Ann Reardon

How to Make a Princess Cake using Buttercream

buttercream princess doll

How to make a princess cake step 1

Bake your cakes and gather what you need:

A round and a bowl shaped cake – see recipe at end of post
1 quantity of buttercream – see buttercream recipes here if you don’t like buttercream try italian meringue instead
A doll to go inside you cake
Cake board or cake stand to put the cake on
Large serated knife to cut the layers
Simple syrup – see recipe at end of post
red gel colour
large ziploc bags for piping & scissors to cut bags
White or pink sprinkles or silver cachous depending on the bodice style you choose

Vanilla Cake Recipe
(you need to double this recipe to make the princess cake. If making cupcakes this recipe makes twenty)

20 millilitres (0.68 fluid ounces) or 2 Tbsp oil
120g (4.23 ounces) or 1/2 cup plus 2 tsp margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups or 324g (11.43 ounces) sugar (caster or super fine)
2 1/4 cups or 360g (12.7 ounces) plain or all purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups or 312 millilitres (10.55 fluid ounces) milk (4% fat)
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 180ºC (356ºF).
For best results put the butter, oil and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 3 minutes on high speed until pale and fluffy. Add all of the remaining ingredients at once and beat on low speed for 1 minute only so it is just combined.
Just over half fill a 20cm (7.87 inches) round cake tin and spread mixture over to the sides so dips slightly in centre.  Pour remaining mixture into an ovenproof mixing bowl, mine was 20cm (7.87 inches) diameter at the top of the bowl.   Bake in moderate oven until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Tip: For the mixing bowl cake once it looks done – but when you insert the skewer it is still gooey – move it to the bottom shelf and place an empty baking tray on the top shelf to allow it to keep cooking without the top burning.

princess doll buttercream

Simple syrup recipe

100g (3.53 ounces) or 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar (caster or super fine)
100 millilitres (3.38 fluid ounces) or 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp water
Optional – 1 Tbsp vanilla
Heat sugar and water stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Continue to heat until makes a syrup (approx 104ºC or 220ºF).
Remove from heat, allow to cool completely and put into squeezy bottle.


princess doll cake reardon

How to make a princess cake step 2:

Turn your cakes out of their baking dishes and allow to cool completely (warm cakes will melt the buttercream).

To shape the bowl cake place it flat side down and then slice off the bulging round bits at the top edge so that it looks more like flowing hooped skirt and not a bowl.  Hooped skirts are tailored in towards the waistline.

Cut this cake into 3 layers – that is make two cuts through the cake. Take your other cake and cut into two layers. Then take a round cookie cutter and cut a circle out of the centre of all of these cake layers.

To construct the cake, first brush each layer with syrup before you place buttercream between the layers and stack. Make a very thin ‘crumb coat’ of buttercream on the outside of the cake and place it in the fridge to harden – this will help the piped buttercream to stick to your cake. Do not worry too much if it is not perfectly smooth or beautiful looking just do your best.  Place in the fridge to firm up.


Cut your ziplock bag in the way shown in the video above and fill one bag with pink and the other with plain buttercream.  Using the plain buttercream pipe a ruffle around the base of the cake.  Then taking the pink buttercream and starting just above the line you just did pipe a pink ruffle around the cake.  Repeat up to the top of the cake.

Take your doll and make the hair how you want it to be – this is easier to do while you can hold the doll rather than when it is covered in icing.  If you are having the hair down then you may like to loosely put it up while you are icing.  Surround the legs of the doll in plastic wrap.

princess cake frosting

bodice 1

princess cake body

bodice 2

homemade princess doll cake recipe tutorial

bodice 3

Choose which bodice style you prefer and pipe the buttercream onto the body of the doll (see video for demonstration) allowing it to come lower than you need.  Then holding the doll by the head place it into the center of the cake – bending the legs slightly if it needs to sit lower in the cake.

Take your bag or pink buttercream and pipe one final frill around the waist to cover any gaps at the waist.

Buttercream recipes for various flavours of buttercream area available on the buttercream post.



My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
Stores that sell my book listed by country:
All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

192 Comments View Comments

  1. Anne,
    Your Barbie Cake inspired me to commit to making one for my granddaughter’s 5th birthday in May. I baked your vanilla cake recipe as a test after seeing how good it looked and how quickly it was to make in your video. How can I get a fluffier, less dense cake Thanks so much!

    • Hi susie, I have updated the recipe to a fluffier one for you, give that a go and see if it is to your preference

      • Ann, thanks for tweaking the recipe. I will bake another test batch soon. Your attentiveness and responsiveness to this site is greatly appreciated, and your photos are absolutely amazing!

  2. Hi Ann,

    Love love love all your recipes on the site. They’ve helped me so much you have no idea.
    How do I make a no tier flat princess cake?

  3. Hi,
    I’m very impressed by your beautiful cake and I want to make it for my daugher’s 6th birthday. I can’t find wheaten cornflour in stores. Any idead what I can substitute it with?

    • Hi Asrun, lots of people could not find cornflour so I have updated the recipe to one that works well without it.

  4. Hi, would love to make this but I don’t know what size tin and bowl to use. Please can you advise?


    • Hi sian hallewell the cake tin is 21cm and the bowl diameter at the top is the same.

  5. for this recepie which butter cream recepie u used ? basic butter cream? if yes so did u double the quantity?

    • hi sofia yes i used the basic one and coloured it, and yes double the recipe. You may have some left over and you can freeze it.

  6. Hi,
    I’m wondering if you can add cocoa to it & make it a chocolate cake & if you know how much to add? Or could you use a box cake mix? I’m also wondering if I can make the cake the night before so my daughter won’t be able to see it?


    what size tin bowl was used please?

    • 21.5cm bowl diameter at top and same size tin

  8. Hello
    Was thinking of making the fondant cake and was wondering how far in advance I can get away with making this cake and icing it, as I will have a million things to do the day before the party.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Juliet, The fondant seals in the moisture and if you add the sugar syrup as shown in the video it will be fine made 24-32 hours ahead.

  9. Hey Ann, can i use whip cream instead of Butter cream?

  10. I have been searching for days for the perfect cake for my neice. I was running out of time! This is EXACTLY what I wanted- before I knew what I wanted! Thank you!

    • Wonderful and happy birthday to your neice.

  11. Ann u r the best. Never seen any video so beautiful yet so simple… Believe me im impressed for the first time in my life

    • thank you maryyam, I am glad you liked it.

  12. I love this cake!It’s beautiful. Where can I get that exact same doll

    • I purchased this one at Big W

  13. Hello Ann !

    I’m french and write some chronicles about cooking. I discovered your blog by your videos on YouTube. You’re very exceptional !
    thanks for your ideas, I like them! 🙂

    • thanks 12jac

  14. hi ann. i want to make this cake for my little sister’s 7th birthday, could you tell exactly how much buttercream i need for this recipe?can i use self raising flour instead of plain and does it matter if i use liquid food colouring instead of gel? – thanks

    • Hi farabi, Make two quantities of buttercream, if you have left over just freeze in a ziplock bag. Yes you can use self raising flour. Yes you can use liquid colour in the buttercream but I would suggest that you add that first and then your milk – as it is obviously more liquid it will effect the consistency of the buttercream so by adding the milk second you can use less milk if needed. Happy Birthday to your little sister I hope she loves it.

  15. Thanks Ann,

    Funny the amount of batter seems to come up short when I use my 9″ tin and mixing bowl. Under filled both times I tried it. Seems like I need to double the batter. Any tips why?
    Anyway the first batch still looked great. Topped off the loss of height with more buttercream.

    • Hi Pei Kee, I did bend the dolls legs a little so she was not at full height – you can see that in the video. If it is still not tall enough for you then yes double or 1 1/2 times the recipe.

      • I used a 20cm tin 8″

  16. plz reply plz –for how much time we should put the cake in the oven? plz reply..–amin

    • and yeah one more thing u and this site roxx..!! i know it is going to help me a lot thank u sooo much

    • Hi Amin, The princess cake will take between 15 and 25 minutes to cook depending on the size of your bowl. Start checking it after 15 – a skewer or knife inserted into the centre should come out cleanly if it is done. The bowl will take longer than the flat tin. You can always start to smell that beautiful baking smell when cakes are nearly done.

  17. Hi,
    Can I substitute butter ? Made it with oil today but ha a runny batter . The baking tin is a 9″ cake tin?
    I had to bake them separately one after another as my oven couldn’t fit both.. Is leaving my secon batter out ok? or better in the fridge for that half hr?

    Pei Kee

    • Hi Pei Kee, The batter is quite runny but bakes nicely. If you prefer you can use butter but you would need to let it soften before using or you can use half butter and half oil. As to leaving the batter out you would be better to make half a batch at a time because of the baking powder.

  18. could u pls tell me wat buttercream did u use?? rasberry?? i mean for the pink colour??

    • Hi sana, Yes You can use the raspberry or the plain one and add pink colouring it is up to you.

  19. HI ann,
    Thank u s much for ur princess cake recipe….hav gt few doubts..
    .1 quantity f buttercream s sufficient to frost d entire cake?
    If using icing bag (nt ziplok) which tip gives the ruffle design?
    Whats ur cake tins size?
    Shd i refrigerate iced cake befre use?

    • hi thasni, make a double quantity of butter cream, you will have some left over which you can freeze. This is easier than not having enough. 20cm cake tin. There are a few ruffle tips out there probably easiest if you google search it and find one you like.

      • Thank u ann…thz s my version f ur barbie doll cake….frosted in richs whipped cream…..doll s made of vanilla cake n bottom layer s chocolate cake… was a huge hit…..for ruffles i usd pme tip ……thanks a lot….

        • great job thasni, I love how you made it your own

  20. Hi Ann, on your website it says to use flour – is this plain or self raising flour? I assume plain, as you also need baking powder?


    • Hi Mary, yes plain flour : )

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