Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake


Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours


  •     2-1/4 cups cake flour
  •     1 tablespoon baking powder
  •     1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  •     4 large egg whites
  •     1-1/2 cups sugar
  •     2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  •     4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  •     1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Filling & Topping

  •     2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
  •     1-1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  •     1 recipe for Lemon Buttercream


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2: Spray or butter two 9" x 2" round cake pans. Line the bottom of each cake pan with a buttered parchment circle.

Step 3: Whisk the buttermilk and egg whites together in a separate bowl.

Step 4: Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a stand mixer bowl and rub together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and smells like the lemon.

Step 5: Add the butter to the mixer bowl and beat together with the sugar for 3 minutes on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy and light.  Add in the vanilla extract. Add in the flour and buttermilk mixtures in alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour mixtures. Be sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next. When everything is added beat the batter for an additional 2 minutes.

Step 6: Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30 minutes in the oven or until the tops are set and springy, and a cake tester inserted into the centers come out clean.

Step 7: Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for a few minutes, then flip and unmold the cakes (run a knife around the sides of the cakes if necessary). Peel the parchment off and flip the cakes back over right side up on the wire racks to finish cooling. At this point, the fully cooled cake layers can be wrapped in plastic and kept overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.
Step 8: To assemble the cake: Stir the raspberry preserves until it is loose and spreadable. Place a layer on a cardboard cake round, Spread raspberry preserves on the cake layer. Spread a layer of buttercream on top of the preserves. Top with a second cake layer. Use the rest of the buttercream to frost the sides and top of the cake. Press the coconut over the sides and top of the cake.
The cake is best served a couple of hours after it is assembled to let the flavors develop. You can refrigerate it for up to 2 days, but be sure it is well covered or the cake will dry out. You should also let the cake come to room temperature before you serve it.

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