#5: Butter Cake with Chocolate Pan Frosting

Here is a cake that is so simple, yet so mouth watering good! This cake lasts about 2 days in my house, if I am lucky. No cake lover will pass up this cake.

Basic Butter Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease two 9 inch round pans, or one 9×13 pan with solid vegetable shortening, dust with a little cake mix. Set aside.
  2. Place cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer for 1 minute, scrape sides, continue mixing on medium for 2 minutes. Pour batter into pan(s). Place in oven.
  3. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched lightly with your finger. 20 – 30 minutes. Remove pans from oven, place on wire rack to cool.

Chocolate Pan Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 – 4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Place the butter in a medium/large saucepan and melt over low heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cocoa powder and milk until mixed well. Let mix just come to a boil, stirring, and then remove pan from the heat.
  2. Stir in confectioners sugar until desired smooth consistency.
  3. Frost completely cooled cake immediately, before frosting cools, because this goes on best while warm!!
  4. Top with your favorite topping i.e. marshmallows, sprinkles,  nuts, coconut

#3: Chocolate-Speckled Espresso Angel Food Cake



ImageFood from the Angels indeed!

This cake was heavenly!  I know cliche, but I couldn’t help it.  Such an easy recipe for such a delicious, simple summer cake.  It took me about an hour and 15 minutes from start to finish.  I think a garnish of Hershey’s Syrup or a few Hershey Kisses would add that special touch from simple to elegant.  But, that my friend, is up to your imagination.  


  • 1 package (16 oz) angel food cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup espresso or coffee liquour
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla)
  • 1 square (1 ounce) semisweet baking chocolate, grated


  1. Place a rack in center, or 1 below center, of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set aside an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.
  2. Place the cake mix, water, espresso/coffee liquor, and flavored extract in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop machine, scrape sides, then increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 1 more minute. Fold in grated chocolate, with rubber spatula, until evenly distributed. Pour batter into pan, smoothing out top.  Place pan in oven.
  3. Bake cake until it is light brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 35 – 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and immediately  turn it upside down over the neck of a glass bottle to cool for 1 hour. Run a long, sharp knife around th edge of cake and invert it onto rack, then invert it again onto a serving platter, so that it is right side up.


Note:  The Cake Doctor’s original recipe is called chocolate-speckled peppermint schnapps angel food cake.  I didn’t have schnaps, so I tweaked the recipe to the ingredients I had on hand.  If you like to make the peppermint version, you just replace the schnapps for the coffee liquor and peppermint extract in place of the almond extract.


#1: Earthquake Cake

Earthquake Cake (The Cake Doctor, Anne Byrn)

  • 1 cup unsweetened grated coconut (I get mine at Sprouts)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (buy them in shell, cheaper)
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) German chocolate cake mix (cheap brand is fine)
  • 1 1/3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’s sugar



  1. Place a rack in center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly mist a 9- by 13- inch baking pan with vegetable oil or shortening.  Set pan aside.
  2. Scatter coconut and nuts on bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Combine the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute, stop the machine, scrape down the side of bowl with rubber spatula.  Continue beating at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes more.  The batter should be smooth and silky.  Pour the batter over the coconut and nuts in the pan and smooth out with spatula.
  4. In a new large bowl, combine the cream cheese (cut into 6 pieces), the melted butter (45 seconds in microwave), and the 4 cups powdered sugar.  Blend on low speed for 2 minutes until smooth and silky.  With a large spoon, place 12 globs of the topping evenly on to the top of the cake batter.  They will look like little white clouds on a river of chocolate.  Once you have recovered your senses, place the pan in the hot oven.Image
  5. Bake the cake until the center jiggles a little when you shake the pan.  Bake 40 – 45 minutes.
    DON’T overbake!  It’ll set as it cools on a cooling rack, for 30 minutes.
  6. When cool, cut into squares and flip onto a cute plate.  The ooey gooeyness, and the pecans and coconut will now be on top!
  • Notes:  Store cake, covered in aluminum foil, in the refrig for 1 week, or double wrapped in foil in the freezer for up to 6 months.  Thaw out overnight in the refrig before serving.


What is 150 Cakes?!

Welcome to 150 Cakes in a Year. (or so).  What I want to do is complete all of Anne Byrn’s recipe book The Cake Doctor in one year (or so).    I will try to keep the recipes with fruit within that season.  By doing this I can hope to help my readers become familiar with Seasonal Fruit.  And by using whats in season and fresh, this will make your cakes that much more delicious.

If you haven’t heard of The Cake Doctor then you’re in for a suprise.  All, I mean ALL, of her recipes are based on a cake mix!  She has literally “doctored” up these cake mixes and came up with delicious, mouth watering cakes.   These recipes are a snap, even for the beginning baker.

So, I hope you will join me for the next year (or so) as we bake together with The Doctor.

The first recipe will be Earthquake Cake.  A lovely combination of devil’s food and cream cheese!

And remember, “A slice a day keeps the psychologist away.”

Happy baking!

~ Ellen