It's real barnburner.
In this corner, I give you the heavy-weight champ of the modern age, INDUSTRIAL BAKING!
And in the other, still fighting and scrapping by after years of domination from it's bigger, badder opponent: FROM-SCRATCH BAKING!!!!!
I'm a cake guru, so let me just leave the bread and donuts where they lie. I'm gonna walk you through the life of a typical grocery store cake.
Mixing, Baking, Cooling and Packaging - happen at a nameless factory somewhere - en masse.
Cakes are delivered to grocery stores across the nation, frozen, and expected to stay frozen until they are pulled for decoration...who knows when that will be? Also, they come in a variety of sizes ranging from rectangle to extra-rectangle.
I'm not saying every grocery store does it that way, but some do. It's not a health hazard, unfortunately, But it is definitely a TASTE hazard. Nothing says "celebrate" like the taste of freezer burn. Sadly, I speak from experience there as well...my wedding cake was a grocery store cake. I know...I know...it was before I knew better.
Even better, if you're in the market for a wedding cake, the industrial baker will supply you with centuries-old round cakes in your choice of white...white...or...wait for it...white cake. (Disclaimer: Centuries-old may be a conservative age estimate.)
Hmmm...best guess...99 years, give or take a few months.
Ingredients: Shortening (that's crisco, fyi), high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavoring (mmm...butter in a bottle!), and few poly-syllabic, hard-to-pronounce items that industrial bakers love to throw into things.
Slap that on an inch thick, top it with a couple icing roses, and you have yourself 12-18 servings of $14.99 cake that will leave your guests feeling slightly nauseous and heachachey.
My apologies if this post came off just a smidge caustic. It's hard to watch good people eat bad cake. It truly is.
If you're going to celebrate - make every calorie a party! It's not an every day food, so don't let it be an every day experience, for you or for your guests.
Tune in soon when I walk you through the life of a Bake Lore cake. But bring a napkin...it might make you drool just a bit. :)