Perfect Party Cake

"This is from Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking From My Home to Yours." I made this for a cooking group I used to be a part of and it's delicious! This can be stored in the refrigerator for two days, but tastes best at room temperature."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1hr 20mins
1 cake




  • For the cake:

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F Butter two 9" cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Place on baking sheet.
  • Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg whites and milk.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and sugar until fragrant. Or, you may rub the lemon zest and sugar together until fragrant.
  • Add the butter to the sugar and lemon zest mixture and beat at medium speed for three minutes or until butter and sugar are light.
  • Incorporate the extract and 1/3 flour mixture.
  • Beat in half the milk/egg mixture and beat in half of the remaining flour mixture.
  • Add the rest of the milk/egg mixture, then add in the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Beat for at least two more minutes until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and the batter is well aerated.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth tops with a rubber spatula.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake is springy to the touch or a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cook for about 5 minutes in the pan, then invert and cool on wire racks the rest of the way.
  • For the buttercream:

  • Put the sugar and egg whites in a double boiler, or heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, or about 3 minutes. (Sugar will be dissolved and it will look like shiny marshmallow creme.).
  • Remove the bowl from the heat.
  • Beat with a whisk on medium speed for about 5 minutes. If using an electric mixer, switch to paddle attachment and add butter one stick at a time, beating until smooth. You will need to beat it for about 6-10 minutes after all the butter is incorporated. The mixture may separate, but keep beating, it will come back together.
  • While still beating at medium speed, gradually add the lemon juice, then the vanilla (be sure each addition is incorporated before adding more).
  • To store, press a piece of plastic over it.
  • For the Assembly:

  • Using a bread knife, level the top of each cake, then cut horizontally into two layers.
  • Lay down one layer of cake on a cake round. Spread 1/3 preserves, then 1/4 buttercream.
  • Repeat layers 1-3 until last layer of cake, which is placed upside down.
  • Cover the cake with the remaining buttercream, then coat with coconut.

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  1. I baked this for my birthday since I had never made Swiss meringue buttercream before. It was fabulous. I baked this at 345°. Tender moist white lemony flavored layers with the easiest instructions I found for SMBC icing. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to bake the cakes in their pans on the baking sheet, but I did and everything turned out.


I joined Recipezaar to learn new recipes that are home cooked. I grew up having ready-meals like Encor and Stouffers and needed recipes that don't simply require opening a box and plopping in the oven! I enjoy cooking when I have the time to try new dishes. I make every recipe as written if I'm reviewing it to give a true review. If I make alterations that aren't in the directions, I don't feel it's a true reflection of the recipe; it's another recipe to me. <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src=""> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="" width=75%> (Zaar World Tour 4) <img src=""> <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <img src=""> (Australia/New Zealand Swap #15)
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