Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cookbook Review: The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free by Anne Byrn

The book I have been dreaming of for 3 years is finally here!  The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free is available in stores as of December 8, 2010.  I was a big fan of The Cake Mix Doctor prior to my daughter's Celiac Disease diagnoses 3 years ago.  Back then, I was on a personal mission to bake every cake in the original Cake Mix Doctor cookbook.  I was off to a pretty good start until I found out that my daughter could no longer have gluten.  During my initial "loss of gluten mourning period" the thought that I would never be able to bake anymore cakes from my Cake Mix Doctor cookbook bothered me significantly.

I am a determined individual and wasn't ready to say goodbye to The Cake Mix Doctor recipes, so I decided to be pro-active instead of re-active.  I sent an e-mail to Anne Byrn (a.k.a The Cake Mix Doctor), shared my story with her and suggested that she write a Gluten Free Cake Mix Doctor cookbook.  I didn't receive a reply, so I wrote her again a few months later.  And again.  And again.  You get the picture.

After the better part of a year, I found an e-mail in my inbox from the Cake Mix Doctor.  I was expecting to read an auto-response, but was delighted to read that Anne Byrn herself had replied!  She explained that she had been on a book tour for many months, which is why she hadn't replied to my previous e-mails.  She surprised me by saying she liked the idea of a Gluten Free Cake Mix Doctor cookbook, and wanted to know what some of my favorite gluten free cake mixes were.

As the months passed, I didn't hear any news so I e-mailed Anne for an update.  I couldn't believe it when she replied and told me that her publisher had approved the Gluten Free Cake Mix Doctor project and that she was actually writing the book!  Shortly after that, I was honored when she called me on the phone and asked me to test a few recipes for the book; at that time I shared that I felt the recipes should include dairy free options as well.

Finally, the book is complete!  Anne just sent me a review copy of The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free and it is absolutely fabulous!  I was surprised and flattered beyond words that Anne included me in the book's acknowledgments.  She also tells "my story" in the book's foreword.  To top it off, she added my Gluten Free Taste of Home blog in the gluten free resources section!  It feels amazing and surreal to know that my concerns were taken seriously and manifested into reality by the kind, talented, Anne Byrn (a.k.a The Cake Mix Doctor).  This experience taught me that I should never give up on my dreams, no mater how unattainable they may seem!

About the book:

"Anne Byrn shows how to transform gluten-free cake mixes into 76 rich, decadent, easy-to-make, impossible-to-resist desserts. Performing the magic that’s made her a bestselling baking author with over 33 million copies of her books in print, she doctors mixes with additions like almond extract, fresh berries, cocoa powder, grated coconut, cinnamon, lime zest, and more—naturally, all gluten-free ingredients—and voilà: Tres Leches Cake with Whipped Cream and Summer Berries, Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Chocolate Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Ganache, Caramel Melted Ice Cream Cake, Warm Tarte Tatin Apple Cake, plus brownies, bars, muffins, and cookies. Dessert is back on the menu."

Why I love this book:

The recipes in The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free are delicious and beautiful enough to serve to company, yet they never taste like they came from a mix.  My favorite thing about preparing Anne's recipes is that they always turn out wonderful... I have never made a Cake Mix Doctor recipe that my family didn't enjoy!  To top it off, the recipes from The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free can prepared in less time than from scratch desserts, freeing up more time to spend with my family.

I deeply appreciate that Anne decided to include dairy free options for nearly all of the recipes so more people can eat them.  If you are dairy free you will most likely be able to come up with dairy free alternatives for the very few recipes that do not include them (try Mimic Creme in place of cream, and So Delicious Dairy Free frozen desserts in place of ice cream).  Since my daughter is dairy free that is what I plan to do.

The bottom line is, if you love cake, cookies, brownies, and bars and need to bake gluten free, you will definitely want to add this book to your cookbook collection!

There are also many recipes in this book that are perfect for the holidays; for example, my family made and decorated the adorable Gingerbread Boys & Girls recipe.  The recipe starts with a yellow cake mix.  Easy and fun!

Thank you Anne for giving this amazing gift to the gluten free community!  


Click here to order The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free from the Workman Publishing website, or pick up a copy at a book retailer near you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post; I received a copy of this book for review purposes courtesy of the author. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. How cool is that? I heard that she was coming out with a book, but to know that you are the one that was the spark behind the fire is amazing! Maybe the small guy really can be heard, huh? :) Congrats!

  2. Thanks Jeanine! It is very cool... I love it! :)

  3. i look forward to seeing this cookbook soon & baking things from it, of course !

  4. Thanks for linking this cookbook in. Have a good one

    PS I am now following your blog. It would make my day if you followed Carole's Chatter – or are you already?

  5. Thanks Carole - I am now following your blog!


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