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Turn a cake mix into a cake masterpiece! Discover 175 decadent and quick modern recipes with from-scratch flavor from the bestselling author of The Cake Mix Doctor.
Anne Byrn is known for her cake mix magic, and A New Take onCake makes baking from a boxed mix as inspiring as it is easy—everything from vegan tortes to gluten-free cakes, doughnuts to cake pops, and whoopie pies to a wedding cake. All for snacking, celebrating, and everything in between!
With 50 modernized classics and 125 brand-new recipes, no one will believe your Ice Cream Cone Cake, Vegan Chocolate Cake with Creamy Nutella Frosting, or Blood Orange Loaf with Campari Glaze were made from boxed mixes. Whether you are following a gluten-free, sugar-free, or plant-based diet, or are just a fan of a good old-fashioned yellow layer cake with chocolate fudge icing, you’ll find your calling—and won’t have to spend all day making it.
Under the Cover
An excerpt from A New Take on Cake
From Cake Mix to Cake Magnificent
I wrote The Cake Mix Doctor when my children were young and my family life was joyous but frantic. Baking for birthdays, potlucks, and bake sales often took place late at night when my kids were in bed, and it was so easy to reach in the pantry for a box of cake mix to get things started. My dirty little secret (and savior!) . . .
My mother, Bebe, had been doctoring up cake mixes and slathering them with homemade frosting for years. It was her idea that I developed into a newspaper story and then into a book. But little did I know that using mixes as a time-saving foundation for everything from rich chocolate layers to lemony Bundts would resonate with millions of cooks who embraced my hacks as well as my fearless heart to write about cake mixes in what seemed a from-scratch world. And little did I know that that book, which my daughters grew up with, would allow them to embrace baking at an early age and help them become the confident bakers they are today.
The Cake Mix Doctor became a bestseller nearly overnight, and to this day people arrive at my book signings with a ragged, stained, much-loved copy in hand. They’ve circled the postage stamp–size photos of their favorite recipes. And if not, I don’t have to ask which recipes they’ve most baked—I just look at the batter-splattered pages!
Now more than twenty years later, I am writing a new book for a new time. I still believe that you can turn a mix into a masterpiece—and I still want to help you bake cakes with only a handful of ingredients and be able to effortlessly savor the joy of home baking. But this time, I explore new flavors, new shapes of pans, new methods for baking and frosting cakes, new ways to make cake inclusive and friendly for all, and share not only exciting new recipes but updates of many Cake Mix Doctor classics using today’s smaller mixes. (Obviously, when companies downsized their mixes a decade ago, it perplexed a lot of us because favorite recipes didn’t work anymore.) Well, they will now!
A New Take on Cake is built on what I originally cre- ated in The Cake Mix Doctor, but it clearly is for baking today—the cakes are still easy, but are bolder, fresher, more pantry-driven, and often adventurous while remaining simple enough to inspire everyone. This book is for bakers of all ages, regardless of how much you have to spend on ingredients, where you live, your baking preferences, whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, or need to follow a sugar-free diet—and no matter your baking skill level.
Many home bakers have told me how much they relied on the basic cakes and frostings in The Cake Mix Doctor because the recipes were a roadmap to being creative in the kitchen. This book shares more of those flexible blueprint methods for cakes and frostings, too. You’ll find a way to infuse basic chocolate ganache with fresh mint or create a distinctive buttercream frost- ing from just-picked summer blackberries or make a simple—and yummy—frosting from Nutella and peanut butter, two pantry staples. And there are other ingre- dient revelations: coconut milk, Meyer lemons, plant butters, salted caramel, tahini, matcha, Greek yogurt—I had not baked with these ingredients two decades ago, but they now reside in my kitchen and my cakes are so much better for them. So even if you’ve read all my cookbooks and think you know everything, I encourage you to pay attention!
As I write this book at my kitchen table in Nashville, a global pandemic has forced most to stay home—from school, from work, from social gatherings. The good news is that we are baking more than ever to soothe ourselves and comfort one another, and just bring joy to our everyday routines. I welcome my old friends as well as newcomers to these pages. Let’s go bake a cake and share it with someone we love. Not only will it taste good, but it will be beautiful and doable, too!
Anne Byrn is the bestselling author of American Cake and the Cake Mix Doctor and Dinner Doctor cookbook series. Formerly a food editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a graduate of the La Varenne École de Cuisine in Paris, Byrn lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.