I won't say it's my husband)

He cooks amazingly well (I never saw him cooking)

The only thing he "cooked" for me was cookies... only once..... he says he made it from scratch.

Coincidently, it tasted exactly like Toll House, that one that comes in a giant tablet you just need to break and toss into the oven.

His "homemade from scratch" was so perfect that i had the impression I saw the Toll House logo in one of the cookies.

Now, for me, a typical Brazilian... There's nothing more disgusting than boxed, canned, packed, industrialized, whatever food. Cake mix? NEVER! It can be the best brand in the world, it will always be a boxed crap. Real cake is made from scratch, and I mean it.

Obs. I REALLY know how to cook and I love cooking.

Post# 966747 , Reply# 33   11/8/2017 at 02:42 (320 days old) by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

... and about buttering the pan...

Come on guys... One can do that in 30 seconds using a paper towel, butter and some elbow grease. No dirty fingers!

Spray? nah... It's useful in the bedroom, never in the kitchen.

Post# 966790 , Reply# 34   11/8/2017 at 08:53 (320 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

I can’t exactly explain why I dislike buttering the pans, but it really gets on my nerves.  It must be some childhood trauma that I’ve repressed!!  I do use butter, though, since the various sprayed products leave a little taste that doesn’t appeal to me.

Post# 966883 , Reply# 35   11/8/2017 at 17:55 (319 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
If you bake often enough

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A pre-made mixture of Crisco, vegetable oil, and flour for "greasing" baking pans can be made in advance.

Post# 966885 , Reply# 36   11/8/2017 at 18:09 (319 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Thats a great hint Launderess, Iíll have to give it a try. The baking sprays do impart a slight flavor, not particularlly bad. Iíll get one of those silicon pastry brushes, so it will be easier to clean.

Post# 966902 , Reply# 37   11/8/2017 at 19:29 (319 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        

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Have always used a folded piece of wax paper to slather on Crisco or whatever shortening, then flour. Takes about a few seconds at best, and leaves one without greasy fingers.

Do not like any of the "PAM" type sprays; they leave a nasty residue on pans/bakeware that not even automatic dishwashers seem to shift. That residue also turns my aluminum and stainless steel pans an odd shade of brown/tan.

Post# 966908 , Reply# 38   11/8/2017 at 19:53 (319 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Flour is the key

You can sift and weigh and whatever else you want to do. But if you don't use a good soft winter wheat flour. You won't have luck with cakes muffins or biscuits. Gold medal is fine for yeast bread. But I would no sooner try to make a biscuit with it as I would try to fly a broom. White lily is not as good as it once was. They don't make it in Tennessee anymore and it really is not the same. Biscuits need self rising flour I like virginias best or adluh for fine layer or angel food. Swans down cake flour most old biscuit makers never measure anything and turn out biscuits much better than mine. Real lard also makes for better biscuits but I rarely use it crisco is fine

Post# 966911 , Reply# 39   11/8/2017 at 20:02 (319 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        

Old ladies break every rule when making biscuits and get perfect results every time. Most keep a bowl full of self rising flour in their kitchen. They add a handful of crisco or lard. Pour some buttermilk on that then mix the milk and shortening together well then work in enough flour to get a soft dough working the dough three or more times as much as you are supposed too then pinch off the dough make the biscuits by hand and most bake them in a 500 degree oven when they are done they side more flour into the bowl on top of what's left for the next time

Post# 966921 , Reply# 40   11/8/2017 at 20:40 (319 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Oh good grief Hans,  That is breaking just about every rule.  But in some ways I don't blame them.  I kinda do drop biscuits like that and they aren't too bad. 

Post# 966935 , Reply# 41   11/8/2017 at 21:43 (319 days old) by nmassman44 (Boston North Shore Massachusetts)        

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I can tell you first hand that I tried that cake mix at the top of the thread. I was intrigued at first when I saw it at the store. I bought the Yellow Cake and the Chocolate Devils Food one. I made the yellow cake with high hopes that maybe it would be good, but it wasn't. It was bland and OMG so dry. I baked it using a conventional bake instead of convection baking it so that might have caused it to dry out. Not even frosting it helped. Needless to say it went down the pig aka garbage disposal.

Post# 966943 , Reply# 42   11/8/2017 at 22:20 (319 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I tried one too

It wasn't dry but it wasn't good either it had a artificial taste

Post# 967007 , Reply# 43   11/9/2017 at 10:52 (318 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

Speaking of grandmas that never measure anything...


My grandmother made excellent biscuits pretty much as you describe.  But she made them almost every day for decades—in other words, thousands of times.  I don’t make anything that frequently so I have to check myself with scales and measuring spoons and all that.  The problem with baking is you can’t adjust it at the end, the way you can with other things.  What you bake is what you eat.

Post# 967011 , Reply# 44   11/9/2017 at 11:04 (318 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
Cream Biscuits

I used to make biscuits intuitively because I made them almost daily for the ones I loved. No measurement.

For anyone who loves biscuits, check out James Beard's cream biscuit recipe, where he uses heavy cream instead of milk. They are amazing.

Post# 967040 , Reply# 45   11/9/2017 at 14:26 (318 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I'm a fan of cream biscuits, as well. Have never made any other kind.

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Post# 967041 , Reply# 46   11/9/2017 at 14:49 (318 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Baking powder biscuits were somewhat common when I was growing up. My mother would make drop biscuits to round out a dinner. I think chilli was one such time. I think the recipe was probably Fannie Farmer (that was her basic cookbook). I think I even got tired of them at some point...but then later on embraced them again as something that could round out a meal.


I haven't baked them much in recent years. I had a phase of having them a year or so ago, although I'm sure that people in the south would be appalled with the recipe that used cooking oil and whole wheat flour. But it was a good match for the realities of today--whole wheat flour is healthier, and I don't keep solid cooking fat around (options all too expensive--like butter--or too unhealthy--like cheap margarine).

Post# 967042 , Reply# 47   11/9/2017 at 14:51 (318 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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It's interesting reading the comments about this cake mix above from people who hated it... I'd been half thinking maybe of getting a box to make myself a birthday cake when that horrible day rolls around again...but I won't bother now, and just keep my 20+ year streak of no birthday cakes intact.

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