Do Americans really use packet cake mix as much as recipes suggest?

(92 Posts)

I keep on seeing recipes that involve packet cake mix. I know you can buy it here, but I am not aware of anyone using it here in the UK. Do Americans really use it?

ReallyGoodDrawer Tue 22-Oct-13 23:09:43

I've wondered this too (thanks to my Pinterest addiction) I'll sit here and wait for replies too!

eightandthreequarters Tue 22-Oct-13 23:11:55

Yes. They do. Many can't make pancakes (American style) without a packet mix.

Bunbaker Tue 22-Oct-13 23:15:23

I asked this question of an American friend who came to stay recently and she said they do. She also commented on how small our tins, jars and packets of food are, and then added "that's why we have an obesity problem back home"

bacon Wed 23-Oct-13 12:27:06

Yep if you go on Cake Central and on the forums they call cake making like we do "scratch cakes". But there seems to be quite good mixes that professionals use.

They use a considerable amount of veg fat and sugar and very keen on butter icing everything <boak>.

mignonnette Wed 23-Oct-13 12:29:22

God I do love Duncan Hines Strawberry Sponge Cake made from the mix though- sinful and gorgeous and full of artificial crap.

MuffCakes Wed 23-Oct-13 12:29:53

My american friend makes cakes by using packet mix and adding spoonfuls of extra sugar flour butter and eggs to mix till it looks ok and bakes it. They usually come out alright. not as light and buttery as mine

ouryve Wed 23-Oct-13 12:35:52

Since all you need for a basic cake is sugar, flour, butter and eggs, then why does she bother with the mix, Muffcakes?

frogs Wed 23-Oct-13 12:36:51

so what does packet cake mix have in other than flour and sugar? And why would you use it rather than use flour, sugar, butter and eggs?

[baffled]

frogs Wed 23-Oct-13 12:37:20

Crossed posts, great minds etc. grin

I have often wondered about this too. The recipes on pinterest are mostly using packet mixes.

Either bake or buy processed crap. Don't buy processed crap and convince yourself you are baking. hmm

What we need here is an actual American, because I am yet another person who has always wondered this. Especially when the recipe seems to start with a mix and then adapt it so much that you wonder why they bothered with the mix in the first place confused.

Catchhimatwhat Wed 23-Oct-13 12:57:34

I also wonder this too!

LadybirdsAreFab Wed 23-Oct-13 13:03:20

I have a Canadian friend and when our DDs wanted the same birthday cake she came to me for advice as she had no idea how to make one from scratch. She was amazed it was so easy. Could't convince her that home made butter cream was much nicer than the tinned stuff though.

eightandthreequarters Wed 23-Oct-13 13:04:50

I am an actual American - I didn't know you could make cakes without packets until I moved to the UK at 18! (That was sadly a long time ago.) I know of no American friends or family who would bake a cake, make pancakes or even simple biscuits (like scones) without using a packet. My mother would not necessarily have flour in her cupboard, much less baking powder or vanilla. I made a batch of corn muffins at her house, and she was floored that this could be accomplished minus the box of Jiffy mix. (In Mom's defense, she's a great cook and just hates baking.)

If you really want to be freaked out by American cooking, I invite you to google Crisco.

Arohaitis Wed 23-Oct-13 13:12:23

joyofbaking.com has some nice recipes which don't have packet mix in the ingredients list I'm sure it is American, it is however one where I always reduce the sugar and often the fat/butter

(I'm surprised to hear that about pinterest but I don't use it, it's just not what I imagined....)

My cousin was moaning about birthdays and kids and cakes the other day basically too time consuming to go and pick the ordered cake up!!!!!

Arohaitis Wed 23-Oct-13 13:14:12

sorry missed out the fact that she has lived in the States for years blush

LaRegina Wed 23-Oct-13 13:16:26

I have no idea but I always use a Betty Crocker cake mix and they turn out lovely smile

MinnesotaNice Wed 23-Oct-13 13:18:59

I'm American. I actually cook from scratch quite a bit, but my cakes have always looked pretty pathetic. Honestly, I just buy cakes from the store when I need one. We tend to only have cake for special occasions though.

Cookies, however, are always homemade. I have a fantastic chocolate chip recipe.

Pancakes are also from scratch in this house.

My husband makes the waffles so those are from a mix.

Arohaitis Wed 23-Oct-13 13:30:31

So Minne I have always wondered how Americans get those nice think pancakes?

is there a trick to it?

Arohaitis Wed 23-Oct-13 13:30:49

thick
(i'm not doing well today sorry)

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 23-Oct-13 13:31:27

I'm an actual American. I don't cook much but I do sometimes bake. I use cake mixes, but I know people who don't. My best friend and my sister-in-law always bake from scratch. Here is a website for a popular series of cookbooks for baking with mixes.

www.cakemixdoctor.com/

One thing I learned is that white cake mix has the least amount of artificial flavorings so using that as a base and adding your own flavorings is what I do. I also make my own frosting from scratch.

DH is the pancake maker in our house. He usually makes them from scratch. I am a Southerner. I make biscuits the way my grandmother did so no mix for that. And I know how to make scones from scratch, too. smile

Sittingbull Wed 23-Oct-13 13:31:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 23-Oct-13 13:36:26

I asked DH about the pancakes. His are the world's best. Fact. He beats the eggs separately until they are pretty frothy, then gently adds them to the rest of the batter. This makes the pancakes light but thick. And for the little ones, he makes them in the shape of Mickey Mouse. smile

expatinscotland Wed 23-Oct-13 13:39:33

The great (and British) Mary Berry prefers oil or Stork in cakes over butter. After trying one of her recipes, I can see why!

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