Tonight I ventured into unchartered baking waters….children’s birthday cakes! Yep you read correctly, I haven’t baked a children’s themed birthday cake before but don’t hold that against me. This cake was for my boyfriend’s niece who turns 6 this weekend and has a new-found obsession with Ballerinas. A few weeks ago, when she started planning her own party, she requested that I make her a pink Ballerina Cake. After my initial shock at being asked to make someone a cake (I honestly couldn’t believe someone would want me to make them a cake, for a real birthday party) and agreeing to do it I was then left with the dilemma of actually achieving my request. After a little thought and a few of the good old google searches I finally settled on the traditional Dolly Varden style cake. For those of you that aren’t too sure what that is, think back to your early childhoods when it was all the rage to stick your Barbie doll into an upside down pudding shaped sponge cake, covered in lollies and you’ve got it!
So one dilemma down, I was then faced with the issue of locating a baking tin the right size and shape for what I needed. Simple right? Sadly not so. Whilst I was able to locate a few stores that sold the tin, all were out of stock. Meanwhile Ebay wanted almost $50 for the tin, which for me (baking a cake as a one off) was far far too much. Luckily though, I discovered that you can hire cake tins from cake supply stores! What a fantastic idea! And luckily I located a Cake supply store not too far from my house from which I was able to hire the tin for the night for a measly $4!! Now theres a bargain if I ever did see one.
To bake the cake, I cheated and used two Greens Vanilla Cake mixes (frosting included and totally ok to do so), oiling the tin well to ensure that it didn’t stick (that would have been a very unneeded problem that I was going to avoid at ALL costs!) While the box recommended cooking the cake for 45mins at 180 degrees C I ended up cooking for around 1.5 hours at quite a low temperature. This was largely because the cake cooked very quickly on the top surface, whilst the inside was completely raw. To counter that I simply turned down the temperature and let it go, low and slow! Overall though I would recommend allowing plenty of time for this stage as it can be quite unpredictable because of the shape and large size of the cake. Once cooled, I turned it out onto a cake board and cut a small hole in the top for Barbie to sit (I had to remove her legs so probably best to buy a cheap Barbie, mine cost $2 from the Reject Shop). With the help of my trusty assistant (my sister, who I bribed with lollies!) I then covered the sponge in pink butter cream frosting, being careful not to dirty the poor legless Barbie on top. We then decorated it using pink musk sticks and pink and white marshmallows and voila! A princess Barbie Cake!!
To be honest I think I am more excited then the birthday girl will be tomorrow when she sees it, largely because I doubted the success of this one just a little when I couldn’t get the sponge to cook but I really do hope she likes it! For any parents out there looking for a little girls birthday cake, I would say this one is a sure
winner! You can theme it in any way you like (I’ve even seen a witch doll cake) and can cover it in lollies (what more does a kid want then that). Its a very simple cake to make and doesn’t require much skill in terms of difficulty. My only advice would be to search for a tin nice and early, get yourself an assistant (possibly the birthday girl) and allow plenty of time for baking. Then sit back and enjoy the ooo’s and ahhh’s!