This cookbook yields some amazing cakes, including a fabulous caramel cake, a wonderful red velvet (though don't use as much food coloring as called for), and a coconut layer cake that is to die for. Best of all, the recipes are easy (though sometimes the frostings can take a little effort). Be prepared (and unafraid) to make notes and modifications to customize recipes to suit your tastes. All of my family's birthday cakes come from this book now.
This is a very handy one to have around. It's so easy to make an ordinary box mix into something extra special, just by adding a few extra ingredients. Whenever we have a birthday or an event around here, it's the first place I turn. The author is also full of hints and tips on baking in general, which I have found very useful. Also, each recipe has a little tid bit or back story that goes with it, which I love.
Don't be expecting a lushly illustrated book though, it has black and white photos throughout, and a few color pages which illustrate each cake in the beginning of the book. Not appealing photos; they look like badly lit mugshots. Don't let this stop you though, it's a handy book to own.
I have to admit, I have passed off cakes from this book as being from scratch. No one was the wiser, and that includes people who loudly proclaimed that they couldn't stand cake mix cakes and could spot them from a mile away. ;)
The banana cake with caramel frosting is nothing short of amazing, and the chocolate covered cherry one is phenomenal. (I adjusted the cooking times slightly to make them 13x9 cakes, and they all turned out wonderfully.) She also has a website where she lists some of her newer creations, FYI. But the ones in this book are really all you need.
Excellent baking resource. The recipes are easy to follow and the ones I have used have produced wonderful cakes. My family thinks we should test every recipe "just to be sure" that all the recipes do work! :)
I got this cookbook for my teenage daughter a few years ago. She loved it and was able to make many of the recipies on her own with no help. One of the recipies - the lemon cheesebars - have become her "signature" dessert and she has been asked by friends and relatives to make the bars a number of times. Other favorites were the white cake with fresh lime curd and the banana toffee cake that is made in a cast iron skillet.
Very basic stuff - but fun to make and the pictures of the all of the recipes are great. Recommend as a "family" type of cookbook.
Anne Byrn really should have her own show on the cooking channel. I had this book, used it alot, loved it even, then while cleaning to move decided to trade it. After i did that i asked myself why i traded this book instead of something less important, like my new house payment book. :) I had to go out and pick up another. I can't live without it. Bet you won't be able to either, just by means of volume, there is so much to try in this book.
I have made several things out of this and they are good. I just don't use any processed food anymore, so this is no longer useful for me. I used to get rave reviews for the Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake and it is the homemade frosting (the glaze that is in the book with the cake recipe) that really makes it a wow dessert.
I borrowed the book from the library & had to have it after trying one recipe!
Ive given 3 books as gifts with happy results. These recipes move a mundane
box mix into over-the-top desserts and home made tasting treats.
My husband is well traveled and pronounced Kathys Cinnamon
Breakfast Cake pg 257, as the best coffee cake hes ever eaten. Anywhere.
Ive shared this recipe with several people who have tried it and agreed.
The authors down to earth way of writing makes the book an enjoyable read. She provides lists of the most portable cakes & desserts, how to exchange one pan size for another, and other helpful tips and tricks. I would recommend this book for the newly-wed, Moms busy with kids, and anyone needing to take a dessert to a gathering.
This is the list I gave my recipients, and it makes a really cute bookmark if you are so
Chocolate Pistachio Cake pg 40
Chocolate Marble Gooey Butter Cake pg 244
***Kathys Cinnamon Breakfast Cake pg 257 Best coffee cake ever!!
(glaze is better with a bit of butter)
Chocolate Mocha Chewies pg 337
Ninas Strawberry Crisp pg 364
Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake pg 368
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake pg 50