Monday, January 9, 2012

Licca-chan Doll Cake

A purple gown for Licca

Cake Decorating Lesson 6:  Doll Cake
I bet this must be the most popular cake lessons for our creaming class, especially if you have little girls at home.  Doll cake, or most called it "Barbie Doll Cake", is basically a doll dressed in a cake. This is a popular choice of birthday cakes for little girls.  Eat the cake and the birthday girl gets to keep the barbie doll as a present.
[I missed lesson 5: Making of house & mini-garden]

Planning and Preparation at home ...
We are required to bring two sponge cakes, 9" and 7".   I had 8" and 6" cakes instead.  I remembered the last barbie doll cake that I made, I needed 4 butter cakes of various sizes from 8" to about 5.5", stacked together to give a real tall cake.  This time round, I used a Licca doll, the Japanese version of the Barbie doll.  Since Licca is shorter than Barbie, I thought two cakes should be enough, though at the back of my mind, I thought three cakes will be safer.  I don't like the idea of pulling out the legs from the doll.  Instead, I prefer to wrap the legs with plastic wraps and insert the doll into the cake.  Hence, you really need to have a tall cake to insert the doll into the cake (up to the waist).

I tied a purple hair-bow to match the dress

How to make the doll cake?
I was too busy during class to take pictures for step-by-step illustration.   Basically, this is what you need to do:

1) Slice and cream the cake as per normal.  Use any flavouring or filling as preferred, just avoid those chunky filling, since you need to carve the cake into a ball dress.

2) Stack the cakes together, bigger cake at the bottom.  Take a small bowl, turn it upside down to make a marking at the top layer.  Use a serrated knife and carve a dome shaped around the marking.  Where necessary, use the excess cake crumbs to fill the top or the side of the dome to achieve a uniform round dome shape.  

3) Make a small hole at the top and insert the doll (this is to ensure that the doll can be properly inserted later).  Remove the doll.  Cream-coat the cake.  

4a) If you are piping the whole cake with little stars or rosettes, you can do so now, after cream-coating the cake.  Insert the doll first before piping and pipe the whole cake as desired.  [Note: Steps 4b to 7 is for another cake design method].

4b) If you intend to pipe ruffles or laces on the cake, i.e. not covering up the whole cake, you will need to apply another layer of cream.  This layer will form the dress of the cake, so add whatever colourings you like for the dress.  Spread the cream onto the cake and smooth the cream as nicely as you can with a spatula.  

5) To get a nice smooth cake surface, cut a small piece of baking paper (about 2 cm x 30cm) .  Hold the paper at both ends with your hands and place it at the side of the cake.  Start from the bottom and glide the paper up against the cake to smooth the surface.  Repeat this step around the cake till the surface is smooth. 

6) Insert the doll and fill up any gap/holes with a little more cream.  Use the baking paper again, this time, glide from top to bottom to smooth out the cream.

7) Decorate the cake as desired.

Notes on piping tips:  
1) For ruffles, use piping tips, 103 or 104 (rose tips) or 67 - 69 (leaf tips).
2) For laces, use a small round tip or just cut a very small opening at the tip of the disposable piping bag.

Purple gown decorated with ruffles and fondant ribbon roses

Which is the most difficult step in making this doll cake?
1) The carving and trimming part is the most tricky part.  You need to hold your knife at an angle while you  carve the cake, so that you can get a nice dome shape for the dress.  Hmmm.... this needs practise and good judgement.  A sharp serrated knife is essential.  I used a flat blade knife and ended up with lots of cake crumbs.  

2) For Licca's doll height, I think three cakes will be easier to work with (maybe 8", 6" and 4" respectively).  For a base of 8", I had problem hiding her lower body with two cakes (8" and 6") stacked together.    In the end, I used excess cakes from my classmates for the top and patched up with cream.  Maybe I could work with two 8" cakes.  Trim one cake into a 6" and use the excess cake to build the third layer.  Hence, for a full-height Barbie doll cake, I think three to four cakes will be needed.

3) Compared to a fondant-covered doll cake, a creamed doll cake really put your piping and carving skills to a test. The strength control and precision are very important to have smooth ruffles or laces on the cake.  I still need lots of practice in this area - you can see my laces are not smooth!  For a fondant cake, if the cake is not carved to a perfect dome shaped, you can still hide the mistake under the dress.  For a cream cake, if the cake is not carved properly, it shows easily.  



  1. ha... thanks Wendy. I think I may be hibernating again cos quite busy recently.

  2. Hi, may I know where did you take this doll decorating course?


  3. This doll cake is part of a 8-lesson cake decorating class conducted by Mr Richard Goh. He conducts cake baking classes at several community centres.

  4. wow what a cake, you are a profi

  5. Hi Fong,

    Beautiful doll cake you have made! Your blog really inspires me very much. Can I use Swiss Meringue Buttercream to cover the whole doll cake and also to pipe stars or borders on the cake? Will the SMBC hold its shape? Thank you so much for sharing your recipes, tips and ideas here.

    Cheers, Elizabeth


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