My daughter is obsessed by Disney princesses, so much so that she spends days at a time wearing her princess dresses, acting out what she sees on screen, romantic dances with handsome princes (mainly her unwilling 5 year old brother!!), singing while doing her chores and generally wishing for her fairy Godmother to come along to finish her homework for her (so she can get back to the business of being a princess). Her current favorite is of course Cinderella, so I tried not to be too alarmed when she very politely requested a Cinderella birthday cake. Now I am very much a newbie to the whole world of cake decorating, this would most assuredly be a challenge!
Sarah and I spent evenings peering into computer screens deciding which cake would be "easiest" for her poor mother to attempt, so it was decided with the help of Pinterest and Youtube that a plain blue Cinderella cake would be attempted....this has been an education and I most certainly could not have done it without the help of my witty and beautiful daughter Sarah...Happy Birthday Sweetie!
2ltr Pyrex bowl
1ltr Pyrex bowl
Small paint brush plus 2 tbsp boiled and cooled water
2 Flower plunger cutters
Soft sponge for the plunger flowers
5cm Scone cutter
20cm Round drum board
Frill edge cutter
Strip of stiff paper
500g Self raising flour
500g Soft margarine
500g Caster sugar
2½ tsp Baking powder
3 tsp Vanilla extract
Make the Sponge Cake
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas Mark 5. Grease and flour the two glass Pyrex ovenproof bowls, set aside. Place all the sponge ingredients into a large bowl attached to a stand mixer, mix on high speed for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is light and creamy. Scrape down the sides and mix again for 1 minute.
Divide the mixture between to the two bowls, level off and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven. The 1ltr bowl will take about 50 minutes and the 2ltr bowl will take about 70 minutes, to test if the sponge is cooked, it should spring back when gently pressed in the center with your fingers. Each oven is different so I suggest that to be absolutely sure that the sponge is cooked through - insert a skewer into the middle of the cake if it comes out clean - then it's cooked. Cool slightly before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile make the buttercream as follows....
Making the Butter Cream
500g Icing sugar, sifted
250g Soft margarine or butter at room temperature
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2-3 tsp Warm water
Food colouring (optional)
This might be a good time to add some colour to your cake, but be careful to keep it a pastel shade or the colour might bleed through to the top sugar paste layer. Place all the ingredients into a large bowl attached to a stand mixer and mix together (slowly at first or you'll be covered in icing sugar!!).
Increase the speed until the butter cream is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, mix by hand again and set aside. Meanwhile tint the sugarpaste as follows.....
Colouring the Sugar Paste:
500g Ready to roll icing in white
Latex gloves (optional)
Blue food colouring
Icing sugar for dusting
50g White ready to roll icing
Knead the 500g white ready to roll icing until it's soft and pliable. Lightly dust a clean work surface with icing sugar, don your CSI Latex gloves and knead in the blue food colour in a little at a time until it is your desired shade.
Cover with cling film until needed. Once the sponge is completely cooled you can start to assemble the cake as follows.....
Dressing the Doll!!
Wrap the stripped Cinderella doll in cling film from the waist down (this will protect her from all that butter cream!). Don't wrap the cling film around her bust as it will might be visible through the bodice of the dress.
Roll out a small amount of the blue sugarpaste and fashion a bodice onto the doll. Stick into place with a dab of boiled and cooled water and a small paint brush. I used boiled and cooled water as the "glue" for this whole project.
Use the dolls arms to prop her body up as you work, finish the back of the dress with small plunger flowers. Attach the dress straps with a dab of water and cover the seam with more plunger flowers.
Allow to dry overnight or for at least 4 hours, as you will need to be able to handle the body without the worry of knocking off flowers.
Assemble the Sponge Cake
With a serrated knife trim away the uneven tops of both sponges, not too much though or the dress will be too low on the doll's body. I might have been a bit over zealous in my trimming, so you have been warned!!
Cut the larger sponge in half, cut out a small hole in the center (for the dolls body) with the 5cm scone cutter. Stick the base sponge to the 20cm drum board with a dab of butter cream, cover the whole sponge layer in butter cream, continue layering the sponges in the same way until you have a dome shape. (Keep the leftover sponge to make Children's Chocolate Truffles)
Smooth the butter cream crumb coat with a long strip of stiff paper, dragging it upwards for a smooth finish. Chill the sponge in the fridge for about 20 minutes before applying the second layer of butter cream.
Apply the second layer of butter cream in exactly the same way (my beautiful daughter took this photo of me using the paper to smooth the butter cream layer, brilliant eh!!) Refrigerate until the butter cream is firm. At this stage you can freeze the sponge cake and continue decorating the cake closer to the day it's needed, just defrost overnight.
Assembling the finished cake.
Place the cake board on an upturned saucer, this will help to spin the cake round while you are working. Knead the 50g of white ready to roll icing, roll out on a lightly dusted surface and cut out with the frill cutter, attach the frill to the butter cream at the base of the cake.
Allow to firm up for about 20 minutes or so, this will prevent the frills from "wilting" once the blue sugarpaste layer is added.
Roll out 350g of the blue sugar paste on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar until it is 50cm across. Smooth with a cake smoother/ polisher before laying centrally over the cake. It might help to use your rolling pin to lift the sugar paste.
Drape the sugar paste over the cake, trim with a craft knife or a clean scissors, allowing the white frills to just peep out. Cut out a circle on top for the doll, and gently position her into the cake.
If it is necessary to bridge a gap between the top of the dress and the dolls waist, roll out a fat sausage of sugar paste and wrap it around the doll, smoothing it with your fingers, "gluing" it into place with boiled and cooled water. Smooth the cake with a cake smoother.
Roll out two small amounts of blue sugar paste and cut freehand into a baby's bib shape, attach these to the waist of the doll with the water, draping over the top of the sponge cake. Repeat with the second bib.
Make about 18 mini plunger flowers, allow to firm slightly before handling.
Attach to the dress with a dab of boiled and cooled water to cover the seam around the dolls waist.
Give your cake a final polish with the cake smoother and that's you finished!! Why not serve with a batch of Cinderella Glass Slipper Cupcakes.