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Dorie’s Perfect Anniversary Cake

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake - 7

Today is mine and hubby’s anniversary! So naturally, last night I had to make a cake for dessert today. I decided to go with Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake since I love the texture of the cake and since it always comes together so easily. I know, I’ve alreadyΒ posted about it –Β but that was a marbled sheet cake I made for a friend, and the recipe had several modifications. This time, I stuck pretty closely to the original cake recipe, although I did make my own buttercream frosting (but I’ll include the recipe for Dorie’s below). If you’ve never made this cake before, you’re in for a real treat!

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

For the cake:

For the buttercream:

For finishing:

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray two 9″ cake pans with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake - 1

Whisk together the milk and eggs in a small bowl.

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake - 2

In a large bowl, pour in the sugar and sprinkle in the lemon zest. Rub the lemon zest in the sugar until the sugar becomes moist and fragrant. Add in the butter and beat on medium speed until crumbly. Beat in the extract.

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake - 3

Beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture and then half of the egg mixture. Then, add in the rest of the egg mixture and the rest of the flour mixture, beating until well-combined.

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake - 4

Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centers of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool for about 5 minutes before inverting to remove from the pans.

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake - 5

To make the buttercream, heat the sugar and egg whites over low-medium heat in a double boiler, whisking constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture look like shiny marshmallow cream. Remove from the heat. Beat the meringue for about 5 minutes and then add in the butter one stick at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter has been added, beat until smooth, and then gradually add in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. The buttercream should be smooth and shiny.

To assemble the cake, slice each layer in half. Spread a layer of jam (or curd) and a layer of buttercream on three of the layers. Top with the fourth layer.

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake - 6

Use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and top. Press the coconut into the frosting.

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake - 7

Posted by on July 23, 2010.


Categories: desserts & sweets

29 Responses

  1. Happy anniversary!!! Beautiful cake to celebrate!!!

    by Jenny Flake on Jul 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm

  2. Happy anniversary! That cake looks delicious. πŸ™‚

    by Jessica @ How Sweet on Jul 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm

  3. Happy Anniversary! That cake is gorgeous and looks delicious!

    by Ali @ His Birdie's Nest on Jul 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm

  4. Wow-that cake batter is so gorgeous-pure white! I think the step of rubbing the zest into the sugar is amazing. I wish I had a reason to celebrate so I could make this cake! You can’t use 3 sticks of butter in 1 recipe for no reason, right? It has to be a party, right? Right? πŸ˜‰

    by DessertForTwo on Jul 23, 2010 at 12:29 pm

  5. Such a pretty cake! Happy Anniversary!

    by Maria on Jul 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm

  6. Happy Anniversary πŸ™‚ You picked an awesome cake to celebrate with πŸ™‚

    by Eliana on Jul 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm

  7. Happy Anniversary, Tracy!!! And a gorgeous celebration cake, too!

    by RJ Flamingo on Jul 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm

  8. That cake looks so delicious. I really wish I had some right now:) Will definitely put this on my must-make-soon list. Happy Anniversary!

    by Raina @ The Garden of Yum on Jul 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm

  9. Happy Anniversary! Beautiful cake! The one you made us was delicious so, I’m sure this one was just as great! I LOVE lemon curd. yum!

    by G. on Jul 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm

  10. Happy anniversary! What a lovely cake… Now I’m wishing it was my anniversary so I had an excuse to bake a cake πŸ™‚

    by Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on Jul 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm

  11. happy anniversary, have a great weekend and the cake looks heavenly

    by Jennifurla on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:27 pm

  12. Happy Anniversary!! That cake looks like an amazing way to celebrate!

    by Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on Jul 24, 2010 at 8:46 am

  13. Happy Anniversary!!!! The cake looks perfect!

    by Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread on Jul 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm

  14. Happy Anniversary!!! ? And that cake is beautiful!

    by bridget {bake at 350} on Jul 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

  15. Hope you and your husband enjoyed a wonderful anniversary dinner. Your dessert cake looks so pretty and…for lack of a better word…fluffy. Delighted to see a buttercream recipe without shortening so I am definitely going to try both the cake and the frosting. Thanks for posting and many more happy years for you and your husband πŸ™‚

    by Paula on Jul 25, 2010 at 4:20 pm

  16. Happy Anniversary! Your cake looks wonderful!

    by faithy on Jul 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm

  17. Happy Anniversary! That is THE perfect cake for such an occasion πŸ™‚

    by Katrina on Jul 26, 2010 at 1:18 pm

  18. Happy Anniversary! Dorie’s Perfect Party cake is one of my all-time favorite cake recipes. Delicious!

    by Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker on Jul 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm

  19. This is such a beautiful cake! Happy Anniversary!

    by Jen @ How To: Simplify on Jul 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm

  20. Beautiful Cake…perfect for ur anniversary!

    by sheba on Jul 27, 2010 at 1:46 am

  21. Happy Anniversary! I like the choice of using lemon curd in this pretty cake.

    by Cookin' Canuck on Jul 27, 2010 at 9:41 am

  22. That is GORGEOUS! Amazing photos. I will definitely be making this for the next special occasion! Happy Anniversary πŸ™‚

    by Maggy@ThreeManyCooks on Jul 27, 2010 at 9:54 am

  23. Happy Happy Anniv! This cake looks divine! I’m a fan of anything with lemon curd and hello coconut…swoon

    by Paula - bell'alimento on Jul 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm

  24. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband!!! πŸ˜€

    This cake looks great! I love your choice of using Lemon Curd as the filling. I love lemon curd!

    by Christine on Jul 29, 2010 at 9:45 pm

  25. This looks delicious and I love the lemon curd idea.

    by lindalou on Jul 30, 2010 at 1:46 pm

  26. that looks amazing!

    by sir jorge on Aug 1, 2010 at 8:35 pm

  27. Your cake is gorgeous! My family doesn’t like heavy, dense buttercream frosting, and I heard Dorie’s was just that. Would you care to share your frosting recipe? Thank you!

    by Adriana @ Bittersweet Baker on Sep 1, 2010 at 3:24 am

  28. Adriana – I used Wilton’s buttercream icing recipe, mainly because I didn’t have the egg whites needed to make Dorie’s. I’m afraid it’s also rather heavy, so I’m not sure it’s what you’re looking for, but you can find the recipe here:

    by Tracy on Sep 1, 2010 at 8:49 am

  29. Happy anniversary Dorie! Your hubby is a lucky guy that you make your cakes and frostings from scratch!

    I have a few suggestions for making the buttercream.

    Your recipe is for 1-2-3 Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The 1-2-3 stands for 1 part egg whites (1/2 cup in your recipe); 2 parts sugar (1 cup) and 3 parts butter (1 1/2 cups [3 sticks]).

    When the hot meringue is transferred to the mixing bowl, it needs to be whisked until it is completely cooled, otherwise the butter will become too soft or even melt and the buttercream won’t happen. The bottom of the mixing bowl will also be completely cool. I’ve found this can take 8 to 10 minutes of whisking at high speed.

    Change to the paddle attachment before you add the butter. Other recipes call for the butter to be at “cool room temperature,” but I add butter straight from my fridge. I store the butter, removed from the package, in the door, and every time the door is opened, the food stored on the door shelves are warmed up a little. Food stored on the door shelves is always a little warmer than food within the fridge, so my butter from the door works fine.

    I also cut the butter into chunks to help it to incorporate more quickly into the meringue.

    If the buttercream looks curdled or isn’t completely smooth, beat it some more until it turns into that lovely glossy buttercream. I use Swiss meringue buttercream for most of my cakes for birthdays and holidays, and sometimes it’s ready to use right after I add all of the butter, and sometimes it doesn’t come together or looks curdled. The results seem to be the luck of the draw.

    Just beat as long as it takes to make the buttercream lovely and glossy. Beat, beat, beat until the buttercream comes together.

    I keep a can of dried egg whites in my pantry to make this buttercream when the recipe doesn’t use egg yolks. I use hot water to dissolve the powder and they work beautifully. Pasteurized chilled egg whites don’t whip up. I order the dried egg whites (Mine are Deb-El brand) from

    My family finds 3 sticks of butter in this recipe too rich, so I cut the butter down to 2 sticks. The buttercream turns out fine and has the texture and flavor more like a meringue instead of butter.

    I bless the day I discovered Swiss meringue buttercream on the web! I’ll never use the butter-powdered sugar-vanilla frostings again!

    by Christine on Dec 24, 2013 at 12:27 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 →