Even though I’ve been having a hard time in the kitchen since becoming pregnant, I still make the effort to, at the very least, complete the Daring Bakers challenge every month. It is that time of the month again and it was a tasty challenge.
I love to bake and decorate cakes so when I found out the challenge for this month was a cake, I was ecstatic. It wasn’t just any cake mind you, it was the “Perfect Party Cake” from the super talented Dorie Greenspans’s “Baking From My Home To Yours” book. I was looking forward to this challenge but I had a difficult time deciding on a good time to do it. I have been very busy with school so I basically had to squeeze it in between essays and other papers.
Unlike all of the other cakes I’ve baked and decorated, I did the entire process on the same afternoon with this one. It took longer than it would have normally taken for a couple of reasons. One was the lack of multiple cake pans in each size and second was the fact that I had to bake two cake recipes because my cakes, along with many of the other daring bakers’, did not rise much so I needed a second batch to make the cake tall enough. I ended up using 3 out of the 4 baked layers and that gave a perfect sized cake.
I made a few changes that were allowed within the challenge rules. The biggest change was that I did not use coconut or lime, as the recipe calls for. Instead of using the lemon extract for the cake, I used almond extract. I don’t normally like almond but I thought I’d give it a shot and I have to say it was delicious. I filled the cake with strawberry preserve instead of the raspberry and I did not use the lemon juice for the buttercream. As a matter of fact, I did not use any liquid aside from the vanilla flavoring in my buttercream because I found the consistency to be thin enough. It tasted really good and I couldn’t keep myself from licking the spatula every time I scraped the mixer bowl. This entire combination worked beautifully.
This was by far one of the best cakes I have ever baked. My husband ate most of the scraps while I put icing on the stacked cake. They were good! It was incredibly moist and tender but not mushy. The crumb was perfect and it was really easy to carve. Cakes sometimes dome quite a bit and this didn’t dome as much so I didn’t have to take a lot of cake off the top to level them off. It was just great. There’s only two of us here so I gave a most of the cake to my family who loved it and called me specifically to tell me how great it was.
The challenge hostess, Morven, hasn’t posted the recipe in her blog but if you really want it, I recommend you buy the book. It is a great book from beginning to end and you will not regret getting it!
On a side note, I’d like to announce we are having a baby boy! We found out a couple of weeks ago and we are very excited and can’t wait to meet him. OK, I lie, we can wait until he’s good and ready in about 20 weeks.
oh June what lovely news. I am not sure if this is your first child but if it is trust me boys add a certain highlight to your lives. Mine is going to be 6 and he is the most gorgeous thing.
Your cake is just as perfect. A lovely way to celebrate!
What a joyful sight! Congrats, I know from experience boys are great kids!
Love the smoothness of your cake, nice white layers!
A boy…Congrats! 🙂
And your cake is just perfect! Simply gorgeous! 🙂
congrats on having a boy!! you are doing better than I, in my last trimester I think I forgot what the word cook was!
Great job tackling this challenge! Looks like a wonderfully delicious cake! Congratulations on having a boy!
Ahh, what a lovely cake. You did a wonderful job of piping!
And congratulations on the baby boy. An addition to the family can only mean you have another wonderful person to share your baked goodies with! 😀
Congrats on having a boy! What a lovely way to celebrate with this cake!
Congratulations on the cake. And the baby!
Great job! Also, congrats! 🙂
I love the idea of almond with the strawberry. Beautiful job.
What a great looking cake, simple but elegant. Congrats on your new boy, I have three kids myself and they love me being a Daring Baker since they get to eat what I bake! Hope you are enjoying your pregnancy!
Cute little boy! 🙂
Your cake is so beautiful! And so perfect!
Gorgeous look cake and lovely photography – I would expect nothing less from you!
And thanks for sharing the scan – remind us of your due date?
Congratulations on it being a boy. Time to stock up on some baseball hats!! Your cake is a perfect birthday cake. You can’t ask for anything more.
Congratulations June! Wishing you many joys with your little boy!
Your cake is beautiful- perfect job!
Hey Kavey! My due date is August 21st.
Congratulations! The cake is so beautiful!
June, beautiful cake. And big congrats on your baby boy!
Great job on the cake. And congratulations on the news of your child!!
You did a fabulous job on your cake. Congratulations on your news! A little boy will be coming to live at your house soon. I’ve got an 11 year old boy…he’s pretty cool.
Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go
Congrats on the having a baby boy and for making such a lovely cake!
Congratulations on your pregnancy 🙂 and well done with your great cake – look at your sponge, just perfect!
The Irreverent Cook
Congrats on the baby boy! And my goodness, your cake looks gorgeous! =D
I don’t which to congratulate you about: the perfect party cake or the perfect baby boy?! Great job on both June!
Hey – it’s a boy! That’s great 🙂 And what a lovely cake too. I have never been one for baking or decorating cakes so I am slightly in awe of anyone who does it so seemingly effortlessly 😉