The purple color scheme of this doll cake can be changed to your princess’s favorite color. The key is to tint the frosting two colors within the same family—one a deep, rich color and the other a lighter pastel. While the directions are lengthy and specific, the decorations are not difficult to make. You do need a Wilton Wonder Mold Kit, which provides you with the ball-gown-shaped mold as well as the doll pick (it’s a doll from the waist up; from the waist down it is a pick that easily inserts into the cake).
Recipe © 2014 by Dede Wilson from The Birthday Cake Book and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press. Photos by Melissa Punch.
- Wilton Wonder Mold Kit
- 9-inch cardboard round
- 1 recipe batter for Easy White Cake, Yellow Cake or Easy Chocolate Cake
- 1 recipe Confectioners’ Sugar Frosting
- Gel or paste food coloring, violet or color of choice
- Two pastry bags with couplers Ateco or Wilton tips #2, #15, #18 and #45
- Thin elastic ponytail holder matching the doll’s hair color
- Edible glitter, purple or color of choice
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Trace the open end of the Wonder Mold pan onto the cardboard round and trim to the correct size; set aside. Assemble the pan according to the instructions that accompany it. Coat the inside of the pan with nonstick cooking spray, then completely dust with flour and shake out the excess. Scrape the batter into the pan. Baking time will depend on which cake you bake, but begin checking at 25 minutes for all of them. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake shows a few moist crumbs when removed.
- Cool the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the rod from the center of the cake. Unmold and place the cake directly on the rack to cool completely. The cake is ready to frost. Alternatively, place it on the cardboard and double-wrap in plastic wrap; store at room temperature if assembling within 24 hours.
- You can leave the cake as is, but with a bit of trimming with a sharp knife, you can create a more elegant shape. Choose the front of the gown and gently shave off some of the cake, beginning at the top. (For the doll pictured I shaved a triangle that began at the top front and ended up with a 5-inch-wide bottom.) Insert the doll pick toward the front of the cake, not in the hole in the center. Turn the cake to the side and you will see that the gown now flows out behind her, creating a dramatic line. Also notice that the top rear of the cake is fairly prominent. Gently shave off a bit along the top rear; you want a gently curving line that flows into the skirt itself (see photo).
- Have the frosting ready to use. Affix the cake to the cardboard with a bit of frosting. Affix this board and cake to the serving platter. Tint three-quarters of the frosting a vivid color and the remaining frosting a paler pastel. Cover the entire rear three-quarters of the cake with the darker frosting, leaving the front 5 inches (the trimmed triangle) bare. Use an icing spatula to apply frosting in an up-and-down motion; this will create soft vertical lines that look like draped fabric.
- Place each frosting in separate pastry bags, each fitted with a coupler. Using the #45 tip and lighter frosting, apply ruffles to the front of the cake, beginning at the center bottom of the triangle and working your way up to the top. Create the ruffled ribbon effect by moving the pastry bag up and down, up and down as you move upwards. Fill the space to the left and right of the first ruffle with more ruffles until the triangle is filled.
- Place the #18 tip on the bag with darker frosting. Place small rosettes all along the sides of the triangle on the front and along the bottom of the skirt around toward the back. Use the star tip to make another triangle border down the back.
- Remove the doll and arrange her hair in a dramatic top bun using the ponytail holder. Apply darker frosting on her body with your fingers or a small icing spatula to create her heart-shaped neckline and bodice. Hold her over an empty bowl and sprinkle glitter all over her bodice, front and back. Gently shake off any excess (glitter in the bowl can be reused). Use the pastry bag with darker frosting and the #15 tip to pipe rosettes around the hair elastic. Insert her back in place. Gently sprinkle glitter along the rear triangle on the dress bordered by the rosettes.
- Use the pastry bag with lighter frosting and the #2 tip to pipe a choker-style necklace. Clean the tip and affix it to the bag with darker frosting. Pipe tiny dots all over the dark-colored left and right panels of skirt. Voilà! The cake may be served immediately, or stored at room temperature overnight in a covered container (an overturned stockpot works fabulously).
- There are numerous ways to be creative with this cake. Give your doll earrings, a bracelet, ropes and ropes of pearls—you get the idea. Obviously, the patterns on the skirt and/or the neckline of her bodice can be varied as well. The doll that comes with the kit is a brunette; you can buy blondes or dolls with other skin tones separately.