When the weather gets cold, your answer would be , more layers the better....And when inspiration and beauty is the mantra, your answer yet again is more layers, the better :-)Hence the theme for this months Daring Bakers Challenge. Morven set us with a beautiful Dorie's Perfect Party Cake Challenge and this was one which all of us loved to be a part of.

I have made cakes before but never anything this fancy. Am still a newbie when it comes to decorating these slices of wonder.Beginning of the year saw my better half present me with caboodle of cake decorating tools and my hand was only itching to start using them. My special thanks to Dorie and to Morven.

  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Yields: one 2 layer 9 X2 inch round cake
  • For the Cake
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (updated 25 March)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk (I prefer buttermilk with the lemon)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • For the Buttercream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For Finishing
  • 2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves stirred vigorously or warmed gently until spreadable
  • About 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
If you want to Bake using Microwave pls refer to these articles For making Substitutions please refer my handy chart

Getting Ready

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.


To Make the Cake
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.


Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.


To Make the Buttercream

Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.Remove the bowl from the heat.Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.


To Assemble the Cake

Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, slice each layer horizontally in half. Put one layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper.Spread it with one third of the preserves.Cover the jam evenly with about one quarter of the buttercream.Top with another layer, spread with preserves and butter cream and then do the same with a third layer (you’ll have used all the jam and have buttercream leftover).Place the last layer cut side down on top of the cake and use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and top. Press the coconut into the frosting, patting it gently all over the sides and top.



The cake is ready to serve as soon as it is assembled, but I think it’s best to let it sit and set for a couple of hours in a cool room – not the refrigerator. Whether you wait or slice and enjoy it immediately, the cake should be served at room temperature; it loses all its subtlety when it’s cold. Depending on your audience you can serve the cake with just about anything from milk to sweet or bubbly wine.


The cake is best the day it is made, but you can refrigerate it, well covered, for up to two days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. If you want to freeze the cake, slide it into the freezer to set, then wrap it really well – it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer; defrost it, still wrapped overnight in the refrigerator.


Playing Around
Since lemon is such a friendly flavour, feel free to make changes in the preserves: other red preserves – cherry or strawberry – look especially nice, but you can even use plum or blueberry jam.

Recipe Reference

from dorie greenspan’s “baking: from my home to yours”

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By Iris on Jun 19, 2011

Hi love the recipe.. but what can i substitute the cake flour with?? all purpose flour??? please do tell..

Please refer my "Tips" section (after the ingredients) for the substitution list :)

By bombshellwithin on Apr 1, 2008

The raspberries seem like such a lovely touch. Good job!

By Pearlsofeast on Apr 1, 2008

Wow, amazing!!!!! Nice picture
I always have a weekness for baking.Love u space.

I am tempted to join DB

By remya on Mar 31, 2008

wow!!! perfect sliced cake...cake looks gorgeous...yeaaa.. ur a daring baker yaar...cool...

By Nan on Mar 31, 2008

"The more layers, the better" is right! Your cake is so tall and beautiful. Congratulations!

By SMN on Mar 31, 2008

Amazing with perfect layers.. feel like grabing a bite..

By Divya Vikram on Mar 30, 2008

Looks absolutely cute and gorgeous!

By Nags on Mar 30, 2008

its raining party cakes :) lovely !

By Saswati on Mar 30, 2008

wow that slice looks perfect dk...very beautifully done from outside too:)

By Rachel on Mar 30, 2008

the layers are just perfect!

By Lesley on Mar 30, 2008

Pretty cake! Beautiful berries and really nice inside!

By ~Amber~ on Mar 30, 2008

What a beautiful looking cake. Wonderful job. To the next challenge we go.

By Siri on Mar 30, 2008

Gorgeous looking cake Dhivi.. Yum Yum Yummy!! count me in for the next 3 HUGE pieces..:DD

U r indeed a perfect *Daring Baker* my dear..:)


By Claire on Mar 30, 2008

I mean, when the hubby eats THREE pieces, you know it's a success! Looks wonderful.

By Uma on Mar 30, 2008

perfect cake, indeed! Looks delicious. Nice decor.

By kellypea on Mar 30, 2008

I love the fluffy beautifulness of your cake. The raspberries are perfect for it. I agree that this is a great cake for springboarding new ideas! It was lovely, wasn't it? Cheers!

By Namratha on Mar 30, 2008

The cake looks great Dhivya, well done! Love those berries on top :)

By sunita on Mar 30, 2008

Dhivs, you've done well..that's a great cake with perfect layers :-)