November 26, 2011

Why I Dont Like Ready Mixes

Homemade cakes are my favorite. I hate those from some bakeries: full of cream, sugar, the sugar coat and the intoxicating fake flavor and color. Even worst: I dont eat wedding cakes. I'd just take a bite perhaps ( for social reasons). They lack the freshness and flavor of a true cake.

The best cakes I like are homemade, fresh from the oven, hot , fluffy, and chocolate flavored.
Don't we all love our mother's or grandmother's cakes? They do their own secret mixes, inspired from the TV show host, some advise from their neighbors, and from they book they read 10 years ago, and Voila the perfect mix to make us happy!

But this exquisite mixes were replaced with  industrial, ready mixes. Mixes made on a large scale to ensure there is no time wasted, no error done, no defect made, no haphazard effect that can occur  when we are in the kitchen baking. 
This is not what I want in my cake. I dont want Betty Crocker. I dont want to use it.
Why do I want to use something that will let me forget the joy of baking ? Let me forget how to err in the recipe? How to ruin my cake? How to make it taste bad or good? Isn't the whole purpose of baking to enjoy it and make something from your own hands (taken from the lebanese , men 2eedaykeh?)

I can only say about Betty or any other mixes: they are like the  botux for baking.; filled artificially with ingredients that make desserts taste more delicious and look more tastier!

To get more proves than why is better to prepare your own mix for baking , I went to the supermarket to compare a ready mix for pancakes and buying the ingredients from scratch.

Here are the points that I compared:

  1.  Price: I know they say the higher prices usually give the better quality. But sometimes this can be wrong. Perhaps Betty Crocker can give good pancakes but I really dont care as much as I want to do my "own" pancakes. And I can do them in a cheaper price.
    One Bag of Betty Crocker: for  4250 L.L (  360 grams  ), but buying  the below lebanese products ( vanilla, baking powder, eggs and flour) for 6000 LL but for 1kg ( total mix). That's three time the price.
  2.  Nutrients and calories:  Betty Crockers claims that there is  85 Kcal per pancake. Assuming you are eating 3  pancakes  ( 255 Kcal) not to forget the calories coming from the syrup or Nutella. Your mix can be definitely controlled by you. But the ready mix, has actually a pre set of high calories.|You can use the low fat milk, you may not want to add butter. ...etcYou can control the sugar and salt content! 
  3. Natural versus artificial : Preservatives are full in ready mix. Otherwise how will it will be lasting this far in the box, getting transferred over seas and reaching  supermarkets from a different country. When companies do ready mixes, what they care about most is what is the shelf life and how much will this product last before it gets rotten. Their mission is to optimize this shelf life and one way to do is to add artificial preservatives!
  4. Lebanese Versus U.S.A product :I am atleast buying a product that goes to benefiting Lebanese producers . Whereas, buying a Betty Crocker mix is owned by General Mills  With all my respect to this great company that has been enriching the world with convenient food products , and  creative ideas. But sometimes my Lebanese egoism strikes and makes me want to buy only "made in Lebanon" product. And there is absolutely nothing wrong about that. Be proud of your Lebanese Food manufacturers and trust them because they really need you. 

Lebanese Baking Powder

Lebanese Vanilla Powder
Lebanese Flour
   5. Not actually that much of time saving:
When I  was about to see Betty Crocker, You still need to water. And other ready mixes, you also need to put milk or even eggs!  So what's  the whole deal about these mix? This mix only has the dry ingredients: baking powder and baking soda, sugar, salt and the flour.
Preparing those actually takes only a minute ! So I would rather make my own mix with the  lebanese ingredients!

6) Betty Crocker doesn't exist , " she" was not a chef, nor a cook, not even a real person. Check it here
Yes, but you exist , your mother exist, your grandma's , your friend.... or The one who gave you the recipe exists!

Quick Steps for 6 pancakes without any ready mixes:

Step 1: Put 1 cup of  Flour

Step 2: add the salt, baking powder and soda

Step 3: Add the egg over the dry mix

Add the milk (with sugar)*and mix well 

Step 5; Heat Pan and pour mix
*Secret: Put vinegar with the milk. Let them stand for a couple of minutes. The vinegar will react with the milk proteins, making them more available when mixed with the flour and baking powder.
Thus, leaving the pancakes more FLUFFY! :)

Also,  I say go with the natural ingredients. Make your own mix, add more sugar, make it salty. Ruin the cake.. Ruin the taste. But you will love it because it is from your own creation. Your friends will love it despite its bad taste (or good). Your kids will enjoy mixing  it with you . They will learn the recipe. They will learn to bake.

Betty will  sure save you time but it wont give you a memory!

If you want a gluten free recipe, comment here to give it to you !

Bon Appetite,


  1. Interesting article because it made me think of things that wouldn't usually occur to me when I think of ready made mixes.
    I don't use them personally and enjoy baking from scratch. The easy way out takes all the fun out of it :)

    1. Exactly RawaN!
      Ready mixes are just a shortcut for the lazy people ;)

  2. Interesting Indeed!!
    personally i love it when i try and bake just for fun, adjusting the ingrediant's to explore a new taste or to increase the intensity of the flavour i like!
    best part of baking ur self from scratch is having your mom giving in funny complaints about how weird it tastes or just shouting at us for nearly setting the house on fire or simply burning her new tiffal trays :P

    1. THanks for your comment! Glad u found it interesting!
      Heheh Yes I argue with ppl who buy ready mixes that they arent really baking!

  3. I love making pancakes from scratch, they're so yummy and fluffyy :D
    My mom never ever uses mixes and her cakes and delicious :D The only mix I like is the chocolate chip cookies that are so mushy, but even then though I don't buy them and make them.., my friends make it and I eat :P

    1. Yummy!!! Best cakes are mother's cakes! <3

      Well yes the chocolate dough might have a step further in preparations that's why it's easier as a mix.