My little girl is 4! I can't believe it, really and truly! Now that she's a bit older, the whole birthday right before Christmas deal is getting much tougher. It doesn't matter what you do, the two seem to muddle together a bit. But I was determined to give her a special moment of her own this year...
Anyway, here's what happens when you ask a four year old what the ultimate birthday cake would be (keep in mind she's obsessed with the Little Mermaid and had just seen the Nutcracker for the first time). "Momma, I'd really love a Sugar Plum Mermaid Princess cake". Ok now what, especially since I've never made one of those cakes with a barbie stuck in it?
So, here's how to make a cheap version of a barbie princess cake... I baked up two 9 inch layer cakes (berry/vanilla swirl). The third layer was a little experiment. Instead of buying a cake pan that I'd use once, I figured out a cheap way to fake it. I used a 6" pyrex bowl, sprayed the inside with Bakers Joy, then placed a tall glass (also greased) in the middle of the bowl. Here's the hot tip - I poured a bunch of dried lentils in the glass to keep it from shifting. Then I poured the batter in the "o" space and baked it until a skewer came out clean. After it had cooled, I flipped the "dress" part of the cake onto a small plate (leaving the glass in place, so that it didn't cave in). I wrapped all the layers in press & seal and let them cool in the fridge for a couple hours.
Now comes the fun part! I stacked the lower 2 layers together with a filling. Then I placed the "skirt" on top and crumb-coated all three layers. There was no need to secure them because the frosting acted like glue. After decorating all the layers I stuck the doll in the hole on top, being sure to push her feet into the middle layer. Then I used mini marshmallows to pad around her. Ta-da princess cake extravaganza! And when we cut the cake the marshmallow middle was a fun surprise for the kids.
I was pretty psyched cause I'm not a fancy decorated cake expert by any means and it still looked like a real-deal cake. AKA, all of you guys can definitely do this! And most importantly, MG was thrilled. Birthday specialness achieved!
-HAPPY SUGAR PLUM BIRTHDAY-