Monday, October 6, 2008

For the Sake of Science: Chococake-o-rama results

Significant contention exists as to the relative quality of store-bought-mix cakes vice home-made-from-scratch cakes. As a long-time practitioner of the “scratch is better” school, Pleen recently began to wonder about the real preferences of cake eaters. Thus we embarked upon a scientific battery of testing to establish once and for all if cake eaters can tell the difference between mix and scratch.

In the first event, the July 2007 Yellow Cake Survey Spectacular and Extravaganza, the superiority of modern yellow cake mix to home-made-from-scratch yellow cake was indisputably demonstrated. Since that heady day, Pleen has saved dozens of hours of labor by using only mix in applications calling for yellow cake.

Some of the top sheet results for historical comparison:

General Findings

Gender Breakdown

Age Group Breakdown

However, important answers only lead to more important questions. The continued evolution of knowledge demands much of us all. We cannot turn our backs on the enduring question: what about CHOCOLATE!?

Thus we and our volunteer testers once again sacrificed for the sake of science. On Saturday 4 October, we hosted the Chococake-o-rama Taste Test. We encouraged testers to drop by the testing site, taste the cakes on offer, fill in a ballot designed by highly trained researchers, and witness the release of the top sheet survey results.


The Hypothesis:

  • Given advances in food science, there is now little difference between cakes made from box cake mix and cakes made from scratch

  • For a devil’s food cake, most people will be indifferent to the difference in flavor between box cake mix and scratch

The Methodology:

  • 3 different devil’s food cakes were baked today(2 different box mixes & 1 from-scratch)
  • Same oven & pans
  • Same batch of butter & eggs
  • Same batch of frosting
  • Recipes baked exactly as directed

Evolution of our test methodology has continued. We have high statistical confidence in the validity of our results. The process at both events has been overseen by Ms. JB, Vice President, Business and Consumer Insights at a major market research company. Dr. AS, retired Professor of Marketing at The George Washington University’s School of Business & Public Management acts as senior mentor.

The Ballot

The Results!

General Findings

Gender Breakdown

Age Group Breakdown

We can only conclude that mix cakes offer a real advantage over from-scratch approach - at least in the two genres tested so far. The preferences of our tasters have been authoritative in each test.

Stay tuned for more events from the Squeek's Tasting Center!


Anonymous said...

Where on earth did you find such cool, gorgeous, vintage-clad tasters?

Like Jade on ANTM, they are truly the undiscovered supermodels.

Pleen said...

LOL! I totally agree, Miz. Liz!

Jawper said...

I'm bitter that I was compelled to Google "Jade America's Next Top Model". I will never get those 60 seconds of my life back.

Jill said...

I'm famous! Now, if you could just get my title correct (hello, I was promoted to VP a year ago! Jeez...). ;)

Thanks for hosting another great event!

Jawper said...

Eeeek!! Correction made!