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Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake with a Twist

Early last month, I was asked by a friend whether I’d be willing to make a cake for her husband’s ordination party. I definitely wanted to, so of course I said yes. However, I admit that I was a little intimidated by the size of cake I’d need to make, having never made a sheet cake before. I also decided I needed a really great cake recipe. My mind immediately went to Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake, since I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. There was only one problem. Okay, two problems. First, should I double or triple the recipe? Would I have enough, and would anything weird happen to the consistency of the cake? And second, since my friend wanted a marble cake, would the flavor be conducive to marbling?

Fortunately for me and my addiction to TwitterSusan came to my rescue on the first question and let me know that doubling the recipe should be enough. She even asked Dorie herself, just to make sure, who said that doubling her recipe should be okay but that it would be wise not to do more than that. Nice! First problem solved.

For the second question, Anna came to my rescue and let me know that the cake has a mild citrus flavor, so mixing some of the batter with chocolate for the marbling should be fine since chocolate of course goes well with citrus. Second problem solved!

Except, now I had a new problem.

As I worked on the roses a couple days beforehand, a third problem arose (haha. Okay, too corny). For the first time this summer, it got HOT. No matter what I did, each buttercream rose I made turned into a pile of frosting goo seconds after I created it. Once again I turned to Twitter with my problem, and this time it was Amy who came to my rescue. She pointed me to Wilton’s buttercream recipe (which was the one I was using) – but specifically to the pure white icing recipe further down on the page that omits the butter. She also shared how she flavors her frosting to help hide the more potent shortening flavor. Brilliant! Needless to say, I tried again with her suggestions and all was well with my roses. I made several ahead of time and froze them, both in red and white. I was ready for baking day.

Recipe adapted from Baking From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Here’s the doubled version of Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake recipe:

You’ll also need:

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites and buttermilk.

In a third bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest until the sugar is moist. Add the butter and beat at medium speed until the mixture is light and crumbly.

Add in the extract, and then add a third of the flour mixture and beat. Add in half the egg mixture, the rest of the flour mixture, and then the rest of the egg mixture, beating in between each addition. Give the mixture a good beating after everything is added to make sure that everything is well-combined.

Grease the sheet cake pan, and then pour 9 -10 cups of the batter into the pan. Melt the chocolate and mix it in with the rest of the batter, stirring well. Pour the chocolate batter over the rest of the batter, and then run a knife through the batter to marble.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

The cake came out too thin for the amount of people to be served, so I repeated everything to create a second cake layer. I made buttercream frosting (the original Wilton recipe) to cover the cake and for the filling in the middle, and then I decorated with the roses and with the Bible verse my friend wanted on the cake.

As you can see, it was quite a project. It was a team effort, though – I couldn’t have done it without the help of  my food-blogging friends and of course my hubby, and I sincerely thank each one of you. And, to my friend and her husband: I hope you enjoyed the cake!

Posted by on August 3, 2009.


Categories: desserts & sweets

11 Responses

  1. You did a fabulous job on the cake! Well done!

    by Maria on Aug 3, 2009 at 10:49 am

  2. Your cake is so cute! I love your roses and I’m glad the icing worked out for you!

    by Amy on Aug 3, 2009 at 10:52 am

  3. Beautiful job! I wish I could decorate cakes that well!

    by Hillary on Aug 3, 2009 at 12:44 pm

  4. Awesome, This is such a creative and yummy recipes.

    by Ann on Aug 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm

  5. What a good friend you are!!! I am so impressed with those roses!

    by Bridget {Bake at 350} on Aug 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm

  6. Looks beautiful! I love the marbled layers… so pretty! Great job decorating, too.

    by Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on Aug 4, 2009 at 8:35 am

  7. Awesome job! I have yet to make a sheet cake too…same thing, a little scared 😉 But now that you have done it so well you have given me hope!! I love the fact that it is layer cake! Also, the flowers are gorgeous!

    by Shelly (cookies and cups) on Aug 4, 2009 at 9:46 am

  8. Thanks everyone for your kind words!! 🙂

    by Tracy on Aug 5, 2009 at 11:22 am

  9. We really did enjoy it! Kent said he loved it. I didn’t realize you had to go through that much trouble to make it! Thank you for all of your hard work and effort! Everyone kept asking about the citrus flavor in the cake…I thought it was orange but, I know you used lemon! Beautiful and Delicious! Thanks Again, Tracy!

    by G. on Aug 6, 2009 at 2:29 pm

  10. G – Excellent! I’m really glad you both liked it! 😀

    by Tracy on Aug 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm

  11. I think it is wonderful that you put so much effort in a cake for special friends. I have been baking cakes for 35 years now and nothing pleases me more than a cake that has made someone’s day special. Now I am enjoying making them for the grandkids. I just posted to my blog about a wedding cake I made today!

    by Donna on Aug 8, 2009 at 9:01 pm

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About Sugarcrafter

Hi there! I’m Tracy, and I live in upstate NY. My husband and I met in college and have been married since 2005. A Canning, baking, writing, photography, and even cleaning (yes, cleaning – it can be oddly relaxing), are all things that I enjoy. This blog brings all of those passions together – but […]more →