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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12 Responses to “Fig, Goat Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Crostini”

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    1
    Lauren — September 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Looks delicious! Goat cheese & fig is a timeless flavor combination :).

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    2
    Eliana — September 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Everything about these cute little bites looks amazing. I’m dreaming about all the wonderful flavors as I type right now.

    Wandered over here from the Indecisive Baker blog and love it. Looking forward to reading more of your blog posts.

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    3
    kitchenmisfit — September 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I love everything about this recipe!

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    4
    We Are Not Martha — September 4, 2010 at 1:15 am

    I love ANYTHING with caramelized onion! And I’m so excited to cook with figs 🙂 These look awesome!

    Sues

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    5
    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — September 4, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Figs, goat cheese and caramelized onions? Three of my favorite ingredients!

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    Cara — September 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    So you lost your fresh fig virginity! See, that wasn’t so bad! jk 🙂 I hope fresh fig season doesn’t fly by too quickly, I have some ideas I’d like to get to before they go away!

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    7
    newlywed — September 4, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    These look both beautiful and delicious! A great appetizer recipe to impress guests.

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    8
    tobiascooks! — September 5, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Beautiful combo of ingredients. I love this kind of snack!

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    9
    nutmegnanny — September 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    As soon as I saw goat cheese I knew I would love these! Yum!

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    10
    Justin — September 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    sounds like a nice combination of flavors

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    MamaFeelgood — September 23, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    I just found all these goat cheese recipes and fainted.
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    Julie — November 1, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I made this for a party this past weekend and it was a huge hit! Although, I did notice the fig flavor was almost non-existent. I couldn’t find black mission figs in the markets, so I used green. I think green figs are much more bland than black mission figs, so I wouldn’t recommend making this dish unless you can find black figs.

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