How to make a princess cake

I have been asked this by several people after seeing the cake that I made for my daughter, and I am so delighted to say that it was simpler than I thought. Here is the step by step methodology.

Here is the cake I made.

And here’s what I did.  I found this video on Youtube, which was very comprehensive by itself.

They recommend using 2 8 inch cakes and one cake made in a mixing bowl using cake mixes. Now, I have never used cake mixes, so was not really sure if I wanted to start now.  And I had also picked up a princess cake mould, from a local specialty cake store. It is available on ebay and on Amazon, I think. And if you don’t want to buy, you could always use a glass mixing bowl. If you don’t want to use the mixing bowl, you could just bake 2 more 8 inch cakes and simple shape it to look like a skirt.

Now the next step to decide was what cake to make. I researched and found that for cakes like this, madeira cakes are the best to use. I experimented once and found my cakes turning out rather dry. After a lot of research, I chanced upon this blog –   which has several recommendations to make a moist madeira cake and mine did turn out moist. It was not perfectly leveled, but that was not too difficult to handle. I just leveled it off.

I made one 8 inch cake based on this recipe. I made another 7 inch cake, because the base of my princess mold was 7 inches based on another recipe – simply because I was too lazy to do the calculations to modify the first recipe to suit a 7 inch tin. I did incorporate all the tips that Lindy’s blog has recommended like using glycerine and lining the cake tins. One of the tips, that I can certainly recommend, is to go by the size of tin mentioned in the recipe. Using a different size tin may cause problems. If you do want to use a different size, it is important to scale down/up the ingredients accordingly.

And my final barbie/princess cake was made using the first recipe mentioned. I made all these cakes in advance as these cakes are supposed to get better after a few days. After the cakes were completely cooled down, I wrapped them in 2 layers on cling film and a couple of layers of aluminium foil and stored them. The night before the cake was to be assembled, I took them out, leveled the cakes, cut them out, using a cake leveler, and then wrapped them as mentioned before and popped them into the freezer.

Just before preparing the frosting, I took the cakes out and let them thaw.

Now for the frosting. This was what was giving me nightmares. I had never decorated for a party before. And I was terrified of making a mess. I was also confused between which type of frosting to use. I prefer buttercream as it tastes better, but fondant frosting looks better. Finally, I decided to go with buttercream. I had bought some ready to roll fondant, to experiment with, in case I felt like it.

Buttercream frosting recipe.

There are loads of recipes for buttercream frosting. Most of them use shortening. I was not able to lay my hands on shortening, so decided to go with butter. Here is the recipe I used. If you can get shortening where you are, apparently, it is better.


140g/5oz butter, softened
280g/10oz icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
few drops food colouring


1. Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
2. Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Beat in the milk, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.
3. Stir in the food colouring until well combined.

The method of frosting that I used is the one demonstrated in the video. I started with a crumb coat. The one thing I did not do was pop it into the freezer after the crumb coat. My freezer was not big enough. I just left it out for about 0 minutes before applying the next coat. And after the final coat was done, I smoothed it out, as was demonstrated in the video. Mine was not half as smooth – but am sure we can get there with practice. My next dilemma was about what to do next. I found making twirls on the icing was not as easy as she made it look. So I just went ahead and smoothed it all out. And then decided to give fondant a go. So I cut out triangles to look like flounces on the skirt and just layered it around her waist. and decorated with white icing flowers that I found in a supermarket.  And that was it. It still took me around 5 hours in all, to assemble the cake. But it was simpler than I thought. I had planned to pipe decorations on it, but I had no energy left at the end of it.I used fondant to make the top part of the princess’ dress. It was not very neat, but as I said, I was too tired to do more 🙂 I put the fondant dress on her before putting her into the cake.

If you need more inspiration. Do check out these sites. I spent hours on the internet checking out stuff. Some of the cakes are absolutely out of the world.

And if you don’t want such a big cake – I had lots of guests , so wanted to make sure that everybody gets a piece, you could use a miniature doll and just use on 7 inch cake and shape it like a skirt. There are so many ways of playing around with it 🙂

And do let me know if you do make one 🙂 I think I had as much fun making it as my daughter had on seeing it 🙂

74 thoughts on “How to make a princess cake

  1. wow that’s a lovely lovely cake my dear!! Can’t believe it has been made at home!!! AM sure Poohie must have been on cloud 9!!!

    It was easier than I expected 🙂 And yes Poohi was on cloud 9 – she was absolutely delighted 🙂

  2. haha due to the over-whelming response on FB, glad that you did this post.
    🙂 yes 🙂 And I thought if I ever need to do it again, it would save me time crawling over the internet looking for stuff 🙂

    now all i need is a daughter! 😉

    LOL! Yeah right 🙂

    how about a super-hero cake? like batman or spider man??? 😀

    It is all there on the net 🙂 All we need to do is search 🙂

  3. Wow! that was a beautiful cake Smitha, I wouldn’t have the heart to cut this beauty 😀 😀

    🙂 Yes, daughter was not too keen – she was terrified that people would eat her doll 🙂

    A perfect treat for a little princess’ birthday party.

    Very creative and thoughtful indeed 😀 😀

    Not so creative – I just borrowed ideas from other people 🙂

    You got me all excited to experiment something just as gorgeous as this cake this weekend 🙂

    I loved decorating it. It was a lot of fun. Do post pics of what you do, it would be wonderful to see.

  4. So much research shows the result,excellent cake smitha.Now i have check for the things u mentioned.

    Still i have doubts on how u got that cone shape,u have put one cake on top of another cake and gave a shape of cone??

    The conical shape is from the princess cake mould – but incase you do not have that, just use a glass mixing bowl or just use a normal round cake and carefully shape it into a conical shape. I have used 3 cakes, each cut horizontally and filled with buttercream icing. You need the leveler only if you want to cut horizontally – and even that, you can manage without a leveler too. Here is another video –

    Will try to do for pinky’s birthday and thanx for doing this post. 🙂

    Do try it out – it is not as difficult as it looks.And let me know if you have any questions.

  5. Wowwwwwwwww its beautiful!!and thanks for the post!

    Will do that other post too – but I need to take pictures to show how to make the liners so will take a while 🙂

    I tried buttercream for aadya’s birthday(the actual birthday) and I think I added a little more milk that 2 tsp..and so naturally it split!

    Oh oh..

    That’s why for the party I used whipped cream.Will try butter cream again..
    I have tried making royal icing before and that turns out fine..but butter icing no:(

    I don’t use whipped cream for cakes that I have to make in advance and when they are too big to go into the fridge 🙂 Butter cream is better in that sense 🙂 Plus whipped cream would not hold in these sort of cakes. Fondant would be the best – but this was my first( feeble) attempt at fondant 🙂

    • Ohh and I love coolest-birthday-cakes website!

      It is such a cool website, isn’t it? You get such wonderful ideas from there 🙂

  6. This post clearly shows the effort you put in Smitha..The cake looks cute 🙂

    Thank you Mystery 🙂

    This post will serve as a one-stop place for all the enthusiastic people

    I was hoping that I would not have to do all the research again, if I ever have to make it again 🙂

  7. This looks beautiful, Smitha! God, you have got so much patience and interest to do so much research, bake and decorate the barbie doll! Poohi, you are a lucky child!

    Thank you Sandhya 🙂 I came across this by chance and Poohi was with me at that time and she wanted it for her birthday. I almost changed my mind and bought a store bought cake, but husband insisted that I give it a try since I have done so much of reseearch on it 🙂

  8. WHAT THE $@#$#$ !!!!! you made that ?????? Good gracious ! you are the best caker, I mean, baker I have ever come across !!! your family is really lucky; atleast for the cakes ! Sigh 😦

    I did 🙂 Husband might not quite agree with you – I made him drive to a nearby city for one of the things I needed for the cake 🙂

  9. Needless to say this post is going to be my reference point when I start my prep for a princess cake in September. You’ve explained it in such great detail, Smits! Can imagine how proud you must have felt when you made the cake 🙂 . Beautiful!

    I was more relieved that I managed to pull it off, without a disastrous cake 🙂

    • Can you and Smiths adopt me? at least a week before my bday so that i get two homemade cakes?

      Two homemade cakes???? Greedy 😉

      Btw I would prefer a Johnny Depp mad hatter cake 😎

      Johnny Depp mad hatter cake? I am so glad I am not your mom 😉

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  11. OMG you have time and patience for all this? *sakshi grabs the mad hat from Johnny Depp and bows to Smiths creativity and talent*

    Poohi kutty is lucky you know 😉

    Yeah yeah – she thinks I am some kind of cake factory – the request for next year’s cake has already come through 😦 I should have thought of it before I made this 😥

    Just a question though…how much salt did you add this time?… ;mrgreen:

    This time, thankfully, I kept the salt far far away 🙂

  12. Your Cake recipe is delicious. I hope my daughters will enjoy this Cake . I have written a similar recipe recently. Thanks for posting it.

    Thank you Anne and welcome here!

  13. Just commented on Monix’s asking her to start a baking blog for lesser mortals like moi and what do I see here?

    Smitha ‘Nigella’ P, take a bow. Can I outsource you? No, not for Peanut.. for me. I want a John Abraham cake. 😀

    Yeah yeah 🙂 It was really not that tough – if I could do it, anybody could 🙂 John Abraham? Right after Johnny Depp, then 🙂 Saksh has already placed an order for Johnny Depp 😉

  14. You know you are super duper good right? Amazing work Smi, I am totally floored!

    You are the sweetest, GM! I just thought it makes sense to record it, in case we need to refer back to it. I am sure I will forget everything in a few months time 🙂

  15. Oh my goodness I saw the cake on FB but never ever thought u made it. I have no words really…just WOW.

    Believe me it was easier than it looks 🙂

    Havent watched the video yet but I DONT believe u when u say it was easy.
    I’m imagining my daughters expression if I ever made the cake….they’ll go around proclaiming I’m the Queen or something:-)

    It wasnot easy-peasy, you know, but was not as difficult as I thought initially. If I could do it, am sure you could too 🙂

  16. Oh my! The amount of research that has gone into this!!

    A lot of research did go into it 🙂

    Wow Smithus! 🙂
    I’m sure Poohi was thrilled!! The cake looks beautiful! 🙂

    She was 🙂 Absolutely thrilled 🙂

  17. how sweet of you to actually do this post :)) you’re best smiths !!

    Thought it would be useful, if anybody wanted to give it a try 🙂

    • of course it is useful !! I’m sure people are going to try their hands at it..including me 🙂

      Then I want to see the results too 🙂

  18. Drool!! You’re a gem. I watched the videos too (how to make). Though it looks simple, its such a lot of effort.

    It is a lot of effort, but it was do-able. I was not so sure before I started out 🙂

    Hats off!!! I initially thought you somehow managed to even bake the doll too..silly me 😀 Yummmyyyy! Happy birthday to your daughter.

    No no, not the doll 🙂 That would have been too much 🙂

  19. WOW..what talent ..i cannot make a simple good cake and here ppl are making princess cake and breads

    Not talent really – just thanks to the internet 🙂

  20. Thats so fantastic. I am so stunned to see that beautiful cake, which you’ve made. I am sure that Poohi would have been so delighted. 🙂

    If we put our focus and mind to it, even these fancy cakes are not so difficult to master. Just needs a lots of patience and Smitha, you have them lots. Fantastic job done !!! 🙂

  21. Namnam insists that she wants to see the princess cake video, so here I’m on your page for the nth time! Have lost count of the number of times she has seen the video, Smits and still she wants more.

    • That is the same situation with Kunju! She watches it the whole time. She can’t have enough of it 🙂 Even after I made a princess cake for her 🙂

  22. If you were present you would see how I am jumping around to find another creative baker like me !!! I am elated and overjoyed is an understatement… to understand my sentiments I would request you to visit – 🙂

    Welcome here, Sagarika! Will hop over now 🙂

    Oh btw.. I loved the cake.. am on the hunt for an appropriate occasion to design this…. right now I am busy thinking of an design for my parents anniv cake… any suggestions I got 3 days ;p

    Aniiversary design.. Let me see if I can find anything.. I normally make something like a black forest or coffee cream..

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