I love making cakes for kids' parties and my fiancé Andrew's nieces and nephews especially love my creations. Niece Lily recently turned 4, and she requested that I make a pink princess cake for her party. Here are the step-by-step directions for making a princess cake. I realize you may read some of the steps and think, "Well, duh. Thanks for insulting my intelligence", but I always try to give VERY SIMPLE directions for those who may be totally in the dark in terms of making cakes. That also explains the length of this post!
STEP ONE Choose a oven-safe metal or glass bowl to use as your cake ‘pan' (bowls make the perfect "ball gown" shape). Prepare the bowl by coating it with a thin layer of shortening and then dusting it with flour. Or, use Wilton's special stuff called "Cake Release", which is what I use to cut down on prep time and hassle. Place your bowl on a cookie sheet.
STEP TWO Mix up your cake batter! Yummy!
For baking time, begin with the recipe directions, adding time as needed until a toothpick (or in this case, I used a long kabob skewer) inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. I found that my cake required nearly double the time the recipe called for, but you want to keep your eye on it so it doesn't burn!
STEP FOUR While your cake is in the oven, wash your mixer and whip up a batch of buttercream icing. Because I would be piping details, I started with a batch of "medium" consistency icing, divided out what I would need to tint, and then used the remainder to make "thin" consistency icing for covering the cake.
This will need to be shaved off so the cake will sit evenly. You may need to remove the cake from the pan to be able to trim it. Gently dump the cake out by placing a plate over the opening of the bowl and turning over. After you have shaved off the bump, set the cake on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Now you are ready to decorate!
(Hey, this is a family-friendly site, after all!)
Note: As I carried the cake into the party, nephew Will asked, "Is that Lily's princess cake?" When I said that it was, he responded (with a sly twinkle in his eye), "I'm gonna eat her head off!" What a boy thing to say, huh? :) So...we let him have a bite to prove that Princess's head was plastic, not cake.
So, there you have it. The steps to turn a plain ol' mixing bowl into a whimsical Princess cake! (This same technique can be used for other occasions requiring a dome shaped cake...an "Over the Hill" party, for instance.) Enjoy!