Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TWD: Perfect Party Cake


This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie treat was Perfect Party Cake!!! Yes, it deserves at least three exclamation points. Dorie recommends sticking a bright Post-it on this page so you know where to turn “for a just-right cake for any celebration.” There has been a sticky on this page – it’s my very favorite photo in the book – ever since I bought the book in August, but I still had yet to make the cake; I joined the group a couple months after I bought the book and for some reason in never occurs to me to “bake ahead.” Needless to say that after nearly eight months of Tuesdays with Dorie, I was elated that this gorgeous cake was finally chosen. Eloise was excited too, she even put on her party collar to celebrate. Actually, she finds the party collar a little humiliating, but she was mesmerized by this cake, particularly the buttercream.


While I don’t condone feeding my dog things like cake batter (and I’m fairly certain the organization we adopted her from wouldn’t either), when Mr. Penpen does it I can’t help but grab the camera. That is, if I’m not laughing too uncontrollably.



Okay, cake! Since I had such high expectations for this cake, I made sure to read the recipe carefully and follow it exactly as written. I figured that a recipe that Dorie wrote up an entire set of auxiliary instructions for was probably not one to experiment with too much if I wanted magnificent results. The one change I made was substituting vanilla extract for lemon extract. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy lemon desserts, but there was already lemon zest in the batter and I was afraid with the extract the lemon flavor may be too aggressive for what is essentially a white cake. The cake baked up beautifully, and per Dorie’s suggestion, I froze the cake after it cooled, which I had never done before, but certainly will from now on because it made it much easier to cut the layers. I had never made a meringue-style buttercream and that came together nicely, too. The only problem was that I didn’t make enough of it – or perhaps I was too generous with it between each layer. I made two-thirds of a buttercream recipe for a half recipe of cake and ran out as I was frosting the sides. I considered throwing in the towel, taking a photo, and saying that Eloise licked the frosting off (which she totally would have if left unsupervised with this cake for single minute), but Mr. Penpen helped me regroup and make the last third of the buttercream. And since he was so helpful, I didn’t cover the cake in coconut.





And the sticky-tab is staying on, because we loved this cake! I can’t wait to think of an excuse to make it again. It gets a 10 for Deliciousness and a 4 for Effort, giving it an EDR of 2.5. Many thanks to Carol of mix, mix…stir, stir for selecting this phenomenal cake. You can find the recipe on Carol’s great site and see what the other bakers thought via the Tuesdays With Dorie site.

29 comments:

Carol Peterman said...

I am so glad you loved this cake. Yours looks beautiful, tall, and ready for a party. Isn't it amazing what our furry friends will tolerate, especially if there is the possibility of a food treat involved? Eloise looks great in her party attire.

Hornedfroggy said...

Your cake is beautiful! And Eloise is just precious! :)

chocolatechic said...

Your cake is beautiful.

I used cream cheese icing on mine.

spike. said...

love the cake, love the dog!

vibi said...

Perfectly beautiful cake Margot! And I'm still in love with that dog... I just hope the spatula went in the dishwasher after such a glutton lick!

I'm glad you enjoyed... we did, for the second time around!

jillbert said...

It looks fabulous and it sounds like it was worth it to make the second batch of frosting. I think Eloise would agree!

finsmom said...

Love the dog pic!

Great looking cake!

TeaLady said...

Was good!!! Love dog's eyes as licking the spoon. I know how she feels.

Cake looks great.

Kayte said...

Your cake is beautiful...so elegant looking and delicious looking all at the same time. Love your little additions on the top, too, perfect!

Jessica said...

The cake is beautiful and I am so glad that it lived up to your expectations! Eloise is just too cute, as always. I bet that she's a great kitchen helper (as long as she's not left alone with the food?) :)

lasinthekitchen said...

Wow, your cake looks so delicious and TALL! I love your layers, I envy your layers! And kudos for making another batch of butter cream - it really does take a lot of effort! =) I can't wait to make this cake again too!!

Jaime said...

great job- and eloise is so cute!

JoAnn Freda said...

I'm putting my order in now. That's the cake I want for my birthday next year. Beautiful! So is Eloise, especially in her party collar.

Tracey said...

Your dog is so precious! I totally want to come to your house and hang out with her :) Your cake is beautiful too! I'm glad it lived up to your expectations! I can't remember you ever giving a 10 for deliciousness (though I'm sure you have and it's just slipping my mind right now).

Leslie said...

That little cake is too cute for words! I love that it's tall and small at the same time, yielding humongo (is that even a word?) slices. So good!

Sara said...

Your cake looks great and Eloise is awesome. I love the last picture with her silly face trying to see over the table to the cake. That's a keeper! I heard a lot of people had the same issue with not enough buttercream.
sara/imafoodblog.com

Hanaâ said...

Your cake looks yummy. I love white cake.

Btw, I posted pictures of my very first wedding cake on my blog. Feel free to stop by and check it out:
http://hanaaskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/06/my-very-first-wedding-cake.html

Kaitlin said...

This looks fantastic! I particularly love the plate in the first photo. Very pretty.

isa said...

Your cake is beautiful! Love the dog!

AmyRuth said...

You first photo is really quite nice. It so awesome when the baked product measures up to all your hopes. Yea! Cute half-pint cake too!! I'm going to have to get some of those pans. How many layers did you bake? I couldn't tell for sure. Maybe you said in the post and I missed it. So happy you liked it TOO! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving kind words.
AmyRuth

Clivia said...

I only made one cup of the buttercream and it covered the entire cake. After reading your blog, I don't know how.
Your lovely photos make me wish I had a piece right now!

Ms. PH said...

I love the dog-licking picture!! My dog helped as well but she didn't get a taste of anything!

PheMom said...

That almost marbled look your cake has on the inside is just stunning! Really beautiful job!

Megan said...

Oh Margot the cake looks perfect! Really - I wish I could just help myself to that slice!

Pamela said...

Margot, I love Eloise's party collar! And I love that she enjoyed some cake batter, too. It was some good stuff! This cake is a keeper!

Shandy said...

The cake is beautiful and Penpen helped with making more frosting...how sweet! Eloise's collar is too funny, poor puppy, but she really isn't looking hurt or left out =D.

Jules Someone said...

Your cake looks lovely! Freezing the layers really helps.

Jacque said...

Your dog is too cute! The cake looks pretty good too. Nice job!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Shame on you for humiliating your dog lol. (I wish you could see the picture I took of my dog in a wig and glasses one time) I'll have to say that this is the perfect TWD post; so appropriate for this fabulous cake. And very apt that you left off the coconut; Mr. Penpen did yeoman's duty with the 2nd round of buttercream, even if he did have a lapse of judgment on the spoon licking!