Update: See the rest of the party recipes + enter to win a $100 gift card to Layla Grayce here!
Last week Holley, Ronda, and I threw a going away party for our good friend, Laurie and her husband.”La La” and her family are moving to Holland this week, and while we are all very excited for this amazing adventure, we are also really sad not to see these people every week. We have been getting together at least once a week for playdates, pool and beach dates, babysitting co-ops, workouts, and family picnics since our oldest kids were infants. The girls and I wanted to give our friends a special send-off, so we planned  an al fresco dinner party. It was adults-only, except for Gwendolyn who has VIP status.
This is going to be a 2-part post, but first I’ll share the cake because it turned out beautifully and dessert is just more fun. The cake wasn’t perfect, but that was the point. I wanted a more “rustic” cake where the frosting could be hastily slapped on without any pastry bag nonsense.
Laurie has told me several times how much she loves Disaronno liquer and always orders an Italian margarita when we visit Arnoldi’s for spaghetti and bocce ball with our families. Since peaches are at their best right now, they go so well with amaretto, and this was a rare kid-free dinner party, I decided to soak peach slices in an ounce of Disaronno overnight. I did make a mini alcohol-free cake. The amaretto adds another subtle layer of flavor, but this cake is also delicious without it, so feel free to omit it. 
A cool scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is the perfect compliment to this summery cake. 


Whew, it was a hit!  Ronda and Victoria approved. I even overheard a “holy c*#p this is good” from one of these lovely ladies. Can you believe that!?

I’m really going to miss my friend and if I think about it too much I’m going to cry again…
But am so excited for the incredible European adventure she and her family are embarking on. Don’t be surprised if some post in the future has windmills in the background.

More party details and recipes coming soon! 

Amaretto Soaked Peach Layer Cake 
Serves 12 
2 large peaches, pitted and cut into thin slices 
1.5 ounces amaretto liqueur, such as Disaronno
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Place peach slices and amaretto liqueur in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 25 to 32 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely. Use a serrated knife to cut off any domes from the tops of cakes.
cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart 

Mascarpone Frosting

1 lb. mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, room temperature 
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted 
1 teaspoon amaretto liqueur or vanilla extract 

fresh mint and/or organic food-safe flowers for garnish (optional)

1 pint vanilla bean ice cream (optional)

In the bowl of a mixer, beat mascarpone and butter until creamy and combined. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.

To Assemble

Place one cake, cut side down, on a cake plate. Use an offset spatula (or knife) to spread with a layer of frosting. Arrange a single layer of peaches on top. Top with a second layer of cake, cut side down. Continue until all layers have been used. Spread a third layer of frosting on top and arrange peaches on top.

Garnish with fresh mint and/or organic flowers, if desired. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js