The Cake Doctor: Cookbook Review

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Cake Doctor

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake

The cake in this photo is not homemade, but it sure tastes like it. It’s made with only four ingredients with the help of a cookbook called The Cake Doctor by Anne Byrn.

This is only one of 175 fast and easy to make amazing cakes and desserts you can make with the help of this cookbook. If you stick around, I’ll give you the recipe further in this page.

Believe me, If You Bake Cakes, You Need This Book

There are two reasons you need this cookbook in your kitchen; each of the recipes begin with a mix, yes; but it’s what is added to that mix that creates the homemade flavor. Nobody will ever know that these delightful desserts came from a mix (that is, unless you let them in on your secret!.) Here’s the other advantage; these recipes save you valuable time, something we never have enough of these days. Using a mix cuts your time of preparation and guarantees a fail-safe, yummy cake or dessert.

Easily read, Easily Found

Helpful chapters are listed at the front of the book, along with photos of each cake or dessert.

  • Chocolate Cakes
  • Cakes With Fruit
  • Strike It Rich Cakes
  • Cake Mix Classics
  • Special Occasion Cakes
  • Cheesecakes and Gooey Cakes
  • Coffee Cakes
  • Cakes With Spirit
  • Incredible Bars and Comforting Cookies
  • This Can’t Contain Cake Mix
  • Lighter Cakes
  • Just The Basics
  • Frostings, Glazes and One Compote
  • Blue-Ribbon Recipes

There are 500 Pages of Recipes and Helpful Hints

There are 500 pages in the book, including 175 recipes, tips for baking you may not have thought of, the bibiliography, the index (finding that favorite recipe easily) and a handy page of conversion for liquids, weights, oven temperatures (fahrenheit to celsius and vice versa) and approximate equivalents from Tablespoons to ounces and cups.

There are also questions and answers to be found, like these below:

Q: What happens if I pick the wrong pan size?
A: If the pan is too big, the cake will take less time to bake and it may shrink back while baking. If the pan is too small, the cake will take more time to bake and it may rise over the sides of the pan.

Q: Are you always supposed to grease a pan before baking a cake?
A: Not always. Roulades and angel food cakes call for ungreased sides so the batter can reach up and cling onto the side of the pan, not slide back down.

Tips on Every Page

There are baking tips on each cake or dessert page, for instance on the Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake, it says:

“Emulsifiers in the cake mix work together with the cherry pie filling to keep the cake moist for days. Store this cake, covered in aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or freeze the cake, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.”

About The Author

The Cake Doctor

The Cake Doctor

Author Anne Byrn is a national award-winning newspaper and magazine food writer with 20 years of experience. She is the former food editor of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, author of Cooking in the New South, Food Gifts for All Seasons and Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor.

She’s appeared on many television shows including: Good Morning America, Roker on the Road, as well as QVC and local stations. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three children.

As a bonus for the reader, here’s the recipe for that fabulous cake I told you about above.

Chocolate Covered Cherries Cake is my son’s favorite cake and one I make frequently since we all love it too. It’s the most easy to prepare cake I’ve ever made because it contains only four ingredients. Yes that’s right, only four ingredients. It’s moist and dense because it contains a can of cherry pie filling. It’s so good no frosting is needed, but the recipe comes complete with directions for a chocolate glaze if you’d like to have it frosted. You can choose any Devil’s Food Cake mix or Devil’s Food Pudding Cake Mix that you prefer. Also, any brand of Cherry Pie filling will work too, just as long as it’s not just canned cherries.

This original recipe took the grand prize in the 1974 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest and Byrn incorporates it into her book with the newly created glaze. With the first taste of this cake, you’ll understand why we love it so much; that deep dark chocolate with the burst of cherry flavor says it all. This is only one of 175 fast and easy to make amazing cakes and desserts you can make with this book.

Chocolate Covered Cherries Cake


Chocolate Covered Cherries Cake
  • Vegetable spray for misting the pan or baking dish.
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain Devil's Food Cake Mix or Devil's Food Cake Mix With Pudding.
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Spray 9X13-inch baking dish with vegetable spray. Set aside
  3. Put cake mix, almond extract, eggs and cherry pie mix into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Beat with hand mixer on low for 1 minute.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  6. Beat 2 more minutes on medium until batter is well combined, scraping side of bowl as needed.
  7. Pour the batter into prepared pan, spreading out the top evenly with spatula.
  8. Put the dish in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until it springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.
  9. Remove dish from the oven and place it on a wire rack while preparing the glaze.

Chocolate Glaze


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Combine sugar, butter and milk in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it boils.
  2. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  3. NOTE: Take the saucepan off the heat before stirring in chocolate chips.
  4. Once the chips have melted and glaze is smooth, pour it over the warm cake so that it covers the surface.
  5. Glaze will be thin while warm but will set up as it cools.
  6. Allow cake to cool for about 20 more minutes then cut it into serving squares.

Cake Doctor BookStorage

  • This cake keeps well, covered, for five days at room temperature.
  • It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • If frozen and wrapped in foil or other wrap, it will still be moist and tasty for up to 6 months.
  • Thaw overnight before serving, if cake is frozen.

I really like baking cake in a glass baking dish. I just like the way it looks when it’s served, and it always seems to bake better for me too. The recipe for the Chocolate Covered Cherries Cake calls for a 13X9-inch baking dish and if you prefer a glass baking dish like I do, here’s one I recommend.

Cake Doctor dish

Recipe Works Great For Cupcakes

This year I decided to see if cupcakes would work from this recipe for Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake, and it works just great. But the baking time will probably be different. In my experience I found that baking them for only about 20-25 minutes is enough, and I made the notation on the recipe in my book. If you bake them as long as the cake recipe, you’ll find they’re dry, or even a bit burnt tasting.

Want to know if they’re done? Here’s a tip; after 20 minutes, put a toothpick straight down through the center of a couple of the cupcakes in different areas of the pan. Use a clean toothpick for each cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. If it doesn’t, give it 5 more minutes. No more than 25 minutes should be sufficient to have moist, chewy chocolate cherry cupcakes.

What You’ll Find Below

I’ve given you a few Ann Byrn cookbooks to choose from below for other things, meals, dinners, even gluten free foods. I’ve also included a 12 cupcake pan, which makes it easier to use the cupcake method and get them all baked at the same time. Happy Baking!






Nancy Hardin is a highly experienced writer and author. A retired journalist, she is also a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother with a wealth of experience in many fields. In addition, she is a retiree veteran, having spent many years in the Women’s Army Corps. She is also an experienced ghostwriter and you can see more about her skills at the The Writers’Door. YOu can visit Nancy’s website here and discover more of her work at this site.


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