I am, in fact, a Daring Baker

lemon layer cake

Although I’ve been a professional food writer for many years, writing a blog is relatively new for me. I joined the world of glogging (as the mother on Corner Gas would say) only last October. To be honest, this kind of writing is much different than writing for magazines, newspapers or books. On the one hand, it’s easier to write for a blog since you can write about any old thing without a pushy editor breathing down your neck. On the other hand, it’s difficult to write for this medium in ways that aren’t a problem with other published works. With a blog, you can tell whether people cared about what you wrote based on how many comments each post generates and how many page views your writing receives. (Although book sales also give you a barometer of popularity, it takes months to know if your book is hitting bottom or scaling the best-seller list.) It can be a bit disheartening to be a blogger on the days when fewer than expected people drop by to read or comment.

So, when I heard about an online group that was designed to help blog writers meet and interact in a virtual way, I joined. The group is called the Daring Bakers and although you don’t have to tithe your first born to the group or make any blood pacts, you do have to keep the monthly baking projects double top secret until the agreed upon publishing date.

This month the Daring Baker assignment was to bake a lemon layer cake from one of Dorie Greenspan’s books. That’s my effort above. I made it and served it to my family as our Easter dessert (also on the menu was glazed ham, roasted new potatoes and a frisee and mache salad with grapefruit dressing. It was a yummy spring feast!).

Everyone else in the DB group made the exact same recipe and you can have the fascinating experience of seeing how the appearance of their cakes differ from mine by clicking on the Daring Bakers link in the blogroll and then clicking through to their blogs. It’s amazing how each baker found a way to add his or her own creative expression to what is a very well written and specific recipe.

I’m not sure what will be on the menu for next month’s Daring Baker’s challenge, but you’ll see it here once I’ve had a chance to preheat the oven.

Daring Bakers logo

19 Responses to I am, in fact, a Daring Baker

  1. danamccauley says:

    Hi, If you are looking for the Sunrise Tofu recipes I featured on CBC Newsworld today, go to http://www.toptentable.com/Bonus%20Recipes%20%26%20Tips/582216CA-72B6-4E73-9334-9C2CBEDA5C83.html.


  2. Christina says:

    Your cake looks beautiful! The berries on top adds a pleasant cheeriness to it.

    Another downside of a blog is that there isn’t a posting schedules, meaning that sometimes I forget to upload my pictures and add a post. 😀 Seriously, I’ve considered setting dates so I will post at least twice a week.

  3. danamccauley says:

    Thanks for your kind words Christina! I’m looking forward to visiting the sites of the other daring bakers to see their cakes – i bet there are a lot of gorgeous results!

  4. Carla says:

    You cake looks so beautiful and delicious. You got the layers perfectly even!

  5. Randi says:

    wow, check out those cake decorating skills.. very professional looking.. i’ll have to take note 🙂

  6. Tartelette says:

    Welcome on board Dana! You did a fabulous job with this month challenge, the cake is simply gorgeous!

  7. danamccauley says:

    Thanks for your welcome and for your praise Tartelette – from the looks of your site, you did a pretty fabulous job, too!

    THanks also to the other daring bakers who have posted above. I look forward to baking with you again this month.

  8. Jenny says:

    Your cake is just beautiful!
    Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

  9. Ivonne says:


    I’m beyond thrilled that you’re a Daring Baker! Welcome to our community! Your cake is just gorgeous … I bet it was an incredible Easter dinner!

  10. Jen says:

    Looks so yummy! How did you get the layers so even?


  11. Aoife says:

    Welcome to the worlds of blogging and the Daring Bakers! You may think that you’re out of your depth, but the professionalism of your cake speaks for itself!

  12. Dana says:

    Such a warm welcome – thanks Ivonne and Aoife!

    Jen, I used a serrated knife to cut my layers. I moved slowly and tried to keep the the knife level. I didn’t actually have perfectly flat cuts but on a piece by piece basis, the flaws didn’t show.

  13. Miss Ifi says:

    Congratulations on your first challenge!!! Your cake looks lovely and I also look forward to see your creations in the following months. Welcome to the Daring Bakers and I hope you have lots of fun with us!!!
    p.s. your entry about the restaurant that serves all their food on plumbing inspired plates made me laugh really hard!

  14. congrats on completing your first challenge! it looks fantastic! i like the way you kept the coconut around the edges and plain on top with the ruffle of icing and fruit. looks very elegant!

  15. Claire says:

    Great job! Glad you could join the group.

  16. Very beautiful cake! Interesting comments on blogging. So true about good days and bad. Welcome to the Daring Bakers and all the fun it brings!

  17. aran says:

    hi dana!
    first of all, thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave such lovely comments.
    and now, your cake is absolutely gorgeous. fabulous first challenge!. this was also my first and I had so much fun!

  18. Cakelaw says:

    Hi Dana, Your cake is exquisite – it really lives up to the “perfect party cake” epithet.

  19. […] March was Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake which I served at my Easter Feaster. I had nine at the table and still had a quarter of a cake left […]

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