I decided to make Eliana a Barbie Cake and have been planning and trying to figure out the best way to do it.
I watched a few YouTube videos on it and read some random stuff blogged about it. There was one piece of info I couldn't seem to find anywhere and that is "how long are Barbie's legs?" Assume here that you don't have a Barbie in your possession yet, as I did not. So here's the answer and it's worth $$$......7 1/4 inches!
After reading and researching I decided to bake 2 8" round cakes (takes one box) and one box of mix in an oven safe bowl (for the shape of the skirt). After baking them I realized they wouldn't be quite tall enough so I made another 2 8" rounds. As far as the oven safe bowl, I found it at TJ Maxx a couple years ago for $7, but Pampered Chef also sells them. It allows you to have a skirt shaped cake without having to trim and cut up a cake. I made the cakes Wednesday night so they could chill in the fridge for a couple days.
Friday night once I got the girls down to sleep I got to work decorating. I had a recipe for a buttercream icing so I whipped that up. But, the recipe didn't work and it was just a hard ball of icing in my Kitchenaid. I tried adding more milk but then the taste wasn't right either. It ended up just feeling gritty but being too runny :( Fail! I had the cakes out of the fridge on the counter ready to be dirty-iced so I had to think quick and just grabbed two Pillsbury cream cheese frostings from the pantry (thank you couponing!).
Dirty Icing a Cake: To dirty ice a cake is to ice a cake in such a way that you don’t get crumbs all over your completed cake. You just coat it with icing and BAM, good to go. You won’t have little pieces of cake in your icing. The dirty icing layer goes UNDER the pretty layer :)
Ok, let's rewind real quick...after baking and cooling my cakes I Saran wrapped them and put them in the fridge. When it was time to decorate I took off the saran and cut the top off each 8" round so they would be nice and flat. Keep the scraps covered in the fridge and you can make cake balls with them later. I then layered the 8"rounds starting with a Funfetti bottom layer, then lemon, then funfetti, then lemon and then the top funfetti layer that was bowl shaped. I put wax paper strips under the cake to keep the pedestal clean (the strips get pulled out later). I wrapped Barbies legs tightly in Saran wrap and put her in the cake. I just gently shoved her in, but you may need to cut a small hole for her. Then I dirty iced in between each cake layer and around the whole cake.
I didn't need to trim much, but just kind of evened up the whole thing. Make sure you use a serrated knife for any cake trimming.
Yup, see I tried to use the failed buttercream, but it was just too runny. The white is the cream cheese frosting that saved the day.
You want the whole skirt covered.
Already starting to look dress like, right?
Alright, how the heck did I get it so smooth!? I learned a cool little trick from Betty Crocker on Youtube. Take a piece of paper and standing behind the cake, slide an edge of the paper up the front of the cake cake, from bottom to top. It will catch any uneven icing and make it look super pretty.VERY easy to do. Notebook paper is a bit too thin, but printer paper or construction paper would work great.
After it was dirty iced I put the cake back in the fridge to let it harden up while I made more icing.
And see the crockpot full of apples? We actually filled two and had applesauce simmering all night :)
Now you might think I was "born in a bakery" and the reality is, my mom was, not me! I am privileged to come from a line of bakers (Sluys Bakery) and chefs, but there are a few things I never really learned how to do; canning, making pies/pie crusts, and cake decorating. I am learning those now as an adult and it's a tad intimidating. My mom covered all the other bases which is pretty darn good.
Craig had the good idea to practice icing on a bowl :) I tried out different tips and figured out what I wanted to do.
Epic fail on the bows. Lol!
Messy and horrible first tries at things but much better here than on the actual cake!
After feeling relatively confident with my icing skills I got to work making a different buttercream frosting recipe. I decided to trust the cake professionals and used a recipe from Wilton Cakes. Find that recipe here. I have to say I was not thrilled about making a recipe with shortening, but it was tried and true with tons of reviews and it whipped up creamy, smooth, and gorgeous! It is VERY sweet though so I'm glad I had a cream cheese dirty iced layer to temper it.
I added red food coloring drops until the pink was right and then got to work icing the cake.
So pretty! After this I did the 'paper smoothing' trick but forgot to take a picture :)
Alright, time to ice! I wanted to make her a princess Barbie, so I decided to give her a Disney fairytale ballgown skirt. I used a Wilton 32 star for the bottom ruffle and a Wilton 16 star for the outline on the sides of the ballgown. The dots were a small circle tip, can't remember the #. If you make a mistake and need to get the icing off you can carefully scrape it off with a toothpick. Toothpicks are also handy if little bits of shortening or butter clog your icing tip.
Alright, filling in the orange stars (#16) on the ballgown.
The silver balls are called silver dragees and they are edible. I would check Michaels or Joanns for them. I used a small round tip to ice her necklace on and then just placed a dragee.
This is a ballerina Barbie, $6 at Walmart. She comes with a plastic dress bodice. I got her thinking the bodice would be super hard, but after all the time spent on the skirt I actually think the bodice would be super easy! Next time I'll just get a naked Barbie :)
Yeah, slightly crooked....oh well!
Yay, done! Worked on it til 1am :)
We put the candles in the front.
Pretty and tasted good, too! It's super tall so you can actually serve it in two sections. Each slice is 2 pieces, the top half and bottom half.