The Baking Owl

a blog written by an aspiring 17 year old baker.

Scratch Vs Cake Mix

1 Comment

Hi everyone! Today I have something new for you!

A couple of weeks ago, I was really bored and an idea popped into my head.

If you don’t already know, everything I bake is from scratch. I never got a chance to use boxed mixes to make any of my desserts. However, you probably do know that many people use store bought mixes because it does saves time and effort.

In my experience of baking deserts I have noticed that people really enjoy and appreciate a good cake made from scratch. But there are a lot of people who buy cake mixes mainly for the reasons mentioned above as well as for the taste that comes with it.

But I realized that people don’t usually get a chance to try a boxed mix dessert and a dessert made from scratch at the same time, so they can’t really favor one of the two desserts.

So I decided to make 3 different types of (vanilla flavored) cupcakes and invite all the kids in my neighborhood to try each cupcake and decide which kind of cupcake tasted the best.


The three types of cupcakes I made included cupcakes made from cake mix, cupcakes made with my own recipe, and the last one (also from scratch) a cupcake recipe that I found on the internet.

{Cake mix batter}


{Cupcake batter from scratch (my own recipe)}


{Cupcake batter from scratch (I found the recipe online)}


Since this was my first time of using a boxed mix  so when I went to my local grocery store, I picked a completely random cake mix. I don’t really know if the brand mattered much so I picked up the Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix.


After I made all three cupcake batters, I scooped the batter into cupcake liners that were color coded so that I knew which cupcake recipe was which.

The cupcakes with the yellow cupcake liners were baked with cake mix.


The cupcakes with the blue liners were my own cupcake recipe that were baked from scratch.


And finally the purple cupcake liners indicated that they were the cupcake recipe that I found online.


While the cupcakes were baking, I made a simple vanilla frosting for the two scratch recipe cupcakes and got store bought frosting for the boxed mix cupcakes.

{Store Bought Frosting}


Finished Cupcakes


After all the cupcakes were done, I set up a table in my kitchen and brought 1-2 kids from our neighborhood at a time to try the cupcakes and to tell me what type of cupcake they preferred and why.  I was also able to get a few adults to try the cupcakes as well.


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As for the taste results, 3rd place went to the cupcake recipe I got from the internet, 2nd place went to my own cupcake recipe, and that means 1st place went to the boxed mix cupcakes.

I had suspected that cake mix cupcakes would win. I think that these cupcakes were preferred because most of the taste testers typically don’t get to eat made-from scratch deserts and mostly eat desserts that are either bought from the store (i.e. made from cake mixes) or made at home using boxed mixes.  Two of my testers even quoted about the cake mix cupcakes that  “They tasted like normal cupcakes”.

{Cupcakes made from a boxed mix}

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What I did find interesting was that the few people who have rarely eaten cakes or cupcakes made from a boxed mix preferred the cupcakes made from scratch rather than the cake mix cupcake.

{Cupcakes made from scratch}

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In conclusion, I think that people who usually make desserts from a boxed mix for whatever reason  have overtime developed a taste that appeals to boxed mixes. And since they are used to eating store bought deserts at home, their children have developed the similar kind of appeal to baked goods made from a cake (or cookie, brownie, etc.) mix.

I think this experiment was a great success as it gave me an opportunity to encourage and inspire other kids (and adults too) to start baking from scratch. There are a lot of benefits from baking from scratch, most important being in complete control of the ingredients (have you seen the ingredient list on a cake mix box?!), some of items on the list you can’t even spell. Baking from scratch can be a little messy but it’s healthier. It can be a family activity bringing a lot more fun and joy as well as a feeling of creativity and accomplishment.

If even a few people at first leave the cake mix and start baking from scratch, that will inspire their kids to do the same when they grow up. 

If you enjoy reading posts like this and would like to get updated whenever I post something new, please follow my blog by typing in your email in the “Follow The Baking Owl” box on the right ->->.

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Thanks for reading! 😉


Author: sofia abbas

just a teenaged girl with a food blog and a passion for baking

One thought on “Scratch Vs Cake Mix

  1. This is such a great experiment! I’m sure most people are so used to store-bought cupcakes or those made from boxed mixes, they find the taste of made-from-scratch cupcakes strange. And don’t even get me started on the excessively sweet ready-to-spread frosting made almost exclusively from shortening!


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