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The Cake Mix Doctor

Posted Jul 18 2010 6:59am

The Cake Mix Doctor

Cake mixes are undoubtedly convenient, but do they produce good cakes? They can, says Anne Byrn, author of The Cake Mix Doctor, if you know how to tweak them. Doing this involves the addition of ingredients to enrich the mixes and flavorings to enhance and, in some cases, conceal questionable tastes. To prove her point, Byrn offers more than 175 recipes for mix-based cakes and other desserts, including formulas for frostings that, Byrn maintains, must be made from scratch. The results are convincing; readers interested in satisfying, dependable desserts prepared quickly and with little fuss should welcome the book.

Beginning with a useful discussion of cake mixes, their history and composition, and an outline of the mix-transformation battle plan, the book then presents the recipes in chapters such as “Chocolate Cakes,” “Cake-Mix Classics,” “Special Occasion Cakes,” and “Incredible Bars and Comforting Cookies.” Among the most successful offerings are Deeply Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Frosting, and Lemon Buttermilk Poppy Seed Cake. A chapter devoted to crumbles, crisps, cobblers, trifles, and even a dessert pizza shows how to use the mixes in innovative ways, and “Lighter Cakes” presents “healthier” offerings, such as Pear and Toasted Pecan Buttermilk Cake. With sidebars such as The Legendary Pillsbury Bake-Off and tips for success throughout (”Cinnamon is one of the great tools to use when doctoring up cake mixes,” begins one), the book explores every aspect of cake-mix fixing while revealing the unexpected richness that the process can yield. –Arthur Boehm

5 Stars Best cake book ever!
I have been baking cakes for 50+ years and have never found a cookbook for cakes to equal The Cake Mix Doctor! I have never (so far) had one to fail or not be great in flavor, etc. Highly recommend to beginners and experienced bakers too!

5 Stars Great cookbook with creative, easy recipes
I recently bought this book as a gift after having used it myself for nearly 10 years. It is full of great cake, cookie, and other dessert recipes all based on cake mixes. The cake mix gets the science part right so you don’t have to worry about your cake rising correctly. The Cake Mix Doctor (Anne Byrn) just gives you great recipes for adding ingredients to a cake mix that turns a boring old box cake into a really delicious dessert. My favorite? Darn Good Chocolate Cake.

5 Stars great short cuts
Have used several recipes and taken some cakes to work, now everyone thinks I am a great baker. Even though I told them the recipe is a cake mix, no one believes me.

5 Stars The Cake Mix Doctor
This book was in great condition, I received in plenty of time. Thank you so much.

4 Stars A great way to kick up a recipe
I’ve only tried a few recipes but they’re good. It’s nice to be able to kick up an ordinary cake mix.

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