When it comes to cookies - I know what I'm doing. I have favorite recipes and certain ingredients I use. I know when the dough is just the right consistency. Cookies are my thing.
Cupcakes on the other hand...
I grew up on cake from a mix. I like cake from a mix. Put a good homemade buttercream on it and I think it's delicious.
So, since entering the "cupcake craze" a couple of years ago, I've made my cupcakes from a mix. That's right - you read it. I make my cupcakes from a mix. Then I have fun experimenting with different frostings and different decorating ideas.
I make cupcakes for fun! It's never been a real serious undertaking. At least not until recently.
Now I'm getting a little closer to starting my own little baking business. A friend has talked to me about making some cupcakes for her wedding. The friend's mom wants a tasting. And I'm suddenly feeling very self conscious about my cupcakes from a mix.
I've tried several recipes for cupcakes from scratch and they're really good. But I'm not sure they're better. The made-from-scratch cupcakes I've had at gourmet cupcake shops have been really good, but not I'm not sure they were better either.
So - at work this week - I conducted a little experiment. I made a batch of red velvet cupcakes from scratch and a batch from a mix. I put the same frosting on them. Then, without saying which was which, I asked everyone to tell me which one they liked best.
About 50/50! The "Food Snobs" could (of course) tell which ones were made from scratch and claimed to like those better. The "Regular People" came down on the side of the mix.
Since the experiment was inconclusive - I made a list of the pros and cons of each:
Cake from a Mix:
Easier to make
More familiar taste/what most people are used to?
Cake from a Scratch:
What do you think? Is it a crime to make cupcakes from a mix as long has they're topped with good frosting and decorated really cutely???