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Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake: filling?

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I am going to attempt to make a duck-shaped Perfect Party Cake as my son's first birthday cake. I don't like buttercream (and he'll never know the difference) -- any other suggestions for filling? I want to keep the lemon/raspberry jam idea. I was thinking something pudding- or custard-like, maybe a lemon-flavored pastry cream? I'm worried it will be too heavy or unwieldy and will cause the layers to slide around or sink. I was also thinking about frosting with whipped cream, tinted yellow and orange for the beak with food coloring. All suggestions are welcome!

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  1. For lemon/raspberry flavor - layer lemon curd and raspberry jam for the filling. Puddings and custards are pretty tough because they tend to been too "slippery" but you could try a very stiff lemon mousse. White chocolate ganache with lemon?

    For the whipped cream frosting, if its going to sit any time at all, be sure you stablize the whipped cream.

    1. I wouldn't use whipped cream if you're making a duck shape and want to maintain the way it looks. It'll meld together where the colors meet and it could soften too much if you don't stabilize it. Would a cream cheese frosting be too much like buttercream? A rolled fondant or marzipan would look great but you'd have to fool around w/ rolled frosting.