How to make a purse cake


This adorable purse shaped cake is perfect for a birthday party, a tea party, or anytime you want to serve the girls (big or little) a unique dessert. Professional baker and author Liv Hansen for the Betty Crocker Kitchens shows you how to make this delicious, and very ladylike, cake.

How to make a purse cake Assembling the purse cake:
  1. Chill cake layers 35-45 minutes before starting.
  2. Cut a small portion off the bottom of the first cake layer. Use that portion as a guide and cut the same amount off the second cake layer. Set both small portions aside.
  3. Spread frosting on the top of the first cake layer.
  4. Stand first cake layer up on the flat side. Place on a serving platter.
  5. Put frosting along the flat side of the second cake layer. Stand it upright next to the first cake layer and adhere the two layers together, with the frosting from the first cake layer in the middle.
  6. Carve each of the remaining small portions of cake to look like a little change purse. Adhere the small portions of cake together using frosting, put frosting along the bottom and place on serving platter.
  7. Place a layer of frosting on the purse and change purse to “crumb coat” the cakes.
  8. Chill cakes in freezer for 30-45 minutes.


Decorating the purse cake:

  1. Cover the purse cakes in another layer of frosting. Once cakes are frosted, smooth frosting using a spatula dipped in hot water.
  2. As you scrape the excess frosting off the cakes, scrape the spatula on the bowl’s edge to clean it.
  3. Using another color of frosting, pipe a decorative zig-zag along the border of the purse cakes.
  4. Use a jelly round as a purse clasp for the large purse. Place on top of the cake in the center.
  5. Loop a piece of licorice across the top of the large purse to create a handle.
  6. Cut a jellybean or gumdrop in half and place both halves on top of the change purse to create a small clasp.
  7. Use assorted candies to create flowers on the purse and the change purse.


Find out more about the Purse Cake at





LAURIE: Hi, I’m Laurie Gelman for What little girl doesn’t love a tea party? And there’s so many great things to do. For example, you can ask your guests to come dress up, or to play dress up at the party. Now where did I put my purse? Oh, here it is! I love edible accessories like this cake, don’t you? Actually, this is the creation of Liv Hansen for Betty Crocker Kitchens, and Liv is going to show us how simple it is to make this very ladylike cake. Hi Liv, how are you doing?

LIV: Hi Laurie!

LAURIE: I love a tea party and so do my daughters so I’m really excited about this.

LIV: Okay well let’s get started. You’re going to need two nine inch round cakes, and have them chilled beforehand. About 35 to 45 minutes before you actually start cutting them.

LAURIE: And why do you do that?

LIV: That’s going to reduce the amount of crumbs that you have. It’s going to make the cake nice and firm.


LIV: So what I’m going to do to start is just to cut off a small portion on one of them, and then I’m going to use this as a guide so I can get the same size on the other side.

LAURIE: Because it's important that they completely match.

LIV: Exactly. Now I’m not going to discard this, I’m going to keep this to the side for now.


LIV: And we’re going to take some frosting, and we’re going to spread it on. This is going to be like a little bit of glue to adhere the two sides together.

LAURIE: That’s such a great color.

LIV: Nice and bright. And you can actually just buy food coloring from the grocery store, maybe add about a quarter teaspoon. You know, a little bit more if you want to make it even more vibrant.

LAURIE: Or a full container of –

LIV: Yep.

LAURIE: Vanilla.

LIV: Tub. Mmhmm. If you want a nice pale one, you just need a couple of drops. Now we’re gong to take this, and we’re going to place it right on here. And, want to hold that in place for me?


LIV: And I’m going to bring the other one, just going to put a little on the bottom, and put it right up next to it. Just sort of push them together.


LIV: And now, I have these two extra pieces here. And instead of just discarding them completely, I’m going to carve one of them to look like a little change purse to go along with our purse.

LAURIE: Oh, that’s cute!

LIV: Make sure they’re even. And we can even make it a little bit thicker. And again, same thing, I’m just going to put a little frosting to just adhere them together. And a little frosting on the bottom.


LIV: And then we can just position it.

LAURIE: Okay. On there.

LIV: And now its time to crumb coat the cakes.

LAURIE: And what do you do when you crumb coat?

LIV: Basically that’s just a thin layer of frosting we spread over the entire cake, and that’s going to seal in any crumbs so that our final layer of frosting is nice and clean.

LAURIE: Great. Do you want me to do the little one while you do the big one?

LIV: Oh, that’s a great idea.


LIV: You have some frosting there.

LAURIE: So I don’t have to be overly neat, I’m guessing, if this is just a pre-layer.

LIV: Nope. This is just, yeah, just the crumb coat. Just get it on there, and we’ll –

LAURIE: What do you do after you crumb coat?

LIV: Well, we’re going to chill it in the freezer for another 30 to 45 minutes, and that will firm up the frosting so that when our final coat is done, its nice and easy to spread it on.


LIV: Okay. Well I do have one ready to go, it’s already been chilled in the freezer.

LAURIE: Oh, good.

LIV: And we can do the final coat.

LAURIE: I’ll move this one over.

LIV: Thank you. So, now its time for the final coat.


LIV: Here, I’ll turn it a little bit so you can reach it better.


LIV: And again, you just want to cover the whole cake with frosting, and then you’ll worry about smoothing it out.

LAURIE: This doesn’t even really have to be for a birthday party, either. I mean you could just, a special tea party.

LIV: Mmhmm. So now I have the whole cake covered, and now I’m going to start to try and flatten it out as much as I can.


LIV: So, there’s a good tip to always have a little bucket or bowl of water to dip your spatula in. Then, this hot water will actually melt the frosting right off, just remember to dry it off. So the heat of the spatula will help smooth the frosting.

LAURIE: Oh, that does work.

LIV: And then each pass that you make to scrape off the frosting, scrape it on the bowl’s edge. We’re done frosting the cake! Now we get to put on some decorations.

LAURIE: Oh, good.

LIV: So the first thing I want to do is add a little zig-zag, decorative border on the top.

LAURIE: Oh, cute.

LIV: And I’m going to use some green frosting.

LAURIE: Great.

LIV: I’m going to start here and zig-zag. And again on the other side, I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to match the purse also. So I’m going to use a little jelly round for the little purse clasp.


LIV: I’m going to put it right in the center.


LIV: Then I’m going to use some licorice for the handle, and just stick it into the cake.

LAURIE: Wow, that’s great. Now, do we need one for the change purse?

LIV: You can use the licorice, but I’m going to use a little gum drop, and I’m going to cut it. I’m just going to use a scissor. Sort of like those little clasps that open like that. So now, we can do the little flower decorations.

LAURIE: Oh, good. Okay.

LIV: So do you want to maybe put a little flower in the center of the purse.


LIV: Good. Orange center and pink petals?

LAURIE: So we’re done?

LIV: We’re done!

LAURIE: Any girl would absolutely adore this. I think its so cute. Tea parties are so great, and you know what? A tea party lends itself to all kinds of activities. Little girls might want to make tiaras, the older girls can make jewelry or even bedazzle something. That way they have an activity, and a party favor afterwards. Thanks Liv.

LIV: Thank you.

LAURIE: This is so cool. I’m Laurie Gelman for

meet theexpert
  • Liv Hansen

    Liv Hansen Professional Baker and Author Liv Hansen is the author of three books, has appeared on the Today Show, Top 5 (Food Network), The View and Roker on the Road, and was a finalist on the Food Network Challenge: Haunted Gingerbread. more about this expert »