Party Cake

Party Cake

Party Cake 1920 2560 Daryl Duarte

Party Cake

I think a four-layer cake is an exciting end to a lovely and special celebratory evening, such as a special birthday or anniversary - or just any old Tuesday. To get the four layers, it is necessary to slice two thick layers in half. This takes courage and some practice. A serrated knife and a turntable help the process go smoothly. I think having three different fillings is also fun. And finally - a frosting. This recipe allows for a lot of wiggle room and baker's choice. You can, for example, use a box of yellow cake mix. They are very nice in a pinch. You can purchase the fillings and frosting. Two Jams - for instance - seedless raspberry and apricot are excellent choices. Chocolate ganache is easy to make but not as easy to find in the store. Lemon curd can be purchased or made at home. Take whatever shortcuts or steps necessary to have fun assembling an all-occasion fancy cake. If you want to go old school - then this recipe will help you - step by step - to bake, slice, fill and frost a fabulous cake to share with your loved ones.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16



  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla


  • Raspberry jam (seeds removed using a fine metal sieve)
  • Apricot jam (use a food processor for an even texture)
  • Chocolate Ganache (make or buy)
  • Lemon Curd (make or buy)


  • 1 pint of whipping cream
  • 8 oz mascarpone at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


To make the cake

  • This recipe uses two 9X2-inch round cake pans and yields two tall layers that can be carefully cut in half ending with four layers of cake and three layers of filling. Your choice of fillings depends on your preference, but I typically use a combination of fruit preserves, curds, pastry creams, etc. You can also use three pans, and you will have three less tall layers for a more classic three-layer cake with two layers of filling (no cutting layers necessary). Pick the style you want for your cake, which will dictate if you use two or three pans. Using only two pans increases the cooking time by about 15 minutes. A cake tester should be used to test for doneness.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease the pans, then cut a piece of wax paper to fit the bottom, grease the paper, and then lightly flour the surface, tapping out any excess flour.
  • In the stand mixer bowl, place the softened butter and cream until smooth. Slowly add the sugar and beat for several minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for 20 seconds between each addition.
  • Add the vanilla to the milk in a liquid measuring cup.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  • Lower the speed of the mixer, add 1/3 of the flour, mix gently until moistened, and then add ½ of the milk. Increase the speed gradually and beat for 30 seconds. Add another 1/3 of the flour and the remaining milk and beat an additional 20 seconds. Add the final 1/3 flour and beat for 30 seconds.
  • Transfer the batter evenly to the prepared pans and bake for between 20 and 25 minutes for three pans and about 35 minutes for two pans. Use a cake tester to test for doneness.
  • Remove the pans from the oven and place them on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove the cakes from the pan and allow them to cool completely.
  • If you want to have a four-layer cake, it is easier to slice the cake once it has been refrigerated. I prefer to bake the cake the day before and refrigerate it overnight.

Assemble and add fillings

  • You must prepare or purchase your fillings of choice. You can use jams, jellies, custards, ganache, or curds. Baker’s choice! You will need three different fillings ready and at room temperature. (Ganache that has been refrigerated may need to go into the microwave for 20 -4 seconds to soften to a spreadable consistency. Be careful not to overheat, as it will be too runny and drip out of the sides.)
  • Slice both cold layers in half, using a serrated knife and rotating the layer as you slice, keeping the knife in the middle of the layer as you cut. Don’t force the blade through the cake when cutting through cake layers. Instead, use the knife to cut in a gentle sawing motion.
  • Place the first layer on a 10 or 12-inch cardboard round. Add the first filling - about 1 cup and evenly spread across the entire layer using an offset spatula. Add the second layer of cake. Then the second filling. Repeat with the third layer and third filling. Finish assembling the cake with the fourth layer being placed on top.


  • Whip the cream at medium-high speed, be careful to beat just until firm and hold peaks. (You don’t want to overbeat - as it will curdle and look more like loose butter.)
  • In a separate bowl, beat the softened mascarpone to soften it further. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Then begin folding some of the whipped cream into the cheese mixture to lighten. Once it is fluffy and light, add the remaining cream and mix until smooth. You can return the mixture to the stand mixer to whip it some more if the consistency is not firm enough to use as a frosting. Practice makes perfect.


Frosting a cake like this requires a crumb coat first, followed by a finish layer of frosting.
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