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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38 Responses to “What’s your secret?”

  1. #
    1
    BMK — January 28, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Those are adorable! I love the idea of lemon meringue cupcakes.

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    ~Amber~ — January 28, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    They are adorable!! Great job and I am glad you had success with the recipe.

  3. #
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    Shawnda — January 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Congrats on a successful challenge!

  4. #
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    slush — January 28, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    OMG, are they cute! Like little porcupines. So glad it turned out for you. Fab job!

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    Aparna — January 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I really liked your idea of making the cupcakes. No cutting up and great single sized servings. They look just great.
    Makes me wonder– why didn’t I think of that?

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    Tempered Woman — January 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Hey~ I made lemon maringue cuppies too! I am so sold on making pies this way in the future- very fun. Love the spikies- great job.

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    Nikki57 — January 28, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Your LMP looks great! I love the cuppies

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    CB — January 28, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    LMP cuppys rule! ::high five:: love all the pictures of your process… great job!

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    Marye — January 28, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I really like the little pies everyone is making..now I want to redo mine.blessings,
    marye
    http://bakingdelights.com

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    michelle — January 28, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Oh so cute! I had considered trying my second attempt in a cupcake tin… until I waited until the last minute, that is! 🙂

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    ruthEbabes — January 28, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Congrats! These look fabulously divine!

  12. #
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    Butta Buns — January 28, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Ah ha, another fellow Boston baker! Your tarts are beautiful! Love the peaks on the meringue!

  13. #
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    How To Eat A Cupcake — January 28, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Those are so perfect!

    PS: I have those red measuring bowls. I love them! 😀

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    I(dot)J — January 28, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    so SMART to have all of your ingredients out FIRST. I really should know this by now.

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    Dolores — January 29, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Ooooh, I love your cupcake-pies. How’d you make the meringue spikey?

    And what did the husband think of the final product?

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    breadchick — January 29, 2008 at 2:00 am

    your little ones are adorable. Great job on your challenge!!

  17. #
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    MrsPresley — January 29, 2008 at 2:35 am

    your lemon meringue cupcakes are so cute! job well done! 🙂

  18. #
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    Beth G. — January 29, 2008 at 2:36 am

    They’re so cute!! Great job!! :O)

  19. #
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    kate — January 29, 2008 at 2:54 am

    i had that crust shrinkage problem too. it’s a bummer.

    ———-
    kate
    http://www.thecleanplateclub.net

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    Jen — January 29, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Dolores – I just spread the meringue around and then using a spatula, pressed it into the meringue and pulled it out and voila! Spikes!

  21. #
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    Andrea — January 29, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Your little cupcakes are adorable! That was a great idea!

  22. #
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    Princess of the kitchen — January 29, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Your little tarts lok just lovely. well done!

  23. #
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    Big Boys Oven — January 29, 2008 at 8:31 am

    a challenge executed incrediblely well!

  24. #
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    Deborah — January 29, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    They look just perfect!!

  25. #
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    Candace — January 29, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Nice job!

  26. #
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    Megan — January 29, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Too cute! Love the cupcakes. I want one!

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    Carrie — January 30, 2008 at 12:02 am

    My crust did the same thing! Your cupcakes look great though!
    ~Carrie from bakersbakery.wordpress.com

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    Lane — January 30, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Your “pie-cups” look perfect. Great job!

    Jane of VeganBits.com

  29. #
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    Lunch Buckets — January 30, 2008 at 6:48 am

    Very cute! Did you turn away and silently mock your husband “my mom makes a great…”, no of course you wouldn’t have, I must be projecting 🙂

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    Sheltie Girl — January 30, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    You did a wonderful job on your lemon meringue tarts!

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

    ~ We’re lactose intolerant at our house too.

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    Quellia — January 30, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Nice cupcakes! And if it makes you feel any better, I’ve been a DB’er for a year and friends and family, all non-bloggers, always know what I’m making. They kinda have to since I always tape the recipe up on the kitchen cupboards!

  32. #
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    creampuff — January 30, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Yayy! I love reading success posts like this! They look great and that’s a good idea to bake them in muffin tins. Well done!

  33. #
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    BrineS — January 31, 2008 at 7:22 am

    I love your little lemon meringues!

  34. #
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    Jen Yu — January 31, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Awesome! I love how differently everyone’s turned out, but these little cuties are so adorable 🙂 Great job!!

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    Claire — February 1, 2008 at 1:34 am

    So cute! I’m sure everyone enjoyed you addition to the spread!

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    Jigginjessica — February 2, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I love cupcake idea. One big pie seems so messy, these seem neat and tidy. Congrats on another successful challenge!

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    Jelli Bean — August 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    The shrinking crust always affects my mini cupcake pies too. The trick is to make them overhang the cups enough so that they shrink down to just the right size. Your little pies are darling!

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    kijiji in edmonton canada — September 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    It’s awesome for me to have a website, which is helpful in
    favor of my know-how. thanks admin

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