Perfect Smurfect

>> Sunday, March 30, 2008

OK, so I never thought I would fall in love with a cake pan. But I have. Its true. Can you blame me? Is this not one of the cutest things you have ever seen? Does it get much more charming than this? Well not in my book it doesn't. That's why I chose to use my little cake pan for this very delicious cake.

Lemony white cake, filled and frosted with buttercream and raspberry preserves spread upon each layer, topped with whipped cream, coconut and fresh raspberries. Sounds like heaven, right? Well it is. It was this months Daring Bakers challenge, and it is Dorie Greenspans Perfect Party Cake.

Just so happens that this month is my mothers birthday and a perfect party cake is just what I needed. So thank you to Morven for hosting such a perfect challenge for the month of March, and my Mother thanks you too. She loved it!

Oh, and cant you just picture a smurf living in it?

Dorie Greenspans Perfect party Cake

To make the giant cupcake I doubled the cake recipe and filled the pans about 1/2" from the tops. The layers took about 1 hour to bake in the cupcake pans.

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt1
¼ cups buttermilk
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

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 three minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean.
Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

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 five 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 buttercream 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. Storing 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.

Feel free to drop in on the other Daring Bakers to see how their cakes came out as well.


Jerry March 30, 2008 at 2:45 PM  

How cute! A smurf cake! It looks so lovely!

SaraLynn March 31, 2008 at 8:23 PM  

This is the cutest cake ever!!! How sweet! My daughter loved the "smurf house"!

Faery March 31, 2008 at 9:05 PM  

Awesome cake, so cute, a Smurf will love a house like this and so will I yummm

Anne March 31, 2008 at 9:11 PM  

OMG! your cake is so cute and very unique :) Love how you decorated it!

Megan March 31, 2008 at 9:13 PM  

Love the cake. I almost bought one of those pans.

Katia March 31, 2008 at 9:34 PM  

Sarah- it's precious! I had to sit this one out unfortunately, but maybe I'll whip up a smurf house when I get a chance. You did a great job with the challenge. :)

Renee March 31, 2008 at 9:43 PM  


I just LOVE your cake (and cake pan)!! It looks wonderful!! I can't wait to see what you do for our next challenge!!


a.k.a. Cafe Nay Nay

Sheltie Girl March 31, 2008 at 9:49 PM  

This is so totally cute...very Smurfette. I love your cake pan too and the look on your Mother's face is priceless. She looks so thrilled. You did a fabulous job!

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Tartelette March 31, 2008 at 9:50 PM  

I was just thinking about the Smurf's house! Splendid!!

Dianne March 31, 2008 at 10:15 PM  

Perfectly smurfy! I love it! :)

Cakelaw March 31, 2008 at 10:36 PM  

I agree - this is one of the cutest things I have ever seen! Great job.

Ami March 31, 2008 at 11:08 PM  

Your cake looks wonderful! I have the same pan but have been afraid to use it after reading some not-so-positive reviews on Amazon. Did you encounter any problems with the baking time or the layers not baking evenly? These seem to be the most common issues people have with that pan.

Again, adorable cake! And I like you splitting it into three layers--it keeps it from being a huge mountain of cake.

Annarasa April 1, 2008 at 12:55 AM  

Just too cute!! Love this cake.


Beth G. April 1, 2008 at 1:35 AM  

How cool is that?!? Awesome job, it looks fantastic!

The Baker & The Curry Maker April 1, 2008 at 1:41 AM  

Wow, that looks sensational! I wonder why yours rose so much higher than mine... Well done, you're Mum looks very happy!

Sweet and Savory Eats April 1, 2008 at 2:26 AM  

How fun! I have the same cake pan and didn't even think about using it for the challenge. Brilliant!

Ann April 1, 2008 at 6:40 AM  

Adorable! Looks like a giant cupcake!

Sarah April 1, 2008 at 8:33 AM  

Thank you all for your nice comments. It was a lot of fun to make a giant cupcake cake.

Ami- I actually ended up doubling the cake recipe and used about
1 1/2 times the original amount of batter. It took about an hour to bake in all. The top layer did seem to be done before the bottom layer but I just left it in until they were both done and it seemed to come out fine.
And yes, I did split the bottom layer because it just seemed like to much cake!

Snug April 1, 2008 at 11:22 AM  

omg! your cake is sooooo adorable! A giant cupcake!!!!! I love it.

The Original Test Dummy April 2, 2008 at 12:35 PM  

Sarah, You wowed me! Beautiful cake and Mom looks pleased... think she was dreaming she was Smurfetter?

Fun stuff that looks sooo time consuming, hats off to you! (and I am wearing one)


Antonio Tahhan April 2, 2008 at 7:35 PM  

i love your smurf-themed house! the fresh raspberries and coconut on the roof look great!

HoneyB April 27, 2008 at 1:36 PM  

How adorable! You are very creative!

chriesi April 27, 2008 at 1:59 PM  

Oh lovely! I love the smurfs! :)

My Sweet & Saucy September 17, 2008 at 3:31 PM  

What a perfect name for your adorable cake! Looks like it was a hit!

Temporary Walls nyc August 18, 2011 at 11:57 PM  

Very beautiful cake. I like it.. Looks very sweet.. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up.

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