In 2008 our little Princess, Sophia Rose, was born! I absolutely love her Birth date 1/23! When that date hit this year, it was going to be a big day because she would be turning 3 years old! 3 is a big age for a kid – they finally get to participate in activities by themselves; my little Princess really wants to be a “pretty ballerina” (she’s #3 on the waiting list, hopefully we’ll get a call soon)! There are so many things for a 3-year-old, to me it’s the gateway year to being a “big kid” – most are potty-trained by this age and starting preschool, etc… So this year I wanted to make Sophia’s Birthday extra special! Back in July Sophia started inviting people to her Birthday party, one day as we were shopping at Trader Joe’s she invited every single employee, and a few customers, to come to her Birthday party. She told them that she was going to have a Princess party with party hats and goodie bags and balloons, and that they could come to have cake. The people would reply, “Wow, it sounds like someone has a Birthday coming up!” I would chuckle and say, “Yea, in JANUARY!” So as the months went by and the time drew nearer, I would talk with her about her Birthday and what type of party she would like to have. She would go back and forth between: Princess, Buzz Lightyear, and Dora. We finally settled on her original dream of having a Princess party.
As I started to plan for her party, our lives began to quickly change – that’s what the Army will do to you. Just weeks before her Birthday we moved so we wouldn’t be able to have a party with all of her friends like I originally planned. Ok now Sophia was born in 2008 and before she turned 3 in 2011 she has lived 4 different places – with that crazy statistic I knew I had to make this Birthday even more special! How in the world could I do that? CAKE – Sophia has an inherited sweet tooth and frosting is by far her favorite thing about the cake! For those of you who were at my Birthday party a couple of years ago, you may recall a little girl eating many cupcakes because “Toby took it” – what happened was she would lick all of the frosting off, sneak Toby the rest of the cupcake, and blame it on him so she could get another one – we finally caught onto her trick after a few cupcakes.
So with an idea in my head, we went out to get all the tools needed to build a Princess cake! First I needed some sort of pan for the dress so we went to many stores and searched for it. At one store I saw a Princess Cake kit – $40 for a pan & a half doll body – NO WAY! At another store I saw some cute bundt cake pans and decided that would work well. Then the Princess doll – we picked out a Belle doll (the cheapest one of course because it was going to be put into a cake & God only knew what would happen) – yes it had to be Belle, as Sophia would tell you when looking at Princesses, “Sleeping Beauty is Mommy’s Princess! Belle, that’s my Princess, she’s so beautiful!” Finally we picked up the same type of cake that she’s had for 3 years now (probably because it’s my favorite type of cake) funfetti – yes folks, I use boxed cake & there’s nothing wrong with that!
My mom arrived the day before Sophia’s Birthday and that evening I set out to bake the cake so I could just frost it in the morning and stick the doll in. Well, it’s a good thing my mom was there because…
Miss Ann: “Are you sure that pan is big enough?”
Me: “Yea, sure, it looks like a dress.”
Miss Ann: “Have you measured it? Have you put the doll in to make sure?”
Miss Ann: “Well, don’t you think maybe you should?”
Me: “I guess so.” I proceed to stick the doll in the bundt pan and yea, it looks ridiculous!
Miss Ann: “It’s a good thing you checked. Someone was saying you could use round pans to make her dress.”
So I take out my one round pan to make another cake. Yet I’ve already made the bundt cake with my one box of cake mix and it’s a bit late to run out to buy another box…so I decide that I can bake a cake! I pull out one of my many faithful cookbooks and decide to make a chocolate cake because chocolate is another one of Sophia’s favorite sweets! Yet I only have one round cake pan and the recipe calls for two so I decide that it’ll work and I’ll just divide the recipe in half and it’ll be fine! When the oven beeps and I take the round cake out – it doesn’t look right…I flip it out of the pan and it still doesn’t look right…we taste it and it doesn’t taste right…well that was a massive fail! So after church on Sunday we run to the store and pick up another box of funfetti cake mix and some disposable round cake pans. I bake the other half of the princess cake in the morning and quickly build her cake.
You see the finished product above, and it wasn’t exactly what I originally imagine but hey, it was a rush job and I have learned from it. Yet what really matters to me was that Sophia was very excited and happy that Mommy made her a Belle Princess cake for her Birthday!
Now to tell you how to build it and give you some tips on what I’d try next time to make it better…
- 1 Bundt Cake pan
- 2 (8in or 9in) round cake pans
- cake mix (again, it’s ok to use box mix)
- frosting (I like to make my own but you may use store-bought)
- food coloring (to dye the princess dress the proper color)
- Follow cake baking directions (off the box or your own recipe) and bake 1 Bundt Cake and 4 Round Cakes (originally I did 2 but hind-site is always 20:20 so next time I’d do 4) the rounds can be either 8 or 9 inches.
- Allow cakes to thoroughly cool (preferably on wire racks = best way to nicely/evenly cool them)
- Dye frosting to proper princess dress color (frosting recipe below)
- Level cakes (I didn’t do this because it was a rush job but it would have looked nicer if I did – there are many tricks on leveling a cake, choose which ever one you’d be most comfortable with – check online or in a cookbook for tips)
- Start at the bottom and work your way up by frosting the first round cake
- Stack and frost the second round cake, then do the same for the third, fourth, and finally the bundt cake
- Fill in frosting all around the cake till you achieve desired look
- Stick doll body in center of cake
- Add final details such as writing or other decorative items such as flowers
- Add candle(s)
- Light candle(s)
- Sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY
- carefully cut & serve cake (remember it is a layered cake so be careful to not let it topple)
VANILLA FROSTING: (adapted from my ever faithful Betty Crocker Cookbook)
This recipe would frost 3 cakes (remember that 2 round cakes = 1 cake)
- 9 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- 5 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup milk
- food coloring (color depends on princess)
I love to use my kitchen aid mixer…
- in large bowl mix powdered sugar and butter on low-speed
- stir in vanilla
- stir in mix
- slowly add in drops of food coloring and stir until you achieve desired color
- if frosting is too thin – add a bit more powdered sugar or if frosting is too thick add a splashes of milk until you achieve desired consistency
- frost cakes