She’s a Doll Cake

She's a Doll Cake

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.

She’s a Doll Cake
Makes: Makes 1 cake; serves 8
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).

Bakepedia Tips

  • 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.

5 Responses to She’s a Doll Cake

  1. Rachel Schwartz March 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    did you know that I was going to make a princess cake for sophia’s party this weekend!! your timing is impeccable! she’s requested red velvet cake, but otherwise I’m making this cake as it (though in pink). Will post pictures! xo

    • Dede Wilson March 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

      OK attention Bakepedia community. I want to introduce you to Rachel, who, not too long ago was not a “baker”. Now she regularly seems to choose, tackle and successfully produce the most complicated recipes and I am proud to say we have been a bit of a help:) She blow me away with her DIY attitude. Sophia is one lucky junior princess. And yes, please let us see the pics!

      • Rachel Schwartz March 20, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

        Awww. Thanks Dede. spent some time in baking store yesterday — made a big Bakepedia plug, they loved the site — gathering my equipment for this project. Sophia is super excited. Two questions. First, in some of the tutorials’ i’ve seen, the skirt is cut into layers and then reassemble so that the icing is interspersed between the layers. what’s your view on that? And second, how exactly does one shave off the cake to make the triangle on the front of the dress. do you use a knife? and is it like an indent . I’m having trouble picturing it…any help much appreciate it to avoid my butchering the cake. THANKS!!!

        • Dede Wilson March 21, 2014 at 7:04 am #

          Rachel, since you are always up or a challenge, sure, you could make layers of cake and icing within the skirt. Just give yourself plenty on time after a crumb coat for the whole thing to firm up and then be generous with last layer of frosting, to hide any lumps and bumps. You will need extra frosting.

          The front of the skirt can stay round or can be sliced off, as an indent as you describe. I just cut, top to bottom. Use a serrated knife or a slicing knife, go slowly and take of a little at a time.

          Knowing Sophia…have you looked into Disco Dust? It is EXTRA sparkly and might come in handy!

  2. Rachel Schwartz March 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    excellent!!! that’s the plan then. I’ll put it in the fridge for a bit to firm up…i think i just bought disco’s this shimmery powder that i can sprinkle at the end to make everything shimmer and shine!

    all body parts crossed. I’m not great with decorating with the pastry bag —(yes, i’ll practice on the back of the half sheet, but that’s got me a bit worried).
    stay tune!

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