Thanksgiving Throw Down! ~ Cake Mix or Bake a Cake from Scratch?

Thanksgiving Throw Down! ~ Cake Mix or Bake a Cake from Scratch?
In America, we celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday the last Thursday of every November. For many, this is their favorite holiday and the Turkey Day meal is the highlight of this social gathering; especially the desserts.

In America, we also have Martha Stewart, who is without a doubt the richest and most famous housekeeper/homemaker in the world. This woman took the mundane chores of housekeeping, homemaking, cooking, and cleaning, and turned it into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. In 2011, Forbes Magazine reported this lady's net worth at $638 million. By 2017, it had reached $970 million.

Needless to say, when it comes to preparing meals, especially for significant holidays such Thanksgiving holiday, I like to watch her cooking shows, in the hope that I will learn something new and different in order for me to impress my family and friends with my culinary skills.

Yeah. Uuuhh … that usually never happens. One time, several years back on one of Ms. Stewart's TV shows, she baked a turkey and wrapped it in a pie crust! Who does that??!!

She has a program called Martha Bakes where she explores the wonderful world of baking and teaches her viewers how to create all kinds of marvelous baked treats, especially cakes. She insists that baking a cake from scratch is not difficult. Why would anyone bother with a cake mix?

Don't know about you, but those sound like Throw Down words to me.

When it comes to baking cakes, what's your preference? Cake mix or scratch? Don't you think that if you baked a cake from the box, it would be just as good if not better than a cake made from scratch?

Cake mixes are real cakes! Boxed cake mixes are just as good as cakes made from scratch. Let's be real. If your family and friends are like my family and friends, they probably wouldn't even notice the difference between a cake made with a box cake mix versus a cake made from scratch.

Martha Stewart is the diva of homemaking. Divas are never wrong! Cakes made from scratch are a food of love. They are the result of your willingness to take your precious time to create something special for your loved ones to eat and enjoy; a delightful dessert that they will always fondly remember.


Martha Bakes. PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 5 Oct. 2017,

Nystul, Jill. *How To Turn Ordinary Boxed Cake Mix Into Crave-Worthy Cakes.”  One Good Thing by Jillee, 5 Oct. 2016, https://www.onegoodthi...uses-for-boxed-cake-mixes



Baking one is better

Baking a cake is certainly better. I'm a cake lover and here in Italy everyone loves a good homemade cake. The taste is different and much better. Unless you go and order a cake mix commission to the best pastry chef in your country, the taste is always going to be strange if the cake isn't homemade.
Posted by Tania997 on 11-09-2017

Time vs Efficiency

I'm not a huge fan of boxed cake mixes but they do have their place for a reason. They're stupid proof and fast. Let's face it most grocery store bakeries rarely make from scratch, it's all premade mixes that they put together or already created loaves they load in ovens. There's a so called tea place across from my work that makes it look like their cakes are from scratch but the reality is that they buy their cake base elsewhere and just add homemade icing and a few pieces of fruit just to spruce it up (both stupid easy and oven less recipes to do). So if I'm short on time I'll go the route of premade with some sprucing but if I do have time then I'll do it from scratch but personally I suck at making desserts and am more of a really good cook for general foods.
Posted by Rhodolite on 11-09-2017



Bake a Cake

I'm a cake lover and I can certainly say there is a difference between a cake made from a box and one made from your hands. The taste is different a cake from scratch tastes more natural, it doesn't have a bunch of preservatives and artificial flavors in it and you can add your own ingredients.
Posted by Anonymous on 11-08-2017

Agree with commenter above

While i do agree with the commenter above, I must say not all cakes have artificial colorings, and preservatives, but a lot of them do that are store bought. Baking a cake at home from scratch is really fun to do, especially if you have never done it before. The experience is definitely an experience in which you will learn from, believe me, my baking skills are awful and every time I bake a cake I learn something new. You can get a lot of joy from decorating the cake as well. For store bought cakes you have to choose a design or come up with your own. A designed cake can cost a lot of money depending on the design. If the design is very detailed that can cost hundreds of dollars. You can design the cake at home very cheaply by going to your local grocery store and picking items specific to that purpose. Now another great factor of baking a cake is bragging rights if the cake taste delicious. You get to watch everyone enjoying your cake and reaping the compliments from the taste-testers. This will definitely give you a good feeling.
Posted by Everett on 11-09-2017

From Scratch

I admit I usually use mixes, but from scratch tastes the best and is the healthiest. Boxed cakes have a lot of preservatives and salts in them that make them not the best for you. If you have the time and the inclination it is best to make a cake from scratch.
Posted by kgord on 11-09-2017
gata montes

From Scratch - healthier and tastier

As there is a huge difference between the texture and the flavor of a cake made from scratch using totally natural ingredients compared to that of one made from a package mix - the latter of which don't generally contain real food - but artificial ingredients masquerading as food - my choice would for sure be to make a cake myself from scratch.

Simply because - anything made with real food is very definitely - not only a whole lot tastier - but way, way healthier than any processed food that can be bought from a store - either in a package, carton or ready made.

Posted by gata montes on 11-09-2017

Much better quality

If you have a good recipe making a cake from scratch isn't much more work than making one from a cake mix and the cake made from scratch will be a much better quality. A cake mix should only be used in a worst case scenario.
Posted by anna on 11-10-2017

Instant cake, no way

When I want to bake a cake, I bake a cake. The process of baking the cake is as much fun as eating the final product. If all I wanted to do was eat a cake, I would just go and buy one.

It's like instant noodles. Sure, it's quick and easy, but making a bowl of instant noodles never qualified as cooking. Same with instant cake making.

Posted by Aree on 12-03-2017

More Control on taste

I believe that if you will create a cake from scratch, you can have more control on what you want to happen on the cake. It also proves that you made it from your heart and not just save the time by buying a pre-made
Posted by hazel42704 on 11-11-2017

from scratch

I think its way better to bake your cake from scratch than the one with instant cake. It can happen that the cake you bake is not the same taste as the instant cake. Its more convenient to just bake a cake from scratch because you will really control the taste you want to achieve on your cake. If its just a simple snack, maybe you can use instant cake but for special occasion its more preferably to choose the cake from scratch.
Posted by nekonieden on 06-08-2018


I think that given the importance of Thanksgiving baking a cake from scratch would be adequate. Over here cake mixes aren't really that good and I wouldn't want my guests to spread the world that I am a cheap persona in don't care about the food I serve. Still, this could vary from region to region
Posted by Marvadaum on 11-08-2017
Well here in America we have the best cake mix brands on the market. Duncan Hines, Pillsbury and Betty Crocker. I don't see anything wrong with making a box cake or multiple box cakes for the holidays. Most people normally add stuff into the cake as they mix it anyway. Like fruit or nuts. There are also specialty cakes that can be made with box cake mix as the base of the recipe - And of course after you're done you're going to add icing. But if you're going to a holiday dinner and looking to make a good first impression on in laws or whomever? I'd suggest buying a cake or cheesecake from a well known bakery.
Posted by NickJ on 11-08-2017
I love baking my cake from scratch,cake mixes doesn't augur well with me so I don't fancy them.Making cakes from the scratch one can customize them to ones taste,design and taste maybe colour and put in all the ingredients needed unlike cake mixes.I love to do cake my way and making it my way avail me the opportunity.
Posted by lovely on 11-08-2017
I love to bake, i can still remember my very first cake,which is made from scratch, yes at first it maybe is difficult but that is where the good food comes from, and you come to talk with family and friends which you can gain numerous experience on how to or what to do. Also the best part is that you can do anything on it like carving a unique design that will astonish your family and friends.
Posted by Anonymous on 11-08-2017
I am not too sure but I am guessing that cake mixes are pretty much the same as making it from scratch because they all seem to be the same white powder to me and I don't think they could really do much different other than that. However, I guess making it from scratch could be more preferable since you could adjust the amounts of the ingredients to suit your needs such as making the cake more doughy or fluffy or moist depending on what you want your cake to turn out to be, whereas if you just keep using the same premixed batter then you'd always end up with the same results that are controlled by the manufacturers.
Posted by Wubwub on 11-09-2017
I would definitely have to go with bake a cake from scratch on this one. I have tried several types of cake mix and it just doesn't suit my fancy. I'm not saying that they have a bad flavor by any means, but the fact is that baking a cake from scratch will always result in a superior taste and quality. No matter what sort of food you're eating, whether it is instant cake mix, instant soup, or instant mashed potatoes, anything with the word instant in front of it simply isn't going to live up to homemade goods.
Posted by Denis_P on 11-09-2017
Bake from scratch is best, but not everyone has time or the skill so a packet one is best then. It's the thought that counts and also whether it's edible. If you don't bake much then the flour will be wasted, so if that's the case a packet mix is much better because there is no waste.
Posted by Alexa on 11-09-2017
We do pie. Sometimes, it's a combination... store bought crust with homemade filling. It can vary with the circumstances and how much time we have to get everything done. As for cakes, yes, I think homemade are best. You can at least "upgrade" the mixes by using butter instead of oil, milk instead of water.
Posted by Zyni on 11-09-2017
Usually my family likes cakes from scratch. They can detect a cake mix from miles away, so is never a surprise to see their faces when they taste the cake. Sometimes, I can use the cake mix as a base, so I can add some other ingredients of my own preference, that way the taste of a fruit, or cream, or liquor, can bring a different flavor to the cake. More often than not, I leave cake mixes for those moments when I'm running out of time, like a unexpected visitor, kid's gathering, or a last minute family trip, otherwise, I bake my cakes from scratch.
Posted by ballyhara on 11-09-2017
This is a very hard choice because, on one hand, I do agree that cakes made from scratch using very natural and homegrown ingredients are far better and delicious but if you compare the energy and time a cake requires versus a cake mix... I am torn apart. I have baked a few cakes from nothing and it takes a really long time, especially the main parts of the cake. So, if you are in a rush or need a big cake - I'd probably just use the cake mix.
Posted by Mehano on 11-09-2017
A cake made from scratch is so much better but i mostly use a cake mix. It is faster and easier. There is always so many other things to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner so any short cuts that can be taken usually are. For a birthday though I will always make the person a cake from scratch.
Posted by Sue on 11-09-2017
Baking a cake from the scratch shows that you really want to take your time to prepare a much better and tasty cake for your loved ones than mixing it.
Posted by babyright on 11-09-2017
I think cooking a cake from scratch is more fun (especially with family or friends) and interesting because it's done with love and dedication (not just something done by obligation or to achieve some kind of goal at work).
Posted by wiseagent on 11-09-2017
I have a really simple recipe for baking from scratch. Takes the same amount of time as it does to use a mix just about. Tastes waaaay better and you can do all sorts of things to it. If anybody wants it - head over to and look for the blog on fairy cakes.
Posted by Anonymous on 11-10-2017
Baking a cake from scratch is the normal way to do it. It's just Americans that make cakes out of some suspicious powder. You can't know what is in there and it's definitely unhealthy. When you bake a cake from scratch yuo have a total control over what you're doing and what ingredients you use.
Posted by felabruno on 11-10-2017
Not sure I agree with you. For example, we Americans also use Jiffy cornbread mix. Some people make cornbread from scratch. But that little box with the necessary ingredients and all you add is egg and milk? The recipe and quick bake method was invented by a housewife who simply wanted to make her job in the kitchen not only easy for herself but easy for others too. I don't know who invented the cake mix, but it was probably somebody with the same idea. I've tried baking cakes from scratch versus using the mix. Not only do I like the mixes because there are so many different flavors and so many things I can do to vary the recipe, but it also very inexpensive and the end result is great! IMHO. I don't think the ingredients in a cake mix are any more suspect than the ingredients in the Jiffy cornbread mix. IMHO.
Posted by foxchannel on 11-15-2017
I do enjoy watching cooking and baking shows and my favorite is a British baker Nigella Lawson. However, I don't know Martha Stewart and her Martha Bakes show. Since I do not recognize this person and her baking show, I do not know about thins about her recipes. Thanksgiving is not a part of our holiday celebration. However, we have a harvest festival which nis celebrated in the full moon of November.
Posted by vinaya on 11-13-2017
I love Nigella Lawson. She had more than one cooking show as I recall. Since we no longer get cable TV we can't watch her shows anymore. But I like her just as much as Martha Stewart.
Posted by foxchannel on 11-15-2017
I like watching Martha Stewart but I choose cake mix because it's easy and efficient to bake because the ingredients are mostly incorporated there already and you just have to add eggs, oil and water depending on the cake mix instructions.
Posted by Scarlet on 12-06-2017
I am amused with cake mixes because why would I use a cake mix if I will do some baking? Why not mix it myself? But to be honest, I have never baked except for simple puddings only and some experiments that failed. To be honest with baking, I would rather buy cake that I can choose because that is easier. When I have the money, I buy what I like. So with the cake, I would probably just buy instead of baking it myself which is hard labor and tedious and not to mention time-consuming.
Posted by Corzhens on 04-09-2018