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 “Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting”

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    SimplySweeter — May 5, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Oh yum Jen! These look absolutely delicious! What a great July 4th treat…..maybe split them and serve ’em up like a Strawberry Shortcake??? Yum.

    http://www.simplysweeter.blogspot.com

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    KV — May 5, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Jen, by any chance do you remember about how many strawberries you used for the recipe and also for filling? I have maybe 10-15 strawberries at home that need to be used asap and wondered if that was enough?

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    Jen — May 5, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    KV – Sorry I don’t. We had a big thing of strawberries in the fridge that Hubby had cut up for us to snack on. I would say it was less than a pint, but pretty close to a pint? Not really sure. Sorry I can’t be more help.

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    hannah! — May 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    strawberries are my favorite fruit ever! in my opinion, they always should be enjoyed fresh no matter what. even in desserts! 😀 your cupcakes look great, by the wayaoh

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    Cupcake Activist — May 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve heard that strawberry cake doesn’t end up being that sweet, but maybe the addition of fresh strawberries on top changes things. I’m a huge strawberry fan, so I’m anxious to try this.

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    Jen — May 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Cupcake Activist – I could definitely see that the batter itself might not be that sweet. I thought they were great with the additional strawberries added in.

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    Kerstin — May 5, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    This looks divine. I made the Sky High strawberry cake with frozen berries and I thought it was really good, but I’d like to try again with fresh ones too! Your hubby has some very luck coworkers 🙂

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    Brisbane Baker — May 6, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Love this recipe.. infact all of your cupcake recipes. I made your Fauxtess cupcakes the other day and turned out wonderfully.. This is now on my wish list. :

    http://www.brisbanebaker.blogspot.com

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    We Are Not Martha — May 6, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    These look so simple and beautiful! I love strawberry cake and I especially love the way the fresh strawberries look inside 🙂

    Sues

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    Miss. Tarrah Dame — May 19, 2010 at 2:17 am

    cant go wrong with strawberry…just made strawberry marscapone filled cupcakes myself! 🙂
    http://cuppycakebakes.blogspot.com

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    soohyunee — May 25, 2010 at 12:01 am

    I love how you frosted these cupcakes!! did you start from the inside and go out with a 1M tip?

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    Jen — May 25, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Yes, soohyunee, to make the rosette, I started in the center and swirled around to the outside.

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