OUR GIRL TURNED FIVE! Four years ago, I made a very simple Chocolate Layer Cake for her first birthday, which you can see at the link. This year's cake was much more elaborate.
For months, she has asked me to make her a Barbie cake for her birthday. And because I had taken a cake decorating course last fall, I agreed and looked forward to the challenge.
There are a number of ways this project could be approached. Specialty pans are available. Also available are Barbie torsos on a pick that can simply be pushed into a cake. Because I try to limit my consumerism, I knew I would not buy a cake pan to use only once. Also I didn't want a Barbie bust on a stick--I wanted a whole doll that could be played with after the cake was gone.
I decided on making a chocolate sour cream pound cake using my old fashioned tube pan. Also, I used Stacie, one of Barbie's younger sisters. She is just as beautiful as Barbie, but I didn't need to make a cake big enough to accommodate the taller doll.
I made the cake the day before I decorated it. After it was baked and cooled, I place it on a fanci-foil covered cake board, applied a thin coat of frosting, which seals in the freshness of the cake and prevents crumbs in the decorations. It was refrigerated overnight.
I made 2 batches of butter cream frosting. One batch, I left white for the crumb coat, crinoline, and bodice. The other, I tinted pink.
I styled the doll's hair into a ballerina bun for both elegance and for saving from the frosting.
I began by marking, with a toothpick, the lines for the over skirt. Then I began piping the crinoline ruffles, using star tip #21, from the bottom up.
Wrap the bottom of doll with plastic wrap and insert her into the hole. Use extra balls of wrap to steady her and also to fill the hole. Don't worry about plastic wrap showing because you will pipe frosting right over it.
Because I wanted the skirt to look like fluffy and shaggy pink peonies, I used a 1M tip and made rosettes both clockwise and counter-clockwise, beginning at the bottom. Then I filled in any gaps by pressing a blossom, again using the 1M tip, into the space.
Then I applied blossoms onto the bodice, using a small #16 star tip, creating a modest halter top.
I know doll hair is highly flammable, so didn't want to put candles directly on the cake. Instead, I used the birthday cake candelabra (by Fred) I bought several months ago. To give it an anchor, I used a candied apple.
Looking back at the pictures, I thought it looked a little goth or malevolent but it didn't seem that way at the time. It looked really cool when lighted up while we were singing, "Happy Birthday". And our girl loved it.
Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake
(A Paula Deen Recipe)
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened
8 ounces sour cream
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup cocoa
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sour cream, and sugar. Add the eggs, 2 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and cocoa. Add 1/2 the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, beat well, add the remaining 1/2 flour mixture, and continue to beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes if necessary, but do not open the oven to check the cake for at least 1 hour.
Butter Cream Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups (approx.) powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Add milk and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.