Food

A cake fit for a princess

After a rather long hiatus, I think it’s time to get back into blogging! A lot has happened since I last posted and now we’re all settled in our new home, I can start thinking about crafting again.
As a lot of my ongoing projects are in a deep slumber that could rival Sleeping Beauty, I wanted to post something different.
For Lisa’s 8th birthday I made an Elsa princess cake and I was recently called upon to make another one. As it generated quite a bit of interest on social media, I think it’s worthy of its own post!

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Now princess cakes are not so much difficult to make as they are fiddly. They require time and patience and working slowly yields the best results.
I’d known about these style of cakes for a while but never really dared to make one as I thought it was beyond me but thank the stars for YouTube! I watched Rosanna Pansino’s video on her channel Nerdy Nummies and she breaks it down perfectly. If you haven’t checked out her channel yet I command you do (after reading this, of course!) I’ll even give you the link – I’m kinda fancy like that🙂
Because her video is so good, I’m not going to write a step by step tutorial – that would just be silly and a waste of time – it’ll just be a quick run down and I’ll show some pictures.

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So the doll I used in the second cake was Tiana from the Princess and the Frog as it’s the birthday girl’s favourite film. After getting her kit off, I realised that, unlike Elsa, she didn’t have the bodice of her dress painted directly on which meant I needed to improvise. So I dug a little deeper (in the kids’ craft corner) – more about that after!

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Breaking the internet Kim K style!

For the cake itself, I tripled my favourite cake recipe, Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe sponge cake and cooked 2 round cakes and then a third one in a bowl to achieve the nice rounded top of the dress. Then I stacked them up, trimmed off the excess (the bowl was slightly smaller in circumference than the cake tin) and cut a hole big enough for the doll in the centre through all 3 layers and I was ready to decorate.
My go-to recipe for piping icing is simply 250g of butter mixed with 300g of icing sugar with a little teaspoon of vanilla extract thrown in at the end. I add the food colouring at the end of the mixing process just to be sure it’s the right consistency. Anyway, the colours are pastel shades for Tiana’s dress so I didn’t need much to achieve the colour I wanted. I searched for a picture of her and got decorating!
I started off with a pale yellow for her under-skirt and did a crumb coat. After leaving it in the cold garage for 10 minutes, I applied a thin second layer. Now we’re ready for the green icing and adding the doll! All I had to do was add a little blue colouring to the mixture and it was just right.
Going back to the bodice issue: a topless doll didn’t seem too appropriate for a 4 year old (but could work for a stag do…) so I did need to cover her up! I cut out a little made-to-measure card bodice and stuck it down with tape. I did make sure it wouldn’t touch the icing though as the grease from the butter would transfer to the card.
For her top skirt I switched to a piping bag as I have more control over the flow of the icing that way. I used a large round tip for the surface of the skirt and switched to a star tip for the ruffle effect.
Ok, we’re almost there! So half following the image I found of Tiana and half improvising, I completed the skirt and added some ruffles to fill the gap between her waist and the top of the skirt.
And voilà!
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I added a couple of flowers with writing icing pens just to add some detail. I am really pleased with how she turned out! I think you could make any of the Disney Princesses as it’s really the icing job that makes the cake.
So there you go! I honestly think that the finished cake looks more complicated than it really is which is partly why I put it off for so long. If this is you then just let it go!
Bon weekend!

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