My Daring Baker Debut

I joined a little group called The Daring Bakers this month… perhaps you’ve heard of them?

After being accepted into the DB group back in February, I had to bide my time and worry what sort of challenge would arise for my March debut. Would I have to make some sort of yeast creation for which I have zero talent? Might it be an exotic pastry for which I have no knowledge in preparing? Or would I find that I had to bake one of those desserts that look like they belong in the window of a Parisian bakery? Though I was frightened at the thought of being handed any one of those tasks, I also found myself hoping that I’d get one of them. See, there’s something about being daring that makes this an intriguing group. If it were easy, or if I already had confidence in baking the darn thing- what’s the point? I find myself cheering… Bring it on Daring Bakers! I can do it! I can bake anything! Or at least I’ll try…!

This month’s challenge was selected by Morven at Food, Art and Random Thoughts. She chose the Perfect Party Cake from Dorie Greenspan’s must-have cookbook: Baking From My Home to Yours.”Wonderful!” I thought. I can bake a cake- no problem! The challenge was going to be following the directions to a T, and deciding how to decorate the cake. Since I was hosting Easter brunch, this would be the dessert.

The cakes turned out perfectly. I chose to make mine in 8-inch pans rather than 9 as I prefer a taller layer cake. They baked up just right, lemon-scented and all, and were very easy to turn out onto the racks. They were firm enough to be handled easily but delicate enough for a nice, light cake. I found myself scraping the crumbs off of the parchment paper to attempt to get a hint of what my creation would taste like.

The layers sliced apart nice and evenly without too much effort at all. I spread my layers with raspberry jam, Dorie’s buttercream and halved raspberries.

So let’s talk about Dorie’s buttercream recipe. Maybe I don’t care too much for buttercream…It was good, but I did feel that it was far too rich for a layer cake. I had planned to frost the cake with it, but after spreading it on several layers, I decided to go with whipped cream to frost the rest of the cake.

I really feel like this was the best way to go. Buttercream all the way around might have been a bit too much after a heavy Easter brunch.

Not being a cake decorator in any sense of the word, I had no avenue to go *exotic* with this cake.

Easter screamed *raspberries!* to me, so I went the safe route with a classic raspberry decor.

Pretty ok job for a non cake-decorator, eh? My 6 year old was impressed and that’s all that matters to me :)

The cake was devoured by all of my Easter guests, and I was right… the whipped cream frosting was the way to go. The buttercream provided all of the richness that was needed within the cake. The actual cake base I thought was very, very good. I would repeat the cake base recipe any time. The buttercream… I might look for something that suits me a little better. I think a lemon curd might work nicely too.

So worry for naught, this challenge has been had. Dare issued: I baked, I decorated, I served, I ate and best of all… I conquered my first Daring Baker challenge. Bring on April!

This recipe can be found here: Perfect Party Cake
(or in Dorie’s book, of course!)

Leave a Comment

70 Responses to “My Daring Baker Debut”

  1. 1

    Laura — March 30, 2008 @ 4:09 PM

    Your cake is gorgeous! This challenge scared me silly so I am half relieved and half disappointed that I ended up way too sick to do it. I was going to cover the whole thing in sliced strawberries so no one ever noticed how terrible I am at frosting! ;)

  2. 2

    Rosie — March 30, 2008 @ 4:13 PM

    Well done recipegirl on your first challenge. Your cake looks so beautiful – well done!! :D Like you say roll on for the next challenge can’t wait!

    Rosie x

  3. 3

    HoneyB — March 30, 2008 @ 4:15 PM

    I think it looks lovely! Fresh raspberries always add something special in my opinion! Great job!

    I’m not much of a “decorator” myself, but I am hoping to become more of one! This challenge has given me the desire to broaden my horizons more and push myself to think outside of the box!

  4. 4

    Deborah — March 30, 2008 @ 4:28 PM

    Great job on your DB debut!! I love the look of the whole berries in the layers – I want to make this cake again like that! It’s gorgeous!

  5. 5

    SaraLynn — March 30, 2008 @ 4:51 PM

    Beautiful! I would love a slice!
    I bet the whipped cream and raspberries were heaven!
    Thanks for stopping by my post!

  6. 6

    Proud Italian Cook — March 30, 2008 @ 4:52 PM

    Your cake turned out amazing, I’m so impressed, and I love the design you did on the top! Congratulations!

  7. 7

    Passionate baker...& beyond — March 30, 2008 @ 4:55 PM

    What a stunning first challenge my dear! It’s beautiful…well done! Welcome to DB’s!!

  8. 8

    MyKitchenInHalfCups — March 30, 2008 @ 5:02 PM

    Your cake is beautiful! I think I need to try the whip cream instead of the buttercream. You’re right it is just so rich.
    Love your raspberries on top and inside.

  9. 9

    Nick — March 30, 2008 @ 5:04 PM

    That is an amazing cake, very well done. I’ve never made a cake myself and have always wanted to try but have never found the opportunity, yet.

    - The Peanut Butter Boy

  10. 10

    Pixie — March 30, 2008 @ 5:09 PM

    Your cake looks beautiful and you did a fab job decorating it as well!!! (I’ll keep the 8′ pans in mind!)

  11. 11

    Gretchen Noelle — March 30, 2008 @ 5:44 PM

    Lovely cake. Not a decorator? sure it fancier than mine! Glad your 6 year old was impressed nonetheless! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

  12. 12

    Jenny — March 30, 2008 @ 6:40 PM

    Absolutely beautiful! What a nice first challenge. Can’t wait to see more of your DB’er creations!

  13. 13

    Cakespy — March 30, 2008 @ 6:44 PM

    Oh. My. God. I just want to bury my face in this cake!!

  14. 14

    Emiline — March 30, 2008 @ 7:31 PM

    This is my first DB pst to read today.
    This looks great! Good call on the frosting.
    It slices very well, doesn’t it? Just look at it. I really am hungry for cake now.

    Look forward to more of your DB adventures.

  15. 15

    VeggieGirl — March 30, 2008 @ 7:37 PM

    If ANYONE should be a member of the Darings Bakers, it’s you – I’m always in awe of your baking skills!! And unsurprisingly, you did a fantastic job on this month’s/your very first DBC!!! Now I cannot WAIT to see your take on future DBC’s :0)

  16. 16

    marias23 — March 30, 2008 @ 7:55 PM

    Pretty ok?!?! Your cake is beautiful! I wish it was berry season here… I love that you used raspberries for your cake!

  17. 17

    Maryann — March 30, 2008 @ 8:04 PM

    Congrats on your first challenge! You did great!

  18. 18

    Jerry — March 30, 2008 @ 8:18 PM

    The cake is wonderful! Congrats on completely your first challenge!

  19. 19

    noble pig — March 30, 2008 @ 8:20 PM

    Gawd, it’s beautiful! A real winner and good call with the whipped cream. I bet the buttercream layers and whipped frosting were an excellent match.

  20. 20

    Rachel@fairycakeheaven — March 30, 2008 @ 8:38 PM

    Wow your cake looks great, each one I see looks better than the last!!!

  21. 21

    Karen — March 30, 2008 @ 9:11 PM

    Beautiful! I love the look of your cake inside and out. I’m with you, buttercream is not on of my favorites. I think here is was okay.

  22. 22

    ali — March 30, 2008 @ 10:31 PM

    that is a masterpiece!

  23. 23

    StickyGooeyCreamyChewy — March 30, 2008 @ 11:00 PM

    Woohoo! Welcome to the Dbers! Your cake looks gorgeous! Very fancy! I had a good laugh about the parchment paper. I did the very same thing!

  24. 24

    Mary Coleman — March 30, 2008 @ 11:13 PM

    That’s a beautiful cake! You’d be dangerous if you baked and decorated cakes for a living. Absolutely gorgeous!!!

  25. 25

    Dianne — March 31, 2008 @ 12:00 AM

    Your cake looks gorgeous! I think the whipped cream on part and the buttercream on the rest would be great.

  26. 26

    Lunch Buckets — March 31, 2008 @ 12:07 AM

    Beautiful! Lovely job on your first challenge, congratulations :)

  27. 27

    Megan — March 31, 2008 @ 12:24 AM

    I love the fresh raspberries well done your cake is beautiful.

  28. 28

    LyB — March 31, 2008 @ 12:25 AM

    Love the raspberries on top, very lovely touch!

  29. 29

    culinography — March 31, 2008 @ 12:46 AM

    Pretty okay? I’d say it’s WAY better than pretty okay! This is a gorgeous looking cake! Well done and welcomd to the Daring Bakers!

  30. 30

    Peter M — March 31, 2008 @ 1:27 AM

    Lori, you just got out of the hospital right?

    You’ve bounced back and it seems cake therapy does wonders so…spread the luv and gimme some cake, please!

  31. 31

    Anne — March 31, 2008 @ 1:33 AM

    The cake is so stunning with all the raspberries! Well done :)

  32. 32

    Megan — March 31, 2008 @ 2:05 AM

    A perfect cake for you Daring Bakers debut. Welcome!

  33. 33

    Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide — March 31, 2008 @ 3:03 AM

    Your cake slice looks like heaven. Congrats on being a Daring Baker….what a cool thing.

  34. 34

    coco — March 31, 2008 @ 4:53 AM

    Oh so beautiful. Congrats on your first challenge!

  35. 35

    Mary — March 31, 2008 @ 4:57 AM

    Your raspberry creation is absolutely gorgeous. Well done on your challenge!

  36. 36

    shellyfish — March 31, 2008 @ 5:08 AM

    Your cake looks so beautiful! It looks like it was ‘born’ to be decorated that way!

  37. 37

    Tartelette — March 31, 2008 @ 5:55 AM

    Welcome to the Daring Bakers! You did a smaking wonderful job on this challenge. I love the whole rasperries idea, can’t get enough of them!

  38. 38

    Baking Soda — March 31, 2008 @ 6:18 AM

    That’s a tall and gorgeous cake, I hear you on the buttercream, think you made a good choice this way! Love the raspberries

  39. 39

    Morven — March 31, 2008 @ 7:22 AM

    I love how you decorated your cake. You made a really nice job of it.

  40. 40

    Dhanggit — March 31, 2008 @ 7:23 AM

    lovely lovely cake!!! great entry for this month’s challenge!! you should have joined us long time ago and impressed us with your all baking skills!! welcome to db!!im excited to see more of your goodies in the month’s to come

  41. 41

    A. Grace — March 31, 2008 @ 9:36 AM

    well, this is just a stellar debut. stellar, i say. your cake is one of the most impressive perfect party cakes i’ve seen, and boy have i seen a few! fantastic job! :)

  42. 42

    Chris — March 31, 2008 @ 11:05 AM

    Wow! This was some debut! Phew! I would take that slice and run…ha ha ha. Great, great job.

  43. 43

    Ann — March 31, 2008 @ 12:03 PM

    Welcome to Daring Bakers! Your cake (and photos) are absolutely gorgeous! Great first challenge!

  44. 44

    Kevin — March 31, 2008 @ 1:18 PM

    Your cake looks amazing! Great job decorating it.

  45. 45

    Jenny — March 31, 2008 @ 1:55 PM

    Beautifully executed – I really want a slice with all of those fresh raspberries! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

  46. 46

    RecipeGirl — March 31, 2008 @ 2:33 PM

    Wow, I’m super overwhelmed. What nice comments and welcomes everyone!! I seriously think that my cake would have looked really lame had I gone with the buttercream frosting. The whipped cream was easy to pipe on and look pretty :) I’ve so enjoyed seeing all of your creations, and I look forward to seeing what April has to offer!

  47. 47

    glamah16 — March 31, 2008 @ 3:27 PM

    Sheer perfection! A work of art. Love thefresh raspberries with thejam.

  48. 48

    aforkfulofspaghetti — March 31, 2008 @ 4:36 PM

    That is one very impressive cake!

  49. 49

    Barbara Bakes — March 31, 2008 @ 4:48 PM

    Your cake is beautifully decorated. I love raspberries!

  50. 50

    The Cooking Ninja — March 31, 2008 @ 5:01 PM

    my oh my … your cake is gorgeously delicious. I would love to do this cake for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. I did such a bad job on her 1st birthday. Hope I can get all the ingredients here in France for it. Can’t wait to get the recipe of yours.

  51. 51

    Leah — March 31, 2008 @ 5:51 PM

    OMG!! Aren’t you proud of yourself? I don’t really consider myself a ‘baker’ either (and I totally suck at frosting anything!) but your success has inspired me…’s pouring buckets here today so maybe I should head into my kitchen a whip up a cake! Nicely done!!

  52. 52

    Cookie baker Lynn — March 31, 2008 @ 6:59 PM

    Your cake is just perfect! Good call on putting whipping cream on the outside. It seems that would balance the rich buttercream well. And the raspberries are just the right addition. Well done, daring baker!

  53. 53

    Gabi — March 31, 2008 @ 8:22 PM

    Beautiful cake- I love the raspberry rounds. Perfect!
    Welcome to the DBs

  54. 54

    Gloria — March 31, 2008 @ 10:25 PM

    Amazing cake, so beautiful! congrats .xxxGloria
    And beauty pictures too!!!!

  55. 55

    Patsyk — April 1, 2008 @ 12:16 AM

    Oh, my that cake is so beautiful! What a wonderful debut!

  56. 56

    mimi — April 1, 2008 @ 12:41 AM

    wow your layers are so perfectly even! love the decorating on top too. welcome to the db!

  57. 57

    CookiePie — April 1, 2008 @ 3:05 AM

    This cake is soooo beautiful!! Good for you! And good call on the icing — I think whipped cream sounds just heavenly on this lovely cake. YUM!

  58. 58

    Rosa's Yummy Yums — April 1, 2008 @ 6:25 AM

    A gorgeous looking cake! Really perfect and ever so well-decorated! Great job!



  59. 59

    Bridget — April 1, 2008 @ 2:05 PM

    Oh, I love all the raspberries. I actually think it’s really pretty without the final layer of whipped cream; I like seeing the alternating layers of cake, buttercream, fruit, and jam. I might have just spread some more buttercream on top and left the sides bare!

  60. 60

    Indigo — April 1, 2008 @ 6:23 PM

    That cake is ridiculously beautiful! The layers are perfect ^__^. I wasn’t really a fan of the buttercream either, but I was so relieved that it worked out that I didn’t really care by then… and my friends didn’t really have any trouble eating it, haha.

  61. 61

    Texana — April 1, 2008 @ 7:29 PM

    Congrats on completing your first Daring Bakers challenge. Your cake is beautiful, snow white and tender-looking. Beautiful!

  62. 62

    JMom — April 1, 2008 @ 7:35 PM

    I’m impressed too! that’s a very regal looking cake. And this is your first time? :) It’s my first time too, but mine doesn’t look as great as yours. lol! no where near.

  63. 63

    Antonio Tahhan — April 2, 2008 @ 11:19 PM

    what a great idea to put raspberries in each layer!! now i’m craving a slice : )

  64. 64

    Jacque — April 3, 2008 @ 2:12 AM

    Mmmmm, those fresh raspberries look so yummy! Great job, your cake looks terrific.

  65. 65

    creampuff — April 4, 2008 @ 1:11 AM

    Welcome to the Daring Bakers and congratulations on an incredibly beautiful cake!

  66. 66

    Jaime — April 7, 2008 @ 8:41 AM

    congrats on your first DB challenge! job well done :) your cake is beautiful and i love how you decorated the top of the cake w/the raspberries and whipped cream.

  67. 67

    Maria — December 4, 2011 @ 9:06 PM

    I’m looking foward to turn this recipe into a 3 tier wedding cake. Is this cake sturdy enough to be covered with fondant? pls get back to me.. Thanks!

  68. 68

    Lori Lange — December 5, 2011 @ 8:38 AM

    Dorie Greenspan is the originator of this recipe. I’d go directly to her to ask this question!

  69. 69

    Pj — February 15, 2012 @ 3:48 PM

    Is this a good moist cake? And did you ever hear if it holds up under fondant…it looks fantastic :)

  70. 70

    Lori Lange — February 15, 2012 @ 4:06 PM

    Dorie Greenspan (originator of the recipe) says she has never made a fondant coating for the cake, but says it’s a sturdy cake and should hold up well under fondant. Also recommended: Martha Stewart’s Yellow Wedding Cake. Good luck!