Sunday, March 30, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge - The Perfect Party Cake

Morven was this month's hostess for the Daring Bakers challenge, and she picked a recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours, a cookbook I keep giving as a gift but don't actually own... yet. After the way this cake turned out, I know this cookbook will become a staple.

We were given a lot of freedom this time around - we could play with the flavors, the fillings, etc. I had a bunch of ideas but only ended up with time to make the cake once. So I went with....

"Da Lime in Da Coconut Cake."

*groan*

I know, I know, its cheesy, but now that I know you're humming it, you can watch it here too:



Now that that's over, I can talk about the changes I made to the recipe. I didn't have cake flour at home, so I used all-purpose flour with the recommended change of simply removing 2 tbsp from each cup of flour. It worked wonderfully - the end result was beautifully risen and very tender, probably because of the baking soda reacting to the buttermilk, but still - what a great end result.

Instead of lemon juice, I used lime; instead of lemon zest I used lime again. Instead of vanilla extract, I used coconut. Other than that the recipe was the same, down to using raspberry jam slightly stirred.

Layers before icing
There was one step that I completely screwed up on, and didn't realize it until I had all of my layers stacked with jam in between The recipe actually asks you to spread buttercream between the layers as well as on the sides and top. I didn't want to risk taking the layers apart, and personally I thought this helped cut down on the super sweetness of the cake, but wouldn't want to let Dorie down.

This is not a healthy cake. If you use all the icing, this recipe has an entire pound of butter in it! But the texture of the cake and the perfect texture of the cooked buttercream makes this the perfect party cake indeed. I brought this to work and witnessed several people going back for a second slice before they'd even had lunch (a clear sign of a good recipe!).

Daring Bakers Orange Logo
In the future I will definitely make this recipe again - I want to try making a chocolate version, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cake version (I'm thinking I can substitute peanut butter for one of the sticks of butter in the icing but we'll see if that works!), and a sacher-torte version. What makes this a perfect party cake? Well, besides the fact that the flavor and texture are exquisite, it looks impressive but also travels well - never underestimate the value of coconut to act as an icing buffer and protector! I know some of the other Daring Bakers have really done some creative things with this recipe, and you can check them out here.

ETA: For those of you who have a LiveJournal account, you can add this blog to your friends list here.


Categories: Cake, Coconut, Daring Bakers, Lime, Raspberry

69 comments:

Courtney said...

great idea with lime, coconut and raspberry. I love that flavor combo. your cake looks delish

glamah16 said...

Not healthy, but oh so good!

Chris said...

Your cake looks yummy. I 1/2'd the recipe, so I figure that allows it to slide to the semi-healthy category...ha! That's my story and I am sticking to it!

Maryann said...

You did great, Jenny! :)

CB said...

Now I want to try the lime combo! Your cakes looks awesome. Love the layers. Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Baking Soda said...

Looks impressive indeed! Love the combination.

Peabody said...

I think a peanut butter and jelly cake would be a great idea!

Meeta said...

This looks awesome. A fantastic job!

Ann said...

Love the idea of using lime! Nice!

Sarah said...

Your cake looks great...even with the layering issue! I eliminated the coconut in mine, but I think the combo of lime and coconut would be delicious! And I agree, this isn't a healthy cake. The three sticks of butter for the buttercream steered me towards another frosting choice. Great job!

dailydelicious said...

Good job.

Melinda said...

Lovely cake! I will have that tune stuck in my head all day now...thanks. so funny!
I wonder how the buttercream would work with peanut butter in it. Very interesting idea. Please write to me and let me know how it turned out.

L Vanel said...

Wow, it looks like your cake rose swimmingly and it looks just delicious.

SaraLynn said...

Your cake looks, and sounds, very tasty!
When I played the Muppet clip, it didn't get through the first sentence before the famil was in here crowded around me and the computer singing along...lol!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Wow, Jenny not only is this cake beautiful but your ideas for the future stop me in my tracks. I love the Peanut butter & jelly idea, what fun!

The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

di lime and di coconut - great idea! Haha. Well done, looks yummy.

Megan said...

I bet that was tastey! Another variation I would like to try!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Peanut butter and jelly! Now that would be something! Your lime and coconut sounds like a great combo!

Antonio Tahhan said...

haha, i love the youtube video!! your cake looks really yummy, too!

Christina said...

Lime and coconut, lol, I say that often!

I always blankly stare when seeing the amount of butter, so this time I decreased it by one stick (2 sticks total) and it came out just as fine. Probably it yields less but I had a bit extra, though I didn't frost the layers and maybe that's why.

Beautiful cake, Jenny!

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Wow, you are a daring baker! All those substitutions and it still turned out great. The lime sounds wonderful.

Julius said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I love what you've done with the cake, and that video is hilarious!

Julius from Occasional Baker

Sarah said...

I sort of figured out the caloric value of the frosting (after several pieces) and shocked myself into dieting the rest of the week! :) Here I was thinking it'd be low fat because of the egg whites, forgetting the 3 sticks of butter . . . must be perfect party cake amnesia! :)

Your cake is beautiful and I too look forward to making it again!

Best,
Sarah

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Lime and coconut is such a great combination. I'll bet that cake was delicious! Looks fab!

PAT A BAKE said...

You did a wonderful job Jenny..keep it up.

coco said...

I like your lime idea! Your cake looks beautiful.

Anne said...

Lime and coconut sounds wonderful... glad you enjoyed the challenge :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great combination of flavors! Your cake looks wonderful!

Cheers,

Rosa

Kelly-Jane said...

Lime, coconut and raspberry, yummy! Your cake looks lovely, well done.

HoneyB said...

I love the coconut flavor switch! Looks yummy!

Rosie said...

What a yummy looking cake and with great flavours mingling mmmm.. One perfect cake! :)

Rosie x

Kristen said...

I love the cake! I am still singing that song and it will probably be stuck in my head all day! By the way, I tried the peanut butter substitution for the icing with another cake and my only problem was that it made the frosting a little thin. It tasted great though and I just added some powdered sugar to thicken it up a bit.

Andrea said...

The lime and coconut combination sounds wonderful. I tried not to think about all the butter while I enjoyed it... :-)

Great job!

Julie said...

Beautiful cake! I love the combination of flavors that you used--so many possibilities. I try not to think about that pound of butter.....

Cheryl said...

Sesame Street videos and awesome cake. Could be the best combination ever.

RecipeGirl said...

Good Job with your cake Jenny! And now I will be humming that SONG all day long :)

SweetDesigns said...

OMg!! I was so singing the same song putting my cake together..TOO funny!! and hehe I had to listen to your video the whole time I read the blog. MMM lime, heavenly isn't it!!! Your cake looks Fabulous!!

Deborah said...

I love the changes you made - great job!!

Bridget said...

A peanut butter and jelly variation sounds great!

Gabi said...

I love da lime in the coconut!
Perfect!
xoxo
Gabi

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

"Da Lime in Da Coconut Cake."...got me humming too. What a load of fun & flavour...& butter too! Great cake & looks like you ENJOYED it!I've thought of making this one again too...I gotta get a better crumb!! Lol Jenny, I love the coconut buffer tip!!

kitten said...

i love the lime idea, and the possibility of a peanut butter and jelly cake in your future is exciting!

~Amber~ said...

You are right, definitely not a healthy cake. What's a pound of butter between friends anyway, LOL. Great job on your cake, it's pretty,

kate said...

ha! i love me some muppets!
nice cake, too!
: )

Jenny said...

Mmmmm lime.
Looks good!

Jennifer said...

Way to go Jenny! I wanted to make a lime cake too, but thought for the first time out I would stick with Dorie's recipe. Great going though!!! :)

briannalee said...

ok I totally "LOL" at your video! So cute :)

You did a beautiful job on your cake :)

myriam said...

lime, coconut AND rasberry. cant believe i wasnt thinking about this myself. a must try!

Dana McCauley said...

You know, it all depends on how you define healthy...at least all the ingredients are 'real' food. And, it makes a really big cake. I had 9 for dinner the night I served my Perfect Party Cake and we still had a lot left over.

I'm not saying it is a staple food for any diet but really, it could be so much worse!

Fran Z said...

Jenny, Great cake! I agree, I am getting Dorie's book. I have a library copy, but i want my own. Good stuff in there!

Elle said...

Lime & Coconut...great combo. Your layers look high and gorgeous. I also love your suggestions for next time...PB& J - great!

AranciOnissimA said...

BellissimA & BuonissimA
By ArancionissimA

AranciOnissimA said...

BellissimA & BuonissimA
By ArancionissimA

Poonam said...

Wow, thats a lovely cake!

marias23 said...

Da lime wid da coconut cake. Love it! Love it!

Joy said...

Hilarious Muppet clip! I love the idea of peanut butter icing please do post about it if you make it. Delicious!

Renee said...

Lime - sounds so yummy!

Aran said...

Thanks Jenny for stopping by my blog... your cake looks pretty good too and I know it tastes amazing!

jasmine said...

Great tast combination...

j

Kevin said...

Your cake looks good. Mine did not rise at all. I will have to try the all-purpose flour the next time I make it.

Ben said...

Oh great, now I am going to have that song stuck in my head all day! Hehehehe

What a delicious challenge this was. I think that book is going to become a staple for me too.

"da lime in da coconut" lalalala haha

Claire said...

I love the PBJ cake idea - A peanut butter frosting would be nice, and would definitely cut down on the butter. It would probably be nice either with the lemon or coconut flavoring...

Aoife said...

Looks great! I think leaving the buttercream between the layers out would have helped me out a lot. I love the idea of the pb&j cake!

creampuff said...

I am so very jealous of your cake layers ... they're beautiful!

chou said...

You have some great knock off ideas--I look forward to hearing how the experiments turn out!

Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

Jenny it's the first time I visit your blog and it's really wonderful and interesting one.
If you don't mind I'd love to follow you.
Compliments for the recipes.
Very good this cake!! Great
Silvia

ChichaJo said...

Aw! What a cute clip :) Your layers are perfect! I wish mine came out that well-risen!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on your cake.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go go

Claire said...

Great job! I think that the peanut butter and jelly version sounds great!