I love baking! When I was in college, I used to bake in the middle of the night when I was stress…much to the delight of my roommate’s. So when my friend asked me for help making a dress cake for her daughter’s fashion-themed birthday party, I was thrilled to lend a hand. After some Pinteresting, brainstorming, and some serious collaboration, this is what we ended up with. How cute is this?!
It was a huge hit! I got a lot of questions about how I made it, so I thought I would write up a step-by-step tutorial. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the process, but I think the instructions will make sense if you use the photo as a guide. If you have any specific questions that aren’t answered by this post, please ask away!
What You’ll Need:
- Wilton Wonder Mold Cake Pan (available on Amazon)
- A round pan for the base that is at least 10″ (we used a spring form pan we had on hand)
- Offset Spatula
- Small Icing Spatula
- Fondant Roller or Rolling Pin
- Pastry Bags
- Cake Decorating Tips: Star tips in a couple of sizes and a small round tip
- Icing Comb (I use this one)
- Form for the body (either the doll that comes with the cake pan set or your form of choice. We used a plastic doll-sized dress form and sanitized it)
- Ribbon bow (if desired)
- 2 boxes of cake mix
- Lots of icing (You can make your own or use a tub of pre-made buttercream decorator icing like we did. You can get it in the cake and candy aisle of your craft store)
- Icing dye (As pictured we used yellow and black, but you can use any colors you like)
- Black Fondant for the bodice of the dress and the dots (you could also use small candies, chocolate chips, or more icing)
- Sugar Pearls
Baking the Cakes
- Start by baking two cakes–one in the wonder mold pan and one in the spring form pan.
- Mix up the batter according to the package instructions.
- Thoroughly grease your pans so that the cake won’t stick when you flip it out. I’ve found that rubbing Crisco (shortening) all over the pan and then dusting it with flour works best. Be sure to get all of the corners and tap out any excess flour. You should end up with a light coat.
- Pour in the batter and tap the pan against the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.
- For the base cake, you’ll bake according to the package instructions. For the dress cake, you’ll need to leave it in for about 50 minutes to get done all the way through. There’s special instructions that come with the mold if your not sure.
- Once the cakes are baked, remove them from the over and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Optional Step: If you want the bottom of your dress to be flat against the base, you’ll want to trim the dome off the dress cake before you remove it from the pan. We were going for a floating look and wanted to be able to see under the dress, so we did not trim ours.
- After 10 minutes, flip the cakes out of the pans onto a plate and allow to cool completely. You can place them in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.
- If your base cake isn’t flat on the top, you can trim it using a knife or a cake leveler.
- Once the cakes have completely cooled, you can start decorating!
- Start by taking plain white icing and your spatula and put a crumb coat of icing on the bottom layer. A crumb coat is what it sounds like, a layer of icing that catches all the crumbs so they won’t show up in your finished cake.
- After you do the crumb coat, put the cake in the fridge for a few minutes until the icing gets firm.
- Now ice the bottom layer normally with white icing and smooth it out.
- Once you’ve finished icing the base, put a dollop of icing in the center and place the dress cake on top.
- Center the dress cake and gently press it into place.
- Dye some frosting yellow by scooping plain icing into a bowl and adding icing dye a little bit at a time until you reach your desired color. Mix the icing and dye with a fork until the color is even. A little goes a long way!
- Before you start icing the dress, be sure that whatever form your using for the bodice fits in the hole from the mold. Ours didn’t so we had to cut out a little bit of the cake to make it fit. Do this now to avoid any crumbs getting in your icing,
- Crumb coat the dress with yellow icing and pop it in the fridge to set.
- Now put a generous coat of yellow icing all over the dress.
- To make the pleats in the dress, take the finest side of the icing comb and use downward strokes to groove the icing.
- Roll out a piece of fondant to about a 1/4″ thick and wrap it around your form to make the bodice of the dress.
- Place the form in the top of the cake.
- Mix up a bowl of black icing. Note: It takes a lot of dye to get close to actual black icing.
- Using your small spatula, carefully ice under the dress where there is expose cake (It’s hard to see in the picture, but trust me it really makes the cake look finished).
- Set up a pastry bag with a coupler and an open star tip and fill it with yellow icing.
- Pipe a border around where the bodice meets the dress and along the bottom of the dress where the black and the yellow meet.
- Roll out the fondant you picked for the dots and use the round tip as a cutter to make the polka dots (or pipe them on using that tip)
- Place them all over the bottom of the dress.
- Add your bow at the waist
- Fill a pastry bag with black icing and pipe a border around where the base of the cake meets the plate using an open star tip.
- Fill a pastry bag with white icing and pipe a border around the top edge of the base cake.
- Switch the tip on your yellow pastry bag to a regular star tip and place stars around the base of the cake.
- Switch the tip on your white pastry bag to the round tip and pipe a thin line of icing around the neck of the form.
- Gently place sugar pearls on the icing to make a pearl necklace.
- For a final touch, scatter sugar pearls under the dress on the base for a little extra glitz!
Whew! It’s a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it. This beauty will stun as your party centerpiece. If your try it or make something similar, please let me know. I would love to see it!