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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9 Responses to “Lemon Bars”

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    1
    teresacooks — March 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Everytime I make anything out of this book I screw up a step. I’m starting to blame the book – maybe it has too many steps? I’ve had it for years, and I don’t mess up other recipes. But with this book. . . everytime I look at the recipe while whatever I’ve made is in the oven I go “oh no.”
    Let us know what else you cook and like out of the book. Love your blog.

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    SimplySweeter — March 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    These look so DELICIOUS! My mouth is watering!! Thank you!!

    http://www. simplysweeter.blogspot.com

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    yumventures — March 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    These are my favorite type of bars! And I agree, I could eat lemon curd all day!

    I also often don’t have the right size pan for a recipe, I guess I need to stock up 🙂

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    4
    We Are Not Martha — March 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I love lemon bars and yours look absolutely delightful! I’m a huge fan of the entire Cook’s Illustrated brand and have been meaning to pick that book up for a while!

    Sues

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    Memória — March 26, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    You’re so lucky to have won that cookbook!! If I would have known about that giveaway, I would have signed up for sure. I’ve been coveting that book for a long time.

    These lemon bars look so yummy!!! I love lemon bars. I really enjoyed this bar series! Thank you.

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    Kelly — March 27, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Oh you saved the best for last with lemon bars, yum!

    You are so right about spring teasing us. Very annoying!

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    birdutmasali — March 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm


    I lıke lemon bars !!

    wonderfull lemon bars

    happy weekens.

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    Ali — March 31, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I’ve been in a lemony mood as of late. This helps take some of the edge off.

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    nutmegnanny — April 5, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    What delicious bars! I’m so glad you like the book. Now I need to own it…haha.

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