A Cookbook Review – The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free

Review of The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free by The Baking Beauties

I’m sure that you’ve all heard of the Cake Mix Doctor. If you haven’t, her name is Anne Byrn, and she has created recipes to take those boxed cake mixes, and make them into great cookies, bars, cakes & Bundts. You use the cake mix as the base, and add in different ingredients, making it easier than “from scratch” baking.

When I was contacted and asked if I would like to review The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free and I was a little hesitant (with cake mixes being over $5 a piece, who wouldn’t be?). But, I like trying new cookbooks, and decided to give it a shot. One can never have too many cookbooks (right, Mom??).

Gluten-free Banana Bread Cake and a Book Review by The Baking Beauties
This cake above is made with a cake mix. It is a Banana Bread cake made from the book. It is gluten free, moist & delicious. And it didn’t take a lot of time to make either.

Would I recommend this book to you? At first, I thought no, not really worth it. But, that was until I had the book in my hands and looked through it. I was very impressed by the book. Although the recipes do not have pictures with the recipe, there are small pictures of all the recipes in the front of the book, so there are pictures. There are tips on how to make all the recipes dairy free. All the recipes have tips, and there is also a spot to write your own notes with the recipes, including when you made it. It is easier to remember “brought this to xmas 2010 gathering”, or “Joan’s bridal shower”, etc. I thought that was a neat feature.

Plus, you want to hear the best part? Really? Ready? You don’t have to buy any cake mixes. Seriously. My friend Carrie over at Gingerlemongirl has come up with an “at-home” gluten-free cake mix, which works wonderfully in these recipes, is slightly healthier (hey, it’s still cake), and costs a lot less than the store bought cake mixes. Please, take the time to go HERE and print that recipe, you won’t be disappointed. Most of the recipes in this book require a yellow or chocolate cake mix, both of which are easy enough to mix up yourself. So, mix up a few, store them in the pantry, and when you want to bake something, just pull out a jar of mix, and you’re ready to bake! I used Carrie’s cake mix in the 3 recipes that I have tried, and they all turned out great.

I have baked the Peanut butter cupcakes (a tad dry, but not bad), the Pumpkin Party Cake (delicious!), and the Banana Breadย  cake (got thumbs up all around the table). There are also recipes for Fresh Strawberry Cake, Chocolate Almond Torte, Bacardi Rum cake, Maple Corn Muffins, Gingersnaps and Almond Sugar cookies. Lots of variety.

One thing to consider, the Bundt cakes are small. I’d say about 8 slices per cake (we like our cake, no tiny slivers for us). It will fill your Bundt pan about 1/2 full.

Gluten-free Banana Bread Cake and a Book Review by The Baking Beauties
A Cookbook Review - The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free
Recipe type: Dessert
If you don't want to purchase gluten-free cake mixes, you can make your own. Check out gingerlemongirl.com homemade Cake Mix recipe
Banana Bread Cake
  • vegetable oil spray, for misting the pan
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar, for dusting the pan (I mixed 1 Tbsp sugar & 1/2 tsp cinnamon and used that)
  • 1 package (15 ounces) yellow gluten-free cake mix
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 heaping cup mashed bananas (about 3 small very ripe bananas)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (I used margarine)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Caramel Glaze:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Banana Bread Cake
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust it with the cinnamon sugar. Shake out the excess cinnamon sugar and set the pan aside.
  2. Place the cake mix, sugar, mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are just incorporated, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer, scraping down the sides of the bowl again if needed. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula, and place the pan in the oven.
  3. Bake the cake until it is golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 38-42 minutes. Transfer the Bundt pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 10 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake, shake the pan gently, and invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely, 30 minutes longer.
  4. Meanwhile, make the Caramel Glaze.
  5. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Pour the glaze over the cake and let the glaze set for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving the cake.
Caramel Glaze:
  1. Place the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cream in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat and let come to a boil, stirring. Let the butter mixture boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake.


NOTE: Although I was supplied a book at no charge to me, the opinion expressed is my own. This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Elizabeth says

    Thanks for the review!! I actually have this book sitting on my bedside table right now! I too hate the cost of the GF box mixes. In fact I have NEVER bought one. I kept wondering if I actually wanted the buy the book. The one I have is from the library. But, if I can make my own cake mixes….I might just need it. I agree, one can never have too many cook books!!

  2. Joy says

    I too hate the cost of GF cake mixes, but if the mixes are good I think its worth the money! I have thrown out so many BAD GF products & ingredients I hate to think of the money!

  3. Zoe says

    I reviewed this book on my blog and made the snickerdoodles with Bob's Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake mix since it seemed I couldn't find a gluten-free yellow cake mix anywhere! It was great because I didn't need to use as much vanilla extract in the original recipe (originally 1 tablespoon, I reduced it to 1/2 or 1 teaspoon). I haven't made any of the cakes or other recipes from the cookbook yet, but maybe I will at some point. I really want to make a "homemade" version of those snickerdoodles.

  4. Kim-Cook it Allergy Free says

    Jeanine! Thanks so much for this review. I have a copy of this right now and have not yet made anything from it. I think I will give a couple of them a try using Carrie's mix. Our Anniversary is coming up and I thought I would make a fun dessert for it, since my hubby is such a sweets and cake lover! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Carrie says

    You are awesome! Thank you so much for the link love!! And that cake look SO good! Wow! I am drooling! i wish I had your photography skillz!!

  6. Jeanine - The Baking Beauties says

    @Joy, It is really sad when we dish out big $$ for disappointing products, isn't it? I usually wait until they are marked down, then wonder if they are bad cause they are marked down, or if they are just plain bad. ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. Jeanine - The Baking Beauties says

    @Zoe, Zoe, I've been wanting to try the cookies, see how they work, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I've made Snickerdoodles before (recipes is on All Previous Recipes tab up top). My husband loves snickerdoodles!

  8. Jeanine - The Baking Beauties says

    @Kim-Cook it Allergy Free, Kim, definitely give something in there a try. The bundts were very moist, I was quite impressed. And with Carrie's homemade mix, you're not having to buy anything special either (bonus!)

  9. Jeanine - The Baking Beauties says

    @Carrie, Thank YOU, Carrie! I was about to pass on this book before you posted your recipe for homemade cake mix. There's no way I'm paying $5-7 for a cake mix. ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. Sheridan says

    I love this cookbook! The mixes are inexpensive where I live and I always have a supply in my pantry. Every one of the recipes have been moist with no grittiness. My son-in-law requests any of Anne’s chocolate cakes for his birthday; and has no need to eat gluten free. Biggest family favorite is Applesauce Pan Cake with Carmel icing poured over the top.

    And now I am of to investigate Carrie’s recipe. Baking is my hobby and I love to try new things. Cheers!


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