Bread-Baking Kitchen Hacks to Save Money: When to Bake from Scratch or Use a Mix


| 10/14/2019 10:45:00 AM


Welcome back to the frugal baking series. In Part 1, we discovered low- or no-cost replacements for expensive kitchen gadgets, and in Part 2, we looked at ways to save on special baking ingredients. Now let’s take on those mixes.

There are mixes on the grocer’s shelf and in catalogs for all kinds of cakes and cookies, puddings and sauces. Before you invest so many dollars, check to see what you have to add and what is actually in the mix. A mix for a cake generally has flour, salt, baking powder, maybe spices and flavorings. You add butter or oil and eggs. You still have to beat and mix and bake. What did you really save?

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t keep an inexpensive box of cake mix in the pantry for the night your child announces at dinner, “Mom, I have to take cupcakes to school tomorrow.”  Unless you happen to have a dozen all frosted in the freezer, this could be a rescue. If you like to bake cakes often, practice making a few basics that appeal to you. Seek out method recipes in cookbooks or maybe find a book for cakes.

What to do with a failed batch of fudge? It just won’t set, no matter how long you beat it. First, buy a better thermometer; you probably didn’t cook it to a full soft ball temperature. See Part 1 about thermometers.



Next freeze the fudge in a container for another day another use. Next time you make a cake that needs chocolate, use about half the failed fudge for the best-ever filling. It’s very rich so you’ll want a regular light butter cream frosting for the top. I loved this in a chocolate spice cake.



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