Top Secret for Perfect Cake!

Posted on Feb 10, 2014

The Cake Mix Doctor coconut cake


Let’s face it, making a cake from scratch is chemistry at it’s finickiest. If you’re not precise and careful about mixing and baking you’re likely to end up with a dense brick or a floppy mess.  I’ll never forget putting in a whole day to make an elaborate coconut cake from scratch to end up with something that can only be called thousand-pound cake.  {Waa waa.} What’s a cake lover to do?  I found the most delicious, easiest, quickest, most reliable cake recipe book ever.  The variety of options goes far beyond the usual fare (175 recipies!). How about the one’s I’ve tried like Tiramisu Cake,  Lemon Lover’s Cake and Toasted Coconut Cake, so delicious people you don’t even know will invite you to their parties just because they want you to bring your cake?! That may sound a bit extreme, but every one was delicious, came out perfectly, and was easy to make.  Not exotic enough? How about Snicker Doodle Cake, Peaches and Cream Cake, or Tomato Soup Spice Cake.  And not just layer cakes, but bundt cakes, cupcakes, bars, cookies and all kinds of fast, fool-proof, delicious desserts  The secret to moist, delicious, easy homemade cakes and desserts….drumroll… The Cake Mix Doctor, by Anne Byrn.

About a year ago I took a cake decorating class and found I could not get a from-scratch recipe to come out right.  The “mix” cakes were too chemical-ly  tasting and in frustration I asked my instructor how she made such delicious cakes.  Her secret?  The Cake Mix Doctor.  She makes loads of cakes for classes every week and doesn’t have the time to make them all from scratch, she explained.  ‘Nuf said!  I was sold and ordered it that night.

How can I call boxed cake mix recipes homemade you ask?  These cake recipes from The Cake Mix Doctor start with cake mix for their reliability, but are then “doctored” making them unrecognizable as “mix” cakes.  The best part is Anne and her team have done all the trials and errors for you in her test kitchens so you get to skip all the testing and do what works right off the bat. For better flavor she adds ingredients like lemon zest, nuts, coffee, seeds, fresh fruit, cocoa powder, and liqueurs.  To make the cakes moister and richer she adds buttermilk, whipping cream, sour cream, eggs, yogurt, butter and peach puree.  With ingredients like these (to name a few) it’s easy to see how a boxed cake mix could be the beginning of a beautiful dessert!

 The Cake Mix Doctor

The Cake Mix Doctor


I love that if you want, you can just follow a recipe and know it’s going to turn out well and be delicious.  I also like that Anne has a section called “Cake Mix 101: How to Use This Book” for anyone who wants to know a bit more about how and why she recommends the ingredients she does so that you can experiment more for your own taste preferences. For example, Byrn explains which of the three major cake mix brands include the ingredients for pudding in the mix and why you would, or would not want to add more when “doctoring.”  Included is a great list of key ingredients (doctoring staples) to keep on hand so you’re always prepared for that unexpected, last minute dessert.  There are a ton more tips and tid-bits of information, all easy to read and easy to understand to help you become and expert cake mix doctorer.

What about the frosting, you ask?  here’s the bad news: there’s no good reason to buy pre-made canned frosting.  It will always taste like chemicals and is simply not salvageable.  Fortunately Anne has quick and easy recipes for frostings, fillings, and glazes, too!


The Cake Mix Doctor slice of coconut cake


By the way, I wasn’t exaggerating.  I took my Coconut Cake (see how it’s become my own) , a conglomeration of two different coconut cake recipes in The Cake Mix Doctor, to a Fourth of July party last summer.  One couple whom I’d never met before loved it so much, they invited me to their next party-if I would bring my cake.  They were even a bit pushy about it. That’s commitment! My brother had the same cake and asks for it every time I’m in charge of dessert.  He gets this wistful look in his eye, like he’s remembering “back in the day” when he talks about it.  I guess that’s a good example of a warning I almost forgot.  People will not believe your cake started in a box and  will ask beg nag harrang you to make it every chance they get.

I got my copy of The Cake Mix Doctor on line at Amazon.  You can also visit the website at You won’t be sorry when you are the bake sale hero and didn’t even break a sweat.  Just remember, I warned you.  Happy baking!

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with The Cake Mix Doctor, the author, or anyone associated with it.  But, I think working in their test kitchen might be my dream job!





More Inspiration:

Versitile Golden Acorns
Super Easy Sweet Potato Casserole With Pecan Brulee Topping
Reclamation- East Coast Meets West
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One Comment

  1. Tiffany, it’s so funny you posted this today! I just made cookies with a box of cake mix, for the first time yesterday! They came out wonderful. Great minds think alike! Your cake looks scrumptious!

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