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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30 Responses to “Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake”

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    CB — March 30, 2008 at 4:57 am

    I love the idea of perfect party minicakes!! They look delish! Great job! That flour picture is so funny. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that – flour on the counter, on my KA, in my hair, on my face!
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

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    Nemmie — March 30, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Yum! Love the raspberry/lemon combo, and the mini cakes are adorable :)

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    Morven — March 30, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Well done – what an innovative variation. They look so cute!

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    Maryann — March 30, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I can totally relate to the slippery effect.
    Your cake looks beautiful!

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    Sheltie Girl — March 30, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    You did a lovely job on all your mini cakes.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

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    slush — March 30, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Adorable! Your KA and mine would be best friends. ‘Chuck’ is always filthy. Poor guy. He gets cleaned up, just to be coated again. ;)

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    Ben — March 30, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    How cute! Making mini-cakes is a great idea. Next time I make this cake I will try that, I still have a HUGE cake in the fridge I need to eat :-/

    Cheers!

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    ~Amber~ — March 30, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Great idea on the mini cakes. They are really cute. Great job. To the next challenge we go.

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    Carrie — March 30, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    beautifully done!!! love it!!!

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    Jerry — March 30, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    I love the little cakes! Plus the raspberries! Yummy!

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    L Vanel — March 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    The mini cakes look really amazing!

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    Allergy Mom — March 30, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    The minicakes are wonderful! Now, you’ll need my address to send one…Libby ;-)

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    Butta Buns — March 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Love the idea of the mini cakes, that’s so adorable!

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    Bridget — March 30, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Mini-cakes are definitely more work than one large cake! They’re so cute though.

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    Nikki — March 30, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    What a cute idea! They look adorable!

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    Gail — March 30, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I love desserts in miniature and your mini cakes look beautiful. I think I will most definitely be making mini cakes sometime in the near future – thank you for the wonderful idea!

    ~gail

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    Claire — March 30, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    I’m loving the mini versions! The cake looks fantastic. Mmmmm!

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    Peabody — March 30, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    I made mini ones too. I hate to tell you but it is way easier to frost a whole cake than mini ones. :)
    Looks great.

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    Beth G. — March 30, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Beautiful!! You did a gorgeous job :O)

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    Namratha — March 30, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    These individual cakes look pretty…well done!

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    Lesley — March 31, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Really cute idea to make individual cakes, I love that. Great job!

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    jasmine — March 31, 2008 at 12:58 am

    I adore your minicakes. V lovely.

    j

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    leafy bombshell — March 31, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Oh! the minicakes are just the best idea ever. I probably should have done that with my oh-so flat cakes. How great.

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    Ritsumei — March 31, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Mini cakes -what a great idea! I think I’m going to have to try that here pretty soon. Looks like a delicious lot of fun. Especially the part where you get to eat the scraps. I think this cake was some of the best I’ve had.

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    ruthEbabes — March 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    What cute little mini cakes! Aren’t things just better when they’re mini?

    Great work!

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    Gabi — March 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I love the little cakes and the picture with the raspberry and lemon zest is so enticing!
    Perfect!
    xoxo
    Gabi

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    Jenny — April 1, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Another messy baker here! And I love the mini cakes – I’m nice to see its as low-tech as cutting circles out of larger pieces rather than trying to bake a bunch of cakes in miniature pans.

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    creampuff — April 1, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Jen,

    Your little cakes are gorgeous! I too love swiss buttercream … congratulations on a job well done!

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    JMom — April 1, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    wow, that takes some patience, putting all those cakes together! They are just the cutest though. ~ JMom

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    Big Boys Oven — April 2, 2008 at 8:54 am

    so petite and cute!

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