There - I've said it. I am unable to say no to cake. I love eating cake and I love baking cakes. But the idea of making cakes from scratch seems daunting when I've got a million other things to do. That's where The Cake Mix Doctor comes in.
The premise of the book is simple: take an inexpensive boxed cake mix, jazz it up with the addition of extra ingredients, make homemade frosting and people will think you made a cake from scratch.
It's great. I feel like I'm really getting away with something! Most of the recipes are straightforward - dump all of the ingredients in a bowl and take an electric mixer to it, pour in pan and bake. The author, Anne Byrn, organizes the book chapters around different cake types: chocolate cakes, cakes with fruit, rich cakes, special occasion cakes, coffee cakes, cakes with spirit and so on. There are also smaller chapters devoted to bars and cookies (made with cake mix also). The front of the book contains a few pages of handy thumbnail photos of each and every recipe in the book.
Byrn also includes a great chapter on homemade frostings. Her philosophy is that any cake can be made to taste better with homemade frosting - and after having made some of her frostings, I couldn't agree more. Her frosting recipes are easy and interchangeable on many of the different cake recipes.
Most importantly, the cakes are really, really good. The Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Frosting was a moist, delicious creation and simple to prepare. Orange Dreamsicle Cake turned out to be a lush pound cake with just a hint of orange flavor. Last week, I made the Chocolate Kahlua Cake for a friend whose favorite cocktail is White Russians. Absolutely scrumptious.
If you love to make desserts but can't slave away in the kitchen, you've got to pick up this book, and its companion, Chocolate From The Cake Mix Doctor.
I'm Gigi....internet junkie, fumbling foodie, reality TV maven, harried parent, poker novice, tennis hack and recovering lawyer. Currently, I call Austin, Texas my home, having landed in the Great State … more
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