Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake

This month’s Daring Bakers challenge was, as usual, a challenge. Morven of Food Art and Random Thoughts chose Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake from Baking: From my Home to Yours. And let me tell you, it is perfect for a party. I’ve never made a layer cake. I decided to make mini-cakes. You might think this is cheating, but I think it was harder than just frosting 1 layer cake. I had 9 little cakes to frost! I was going to be taking the cake to a friend’s house and didn’t want everyone to think I was weird snapping photos of the cake once the first piece was cut. And this way, hubby could have some for himself.

I followed the directions almost exactly. I know some other DBers got daring in their flavor combinations, but I love lemon and raspberry so I stuck with it.

Here are my ingredients ready to be beaten, stirred, and shaken into a wonderful cake. I forgot to get the buttermilk out of the fridge prior to the photo shoot. Don’t worry, I did use the buttermilk in the cake!

This is what happened when I added the 2nd part of the dry ingredients. I wasn’t careful enough and flour flew everywhere. I know this picture is not the best, but it was funny. I have always been a messy baker and probably always will be.

As you can see, my cakes didn’t rise very much during their time in the oven. They were definitely done since the sides were pulling away from the pan. Based on what other DBers have said throughout the month, it seems like a lot of other people’s cakes didn’t rise much either.

To make my mini-cakes, I baked the cake as directed in two 9″ cake pans. I then used a 3″ round cookie cutter (biscuit cutter would also work here) to cut 7 three-inch rounds out of each 9″ pan. So I had 14 mini-cakes.

Then I cut each one in half horizontally with a serrated knife. I didn’t want to have 4 layers for my mini-cakes because they would have been out of proportion. And I wouldn’t have had enough for hubby to have one! So I decided to make them with 3 layers each. Thus, I got 9 mini-layer-cakes with one layer leftover to taste-test. I also got to taste-test all the scraps from cutting out the rounds. This cake is amazing. I love the texture of this cake.

I’ve recently fallen in love with Swiss buttercream. The DB Yule Log that we made in December was the first time I had ever made it and I’m in love! Don’t be intimidated by the eggs. The frosting is worth the extra effort.

As I mentioned, I used the lemon buttercream and raspberry preserves for my filling.

I definitely underestimated the amount of time it would take to decorate my mini-cakes. I found that the buttercream and preserves were very slippery and the layers slid around when I tried to frost the sides. So I decided to apply a crumb-coat of frosting first and throw them into the freezer for about 5 minutes. Then it was easier to apply the final layer of frosting. I didn’t worry about making it pretty because I knew I wanted to put coconut on the outside.

Everyone at the get together I went to loved these little guys. The texture of the cake was AMAZING. So soft and smooth. I will definitely be making this cake again.

Thanks to Morven for hosting this month. Click here for the entire recipe.

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13 Responses to “Pomegranate Cranberry Quinoa Salad”

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    1
    Smitten Sugar — January 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I just made Quinoa for the first time myself this week. Love the addition of pomegranate. I will have to try it out!

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    Evan Thomas — January 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I love quinoa! Never tried it with these ingredients. Great recipe!

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    Chelsea — January 20, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I love quinoa, especially in breakfast form! Never had it with pomegranates, yay!

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    The Small Boston Kitchen — January 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Glad you liked! It’s one of my favorites. Also packages up really nicely for a healthy take-to-work lunch!

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    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — January 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I adore quinoa because it is so healthy and so filling!

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    ErinsFoodFiles — January 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Yum yum yum! What a yummy looking quinoa dish! I love quinoa, so if you’re looking to find more quinoa recipes, feel free to browse my blog. 🙂

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    Sarah @ Semi-Sweet — January 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I love the versatility of quinoa – once you start cooking with it, it’s hard to stop . . . we think it makes a great breakfast, too! Warmed with milk, fruit & a little maple syrup or agave? Energy for the day!

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    Nisrine|Dinners and Dreams — January 20, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    I love a good quinoa recipe. This one sounds worth a try.

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    Shannon — January 21, 2011 at 1:47 am

    LOVE quinoa and poms 🙂 this looks like a delicious way to enjoy both ingredients!!

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    Daisy — January 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    don’t worry, I am officially the last one.

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    Megan — January 21, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    I’m glad you tried it! I love quinoa. I think it’s second to Israeli couscous in my book. And pomegranates — love them. This sounds delicious!

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    kitchenmisfit — January 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I am surprised by the chicken stock! It seems like it should be a sweet dish. I love quinoa and my husband does too!

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    Cheryl — January 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I have been reading about quinoa the “superfood” and how good it is for us. I bought some awhile back but hadn’t used it so I decided to try your recipe. OMG! I love it! I didn’t have pomegranate seeds and instead of almonds I used toasted pecans and also added orange zest. I will be using quinoa a lot now. Thanks!

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