Yesterday we celebrated my Mom's 88th birthday and I baked her a Dominican Cake. My Mom is from Dominican Republic and this is her favorite cake. I learned this recipe from a popular Dominican cookbook my Mom owns called Mujer 2000 Recetas de Cocina
by Silvia H. de Pou and have been baking this cake since 2011. Dominican Cake is rich tasting and one of my favorite cakes to make. When I was young this was the cake my Mom always baked, and I have fond memories of watching and helping my Mom bake this cake.
Dominican cake in texture is a smooth and spongy cake that is moist and very rich in flavor. The classic frosting is Suspiro (Merengue). Be sure to give yourself enough time to do it in case you need to make the caramel syrup more than once (actually twice for me) to get it right. This recipe yields enough batter for a 9-inch 2 layer cake. For this cake, I used orange juice and orange zest, but you can substitute with lemon juice and lemon zest or lime juice and lime zest. Typical fillings for this cake are pineapple, guava and dulce de leche, but strawberry or raspberry are also great options. See recipe and instructions below.
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened (room temperature)
2 cups Granulated Sugar
4 Large Eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (CariDom)
3 cups All Purpose Flour (King Arthur)
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 cup Whole Milk
1 tablespoon Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon Orange Zest
½ teaspoon Coarse/Kosher Salt
|Mom's 88th birthday celebration|
I use Wilton Bake Easy Non-Stick Spray to grease 2 9-inch round cake pans. Spray bottom of cake pans, then line with parchment paper and spray over it and along the sides of the pans. You can also coat the pans with butter and flour.
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
|Mom blowing out the candles|
With a stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed, mix butter until it is creamy; about 4 minutes.
Add sugar little by little, and continue mixing until it is light and creamy; about 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
On low speed, add in some of the flour mixture and some of the milk. Do this a few times ending with the flour mixture.
Scrape sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Mix again for 10 to 20 seconds.
|Mom with her cake slice |
With mixer on low speed, add vanilla extract, orange juice, orange zest, and combine; about 20 to 30 seconds.
Spread cake batter evenly between the 2 pans using a spatula to smooth tops.
Lightly tap the pans against the counter top 2 to 4 times to settle the batter.
Bake for 30-45 minutes. Oven temperatures vary so start checking the cake at the 30 minute mark and adjust time accordingly. My cake baked in 35 minutes.
Cake is ready when you insert a toothpick or cake tester in the center of the cake and it comes out clean.
Cool cake in pans for 15 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges of the cake and then flip cakes onto wire racks.
Peel off parchment paper, flip cakes right side up, and cool completely before frosting, about 1-2 hours.
Suspiro (Merengue) Frosting
|Mom's Dominican Cake|
3 Egg Whites (use cold Eggs)
1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar
½ cup Water
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (Cari Dom)
|Yummy slice of Dominican Cake|
Using a stand or hand held mixer, mix the egg whites on high speed for several minutes until stiff peaks form; about 3 minutes.
In a small pan, stir sugar, water and lemon juice and boil until sugar dissolves and caramel forms a syrup-like texture. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn.
Use a candy thermometer and when it reaches 235 degrees, it is ready.
To be sure, you can test the texture by taking a little of the syrup with a small spoon, and add a drop of the syrup to a paper towel. If it forms a little ball, it is ready. This is a trick my Mom taught me.
Turn mixer on high speed and add the hot caramel mixture little by little to the egg white/whipping cream mixture and then the vanilla extract.
Keep mixing until it reaches a thick but soft consistency like whipped cream cheese; about 4 minutes.
If you wish, add food coloring at this time. I used Wilton Icing Color Concentrated Gel in Pink. Use by dipping toothpick in gel and then into frosting and stir gently with spatula. Each time, use a clean toothpick so frosting does not get into gel color. Repeat until you reach the color you desire.
Put aside, and let it cool completely before frosting the cake.
|Goya Guava Jelly tastes great|
Guava Jelly (Goya)
Frost the Cake
Once cake and frosting have cooled completely, line edges of a cake platter or cake circle (Wilton 10 inch) with strips of parchment paper to keep edges clean as you frost the cake. I first line the cake turntable with a grip liner so the cake does not move as you are frosting it.
|Making the caramel syrup|
Place the cake on a cake circle and onto the cake turntable. If you do not have a cake circle take cardboard and cut a 10 inch circle and cover it with aluminum foil.
If you do not own a cake turntable use a large cake platter and put parchment paper along the edges.
Using a spatula spread the Guava Jelly over the first layer, place the top cake layer over it with the top side down, and then frost the cake as desired.
If needed, use a serrated knife to cut the cake tops to make even layers.
I decorated with Wilton Confetti and Sugar Flowers from Fancy Flours.
Place the cake in a cake carrier and let it set in the fridge for 2-3 hours, and just bring to room temperature for 1/2 hour before serving.
|Caramel reached 235 degrees and it is ready|
You can make the cake a day ahead and refrigerate overnight as well, and just bring to room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
|Wilton Confetti and Sugar Flowers from Fancy Flours I used to decorate|