How to make a princess cake


Any little birthday girl would love this magical princess doll cake, complete with a real doll she can play with later. Baker and author Liv Hansen for Betty Crocker Kitchens shows you how to shape and frost this cake for a birthday your daughter will always remember.

How to make a princess cake Assembling the princess birthday cake:
  1. Bake three cakes in 8-inch round cake pans and one cake in a medium ovenproof glass bowl. Let cakes cool.
  2. Cut off the dome off all of the 8-inch round cakes with a serrated knife. (Freezing the cake for about 45 minutes before you cut them will reduce the crumbs).
  3. Cut a small hole in the middle of each layer; this is where the princes doll will go.
  4. To keep your decorating surface clean while you frost, slide pieces of parchment paper underneath the bottom layer.
  5. Using your offset spatula, place a dollop of frosting on one of the layers of cake, and spread it evenly. Place another layer on top, frost it, and place the last layer on top. Frost the top of the last 8-inch round cake and top with the cake baked in the overproof glass bowl (domed side up).
  6. Make a crumb coat. This is a thin layer of frosting that seals in the crumbs and keeps the frosting clean and neat. Spread the frosting over the entire surface of the cake. To make the frosting smooth, take a strip of paper, cup it and place it at the bottom of the cake, sliding it evenly to the top of the cake.
  7. Spread the frosting smooth around the hole in the top.
  8. Freeze the cake for about 45 minutes to set the frosting.


Decorating the princess birthday cake:

  1. Once the frosting is set, place a dollop of frosting on top and work your way down. Make the cake smooth using the paper technique, or add texture using your offset spatula. Try a fabric effect by making small swirls in the frosting.
  2. Wrap the fashion doll’s body with plastic wrap. If the doll has long hair you may consider wrapping that during the frosting process as well, to keep it clean.
  3. Insert the princess doll into the hole, and add frosting to fill in any gaps.
  4. Fill the pastry bag with pink frosting and pipe stars around the doll where it meets the cake. Cover her bodice with the frosting as well.
  5. Add highlights to the dress with candy stars.
  6. As a finishing touch, you can add a wand and hat made of paper and candy as well.


For more about the Princess Doll cake, visit





Hi, I’m Liv Hansen for and Betty Crocker Kitchens. If you’re looking for a special birthday cake for your little fairy princess, I think I have a great idea for you. It’s a princess cake! And as you’ll see, the cake forms a beautiful gown over a doll. Let’s get started.

We’re going to need three eight inch round cakes, and one cake that we’ve baked in an oven-proof glass bowl like this. I’m going to push this over to the side, and we’re going to start cutting.

I’ve already trimmed the dome off of one cake and inverted it onto our cake platter. I’m going to cut the dome off of this one using a serrated knife. And you can just set this aside, if you want to snack on it, you can.

Now, I’m going to cut this one in half also. Rotate the cake as you go instead of cutting straight through.

One tip is to chill your cakes in the freezer for about 45 minutes before you cut them. This will reduce the crumbs.

What I’m going to do now, is I’m going to cut a small circle in the center of each cake. This way we can insert the doll in later. You can either use a small serrated knife, but you can also use little decorative pastry cutters. Cut it right in the middle.

One trick to keep a nice, clean edge on your decorating surface, is to use little pieces of parchment paper, and you can tuck them under the cake.

I’ve pre-tinted some of our frosting pink, just using food coloring that you find in the grocery store. I’m going to take a nice sized dollop, and place it right on. Then I’m going to take my offset spatula and spread it evenly over the entire surface.

Then, we take another cake and invert it right on top. Try to keep them as centered as possible. And then the top.

Okay. Its time to do a crumb coat. A crumb coat is basically just a thin layer of frosting that covers the entire cake, and it seals in the crumbs so that your final coat looks nice and clean. It looks like this one’s completely covered, so I’m going to go ahead and show you a nice trick.

You can actually keep spreading the frosting over with your offset spatula, but a nice way to get it really smooth is just to use a piece of paper.

Cup the paper like this, curve it to the side of the cake, and pull straight up, and you get a nice, smooth edge. Continue around the entire cake.

Okay. The sides look really smooth. I’m just going to take the inside, and just spread it smooth also. It doesn’t matter how that’s going to look, because that’s going to get filled in later.

Now that I’ve finished my crumb coat, I’m going to remove the pieces of parchment paper. Just slide them right out.

If there’s still a little bit of a messy edge, just come back with your offset spatula and smooth it over.

Now that our crumb coat is done, I’m going to put it in the freezer for about 45 minutes to set up before we finish frosting it. I have one already set, so let me go get it.

Its time to do our final coat, and for this one, we’ve placed it on a really nice serving platter with a little ribbon to match.

Place a nice sized dollop on top and start spreading it on. You can actually turn a pedestal like this to make it easier to frost the cake. Okay, its all covered. Now you have a few choices. You can go ahead and make it smooth again with that same technique we did with the crumb coat or the paper, or you can give it a little texture. You can do lines up and down. I think I’m going to give it some little swirls. Just take your spatula, press it into that frosting, and spin it and lift up. It sort of looks like billowing fabric. There’s really no pattern to this. Its all random movements. And I think we’re ready.

Now that we’re done frosting the cake, its time to insert the doll.

We’ve taken a fashion doll, and we’ve just basically wrapped it with some plastic wrap. This will protect the clothing so that it doesn’t get any frosting on it. I have one ready, and we’re just going to stick her right in there. Then, we’re just going to cover with a little bit more frosting to fill in that hole.

If your fashion doll has long hair, you might consider wrapping it in plastic wrap also so that it doesn’t get frosting on it.

The next step is, we’re going to pipe a decorative pattern on the bodice using the pink frosting.

Always squeeze a little bit of the frosting out into your bowl beforehand, in case there’s any air pockets.

Squeeze and hold in place, and then pull out as you release pressure, and you’ll get a nice little rosette or star. Continue around the entire bodice. I’m going to put some straps over her shoulders. Now we can add some candy highlights. I have these little stars which will be perfect for a fairy princess. You can put them in little clusters of three. I’m going to put one more star, it’s a little bit larger, right on her bodice. Maybe I’ll put two more little stars right next to it.

And now, for the crowning touch, you can make a wand and a hat for your fairy princess.

I love to use a real doll for this cake so that the birthday girl can keep it as an extra special memory.

I’m Liv Hansen for and Betty Crocker Kitchens.

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 »