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.
http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com/barbie-cake.html. 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 🙂