Looking for an easy way to make a Barbie cake without buying a special mold (Wilton’s Wonder Mold) or making and carving lots of layers, I hit upon the idea of topping an extra high bundt cake (this kugelhopf Bundt pan) with cake made in a half dome mold (Wilton’s Sports Ball pan). Okay, I used two specialty pans instead of one, but these were pans I already owned.
The kugelhopf pan tapers sharply, which makes it ideal for a more realistic skirt, plus it has swirls that look like the skirt pleats. The half ball was a little too wide at the base, and I thought of cutting the cake until the diameter of the bottom of the ball matched the top of the bundt. Then I thought of making the top piece like a swirling pouf over the skirt.
So this was my original game plan: carve the top piece to look like an overskirt and then frost the bottom to show of the swirls. Not a good plan! It was very hard to frost the cake this way. In the end, I smoothed out the frosting, hiding the swirls. This looked neater, but it wasn’t a perfectly smooth cover for the swirls–the top edge showed a little bit in places. And the carved part of the overskirt never looked right. In retrospect, fondant might have been the only neat way of covering this cake.
So, I wasn’t completely happy with this cake. On the other hand. It was easy to bake a bundt, and I liked that there was already a hole in it for Barbie to stand in. If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t try to carve the overskirt. I would go with a whipped cream frosting and try to slather a thick layer that covered everything. That would have been easier to get smooth. Alternatively, I could have tried a fondant covering.
This is less about the cake than the decoration, but, for the record, these are the cake recipes I used:
Chocolate Bundt Cake
Heavily adapted from Jamie Geller’s Quick and K0sher (mostly I replaced the pareve cream with hot water, substituted boxed pudding mix with extra cocoa and sugar and converted volume measurements to weights).
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, whisking well to evenly mix together:
9 ounces / 255 g. all purpose flour (2 cups)
17.5 ounces / 500 g. sugar (2 1/3 cups)
2.75 ounces / 85 g. cocoa (1 cup plus 1 Tbl.)
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Add the liquid ingredients and stir well until blended into a smooth batter:
3 eggs (5.5 ounces / 155 ml.)
8 ounces / 230 ml. hot water or coffee (or pareve milk)
2 tsp. vanilla
4 ounces / 115 ml. oil
3.75 ounces / 105 g. mayonnaise (1/2 cup)
Pour batter into greased and floured bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees until done, 45-50 minutes.
Pink Velvet Cake
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes Pink Velvet Roulade, who adapted it from Domino Sugar’s Red Velvet Cake Roll. To make it back into red velvet, use more red food coloring and substitute 1/4 cup of the flour with 1/4 cup of cocoa. Note: the original recipe called for 1 Tbl. oil and 2 Tbl. buttermilk; I changed that to 2 Tbl. oil, 1 Tbl. water)
Using mixer with whisk attachment, beat eggs in 4-5 quart bowl, gradually adding sugar, continuing to beat until the mixture is pale yellow and as thick and fluffy as cake batter, about 5 minutes:
5.75 ounces / 165 g. sugar (3/4 cup)
2 Tbl. oil
1 Tbl. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. vinegar
red food coloring (enough to tint a dark pink)
Combine dry ingredients and mix into the egg mixture until all ingredients are thoroughly combined:
4.5 ounces flour (1 cup)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Pour batter into greased and floured pan. I used a half ball pan (6″ diameter) about 3/4″ full and had extra batter left over (enough for a few cupcakes or another small pan). Bake at 325-350 degrees until cake batter is set and the top springs back when you gently press on it, about 30 minutes for the half ball pan.