Daring Bakers in March: Perfect Party Cake

March 30, 2008 at 12:16 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, daring bakers, groups, layer cakes, sweet things | 94 Comments

perfect party cake

If you´ve looked at this blog lately, you´ll notice that the sweets in most of my recent posts stem from the same source–  Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan is turning into one of my most used cookbooks on the shelf!  This recipe also comes from that book, but this time my post is not a result of Tuesdays with Dorie, but of the Daring Bakers.  Morven from Food Art and Random Thoughts chose Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake as the March DB challenge.

perfect party cake

Morven gave us basically free reign to flavor and fill our cakes however we liked, but I wanted to basically stick with Dorie’s version (which she actually accredits to Nick Malgieri), just to give the recipe a fair shot.  I used the cake and buttercream recipes as they were written.  Instead of using raspberry jam though, I filled my cake with blueberry preserves.  

If I had one “issue” with this cake, it would be that I didn’t have enough buttercream for a good coat of frosting on the outside. I must have gone too crazy between the layers– oops!– and what I wound up with was more like a crumb coat.  What to do??  I wasn’t about to make more buttercream, so I decided to toast my coconut flakes.  Of course I didn’t get a pristine snow white cake like Dorie’s, but it desperately needed a little camouflage.

I know I must have said this a million times before, but OMG I love cake, and wow, was this good!  The buttercream was outstanding, and the cake was really moist (and the jam helps keep it that way).  I liked the instructions in the cake recipe to rub together the lemon zest and sugar.  This is something we always do with citrus in the restaurant where I work and it really helps bring out the flavor in the zest.

perfect party cake

Thanks Morven for this month’s challenge!  For the Perfect Party Cake recipe, check out Food Art and Random Thoughts.  And for the complete list of DBers, check out our great big blogroll.

DB whisk


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  1. Absolutely gorgeous Steph! Love the blueberry jam. Holy yum!

  2. Gorgeous cake. Love the toasted coconut idea! You are a Dorie rockstar 🙂

  3. That is one fabulous looking cake Steph!

  4. wasn’t the frosting to die for?! I kept licking the spatula every five seconds and then at the end I was like, oopsies I should make more 🙂 I used a really nice and tarty raspberry filling which worked out fantastically but I like the color of the blueberries in yours.

  5. Wow, yours came out so much prettier than mine. Yum.

  6. So gorgeous. The fresh blueberries are a lovely touch.

  7. oooh what a gorgeous cake. as always, you have done a terrific job.

  8. That looks so lovely!! Especially with the fresh blueberries!! Great job!

  9. Your version looks so great! I can’t wait to post mine tomorrow!

  10. PRETTY PRETTY PRETTY! That’s one great looking cake & so moist! Mine wasn’t as moist as I would have liked it to be. It’s amazing that the same recipe works so differently across the globe! Love your cake…

  11. Looks fabulous. I really like that last picture…yum! I had the same thought about the icing – wish I had more. But it was a fun challenge!

  12. What a gorgeous cake – all those layers! The blueberry jam looks delicious.

  13. Your cake is simply lovely. I could fairly imagine how good this taste like…hmmm blueberries!

  14. What a gorgeous cake! I love the look of the toasted coconut.

    I made this cake a few months ago for the first time and had the same problem of running out of icing. I did a better job this time around, but only because I learned from my mistakes the first time!

  15. I really like the look of the layers you were able to get. I skimped on the buttercream between layers and still came out short! Loving the coconut cover up though, I think it actually looks better than the snow white version. Gorgeous and I am sure delicious as well!

  16. Oh Blueberry! Im going nuts over alll the types of jams used. Gorgeous!

  17. just gorgeous. i love the addition of toasted coconut, cover up or not!

  18. I agree that this is an amazing cake! Ooo…the frosting…. I put a different filling in the center layer, so had more to spread on the outside which was great. I love the look of your coconut! I was going to get some blackberries, but by the time I made it back to the store, the Easter shopping crowd had purchased them all. No matter! It was so good, wasn’t it? Love your photos.

  19. truth be told, i would’ve made more icing AND added the coconut. blueberries + coconut + buttercream = my dream cake.
    and what a good-looking cake it is–i’m seriously considering hijacking that bottom photo and making it the background on my laptop. 🙂

  20. Oh my god, it looks so yummy. You all managed to make high cakes, mine did not rise as much…:-((

  21. great looking cake! congratulations! I too loved mixing the sugar with the zest. It was divine!

  22. Wow, the cake looks gorgeous. Beautiful.

  23. Oh wow! What a beautiful cake. And those blueberries look amazing. This was a great and fun challenge.


  24. Absolutely beautful cake! Looks delicious!

  25. This looks delicious, and I can’t wait to have a go at this recipe over on TWD. I like the blueberry preserves substitution a lot, great idea!

  26. Love the blueberries and toasted coconut!

  27. Lovely! It looks very tasty!

  28. What a beautiful cake, the “slice” picture looks totaly decadent!
    It’s like those kind of things I wish I could bathe in… mmmm…

  29. Oh wow, that last shot of the cake with the blueberries is spectacular! Great job! I always love your pictures.

  30. Those blueberries are to die for! I can imagine the flavour combination, too good!

  31. Really gorgeous cake! Blueberries (one of my favorite fruits) and toasted coconut just can’t be beat.

  32. Very pretty cake! Love the coconut you used!

  33. Your cake turned out perfect. I love the lemon-blueberry combination!

  34. This is just beautiful! I think that the blue blended with the buttercream makes for a great visual appeal. Wonderful job!

  35. I saw this and thought “oh, thank god someone used blueberries!” Your cake looks amazing…wow!

  36. Thanks so much for sharing your talents. It is SUCH a pleasure to review your photos (so absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!) Your picture alone, will FORCE ME TO RECREATE YOUR VERSION. I just love blueberries, and again, thank you. You’re amazing!

  37. Wow, the colour is amazing…looks delicious!

  38. Your cake looks fantastic! I just love the huge shards of coconut.

  39. It was a good on huh? I loved it too. Your cake looks wonderful, as always.

  40. I used blueberry, also, but my cake isn’t nearly as chic as yours! I think toasting your coconut gives it a visual depth and richness that is to die for (and I’m sure the taste was, too)!

  41. Your cake looks beautiful! I love the blueberries- I think I might have to use blueberries next time. I used a lot of frosting too and thought I was going to run out.

  42. Stunning! The cake. The photographs. Just stunning!

  43. Mmm bluberries…beautiful!

  44. Are those blueberries as big as they look? What a mouth watering cake! The toasted coconut is beautiful. I never would have guessed it was a cover up!

  45. That cake just looks PICTURE PERFECT!!! Congratulations on such a good job!!! yuuum toasted coconut!!

  46. I love it! The blueberry filling sounds divine. 🙂

  47. Wow, I think your cake is the most beautiful I have seen amongst all the cakes of this challenge. I love the toasted coconut, and the second picture makes me want to lick the screen! Magnificient!

  48. Very nice cake!

  49. Your camouflage worked well, and the cake looks wonderful! I love the blueberries.

  50. Now THAT is one beautiful cake! Love that you used blueberries!

  51. Gorgeous cake! Great job!

  52. wowwweeee, yours looks so delicate and lady-like! just lovely with blueberries. yum!

  53. Your cake is gorgeous! I love blueberries and this looks like something I would love. Great job and pictures!

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  54. Wonderful cake¡¡¡ Congratulations¡¡¡¡

  55. Simply gorgeous! I love the blueberry in it and that toasted coconut makes the cake really pretty!

  56. Looks beautiful with the blueberry and toasted coconut. I agree that this cake was superb – I almost regretted bringing it to work and not having leftovers.

  57. This is such an awesome looking cake. I love the toasted coconut idea. I also had to be pretty stingy with the frosting. Would have loved more of it. The blackberries look mouth watering.

  58. Beautiful cake! The blueberries and toasted coconut divine! I bet that was just great with the lemon flavor of the cake. Great job!

  59. Not only is your cake beautiful, but those blueberries look amazing!

  60. ooooh mamma – that’s one sexy cake!

  61. holy. cow. seriously, that is gorgeous!

  62. Beautiful!

  63. Gorgeous! I love blueberries, and your entire cake reminds me of a blueberry blintz. Yum!

  64. OOoooohhhhh…your party cake looks fabulous! I am going to try blueberries the next time I make one. I used lemon curd and marmelade and it was pretty yummy, but your cake rocks!

  65. Your cake is so elegant! I used blueberry preserves too, I thought it went very well together.

  66. Gorgeous cake!

  67. Your blueberry rendition of Dorie’s classic cake is splendid… I think the toasted coconut sets the blueberries off beautifully. Great job!

  68. oh this is a gorgeous party cake!

  69. You did a great job with your camouflage – your cake is beautiful. The blueberry looks really good in the layers.

  70. This one is gorgeous palette-wise…and I’m sure it’s easy on the palate as well! I love the garnishes.

  71. This looks gorgeous with the blueberry jam- that last picture is stunning! I wasn’t such a fan of the buttercream though, it worked out okay but seemed a bit tasteless. Yours does look delicious, though ^__^

  72. Blueberry YUM! I just must try it with blueberry, lovely cake I love the toasted coconut…it can hide a world of sins 🙂

  73. O MY HAT!!!! What an amazing looking cake. I want it and I want it NOW!!! Well done……… 😀

  74. oh my GOSH that cake looks absolutely amazing! i am having such fun checking out all the Perfect Party Cakes…i love me some layer cake.

  75. Oh.My.God.

    This looks absolutely amazing. I am obsessed with anything blueberry flavored….and when it involves cake too, YES please!


    Beautiful photos of the blueberries too. Yum 🙂


  76. WOW! Can I have a bite!?! That cake looks scrumptious. I hope you enjoyed every mouthful.

  77. gorgeous! Really stunning cake. Well done

  78. The toasted coconut makes the cake look so extra delicious! Yum.

  79. OMG, that looks absolutely, incredibly unbelieveable ! I may have to try the Daring Bakers Challenege . . . . . . . .

  80. OMG Steph! I try to look at all the DB challenges if possible. I haven’t gotten through the whole list yet. But, yours is my favorite so far. Gorgeous.

  81. What an amazing cake!….the blueberries were a brilliant substitution, and the photos are lovely.

  82. Beautiful cake!!

  83. I just had to come over and see your cake and it did not disappoint!

  84. I looked at almost all the cakes. Urs the prettiest. and also another lady but urs more cheerful.

  85. Looks fabulous! The last photo makes me wanna eat it.

  86. Your cake looks wonderful. Your layers look fabulous and your coconut is so wide and lovely. I loved the cake too. It is a new favorite. I must buy this Dorie Greenspan cookbook. Lovely cake and great photos. Wendy

  87. After seeing the pictures of your cake a few nights ago, I just had to try it. Thank you for sharing your pictures and where you got the recipe from. It turned out fabulous!

  88. SO SO SO SO pretty.
    I am sure it was so tasty!

  89. I love the toasted coconut flakes! It makes the cake look like vintage lace or something… beautiful!

  90. That is a gorgeous cake. I will have to try this recipe!

  91. Lovely photographs! Wish I could take some like that. Just picked up a new camera and I can’t seem to get used to it to safe my life!


  92. Whoooa. This looks absolutely marvelous 🙂

    Actually I keep visiting your blog and I think that your it deserves the E for Excellent award! Feel free to check out my post to get the badge! 🙂

  93. beautiful! the toasted coconut looks nice and i love blueberries 🙂 it does look like you went a bit heavy on the buttercream in between each layer but in the end you used the same amount of buttercream so i guess it doesn’t matter if it’s on the outside or the inside right? 😉 your pics are wonderful – makes me want to have a slice right now!

  94. Stunning presentation!

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