For my daughter's 6th birthday her grandmother bought her a chocolate fountain so I was pretty sure I was free and clear on the cake. WRONG. Apparently, it is not a birthday if there is not cake. Never mind that all they eat is the frosting. So when Ella spotted a doll dress cake on display in the bakery at the grocery store… that's what she wanted. With a price tag of $35, I decided I could make it myself.
Now, you can make this with pans you have right in your house. But we were at my mom's house and I had to bake in an oven I'm not used to with supplies that weren't mine in more humidity than I'm used than should be legal. So I cheated. I ordered the Wilton Wonder Mold Kit and doll pick , which is basically half of a fashion doll that sits right on top of the cake. It turns out that the mold kit comes with a brunette doll pick, though, so I didn't need to order one, but now I have a blonde and a brunette.
I baked the cake on Friday for a Saturday party. Because this was my first attempt at this kind of cake, I stuck with box mixes. I used two Duncan Hines strawberry boxed cake mixes in the wonder mold. I doctored the mix and added 2 boxes of vanilla pudding (they don't make strawberry, I guess), 2 small containers of strawberry yogurt and substituted milk for the water called for on the box instructions. These additions will take your box mix from good to delicious!
The directions say to bake the wonder mold for 50-60 minutes, but I ended up baking it for 90 minutes and the very top in the middle was still a little oozy. I'm not sure if the additions to the box mixes made the baking time longer of it is just my mom's 20 year old oven. But it worked out fine because I cut off the very top (bottom of the dress) to make a flat bottom anyway.
I prepped the baking mold pan by liberally covering it with palm shortening and flour. I made sure every single spot was covered! The cake popped right out!
I decided to also bake a single 8″ round cake to add a little more height. My mom actually had a mix for a single chocolate cake so I used that. I'm glad I added the cake because it just made the doll a bit bigger and more majestic looking in the end.
I let the molded cake cool completely, but got impatient with the 8″ round and started a crumb coat while it was just barely still warm. I put a layer of frosting between the 8″ round and the mold and then just did a thin layer of frosting, called a crumb coat, all around. I then put the cake in the fridge for a few hours.
I put the doll top in the cake once I was ready to finalize the decorating. I did pull her hair up with a hair tie to keep it out of the frosting. I added another layer of frosting and swirled it around with an off-set spatula to try and make the frosting look like flowing fabric. I piped stars on to the doll's bodice to cover her and my 12 year old placed stars on the dress. She also piped on 2 rows of stars on the very bottom of the dress. I bought a Norpro cake decorating set and I love it! It's very inexpensive and has the basics.
I am absolutely thrilled with the way the cake turned out! My daughter loved it and that's really all that matters. Hopefully she wants a doll dress birthday cake for at least a few more years!