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. Could you please tell me how much buttercream I need to make for this cake. It just says a quantity. Not sure how much that is. Worried I will either not have enough which is awkward.if I have already coloured it or I will end up with lots over

    • Hi Linda, Ann tries to ensure that you have a generous quantity that will be plenty for the purpose. The recipe should you give you sufficient to frost the cake as described. It will all depend on how generous you are with the buttercream. Most of the buttercream recipe options make 2-3 cups of frosting, so you may have a little left over. As this cake is covered in buttercream, you will need a generous supply. With any left over you could make some exta buttercream flowers to decorate the plate as you see here:

  2. hi Ann, im gonna start practicing making this cake so i could make one as a gift to my niece, do you have a recipe for chocolate cake? id like to make chocolate princess cake instead of vanilla. thanks

    • Hi Miles, Ann has quite a few chcolate cake recipes but this is one of her favourites:

      • wow. really thanks 🙂 i’m so excited to make my first ever dollcake tomorrow. wish me luck 🙂

      • my first attempt lol

        • Wow Miles, That looks amazing! I am sure it was as yummy as it looks.

          • thanks! i appreciate all ur help 🙂

  3. Hello,
    I’m going to make this cake for my daughter’s 3 rd birthday tomorrow. Does the buttercream last if I make it a day in advance? Does it have to be kept in the fridge then?

    • Hi Brynn, You can make the buttercream the day before but it must be stored in the fridge. Let it soften before decorating the cake.

  4. Hi! I will be doing this tomorrow for my niece 2nd birthday! Thank you for the very clear instructions and demonstrations. I hope I will make it!

    Do you think it is safe in the car for 2 hours of traveling when I already decorated it? And I will send you some pictures when I am done!

    Greetings from Europe!

    • Hi Nessa, it should travel ok as long as you keep it cool and pack it so it won’t move.

  5. And here is her 4th birthday cake – Elsa of course 😉 Great tutorial 🙂

    • Hi Catherine, This looks fabulous. Well done!

  6. Been meaning to thank you for your tutorial. I used it to make my daughter’s 3rd and 4th birthday cakes. Turned out amazing! Thanks very much. Here is her 3rd birthday cake.

    • This one looks awesome too!

  7. Cool cake. Can u plzzzzzzzz suggest me where to buy Barbie?

  8. I like it. But how is icy done. Thanks

  9. Hi ann I mad this cake, the tinned cake came out lovely but although I greased the bowl half the cake got ruined as it only dropped half out and the rest just went to waste. The cake in the bowl just fell to pieces 🙁 I was really impressed with the tinned cake but when layering it and putting a hole in the middle, that also made it fall into pieces so literally half the cake went into the bin. I tried to mend where I could but it was a nightmare, I was doing this cake for 6 hours in total do you have any tips please? It would be much appreciated, I even put the cakes In the freezer for a while to make them more workable with less crumbs but it fell to pieces which was upsetting 🙁

    • Oh Holly, That sounds terrible. It must have been so frustrating. It is hard to know exactly what the problem was. Usually if a cake looks okay but crumbles to easily it would be one of two main problems: The proportions of wet to dry ingredients could be out: If there was too much sugar or fat, the cakes can crumble easily. It is possible that that you may have needed another egg to get the texture right. Double check your ingredients and quantities just to be sure. The other thing that can be a problem is under mixing. If the ingredients weren’t mixed sufficiently this can impact the cake texture. Did your cake mix look similar to Ann’s when you popped it in the baking dishes? Lastly, sometimes if the oven temperature is a little a little too low, this problem can result. In regards to the bowl sticking, it sounds like the cake texture was more of the issue but you could try lining the bottom of the bowl with a circle of baking paper, especially if the bowl is old. Ann also likes to use the Sponge mix for shaped cakes: so you might want to try this mix as an alternative. I have found it pretty reliable and easy to work with.

      • Hi

        COuld you advise on the time that the cakes should be in the oven. Just as a guide as i know its not good to open the oven too much when baking a cake.

        • Hi Farida, With a standard round baking try similar to what is used here, it will usually take about 25-35 mins in my oven. The deeper the cake , the longer it usually takes

  10. I love watching your video on YouTube I want to became a cake designed I want your help looking for your answer on my email thank you

    • Hi Elthana, Ann suggests you keep on practicing and trying new ideas. Ann loves to experiment and that is something you could do to.

  11. Hello 🙂
    I bought the Wilton wonder mold pan set which makes this cake shape (instead of using the bowl)… Should I be following the baking instructions for this pan or for the recipe? It says to cook at 350f (175c) for 50-60 mins
    Also can u please let me know if I need to change the temperature of my oven is fan forced? It does not have a conventional option at all…
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi tania, you will need to measure the volume of your pan – just fill it with water and see how many cups it holds. Then you will know if you need the same amount of cake batter or less or more. That is what will effect cooking times. My oven is fan forced too 😀

      • Great! Thank u 🙂

      • Hi ann I like ur attitude plssss add me !!! Ur email I’d plss I’ll add u

  12. Hi there Ann,

    Is there a buttercream icing recipe that could be pink and work well here but have real fruits in it? Tho the raspberry one looks a bit orange, would it ice well on this cake? I’d still like a pink one…maybe strawberries.

    Thank you kindly for your easy and thorough instructions and video!!! :))

    • Hi Josee, Ann recommends just adding some food colouring to get the colour you are wanting. So you could use the rasberry one and add pink colour etc.

  13. Hi there
    I just love this recipe and am planning on making this for a friend whose daughter has a birthday soon. Can I substitute Almond or Soy milk for this recipe as the little girl is Lactose Intolerant.

    • Hi Zephora, you should be able to use Almond or soy milk without issue.

  14. Really really helpful…I’m going to try it right away

  15. Hi Ann,
    I just HAD to leave a comment!! I baked a test sponge this morning in 20cm round tin. My daughter’s Birthday is this month and I want to make her Barbie doll cake. I’ve baked few cakes before. Even a three tire wedding cake but my problem always was the sponge… I would follow the recipe exactly and used the same size tins but sponges would never rise as much as they were shown in pictures that came with the recipe 🙁 I know that for this cake the height is important to hide Barbie’s ridiculously long legs so I knew I need to do a test bake. And I’m delighted to say that the cake did rise and was as tall as your one, And it was super moist and yummy!!! From now on it will be my only sponge recipe!!! Thank you very much!!!

  16. Thank you for the tutorial. Here’s my cake, ready to go, hope it doesn’t get squished!

    • Gud effort Emma u did it!!!

  17. Dear Ann
    I wish to make a princess cake for my daughter’s birthday. In France, we do not make such cakes. The trend arrived in France but is not widespread.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe! The tutorial is clear but I have a small problem with the amount of flour. Is it 370 grams ? and for baking power : 14 grams ?
    Many thanks for your return.

  18. Thank you for your tut. It was super helpful.

  19. i think there is a problem in picture attachment

  20. Hi Ann
    thanks for sharing the recipe.. I tried this doll cake 2days before for my daughters 4th birthday she and everyone liked it so much.. can you please tell me how much quantity of buttercream will be required because you have mentioned the cake quantity but I came with difficulty when I was finished with buttercream in the middle of assembly. . And also my buttercream was not so smooth as yours… i had added 8or more tablespoons of cream instead of 4as you have mentioned in your recipe.. tell me why??Also can you tell which frostings we can use other than buttercream so that cake will look as beautiful as yours.. have a look of my cake..
    Thanks again

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