Y’all, brace yourselves.
I usually try to keep things quick and easy around these parts, but by golly, I was so tired of paying out the wazoo for Doberge Squares from the bakery that I decided to master Homemade Lemon Doberge Squares my darn self.
So, today I bring you the quintessential New Orleans sweet treat.
Before we get started though, let me explain Doberge Cake for those of you not from the south.
As with so many things in this state, there are multiple ways of pronouncing this beloved treat. I say dough-boj, but you’ll also hear it dough-bosh and even dough-bearj. Sort of like the pecan. I saw pah-kahn, and some say pee-can- which in my opinion, went away with the usage of outhouses.
Anywho, the Doberge Cake is a layered dessert that originated in New Orleans by Beulah Ledner, a local baker who adapted a recipe for a Hungarian torte. The buttermilk cake is made of multiple thin layers of cake alternating with pudding. You’ll find most bakeries here will offer Doberge Cake with half chocolate pudding and half lemon pudding…because people like my husband and I don’t like to choose between the two. Covered with a thin layer of buttercream, the cake is then topped with poured fondant.
If you see a recipe online using traditional buttercream frosting rather than fondant, it’s a knock off.
Our bakeries here all cover the cake in a fondant turned hardened shell.
Locally, one of my favorite bakery’s offers both bite-sized Lemon & Chocolate Doberge Squares. They’re about $1.29 a square and pretty microscopic. What’s nice, though, is whenever I have a hankering for some doberge cake, I can run in there and get 2 lemon and 2 chocolate for myself, and 2 lemon and 2 chocolate for my husband and the craving for cake is solved.
But, let’s take a moment to do the math here you guys. That’s a whopping $10.32 + tax for my husband and I to pop one lemon and one chocolate into our mouths immediately, and 1 lemon and 1 chocolate for later on after dinner. And I’m telling you. 2 bites and that square is history.
It was time I learned to make them myself.
It’s not something you’re going to throw together super quickly and without a bit of a mess, but if you’re willing to spend an afternoon making yourself some Lemon Doberge Squares of your very own, the reward is so worth the effort.
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 egg whites, beaten until stiff
- For the Lemon Filling:
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- Poured Fondant Mix (available at Party Time locally, Amazon )
To make the filling:
**Make the filling first so that it has time to cool.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. Add the cold water and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Cook for 2 minutes. In a small bowl, add 1 cup of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks. Once well combined, add the egg yolk mixture to the sugar mixture. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in butter, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, juice and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature.
To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray, cover with parchment leaving a bit of overhang to serve as handles, and spray the parchment with spray as well. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix together the milk and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and shortening and mix until creamy. Add the sugar, vanilla and lemon extract and mix until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time.
Add the dry ingredients to the batter, alternating with the milk mixture until well blended. Fold in the egg whites.
Add the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center of the cake is no longer wiggly and a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool completely before removing.
Follow the directions for the poured fondant, adding 2 teaspoons lemon extract and a bit of yellow food coloring to the mix. Set aside.
Once the cake is cooled, remove by lifting the parchment. Using a cake leveler (or a sharp knife and careful eye) cut the cake in half, creating 2 thin layers. Then cut the cake in half again down the center. You now have 4 rectangles.
Remove the top of one half of the cake rectangles. Using the bottom as a base, add the lemon filling to the top of the cake. Add the cake layer to the top. Repeat with filling. Finish with the final cake layer.
Place into the refrigerator to firm a bit before covering in fondant and cutting into squares.
Prepare for the fondant pouring by covering a baking sheet with parchment paper and placing a cooling rack on top.
Place the chilled cake onto the cooling rack. Pour the fondant over the entire cake.
Place the cake back into the refrigerator one more time to allow the fondant to firm up (about 30 minutes).
Cut into squares. Serve chilled.
Now, I didn’t cover with buttercream before I added the fondant. And, I was a little heavy handed with the pudding mix.
So, take my advice and go easy with the pudding. Also, if you’re in an area that combats humidity like I do then pop these babies into the freezer after cutting through the fondant and they’ll firm back up.
Check out the 23 wonderful bloggers participating in this year’s event and don’t forget to keep scrolling for the giveaway:
Ice Cream Recipes:
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Bites from Big Bear’s Wife
No Churn Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream from Pastry Chef Online
Green Tea Ice Cream from Mildly Meandering
Mermaid Pudding Pops from For the Love of Food
Pies of Summer:
Mini Lemon Meringue Pies from Forking Up
Lemon Lavender Chess Pie from The Spiffy Cookie
Sweet Summertime Cakes:
Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake from The Food Hunter’s Guide To Cuisine
Lemon Chiffon Raspberry Parfait from Desserts Required
S’mores Mousse Parfaits from Daily Dish Recipes
Strawberry Pretzel Salad Parfaits from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Strawberry Glazed Donut Bites from Eat Move Make
Mixed Berry Fruit Pizza from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Strawberry Cake Donuts from The Beard and The Baker
Lemon Doberge Squares from Southern From Scratch
Mini Blueberry Galettes from Me and My Pink Mixer
Chocolate Churros from My Sweet Zepol
Key Lime Fudge from The Domestic Kitchen
Chocolate Strawberry Eclairs from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from A Blender Mom
Fruit Pie Jars from A Southern Soul
Sweet Tea Bread Pudding from Sweet ReciPEAs
Cherry Lime Bellini from Comfortably Domestic
Strawberry Lassi from Shockingly Delicious