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Austinite doctors up boxed mix for apricot cake with coconut

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Almost 10 years after Anne Byrn published the hugely successful "The Cake Mix Doctor" cookbook, which taught bakers how to fix up boxed cake mixes, Byrn is back with "The Cake Mix Doctor Returns!" (Workman, $15.95). In the new book, Byrn features 160 new recipes — including this one for apricot cake from Austinite Lynn Chaumont — that explain how to use ingredients such as sour cream or buttermilk to improve commercial mixes available in grocery stores. "I particularly enjoy the creamy coconut filling, a surprise inside, and am sure you will, too," writes Byrn of Chaumont's cake.

— Addie Broyles

Apricot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

For the filling

1 medium-size lemon

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

For the cake

Vegetable oil spray, for misting the pan

Flour, for dusting the pan

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow or vanilla cake mix

1 cup apricot nectar

4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, melted

3 large eggs

For the glaze

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

3 Tbsp. apricot nectar

To make the filling, rinse and pat the lemon dry with paper towels. Grate enough zest to measure 1 teaspoon. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a medium-size bowl; you will need 2 tablespoons. Add cream cheese, granulated sugar, lemon zest and coconut to the mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are just combined, 1 minute. Set bowl aside.

To make the cake, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust it with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, 1 cup of apricot nectar, melted butter and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula. Spoon the filling on top of the batter, making sure it does not touch the edges of the pan, then place the pan in the oven.

Bake cake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer the Bundt pan to a wire rack and let cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edges of the cake, shake the pan gently and invert cake onto a wire rack. Let cake cool completely, 25 to 30 minutes longer.

Make glaze: Place the confectioners' sugar in a small mixing bowl and whisk in the 3 tablespoons of apricot nectar to make a spoonable glaze. Slide cake onto a cake plate and spoon glaze over cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let glaze set for 10 minutes; slice and serve cake.

Store this cake, in a cake saver or under a cake dome, at room temperature for up to one week. Freeze the cake, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to six months. Let the cake thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. Serves 12-16.

— from 'The Cake Mix Doctor Returns!' by Anne Byrn