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Opera Cake by www.tasteandtellblog.com

Across the street from where I work, a big 14-screen theater is being built. It’s been really interesting to watch – it’s right outside the windows, so I usually look up from time to time during the day to watch what is going on. I’ve never watched something so large being built like I have been watching this theater. I’m not a builder by any means, so I don’t know how it all really works, but it seems as if the big concrete walls are poured, one by one, and then just like a gingerbread house, they are raised up to form this big box. I don’t know how they get it all to stick together, (but I’m sure it’s not with frosting and licorice), but it really is amazing to see it go up.

For some reason this month’s Daring Bakers challenge reminded me a lot of the building of that theater. Not that my cake was anywhere near as big, or as heavy, or made of concrete, but it really was a fun challenge to “build”.

This month’s challenge is an Opera Cake, brought to us by none other than the Daring Bakers founders, Ivonne, of Cream Puffs in Venice, and Lis, of La Mia Cucina. And since the group is so large now, there are two more helpers – Fran of Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie and Shea at Whiskful.

I had never tried an opera cake before, although I had heard of them. Opera cakes are traditionally flavored with chocolate and coffee, but the hostesses decided to mix it up a bit. We were told we could only use light colors and flavors. I was all about this, since it is springtime and all. They also wanted to honor Barbara of winosandfoodies. I’m sure you all know Barbara and her blog, but she is a cancer survivor and the creator of one of my favorite food blogging events – a Taste of Yellow. And although my challenge this month isn’t yellow, I do want to add into all of those other Daring Bakers who are dedicating this to Barbara!

So, to keep this (kinda) short, here’s what I ended up with:

Opera Cake by www.tasteandtellblog.com

  • I chose to use coconut and lime as my flavors.
  • I left the joconde cake plain, using almond meal.
  • My simple syrup was flavored with coconut extract.
  • My buttercream was flavored with lime zest and a bit of lime juice (and a splash of color!)
  • I chose to do the mousse – I left out the liquor, and used just cream and coconut white chocolate
  • For the glaze, I used coconut white chocolate
  • I topped the whole thing with toasted coconut.

Since there are only 2 of us, and I have been on a bit of a sugar strike lately, I only made half the recipe. My pan was larger than the one in the recipe, so I had to do some fancy math, but it all worked out. I made my cake a 5-inch square, and had enough cake to actually do 6 layers, but one broke in half, and I decided to just stick with 4. I think I got really lucky, because after the flavor was chosen, I was at the store to buy ingredients, and I came across this coconut white chocolate:

Opera Cake by www.tasteandtellblog.com

And although my mousse and glaze weren’t really smooth because the chocolate had coconut bits in it, it was quite delicious!!

Over all, I had a lot of fun with this. But I do have to say it was a bit too sweet for my tastes. The cake by itself was absolutely delicious, but adding in the syrup, frosting, mousse, and glaze took it a little too over the top for me. But it was beautiful, and there are so many other flavor combinations I’ve seen out there that I would love to try!!

You can find the recipe here, and make sure you check out all of the other Daring Bakers posts!!

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85 Responses to Opera Cake {The Daring Bakers}

  1. PheMom says:

    That was the exact chocolate I was going to try, but I melted it for something else instead and decided to go a different route. Your Opera Cake looks wonderful!

    Oh, and I think the movies would be much funner if they were held together by licorice!

  2. Peabody says:

    Oh I love the Lindt Coconut White Chocolate…problem is I always eat so much of it that there is nothing left to use in the recipe. 🙂

  3. Barbara says:

    I am a really touched to be honoured by the Daring Bakers. Thank you so much Deborah. I love your cake. I have not seen that particular coconut chocolate in the shops.

  4. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    A wonderful cake! I bet it tasted gorgeous! Very well done! With Lindt, you can’t go wrong ;-P…



  5. Kelly-Jane says:

    It’s wonderful! Your flavourings sound lovely too. I so love that chocolate!

  6. Dharm says:

    Wow, Coconut and Lime and even Coconut white chocolate!! You’re right, this was almost like building something! Your cake tunred out great. Well Done!

  7. Katie says:

    Ohh yor cake looks wonderful. I love the lime and coconut combo and the toasted cocnut on top really finishes it off beautifully.

  8. Gabi says:

    Love your flavours and your beautiful wee opera cake 🙂
    Hope NYC was fun!!!

  9. Suzana says:

    Lindt Coconut White Chocolate is great, and I bet it went great with your flavours. Well done Deborah!

  10. KJ says:

    It looks gorgeous. It sounds delicious. I woud love to try it.

  11. Mary says:

    Yours is so gorgeous! I had to use chocolate chips because that was the only white chocolate I could find.

  12. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Great job on this challenge. Wonderful flavors the lime & coconut and the size sounds really adorable!

  13. glamah16 says:

    Yes Its like building a building. I like the soft lightness of yours. With coconut topping. This project sugared me out for a bit.

  14. Renee says:

    Coconut and lime – what a great combination. Your cakes looks yummy!

  15. RecipeGirl says:

    What a terrific flavor combo you chose. I love that coconut white chocolate idea. Beautiful!

  16. Grace says:

    you put the lime in the coconut, and i’m glad you did! it looks fantastic, especially since i’m a sucker for anything involving white chocolate. nicely done!

  17. Dana McCauley says:

    Like your building analogy! Regrettably, I didn’t have a very good framer for my project.

    There is large scale building across from my office as well. In fact, they are building a new City Hall for Vaughan so I should have been able to absorb some construction lessons, too.

    Nice job on your cake. : )

  18. Dianne says:

    I’ve never seen coconut white chocolate, but that sounds heavenly! Your cake is very pretty.

  19. Bellini Valli says:

    I love the coconut edition to your cake…I am a huge coconut fan!!Great job!!!!!

  20. Elle says:

    What a lovely cake! Such a pretty green and topped with toasted coconut. Lime and coconut is a winning combo, too. The coconut white chocolate is a find…must look for it.
    Your comment about the building not being held together with frosting and licorice cracked me up 🙂 I’ve made a bunch of gingerbread houses…and a ton of royal icing.
    Happy Wednesday!

  21. Natalie says:

    I love coconut and lime. Although I am pretty sure most of Lindt’s products are not gluten free..ugh. Great twist!

  22. katskitchen says:

    Love you include a little story with your posts. I bet the coconut and lime was tasty! Beautiful!

  23. Megan says:

    Love the coconut and lime version. And I must try that coconut chocolate bar. Looks beautiful!

  24. mimi says:

    ooh, another lime and coconut combo, i bet it tasted so good! your cake looks great, love the layers.

  25. Ben says:

    Coconut and lime seem to be a popular choice, maybe because the combination sounds delicious! Great opera cake and I agree that building it was kinda like building a big 14-screen theater right in your kitchen :-p

  26. Scuttle says:

    I love the idea of Lime I shoulda done that!

  27. sunita says:

    Deborah, you’ve done a fantastic job…love the colours 🙂

  28. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Your cake came out beautiful! Lime and coconut is such a great, classic combo. I love it!

  29. Augustina says:

    I love the lime green color of your cake. It looks great!

  30. breadchick says:

    mmmm… White coconut chocolate! I’m so looking for those candy bars!!

    I love your cake.

  31. Andrea says:

    I love Lindt chocolates, and that combination sounds divine. Lovely cake!

  32. Emiline says:

    Congrats on another great challenge! The cake looks wonderful. I’ve always wanted to make or eat Opera Cake. Maybe for the next special occasion.

  33. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:


    I love that Lindt white chocolate coconut , and I hate white chocolate, so go figure – what a BRILLIANT idea!!!

  34. Madam Chow says:

    Deborah, it looks fantastic, and I didn’t know Lindt made that flavor chocolate! I learn so much from other people’s blogs!

  35. Claire says:

    Looks great! I used lime and white chocolate, too…just no coconut. I love the green.

  36. Elle says:

    Deborah, great flavor combo! And how lucky to find that chocolate! Your cake looks gorgeous.

  37. Julia says:

    I had the same problem with making half the recipe! My cakes were so short that after I assembled it (I was about to put the glaze on top), I realized it was as thick as two slices of bread. So I just stacked them together and ended up with 11 layers!

    I LOVE your flavor combination too. Yummm!

  38. bonnie says:

    that look’s so yummy.

  39. kamailesfood says:

    Mmm…coconut, lime and white chocolate. Your cake looks wonderful!

  40. Kevin says:

    That looks really good. I like the coconut and lime flavour combo!

  41. Tammy says:

    Your cake looks gorgeous!

  42. HoneyB says:

    What a gorgeous cake. Lindt chocolate (white coconut!) How YUM!!

  43. noble pig says:

    These cakes are so ridiculously beautiful, it’s so dang inspiring! I just love it and your’s is exceptional!

  44. maybelles parents says:

    these are a stunning color.

  45. jasmine says:

    I’d not seen that chocolate before–what a good way of adding extra flavour without extra effort.

    Your cake looks delicious.


  46. giz says:

    What great flavours and the colour is spectacular. I felt like it was like building a building too – I need to get a degree in architecture if they get any more intense than this one lol

  47. dobetter says:

    Oooo, coconut and lime! I love the colors you got. Nice job.

  48. kat says:

    I love the green colors to yours.

  49. The Baker & The Curry Maker says:

    Looking good as alwasy Deb! Well done.

  50. The Baker & The Curry Maker says:

    Looking good as alwasy Deb! Well done.

  51. April says:

    It looks great! The coconut and lime sounds wonderful together!

  52. Half Baked says:

    Gorgeious! I love the coconut white chocolate, what a great idea!! Nice job!

  53. familiabencomo says:

    I love the lime & the coconut! You are too clever. Your cake is tres belle!

    xoxox Amy

  54. Rosie says:

    This is one stunning cake and I just adore Lindt Chocolate mmmmm…I would love to try a slice 😉

    Rosie x

  55. Meeta says:

    great bakers think alike – i used lime and coconut flavors too. Nice looking cake!

  56. Jenny says:

    I’ve seen that chocolate but haven’t picked any up yet. Might have to now.
    Your cake looks great, with such lovely layers.

  57. Ruth Elkin says:

    Your cake looks beautiful with the coconut and the green lime layers!!!

    It really was like constructing something huge but well worth it.

    Great job Deborah

  58. Heather says:

    ohh very pretty. i love the color contrast in between the layers!

  59. Vicarious Foodie says:

    Wow, this sounds like quite a challenge. And you did a great job with it! I don’t think I’ve ever even had opera cake before, but now I’m very interested.

  60. Faery says:

    Wow, is it possible to say that a cake is attractive? …not only looks beautiful but also delicious I love coconut

  61. Nan says:

    Lovely colors, lime and coconut is always a winner 🙂 I loved the construction of this cake, too…hope we have more DB challenges like it!

  62. Sheltie Girl says:

    You did a fabulous job on your cake. I love the white chocolate and lime flavors.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  63. Núria says:

    Hi Deborah! This is my first time in your blog (came from Jenn’s FFF) and I really liked your Opera cake and the simil with the constructing theatre 😀

    I’m not a baker myself but enjoy seeing all your creations!!!

  64. kellypea says:

    You really have amazing flavors here. I’ve never seen that Lindt coconut chocolate and since Almond Joy is a favorite candy bar, I’m swooning here. Erm…and I can’t help thinking about Harry Nilsson’s song “You put the lime in the coconut” back in the ’70’s! Beautiful cake, Deb.

  65. farida says:

    Hi Deborah, thank you for your lovely comment! You did such a great job with your cake. I like the coconut flavoring idea! I didn’t think about it for some reason. I just wasn’t quite inspired by this cake, I guess:) But yours looks lovely! Loved the colors!

  66. Clumbsy Cookie says:

    What a great idea to use flavoured chocolate! It looks great, with the pale green buttercream! I bet it was delicious with your flavours!

  67. Coffee & Vanilla says:

    I haven’t seen this chocolate before, but I will look for it now… the cake sounds amazing! 🙂

  68. Coffee & Vanilla says:

    I haven’t seen this chocolate before, but I will look for it now… the cake sounds amazing! 🙂

  69. steph- whisk/spoon says:

    that looks great; a tropical combo of lime and coconut is always delicious! love the constuction analogy–very appropriate for this challenge!

  70. Lis says:

    DAMMIT Deborah!!! Just when I thought that there was no way I’d make this cake again unless it was the traditional way.. you go and make coconut/lime Opera!!! I MUST TRY!

    Your cake is stunning.. and completely droolworthy!


  71. linda says:

    Your Opera cake looks wonderful. Love the flavours you chose (I used coconut too).
    Love those chocolate bars too, they are really addictive.

  72. Ann says:

    Beautiful job and I love your flavor choices!

  73. Sophie says:

    ooh yummy! This cake looks so fun and summery. I especially love the fresh green color, definitely adds the lime touch. BTW, I couldn’t agree more with your analogy of the cake-building process :).

  74. Jaime says:

    coconut and lime, yum! looks great!

  75. Dolores says:

    Funny, I just picked up that bar of coconut white chocolate at the grocery store this evening. I have other plans for it, but it’s good to know it worked here. Great job!

  76. eatme_delicious says:

    Wow your cake looks amazing!! Great job. I hope that we get that Lindt coconut white chocolate in Canada soon!

  77. Tiffany says:

    Thanks for the tip on the almond meal. Unfortunately, here in my backwoods small southern town, we have no stores with bulk sections. I know! That’s one of the (admittedly few) things I miss about big city life.

  78. Rebecca says:

    I was wondering how those Lindt bars would melt. Nice work, and great flavor combination!

  79. Shayne says:

    I love the color beautiful job as always.

  80. Cathee Conner says:

    That’s looks incredible! I am all about lime this year.

  81. Tracy says:

    I love the combination of coconut and lime! It looks delicious!

  82. BC says:

    This was definitely a construction type project!

  83. Maria says:

    Absolutely gorgeous!


  84. Colette says:

    That looks like a really beautiful cake!

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