- Becka's blog - http://beckasblog.ivman.com -

Cake Mix Doctor

Several years ago I saw a Cake Mix Doctor book at a local bookstore and perused it. I later checked it out of the library for some in-depth study. After this I decided to purchase a copy of my own. I have since also bought the Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor and another book by this author called the What Can I Bring Cookbook.

The author, Anne Byrn had a cooking column in a newspaper in Tennessee and in one column she asked readers to submit their best recipes for things made from cake mixes. Thus began the idea for the cake books.

My daughter Megan's friend, Kristen, bakes cakes for birthdays at her husband's office and she often uses recipes from the Cake Doctor books. She tried a number of the cakes and both she and Megan really like one called the Lethal Peppermint Cake. Here's a picture of the cake:

This cake is oft requested in our family for birthdays and I also made large two layer sheet cake versions of it for the groom's cake at both DD, Meg and DS-in-law Jim's wedding and at DS, Mark and DD-in-law Katie's weddings. Here's a picture of one of the groom's cakes:

The cake itself is a deep, moist chocolate cake filled with a peppermint buttercream and then frosted with a chocolate ganache icing. This picture shows the peppermint filling:

If you like chocolate and mint you will probably like this cake.

I have tried a number of other recipes from these books and there are several that we really like. The author also has a web-site set up like a newsletter with recipes that are not in the books. One recipe that I found on the web-site that is one of my favorites is the Orange Marmalade Cake. If you have read any of the Jan Karon books you are probably familiar with Esther Bolick's famous Orange Marmalade Cakes [1] (scroll down to the recipe--it's in the newsletter titled 4th slice, from 2006 under the heading Recipe Swap ). I tried several recipes for Orange Marmalade Cakes that I found in magazines that I did not care for, but this one is very, very good.

The first Cake Doctor book has a wide variety of recipes for white, yellow, and spice cakes, fruit flavored cakes, chocolate cakes, bars, cookies, etc. The second book has some of the recipes from the first book but nearly all the recipes contain chocolate or white chocolate. In the second book she has revised some of her recipes just a bit. At the front of both books there are small color plates which picture every recipe in the book. I find this to be very helpful.

So, if you like to bake or need ideas for an upcoming birthday or other celebration cake I would definitely recommend that you check out these books.