Halloween Doberge Cake

If you grew up in the Metropolitan New Orleans area, chances are that at some point in your life, you had a Doberge cake for either your birthday or someone else’s celebration.  Additionally, it’s quite likely the cake came from Gambino’s or Haydel’s bakery.  My family always used Gambino’s, and I suspect the reason was based solely on location, as Gambino’s was closer.  So, what’s so special about the Doberge cake?  Here’s the history.  In my family, depending upon who was eating cake, you either got the Chocolate Doberge or the 1/2 & 1/2.  What’s the 1/2 & 1/2?  One side is chocolate and the other side is lemon.  If a grandparent was in attendance, you got the 1/2 & 1/2.  If it was just kids at the party, you got the chocolate.  I prefer the chocolate, of course; my husband, the non-chocoholic, prefers the lemon.  The son – well, he takes after his mama and is a chocolate lover, too.  So, today I offer you the chocolate version.  Keep in mind, however, that I have never seen a Doberge cake with green and orange cake layers, that is entirely Andrew’s creation.  When I began researching a recipe for the Doberge, I came across a cookbook entitled Let’s Bake with Beulah Ledner: a legendary New Orleans Lady by Maxine Wolchansky.  Maxine is Beulah’s daughter.  The cookbook is out of print, but I was able to borrown the cookbook from the State Library of Louisiana, via inter-library loan. 
Typically, a Doberge has both buttercream and a poured fondant, but I chose to stop at the buttercream.

I’m linking today’s recipe to Cookbook Sundays hosted by Brenda of Brenda’s Canadian Kitchen and Have the Cake.
Also linked to Hearth ‘n Soul and What’s Cooking Wednesdays.

Halloween Doberge Cake Printable recipe
For the cake
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Scant teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Orange and green gel food color.
6 8″ disposable cake pans, buttered and lined with parchment rounds or buttered and floured

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Beat in lemon juice.
In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Alternately add flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture.
Remove half of the batter to another bowl.
To one half, add orange food color until desired depth of color is reached; to the other half, add green food color.
Divide the orange batter amongst 3 of the prepared pans; repeat with the green batter.
Bake for 13-14 minutes and allow to cool before filling with custard.

Chocolate Custard
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons corn starch
4 tablespoons cocoa
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 quart milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1-oz squares of unsweetened chocolate
2 1-oz squares of semi-sweet chocolate

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together the unsweetened chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate and butter until smooth; stir in the vanilla and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, flour, cornstarch, and cocoa.
Beat the eggs and milk into the sugar mixture.
Pour the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick.
Pour custard into a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap, and chill. 

When cake layers and custard is cool, assemble cake, alternating orange and green layers with custard filling.
Chill cake for 30-45 minutes before applying the buttercream frosting.  Store cake in refrigerator.

Chocolate Buttercream

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup cocoa
1 box powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk, +additional if needed
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, cream together butter and cocoa. Mix in vanilla. Add powdered sugar, milk, and salt and slowly cream together until fluffy. If necessary, add additional milk if too thick or more powdered sugar if too thin.
Cake and custard recipes from Let’s Bake with Beulah Ledner: a legendary New Orleans Lady
Chocolate buttercream is a Louanne’s Kitchen original.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Steff Deschenes award-winning book, The Ice Cream Theory! If you tweet or post about the giveaway, you get two extra entries, just leave me the links! Good luck! Click here to leave a comment about your favorite ice cream flavor. I’m going simple today, just a scoop of chocolate would be perfect…Good Luck!


12 thoughts on “Halloween Doberge Cake

  1. Wow, Louanne! It's so big and beautiful! I love the Halloweeny colors and I can just imagine taking a big bite…awesome! Delicious. Thanks so much for sharing it with the hearth and soul hop this week 🙂

  2. You did perfectly well and gave us the choco version. I and my son are like you and your son. Our daddy is like your husband. So choco version is ideal for us. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow, that is some cake!!! I'd need TWO glasses of milk with all that chocolate yumminess. The green and orange is way too cool. Andrew came up with a great idea! :o) Thank you for sharing this with Cookbook Sundays Louanne. Enjoy what's left of the weekend!

  4. Wow, it would be a wonderful surprise to cut into this cake that looks ordinary on the outside but so striking on the inside. Love those orange and green layers.

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