Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



How to create a 3-D Disney princess birthday cake

by: Chica

My niece turned four this month and since she is very into the Disney Princesses these days, it was an easy decision for her to choose that theme for her party ware. I knew instantly that her birthday cake needed to be all about Princesses, too, so I decided to blow her little mind by making her two 3-D standing princess cakes.

I started with the Wilton Wonder Mold Kit, which makes a cake that looks just like a princess’ skirt. After filling it with batter and baking the cake, I simply flipped it upside down onto a serving plate and it was ready to decorate.

Princess birthday cakesMy niece’s two favorite princesses are Snow White and Cinderella, so they became the subjects of the two cakes. I borrowed her existing dolls, removed their clothes, and washed the dolls well. I then wrapped their legs in plastic wrap and stuck them right down into the cake “dress”. The plastic wrap serves two purposes — to keep the doll clean and to keep the cake clean! With hardly any work so far, I already had the cakes looking like real dolls!

The next step was to apply icing to the cake and the dolls to make them fully dressed in their typical attire. The skirts were easy — I just used a small icing spatula to apply a smooth layer of yellow or blue icing to cover the skirt area, right up to the waist. The finishing details for the bodices were a little different for each Princess.

Princess birthday cake CinderellaFor Cinderella, I used the same blue icing from her skirt and put it in a disposable decorator bag with a size 16 “star” decorator tip (get a full set of icing tips here). I covered the entire bodice with stars and then decorated her hips with bands of white icing made with the size 104 “rose petal” tip. For her sleeves, I used white icing and a size 8 “round” tip to pipe around her shoulders. Cinderella’s gloves had long been lost, so I had to reproduce them with icing, which was a bit tricky. I started by just squirting some icing on her hands and arms, making an effort to cover them. Then I coated my fingers liberally in cornstarch and used my fingers to press the icing down on her arms until it was smooth. I shaped the icing around her arms, covering them as well as I could.

Princess birthday cake Snow WhiteCornstarch is an essential tool for when you need to handle icing without having it stick to you (and it has no taste). A little on your fingertip will do wonders when trying to tame errant icing!

For Snow White, I used a dark blue icing in and again used the size 16 “star” decorator tip to create the bodice. I switched to a lighter blue for her rounded cap sleeves, which I created by just applying icing with the same size 16 “star” tip in short vertical bars over and over until I had built up the size I wanted. I then put small dots of red on the sleeves. The finishing touch was the collar, which I created with white icing and a size 104 “rose petal” tip.

With not much effort and pretty simple cake decorating techniques, I had two adorable princess cakes ready for my niece’s birthday party. She was absolutely thrilled when she saw them, and even more excited when she found out she could eat them!

23 comments so far:

  • 1
    Sue "The Cake Mom" Anderson 06/27/2008 at 9:47 am

    Adorable! And thanks so much for giving such easy-to-follow, detailed instructions on how to make this cake. I’m going to post a link on my blog:

    Well done!

  • 2
    mommy to a princess 05/26/2009 at 12:45 am

    sooo cute… i was actually gonna use a bundt cake pan for the skirt (like they use for the barbie cakes) until i cam across your blog.. Thanks sooo much for posting the link to the wilton pan… am going to have to see if our party store carries it A.S.A.P

  • 3
    Chica 05/26/2009 at 7:14 am

    Thanks, Sue!

    “mommy”, good luck with your cake. I’m glad you found our pan suggestion in time. We’d love to see how your cake comes out :)

  • 4
    Smita 08/21/2009 at 6:46 am

    I absolutely love the cakes! You make it sound so easy! I am sure it isn’t though.

    I am going to try and replicate snow white for my daughter’s birthday and since we don’t get the doll mold in India I will just use a pyrex bowl. What i wanted to know was exactly how you iced the skirt in that pretty scalloped fashion and how you got the hair to look exactly like that.

    Hope you will help me out!

  • 5
    Chica 08/21/2009 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Smita, thanks for stopping by. For the scalloped skirt, I just used an offset spatula to sort of sweep the frosting on in smooth strokes, overlapping each one over the one before.

    As for the hair, I used a Snow White doll that already had the right hair style, so I didn’t have to do a thing. I hope you can find something similar in India, but if not, maybe you can try twisting a regular doll’s hair into a bun and put a little rubber band on it?

    Let us know how it goes!

  • 6
    Smita 09/01/2009 at 3:59 am

    Hi there,
    I have another question. Did you use a cake mix or did you bake the cake from scratch? if from scratch then can you please please give me the recipe cause i tried it with mine and it was a goopy sticky mess.

    Also Did you bake it on the lowest rack of the oven? cause it doesn’t fit in the middle rack.

    Looking forward to your reply! really worried!

  • 7
    Chica 09/01/2009 at 7:41 am

    Hello again, Smita! I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a hard time. I use a cake mix for almost every cake I make. As much as I love homemade stuff, nothing can beat good old Betty Crocker SuperMoist, in my opinion.

    You should definitely use a lower rack in your oven so that the cake itself is in the middle of the oven space.

  • 8
    Smita 09/02/2009 at 1:46 am

    Hi there,
    Thanks so much for your reply…I will let you know how it turns out!!

  • 9
    Smita 09/05/2009 at 1:42 pm

    Hey just thought i’d let you know that my snow white cake came out perfectly …thanks for the inspiration :)


  • 10
    Chica 09/05/2009 at 3:07 pm

    That’s wonderful, Smita! Thanks for letting us know!

  • 11
    radha 11/03/2009 at 3:06 am

    Hey Chica,

    Love your work.How many servings you can get from this cake?

  • 12
    Chica 11/03/2009 at 7:59 am

    Hi radha! According to Wilton, the Wilton Wonder Mold Kit serves 12.

  • 13
    Zana 12/12/2009 at 10:02 am

    Love the cakes! If I use a pyrex bowl and use one BC cakemix packet how long do I have to bake it? Never done it in a bowl before!

  • 14
    Chica 12/12/2009 at 10:09 am

    Hi Zana. So glad you like the cakes! I have never tried baking in a Pyrex bowl, so I can’t really give you a time estimate for baking. One of our readers, Smita, wrote in some comments above about using a bowl, but she didn’t mention the baking time.

    However, most cakes can be tested for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the top. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Good luck and please let us know how it goes :)

  • 15
    Amna 02/14/2010 at 7:19 am

    Hey there,
    Thank you very much for such a helpful blog.I just want to ask which icing did you use for doing all this stuff?

  • 16
    Chica 02/14/2010 at 9:19 am

    Hi Anna, and thanks for the compliment! I used my regular decorator icing recipe, which you can see in this post.

  • 17
    Holly 08/18/2010 at 1:13 pm

    Love the cakes! Sooo cute! How much icing did you use for these 2 cakes? Also…did you only need 2 boxes of cake mix? Thanks so much!

  • 18
    Chica 08/18/2010 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks, Holly! If I remember right, I used one and a half cake mixes for each of the cakes (I used the leftover batter for cupcakes). Just fill the Wonder Mold pan until up to about 2 inches from the top edge. If it bakes up high, you can always trim it flat.

    I really don’t remember how much frosting I used. For cakes like this, I always use my regular decorator’s icing recipe (see here), and I usually just make one batch at a time as needed. Hope that helps!

  • 19
    Shelly 11/11/2010 at 10:19 pm

    These are wonderful and I’m going to try to make them tomorrow for her 3rd birthday party on Saturday. (My daughter’s favorites are Snow White and Cinderella as well!) My problem is that her Cinderella doll seems way to tall for the wilton pan. Did you have this problem? I guess I can just make up the difference with more icing?
    Thanks so much for posting this!

  • 20
    Chica 11/12/2010 at 6:53 am

    Thank you Shelly, and I’ll bet your daughter will love these cakes. If the Cinderella seems too tall for the pan, try filling the pan a little more than normal with cake batter. That will make the cake rise a little higher out of the pan, and you’ll get a taller cake that might suit her better. Just be sure you put a cookie sheet under it while it bakes so that if the batter runs over, you won’t make a mess in your oven!

  • 21
    Della 02/19/2012 at 11:01 pm

    For baking in a pyrex bowl, there are instructions here:

  • 22
    Patty 01/19/2014 at 11:03 am

    How tall is the doll you used and how far do you push it into the cake. I am making 2 cakes for my two January grand-daughters. They look so cute.

  • 23
    Chica 01/19/2014 at 12:13 pm

    Patty, the dolls were standard Barbie doll size. I pushed them in as far as needed for their body to line up with the top of the cake so that they came together at a natural-looking angle. Have fun with your cakes!

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