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Lessons Learned: Barbie Doll Cake + Recipe

Okay so in my last post I shared with you all the Barbie doll cake I made for my daughter's birthday party earlier this year.  Just an FYI, I looooove to bake but I still don't know what I'm doing.  I have yet to take any baking classes or any of those cake decorating classes offered up at Michael's, Hobby Lobby or cake supply stores.  I want to.  Believe me I do but Mama just doesn't have the time, yet.  Le sigh.

So I thought I would let you all know some of the deets to the doll cake.  First thing is that I did not take many pictures while I made the cake or after!  I am so mad at myself.  I was a little stressed this day because of the challenge at hand but I really thought I had taken plenty of pictures.  After the day was over I looked through the pictures on my iPhone and realized I had very few.  Oh I was so sad.  I hope my baby girl can forgive me in the years to come. 

Here is one of her and her beloved cake just before we sang Happy Birthday to her.  Yes, I blurred her out on purpose.  But you can still see a sweet, happy girl.  :)


This picture was taken by my aunt (thank you, Aunt Lita!) and if it had not been for her then I would really be in trouble.  As far as I know, this is the only solo picture of the cake at the party. 


As you can see, I have the cake on a round board covered in pink foil paper.  It is actually two round cake boards made of cardboard taped together.  I then covered the entire board with light pink foil.  My huz bought the foil for me (in a desperate situation) at Make It Sweet cake supply store here in Austin.  I am in heaven whenever I walk into this newly expanded bake shop!  They sell decorative foil in many fun colors.  Among lots and lots of baking supplies.



Now I said that my hubby went out and bought the foil for me in desperate situation.  Like five hours before the party.  The reason is because I was going to originally decorate the cake board with white fondant so that the cake could stand out as much as possible.  Cause you know I wanted that pink dress to shine!  Well that attempt went sour muy pronto.  I wanted to do the fondant the way I saw laurapoopie do it on one of her YouTube videos.  I have seen this video a total of umpteen times so I was confident I could do it.  Not!

Mistake numero uno.  The white fondant I had in my pantry was too old.  Or not plastic wrapped properly because the thing was rock solid. 


Mistake number two: I thought I would try it anyway.  I put the block of fondant in the microwave for a couple of minutes to soften it up and then cut it up into chunks.



Disaster.  I was able to roll out just a couple of pieces and the rest was just hopeless.  Ugh.  This is when I sent my hubby to the Make It Sweet store and get that pink foil.  My man and pink foil to the rescue. 



And remember those emergency cupcakes I mentioned in the last post too?  The ones I had to make because the dome cake did not bake all the way.  Well they were lifesavers because there was enough cake and cupcakes for everyone.  And yes they were delicious thanks to a recipe I used from my January/February 2013 issue of the Food Network magazine.  I think it is one of my new favorite recipes.  I used the same recipe for the cakes and cupcakes.  I'm telling ya this is one yummy recipe.  Box mix?  Pfft!


Basic Vanilla Cake Recipe

-2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (plus extra for pans)
-3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/4 cups sugar
-4 large eggs, room temperature
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups whole milk (I used strawberry flavored milk to make it a strawberry/vanilla cake)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter two 9 inch round cake pans and line bottom with parchment paper; butter the parchment and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. Whisk 3 cups flour, the baking powder and slat in a bowl until combined.  Beat 2 sticks butter and the sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium; beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  beat in the vanilla.  (The mixture may look separated at this point.)  beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with flour, until just smooth.
  3. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.  Bake until the cakes are lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.  Transfer to racks and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pans and turn the cakes out onto the racks to coll completely.  Remove the parchment.  Trim to tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife to make them level, if desired.
This recipe is straight from my Food Network magazine.  Instead of two 9 inch cake pans, I made three 8 inch cake pans following the same directions.  I also used the same recipe for my emergency cupcakes and just adjusted the time to 25-30 minutes.  It all depends on your oven.

Oh and the cake that I baked in my Pampered Chef batter bowl was in the oven for about 50 minutes at 325 degrees.  I did some research (after the fact) and found out that the cake needed to be in the oven longer and at a lower temperature.  But there are so many testimonials out there about baking a cake in a batter bowl so this is something that I'm going to figure out on my with more trial and error.  Womp, womp.  

The frosting I used for both the cake and cupcakes was cream cheese frosting. I prefer cream cheese frosting over butter cream any day.  That recipe is easy cheesy.  This one I've had and got it from one of my All Recipes cookbooks.  Not sure if they still print them.

Cream Cheese Frosting

-1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 8 oz. brick cream cheese, room temperature
-4 cups powdered sugar
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-red food coloring (few drops)

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese until well blended.
  2. Add vanilla until incorporated and gradually add the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add a few drops of red food coloring until you get the desired shade of pink.  Again a gradual step, you can always add but you can't take away!
I doubled this recipe since I knew I was going to need quite a bit for the cakes and cupcakes.  Oh and I don't have a picture of the cupcakes with frosting.  Again, I was horrible with pictures that day.  But they pretty much looked like these (below) minus the tiaras and pearl candies.  These cupcakes were from her birthday party last year.  I made the cream cheese frosting except I cut back a bit on the powdered sugar and added a couple of tablespoons of strawberry jam.  I eyeballed it really.



So these are some of the lessons learned while making my daughter's doll cake.  I gave myself a few gray hairs that day but it was all my fault for not allowing myself a practice round.  I learned the hard way.  But you know what?  I was actually impressed for pulling it off and our guests were impressed too.  Receiving compliments from our family and friends was very nice to hear but most of all my baby girl was happy with her cake and that is what matters.  Right?  Oh why didn't I take more pictures?  Grrrrrrr.

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