Introduction: Princess Cake
Every year for each of my daughters I make them a cake for their birthday based on what they are into...well that is now becoming more complicated. Elmo, Cookie Monster...even the giraffe cake simple, but Frozen. Why...why did my wife suggest having a Frozen birthday. Well it happened, and this is how I did it...it wasn't perfect, but according to my now 4-year-old...it was "awesome."
Confession...I'm a dad. Yes I'm a guy that bakes and decorates cakes for fun. Get over it. I took Home Ec in high school because I thought it would make me more popular with girls...I didn't realize that popularity wouldn't arrive until I had daughters.
Step 1: Make a Cake...well Make Two or Three Cakes
Get a few cake mixes. When I planned the birthday originally I was going to do some cool multi-colored cake, but with the princess cake I had to add to it. One cake mix went into two (2) 13" pans. Just follow the directions on the box and you're golden.
The second cake mix went into a glass bowl. Get a good glass bowl that can withstand some heat...however lower the heat from what the box recommends and up the cooking time. For this layer I went about 270 degrees for well over an hour, checking on it every 10 minutes or so near the end.
Step 2: Layer Up
I baked my round cakes first, as these would be the bottom layers.
Once cooled (cooling is the key), use a serrated knife to trip the top so it is an even surface for the next layer.
Use the excess for snacking as you finish.
Step 3: Prep Your Princess...add the Top
The good news about current Disney princess dolls is that they now come with painted on swimsuit-looking thing so you're not dealing with a naked doll or clothes getting messy.
I still wrapped Elsa in plastic wrap from about the waist down to make sure she was clean and ready to be played with once the cake was eaten.
Once the glass bowl cake is finished...take it out of the bowl, cool it off and add it to the cake tower.
If everything is sufficiently cooled...cut out a spot for the doll right in the middle of the tower. I used the big bread knife and poked out the inside and then used a spoon to just hollow it out a little more.
Step 4: Decorating Time
I used fondant. I've seen this done with a basic buttercream frosting, but I wanted the dress to have some ripples like real fabric would. I also got some frosting spray paint stuff and some sprinkles (but I got sprinkles that were too big...don't cheap out on sprinkles)
I bought the fondant in teal at Hobby Lobby and some teal color because you'll need just a little buttercream frosting to make a 'bodice' and cover up the area where the doll is in the cake. There are a lot of recipes for buttercream frosting, I've made it enough I don't really measure (which got me in a jam this time because I was short on butter)...but it's just some softened butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. I like to make my own frosting because I can control the consistency better.
I rolled out the fondant...and discovered I really could have used three small packages rather than the two I purchased. I made due with two, but had to make the fondant a little thinner than I would prefer. Buying the small packages of colored fondant was still cheaper than buying the big one I would have had to color myself.
Step 5: Adding Elsa
I draped the fondant over the tower, created some waves to look like fabric and poked that doll through.
Here's a picture of the plastic wrap as well...to be honest the cake could have been about 1/2" taller and it would have been perfect, next time I may just do three cake mixes.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
Use your favorite decorating tip to blend doll to dress.
I'm not so steady when it comes to intricate detail so my snowflakes leave much to be desired.
Then I just did some light spraying with the royal blue and sparkly silver misting stuff (edible spray paint)...add some sparkles and there it is.
This was also getting rather late at night when I finished so make sure you give yourself enough time so you don't pass out before you're finished.
Step 7: Worth It
My little birthday girl was blown away by this cake. It made it totally worth the effort and it was a learning experience for when little sister wants a princess party next.