Doll cakes are not something new to the cake decorating world. These cakes have been around since my childhood days (and probably way before that) and continue to be a favorite design among girls time and again.
I have never had a doll cake as a child but I definitely take pride in having made a number of these cakes for other girls. I must admit, it is such a pleasure to see the proud and happy faces of girls who receive these cakes as their birthday cakes!
Here is one such design I made for my niece who was turning 7. The cake was sort of a very last minute request, one which I baked and decorated in one night, after returning home from my day job!
How to Decorate a Doll Cake
These are basically what you need to come up with a doll cake:
- Cake baked in a bowl shaped cake pan (there are specialty cake pans for these cakes which you can purchase from your local cake decorating supplies shops, or if you want a more cost effective option, you can always use an ovenproof bowl from your kitchen to bake the cake in. I used a stainless steel bowl I had at home and used this technique to calculate my butter pound cake recipe for this doll cake)
- A doll pick ( this is basically a doll with just half of the body from head to waist and a pick after that to secure the doll to cake. These doll picks come in many different hairstyles and hair color, and also different face cut. You can also substitute this pick with a real doll - a Barbie doll perhaps. It works as a great gift idea too as the birthday girl will get to own a Barbie doll after the cake is consumed!)
- Buttercream in dark and light pink, white, green and red
- A tiny amount of pink and yellow fondant for flowers in the doll's hair and the birthday message
- Wilton alphabet cutters for the birthday message on the cake and flower cutters for the flowers in the hair.
- Star and petal icing tips for the doll's dress and flower bouquet and small round tip for the necklace, earrings and bracelet
- Silver sugar dragees for the deco on the dress
Here is how I decorated the cake:
- Once the cake was baked and completely cooled, I placed it on a cake board decorated with doily. There is a layer of cellophane paper between the cake and the doily and I placed it there so that the paper doily does not soak up any grease from the cake. It also helps to protect the doily from buttercream that may drop onto the cake board while the cake is being decorated. To completely protect the doily, when cutting the cellophane paper to cover your cake board, make sure to cut it slightly larger than the cake board itself. The excess will be trimmed off once the cake has been completed so it is perfectly OK to cut the cellophane paper to a larger size.
- Next, I crumb coated the whole cake with a thin layer of light pink buttercream and inserted the doll pick right in the centre of the cake.
- Then, I marked the lines for the frills; the top layer, the middle layer and the bottom layers of the dress. Once that was done, using a small star tip ( I used Wilton tip #16) I piped curved zigzags that ran horizontally across the doll's skirt with light pink buttercream icing. I did this in sections, according to the lines that were marked for the frills earlier i.e. the top section and middle section. The bottom section was left entirely for frills.
- I also covered the doll's bodice and dress sleeves with tiny zigzags in the same light pink buttercream.
- As for the frills on the dress, I used a medium petals nozzle (Wilton tip #104) and dark pink buttercream. The frills were piped along the lines I marked earlier. Hold the tip slanting slightly upwards when piping the frills to avoid scraping off the earlier light pink zigzag icing underneath.
- For the bottom part of the dress where there are 3 layers of frills, start from the bottom in horizontally curved lines. Once the final layer is completed, using star tip #16, I piped tiny stars along the border of the frills in dark pink icing.
- Next, I piped the hand bouquet with some green and red and white icing, using a small star nozzle followed by a tiny string of necklace and a ring for the doll with some white icing.
- For added decoration, I attached silver dragees at the doll's waist and on the frills of the dress as well as 2 pink flowers cut out from fondant for the hair.
- I finished off the cake decoration with the birthday message which I cut out from yellow fondant using Wilton Alphabet cutters.
- And finally, before taking the cake out of the house to my sister's place, I trimmed off the excess cellophane paper on the cake board with a small knife, as close to the cake as possible.
This is a fairly easy cake decorating project and sky is the limit when it comes to the doll's dress design.
I resorted to buttercream as the medium of decoration for this doll cake as it was a last minute decision to make the cake and buttercream is a less messy affair compared to fondant rolling and cutting! You can always use fondant to decorate this cake instead of buttercream and the choice is absolutely yours.
I hope you have enjoyed this sharing as much as I enjoyed making and writing about it.
Happy decorating :)
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