Showing posts with label mocha frosting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mocha frosting. Show all posts

March 30, 2008

Perfect Party Cake - Coconut & Kahlua Carob

A March Daring Baker's Challenge: Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake

The hostess for this month's challenge is the lovely Morven from Food Art and Random Thoughts, she chose the Perfect Party Cake from Dorie Greenspan's book From My Home To Yours. The original recipe for the Perfect Party Cake was given to Dorie by her good friend Nick Malgieri. This is a versatile cake that has a tight crumb and a light fluffy frosting. Dorie's version of this cake is lemon, but it can easily be made in any other flavor that you like.

A week into the challenge, Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl and I decided to bake together with Esther of The Lilac Kitchen hanging out with us on email. Esther is the proud new Mama of a healthy baby boy and she wasn't up to hours on her feet in the kitchen baking. When I was choosing from the gluten free flours, I wanted the cake to be white so I selected coconut flour as the base and I chose white chocolate for the buttercream. My goal was to create a white cake that was flavorful for my son, who is a huge fan of all things flavored vanilla and white chocolate.

The cake went together easily and rose beautifully while it baked. The frosting whipped up to a frothy foam. I made two smaller cakes and filled one with mixed berry preserves. The recipe made a large quantity of frosting that I swirled around the cake in fluffy peaks.

How did the cakes taste? Overall my family thought the cake was very sweet. Their favorite bites were of the cake without the frosting. They thought that the frosting tasted good, but was way too sweet. My children weren't crazy about the fluffiness of the frosting, they prefer a stiffer frosting.

Since I felt the same way, I decided to bake this cake again and use a different sweetener and make the cake without any dairy as well. Since I had recently gotten an order from Barry Farms that contained some sweet potato flour and sorghum syrup, I decided to use these ingredients as part of my recipe.

I made the second version of the cake for Easter Supper and my family thought it tasted like a mild brownie or chocolate muffin. They enjoyed the texture and flavor of the frosting, it was firmer and lightly sweet. We had agreed that I would only frost the top of the cake, so that there was only a touch of frosting. They liked the flavor of the cake and frosting. My daughter wants me to make this frosting again, since it isn't too sweet.


1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
2 tsp chia seed meal
1 Tb baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup almond milk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cup cane sugar
4 Tb vegetable shortening
4 Tb coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Buttercream Frosting

1 cup cane sugar
4 large egg whites
8 Tb vegetable shortening
8 Tb coconut oil
8 Tb ghee
1 oz white chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a low sided pan with parchment paper and set out 4 - 5 inch cake rings. Line the cake ring sides with parchment paper for 2 smaller cakes. Or line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper for 1 larger cake.

2. In a large bowl, dump in the flours, baking powder, sea salt and chia seed. Stir the mixture, until the baking powder is well incorporated.

3. In a medium bowl, pour in the almond milk and egg whites, then whisk them together.

4. In a mixing bowl, plop in the vegetable shortening, coconut oil and sugar. Then beat for 3 minutes on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.

5. Pour in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, continue beating.

6. Beat in half of the almond milk mixture. Next, beat in half of the remaining flour mixture and until it is incorporated.

7. Add the rest of the almond milk mixture until blended and then pour in the rest of the flour mixture. Then beat for 2 minutes on medium speed to make sure the cake batter is well aerated.

8. Divide the batter between the cake rings or the 9 inch cake pans and smooth the tops.

9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

10. Place the cookie sheet or cake pans on a cake rack and cool for 5 minutes. Slip the cake rings off the cakes and peel off the liner. Place right side up on a cake rack until they are room temperature. (Dorie notes that the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months.)


1. Place the sugar and egg whites into a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Begin to whisk constantly, making sure to keep the mixture over the heat for 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved and it will look like shiny marshmallow cream. Remove the bowl from the heat.

2. Using the mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it has cooled, approximately 5 minutes.

3. Add the vegetable shortening, coconut oil, ghee and then beat until smooth.

4. Once the oils are beaten in, beat the buttercream on medium high speed until it is thick and smooth, approximately 6 - 10 minutes.

Dorie's Note: During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate - just keep beating and it will come together again.

5. Then add the vanilla and white chocolate and continue to beat on medium high speed until the frosting is shiny and smooth. Press a piece of plastic on the surface of the buttercream and set aside until you are ready to use it.

Assembling the Cake:

1. Place the first layer of the cake on a cake plate or a cake round. Spread the top of the layer with the Buttercream. If you would like to use a layer of preserves, spread the preserves on first and then gently spread the Buttercream on top.

2. Place the second layer on top of the Buttercream covered first layer.

3. Use the remaining Buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake. Top with coconut or tiny curls of white chocolate.

Storing the Cake:

1. The cake is best the day it is made, but will store in the refrigerator. Cover it very well and bring to room temperature before serving.

2. This cake can be frozen for up to 2 months covered very well. Defrost the cake in the refrigerator.

Sorghum Cake with Kahlua Sorghum Syrup Buttercream


1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup sweet potato flour*
1/4 cup carob
1/4 cup + 2 Tb arrowroot starch
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tb flax seed meal
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sorghum syrup**
2 Tb vegetable shortening, melted
2 Tb cocoa butter, melted
1/2 tsp Kahlua
1/2 cup + 2 Tb almond milk


2 Tb sorghum syrup
2 Tb agave syrup
1 egg white
2 Tb vegetable shortening, melted
2 Tb cocoa butter, melted
2 Tb coconut oil, melted
1/2 oz Enjoy Life! chocolate chips, melted
1/2 tsp Kahlua

Recipe Variation Notes: Cake - I used a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaf pan. Buttercream - Step 1: The egg white, sorghum and agave syrup when cooked over the water bath will look like maple syrup and will not thicken. Once it has cooked for 3 minutes, transfer to the mixing bowl and continue with the recipe. Step 4: Beat the frosting for 10 minutes. Then continue with the recipe.

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* Sweet Potato Flour - I purchased the sweet potato flour from Barry Farms.

** Sorghum Syrup - I purchased the sorghum syrup from Barry Farms.