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. Rating: 4

    I tried this for my daughter’s B’day. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Came out so well ????. I got confused with the measurements the recipe says
    1 1/2 cups or 324g – sugar
    2 1/4 cups or 360g – plain or all purpose flour
    Is it correct in g or cups Bec 2 1/4 cup is not 360g
    But I followed the grams measure and cake was good.
    If u confirm which is correct will help me when I bake it next time ??

    Thank you loads!!!?

  2. Rating: 5

    Came out well nice and easy recipe for princess cake. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Rating: 4.5

    I am very new to baking and this was my first attempt at a cake with frosting. Although i could not get the ruffles or for that matter any design….this video still helped me alot.
    I dont like butter cream as it is too sweet.. so i thought of using whipped cream. While it was ok at first… it got weepy in the end and so i had to settle with this.
    So here is my attempt.
    Once again thank you for your aweskme videos.
    P.s. can u tell me how to prevent whipped cream from turning weepy.

    • Whipped cream when it sits out because it is so fluffy and thin when exposed to heat it will liquefy

  4. Rating: 5


  5. Rating: 5

    Loved it. 100% dad mode on the icing of it though. What you do with a plastic bag, is like some sort of sorcerery.

  6. Rating: 5

    How many people does this cake serve please?

    • Hi Hannah this will be plenty for 20 guests ?

  7. Rating: 5

    Love this post. Am in the middle of making my first Barbie dress cake per these instructions. Best instructions and video I found. Thank you!!

  8. Hi, are you able to tell me what size cookie cutter is needed to hollow out the cake for the doll to fit?
    Thank you.

  9. I love the barbie and the cake as well. I am planning to make one of these cakes some time this week and i really want to purchase that same barbie doll. Could you tell me where you purchased it?

    • Hi Julie, this tutorial was made quite a while back so it is unlikely that you can put your hands on the same doll. Ann usually gets her supplies from local shops, the same as any other home baker might use. If you live in Australia I would suggest trying woolworths or big W or some of the other discount stores.

  10. I’m planning to try this but I’m wondering if one batch of buttercream is enough for to make one of these beautiful cakes. Thanks!

    • Hi Shannon, More is always safer, especially when layering and decorating. I would prepare at least a double batch.

  11. Thanks for the tutorial. Can’t wait to try it! Can you make the cake the night before? If so, how should it be stored?

    • Hi Annabel, Yes you can and as longer as the cake is completely covered in Buttercream, you can store in the fridge.

  12. Time to say a big thank you for this beautiful receipe . This is my second attempt and it’s still good .

    • Hi Rav, Great work and thanks for the feedback.

  13. Thank you for the inspiration (and instructions) for this Belle cake for my grand-daughter. She loved it!

    • It looks gorgeous Terese! Well done!

  14. This was a great cake. I made it for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. She loved it! She now lives watching your videos with me. Her 3rd birthday is coming up and she saw me watching the my little pony cake video, guess what Mummy is making this year.

    • That is great Louise!

  15. How well does this cake freeze? And is it still lovely and moist when defrosted?
    I need to make this cake about 10 days before I do any of the icing and decorating?

    • Hi Tash, Cakes are always much better fresh. If you need to cook prior and freeze, cover the cooled and unfrosted cake with non stick baking paper, then cover in plastic wrap ensuring that no air can get in. Double wrap if you need to. Then freeze. When you want to use the cake, take out of the freezer and thaw. I like to put a slightly damp clean tea towel over mine to minimize drying out. To ensure the cake is moist, you could lightly brush the layers with sugar syrup before filling and frosting.

  16. Hi Ann,
    When piping the icing, could I use piping bags instead?

    • Of course you can!

  17. Ok, let me start by saying this: I am not a baker. I literally have only made a handful of sheet cakes in my life (for my young kids). So attempting this was huge for me, with literally ZERO experience.
    Your thorough instructions and video helped me SO much. So much so that I was able to make this on my very first try!!!!
    It’s a trial run for my daughter’s 7th birthday cake, so when I try for the actual occasion in a few weeks, I will be using a different doll and also some beet juice to tint the frosting pink.
    I just used some random bowls I had on hand, so the skirt is not as “full”, but I’m okay with that.
    I like the flavor of my frosting, but I didn’t like how as I was piping it, there seemed to be air bubbles, or breaks, or “weak spots”, if that makes sense!! What would cause that?
    Thank you for being so thorough with your instructions! I loved it! And I actually did some cupcakes too that turned out VERY well- because your videos are fantastic!
    Thank you!

    • Hi Ellen, well you did an awesome job. I can see what you mean regarding your piping. I think it is more of a technique issue. When filling your piping bag, push the buttercream down toward the tip trying to remove any air pockets as you go. Some people find this easier if they sit the bag in a glass and really fill the bag well. When full, give it a good shake before squeezing air out of the top and twisting the bag to seal. Some people like to knead the closed bag to get the air to the top when they can get it out. You tend to have these issues when you first start piping from a bag or when you refill a bag and air gets trapped.

  18. I,d like to subscribe and receive updates and comments from you please, your site is most helpful to me, for making things for my great grandchildren, Thank you

  19. I used your instructions to make an Elsa cake from Frozen. Not only did it turn out beautifully, but everyone commented on how delicious the cake was as well! The only challenge I ran into was that the Elsa doll’s knees didn’t bend, so I baked the excess batter in another small Pyrex bowl for the top of the cake to add the necessary height. Great tutorial – I am by no means a baking pro and yet the results were great!

    • Well done Jerilyn, great result!

  20. Hi, this is an amazing tutorial. How far in advance can the cake be made so that it is still lovely and moist the day of the eating. Thanks.

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