A few days ago I posted a full tutorial with pictures on how I baked and constructed a Barbie Doll Cake for Princess without using a store bought mold. I also posted my quick and easy Homemade Frosting/Icing recipe.
Today I will cover how to decorate a barbie doll cake. Now, I’m not a professional or anything, and I’ve never taken a cake decorating class. But if I do say so myself, my cakes for the last two years have come out looking pretty nice:
If you remember, this is what the cake looked like when the construction phase was done. The layers are “glued” together, and I have applied a crumb coat to lock in those nasty little bits of cake that always get caught up in the frosting. I then had placed it into the fridge overnight (which also helps to “harden up” the icing, which is usually somewhat soft at room temp).
On to the tutorial! The first thing I did was take my frosting out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about ten minutes. Next I separated my batch of frosting into three bowls. One small bowl I left white for detailing, a medium bowl I tinted pink, and the largest bowl was tinted yellow.
Always make more of the colors than you think you will use, because you will never be able to duplicate the exact shade again! For the pink that wasn’t such a big deal, but for yellow, my background color, it was imperative.
NOTE: To get a more “golden” color I very carefully added minute amounts of red to my original lemon yellow shade. This gave it a slightly more orange cast, bringing it closer to the gold color of the dress. Always add the food coloring a tiny bit at a time. Remember, you can always add more, but as far as I know there is no way to take it out!
I covered the entire skirt of the cake with the yellow frosting, making it as smooth as I could with a regular spatula and butter knife (using the non serrated edge). Probably if you really wanted that perfectly smooth exterior you could make even more frosting, put on a very thick layer, and then use something to scrape it off more evenly-like the straight edge of a piece of cardboard or something. I felt that this was smooth enough since I was going to put decorations all over it anyway.
Note the messy frosting around the bottom. As I stated in the original post, I had placed pieces of wax paper around the entire tray, the “glued” the cake to the tray in the center with a blob of icing. When I pulled out the wax paper, the cake stayed put and I had a nice edge.
Now the fun part. I use disposable (gasp! Yes, I know that they make reusable ones. I just don’t like them) icing bags. I think I paid something like $6 for the entire box 3 years ago. We use them for our gingerbread house decorating in December, and at least 3 birthday cakes a year. Plus I found out that these are what people use when they make those “dip mixes” and “hot chocolate mixes” in a cone! I just love multi purpose items. I also bought the 2 metal tips (I never bother with that whole collar thing) and all the plastic ones have been accumulated from our various gingerbread house kits. Well, you didn’t think I’d throw them away, did you?
To correctly cut the bag I slip the tip in, slide it as far as it will go, and then mark the line where I am going to cut, about half way up the tip.
Slide the tip back a bit, cut, and check.
Viola! It took me a couple of years to figure out this little trick. Before I’d eyeball it, then have to re cut.
I fold down a deep cuff on the bag so that I can get the icing in as close to the tip as possible. Trust me, this saves a lot of mess.
Buddy kept wanting to “help” and was getting underfoot-so I marked off half of the kitchen floor with some painters tape and told him to stay on his side. Problem solved (as long as he got to lick a spatula).
The first thing to do with the icing bag is to disguise the gap between the bottom of the cake and the tray. I did a sort of “shell” thing, just by gently bumping the bag up and down as I applied the icing. The shell is, to me, easier than trying to make a straight line-and since you will have to lift the bag at some point to turn the cake or get another good “squeeze” on the icing, it makes it easier to stop and start.
Also, I’ve found that when I want to stop a line of icing, it seems to work best if I sort of press down a little bit with the tip after I’ve stopped squeezing, but before I try to lift the bag off of the cake. One must just learn these little things over time.
I made a deep upside down V along the front of her skirt, starting at the middle of her waist and going to the sides. This is where her “skirt” supposedly opens up and shows the petticoat underneath. Then I used the pink icing and the start tip to start making little stars all over. All you do is hold the tip perpendicular to the cake, barely above the surface, and squeeze out an star until it is as big as you want it. Then press slightly and lift.
It helps if you support one hand with the other.
Here she is all done. You can see that I scattered the stars all over, then did white lines on the “petticoat” portion. I also decided to reline the V in pink.
Candles are always problematic with these types of cakes-I have a girlfriend who accidentally caught Barbie’s hair on fire. This is not a good thing in front of a room of 6 year olds. The second year she bought strawberries and placed the candles in those (with a slice cut off the bottom so it laid flat. I chose to make double stars on the platter itself and stick the candles in. Making them double layer gave them enough bulk to hold up the candle.
Now that I was done, I put all of the leftover icing into the mixer.
It came out a lovely pink shade. I was surprised, I thought it would be more orange. Just goes to show why I had to be careful with the red food coloring back in the tinting stage!
Placed in a freezer bag with all the air squeezed out, this stuff will last practically forever. Now next time I make cupcakes or sugar cookies, I’ve got icing on hand (again, you didn’t think I would throw it away, did you?).
All of the food coloring, icing bags and tips went back into their plastic container and were stuck back in the cabinet with my baking supplies.
The finished cake was a success!
Other posts on related topics:
Homemade Frosting/Icing Recipe
Making a Barbie Cake without a Mold
Throwing a Birthday Party Fit for a Princess-On a Budget
Birthday Week (in a Birthday Month)
It’s the Thought that Counts (Birthday Present Philosophy)
Making Invitations in Microsoft Word
Birthday Decorating on a Dime
Barbie Birthday Cake
Just Hit It (Making a Pinata)Birthday Fun and Games