When it comes to cakes we are big proponents of from-scratch, as opposed to box mixes. This is not an elitist position; rather, we feel that the packaged food industry has hoodwinked us all into thinking box mixes are faster than from-scratch cakes. They really are not, and the taste tradeoff is huge.
Turns out, a home-baked from-scratch cake can also be considered healthier (if still not exactly healthy)... According to an article in last Tuesday's Daily Mail, written by Jane Clarke, a leading British nutritionist, home-baked cakes can be far more healthy.
Why? First of all, you're in control. You can control the kinds of fats, sugars, and flours you use. According to Clarke, most commercial mixes contain hydrogenated fats, additives, preservatives, and a lot of salt. They can also include artificial colors and flavorings, such as tartrazine, which has been linked to ADHD disorders.
Home-baked cakes, on the other hand, can use plain whole ingredients - organic sugar, flour, fresh butter. You can sub in a little whole wheat flour if you want. You can add fruits and vegetables to add moisture, flavor, and texture - like in our Velvety Beet and Cocoa Cake.
The article is a good read and we wholeheartedly agree with it. Again, we're not trying to be elitist about using mixes; we use plenty of shortcuts, compromises, and time-savers since we do not have all the time in the world to cook. But cake mixes are one of those things we get cranky about; don't let the big food corporations tell you how to save time! Learn the best shortcuts for yourself; we wager that a cake mix won't be one of them, once you've baked from scratch.
UPDATE: Here's our challenge. If you bake two cakes side-by-side, one from scratch and one from a mix, and send us photos and/or a short video reporting on the results, we'll post it. How fast can you bake a cake from scratch?
Check out our favorite, quick and easy from-scratch cake recipes below.
Easy Cake Recipes
• DIY Yellow Cake
• Dark Chocolate Cake
• Caramel Banana Cake
• Pecan Cake
How to Make a Cake - Tips and Techniques
• Baking Lab: Why Did Our Cake Fall Flat?
• Grease and Sweeten Cake Pans
• How to Frost Cakes Without Making a Mess
(Image credit: Daily Mail)