I’ve been baking/cooking/etc. as a hobby for about 15 years now (omg it’s been 15 wtf - ahem sorry, I’m going to be 30 this year and I’m in a weird place about it) and I’ve made creme brulee, tiramisu, different breads, butter, crepes, and the grooms cake at my mom’s wedding, so not a paid professional or anything, but not a newbie. And let me tell you something.
I have no tolerance for bakers who talk shit about boxed cake recipes.
Bakers like to say “omg is it SOOO hard to measure out flour and sugar” and you know what
Yes. Yes it is. If you’ve never done it before.
People so easily take it for granted that correctly measuring ingredients is a skill. A skill we all had to learn, some of us younger than others. Would you know to level off flour if no one told you? No. No is the answer. The only answer. Don’t tell me otherwise. If you’re a baker, you only know to level off your measuring cups because someone told you to. (Don’t even get me started on weighing ingredients.) Would you know that there’s a massive difference between baking powder and baking soda? Very possibly not.
I got started baking by using boxed recipes. Then one day I was craving white cake then thought, hey I could probably do this myself, and I whipped one up from scratch no problem. But that was after familiarizing myself with my kitchen by making dozens of boxed cakes.
No one else in my family bakes. My parents both cooked, but neither of them were bakers. I knew my way around the kitchen by the time I was in high school, but I’d never made cakes before, certainly not from scratch. Boxed mixes were a good way for 14 year old me to get comfortable with making cakes and ease into it. It also gave me experience with playing with flavors, seeing what icings go best with what flavors.
Trust me, cakes can be intimidating if you’ve never made them before. If you disagree, it’’s probably because you’ve been baking a while and again, are taking it for granted that your experience gives you ease with the process.
Also, some people don’t have a lot of supplies in their kitchens, some people don’t have a lot of time, or energy, or space, or give-a-damn. They get a craving, they stir an egg and some oil and some powder in a bowl, pour it into a pan, throw it in the oven, slather the results in icing, and eat it and they have experienced joy. They’ve made something and feel accomplished. Don’t take that away because you want to feel snide and superior.
And those posts on how to dress up boxed mixes and make them better, like using melted butter instead of oil and milk instead of water, etc are wonderful because they make you think about the chemistry of baking if you’re a beginner with baking. So stop being a shit about it.
Tl;dr, everyone starts somewhere, so don’t be a butthead.
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