Sunday, October 12, 2014

How to create a beautiful Dolly Varden cake...

We have just celebrated our daughter's 9th birthday, and this year she wanted a simple checkerboard cake ("simple" was her description). Before I share that one with you, I wanted to reminisce and share the cake I made for her 8th birthday...a beautiful Dolly Varden!

As a young girl, a Dolly Varden cake was the ultimate. You knew you were going to a special birthday party if she made an appearance. These days, Dolly has been given a make over. No more chunky marshmallow skirt. With fondant so readily available, you could not create an easier cake! Here's how...

You will need:

  • Dolly Varden tin
  • 2 x your favourite cake mix (I've used Betty Crocker's Strawberries and Cream)
  • vanilla frosting
  • white fondant
  • soft gel paste food colour (for this project I've used AmeriColor's regal purple, electric pink, and sky blue
  • silver cachous
  • doll torso (I've recycled one of Eme's old Barbies)
  • flower cutter

Step one - bake your cake

Make sure you grease and flour your Dolly Varden tin thoroughly so your baked cake doesn't stick. Pour in your prepared cake mix up to at least 2 inches from the top of the tin, then gently place in the oven. The base of the tin is very narrow, so ensure you sit it on a sheet tin so that you have a smooth surface to rest it on. You will need to adjust the cooking time, so check every 10 minutes past the recommended cooking time. Chances are, your cake with overflow the top of the tin a little...just trim it off level. Allow to cool completely before turning out onto your cooling tray.

Step two - frost your cake and insert the doll

Dab some vanilla frosting onto your cake plate, and place you cake in the centre. The frosting will hold it in place. Then, using more of your ready made vanilla frosting, coat your cake all over. Prepare your doll's hair, and insert her into the top of the cake. You only want to push her in as far as the hips so that you can create the skirt up to her natural waist. It is easier if you remove your doll's legs prior to inserting her into the cake. You may also want to cover her base with tin foil, if you want to keep her after.

Step three - prepare your frosting and start dressing your doll.

Colour your fondant with soft gel paste food colour and need to spread the colour through, and to make the fondant pliable. First, you'll need to make her top. Wrap your other coloured fondants in cling wrap and set aside.  Wrap a little fondant around her waist and smooth it out so that the line from the cake up to her waist is natural looking. Next, roll out a piece of fondant, brush a very minimal amount of water on it, then wrap it around your doll's torso. The water will help it stick.  Shape the bodice of the dress with your fingers/tools. It doesn't matter what the base of the bodice looks like, as this will be covered.

Step four - build your doll's skirt

Roll out the fondant for your doll's skirt, then punch out a tonne of flowers. Starting from the bottom, add the flowers row by row. The frosting will stick them to the skirt.
When you reach the top, trim your flowers in a straight line in readiness for her sash to be attached.

Step five - add your details

Roll out a thin piece of fondant to create your sash. Wrap a piece between the bodice and skirt, and attach with a little water. Next add your flowing sash down her skirt, then finish with the bow. To add glamour to her outfit, dab a little water in the centre of each flower, the bust of her bodice, and the seam of her bodice, and add silver cachous balls. Dust off any corn flower, and get ready for your party!! The diamante number 8 pick was purchased at my local cake shop.
There you have Dolly Varden cake ready for a special birthday party
...and that makes for a very happy birthday girl!
Did you have a Dolly Varden cake as a child? If you make one, drop me an email to share.

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