Whether making a cake from a boxed mix or from scratch, a slice of cake is the perfect dessert to end any meal. The phrase “from scratch” dates back from long ago, and basically means starting with nothing to create something, or, using our own things with nothing pre-made. Modern families desiring something sweet but lacking the time to put together a homemade cake, often turn to the box mixes found in every grocery store. Box mixes have the flour, sugar, salt and other ingredients you need already in the mix and most mixes require you add only water, eggs and oil. Pretty easy prep with a minimum of time and effort involved. That being said, many box mixes also contain ingredients that a person doesn’t normally add when making a cake from scratch– namely, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and imitation fruit. For example, I recently noticed on the list of ingredients in a popular brand of carrot cake mix, there was listed: “carrot flavored pieces”. Personally, that made me ask, “pieces of what”? Box cakes are convenient, but they do need to be “shelf-stable” so folks can pick one up whenever its needed, hence the preservatives. When making a carrot cake from scratch however, you would likely be using fresher ingredients as well as adding real carrots! Making a cake from scratch need not be as time consuming as it seems, though. Most cakes of any flavor begin with the basics: flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and eggs. More than likely, these things would be in your pantry anyway. The key to making a delicious homemade cake lies in the preparation technique: be sure each ingredient is added in the correct way and mixed just right. With patience and a little practice, you will have a moist, melt-in-your-mouth cake that is as tasty as any you’ve ever had. The choice is yours!