How to Make a Barbie Cake (Princess Birthday Cake)

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This princess Barbie Cake is every little girl’s dream! This recipe works for any size Barbie or Princess doll and is very fun to make!

A cake made from an Elsa Barbie Doll

Birthday Barbie Cake

Barbie birthday cakes were all the rage when we were little girls. We each had at least one birthday when our mom made us a sparkly Barbie doll cake with our favorite new Barbie doll. It was a perfect gift and cake in one. Now that Disney princesses are all the rage, and the Disney princess dolls are a similar size, you can make the same kind of cake with a favorite princess. The little princess in your life will adore it and you’ll be the hero of any party!

Girl next to an Elsa birthday Barbie cake

How to Make a Barbie/Princess Skirt

  1. Find your “molds”. The “skirt” of the cake is baked in one or two 8″ cake pans and a glass bowl (or two glass bowls, one medium-sized and one small sized). That’s all you’ll need for the base of the cake, or the skirt. Get creative with what you have. Just make sure the bowls you are using are oven safe. A ceramic or stoneware mixing bowl will work great. The size of cake will fit any Barbie-size princess doll or Barbie doll.
  2. Make and bake the cakes. Mix two box mixes of cake mix (you can mix and match or use all one flavor, totally up to you. Following the directions in the recipe card below, bake cake according to package instructions. To avoid sticking, grease or butter your pans and then lightly dust with flour before adding the batter. Tip: Use any excess batter to make cupcakes
  3. Cool and flip. About 10 minutes after removing from the oven, flip the round cakes and/or bowls over and release the cakes from the pans and/or bowls. You may need to gently slip a knife around the edges to loosen, and then invert onto a wire cooling rack. This way the cakes can finish cooling and you will avoid the cake sweating and sticking to the bowl.
  4. Stack the layers. Stack the cakes one on top of the other, with the larger one on the bottom, then trim off the excess to make a full skirt. You may want to cut the cakes in half horizontally and add frosting in between the layers to add more height.
  5. Freeze and frost. I usually like to wrap the whole cake in plastic wrap and pop it in the freezer overnight after it has cooled. This makes it so much easier to frost later on. Insert doll into the top of the cake (you may want to use a knife to cut a hole the width of the Barbie doll if it is still fairly frozen) and decorate
Cake layers stacked to make a Barbie cake

How to Decorate a Princess Barbie Cake

Once the cakes are completely chilled, take your Barbie or princess doll (undressed) and stick her legs into the middle of the cake. Then decorate her bodice and skirt however you like. To make things easier on yourself, get a doll where the bodice is painted on. Then the only part you need to decorate is the “skirt” part. 

Close up of frosting being piped onto a Barbie cake to show color match

Don’t let the frosting of this cake intimidate you. Anyone with or without artistic skills can decorate a princess or Barbie cake! All you need is a basic decorating set with a few decorative tips. The hardest part is just making the same star-shaped pattern over and over. I’ll admit, it takes a strong and steady hand, but it’s totally worth it. A friend of mine recently made a Princess Tiana cake using a similar pattern and it turned out so cute! Use pictures or the actual doll’s dress as inspiration for how to decorate the cake. If it doesn’t look right, scrape it off and try again! You can do this!

What Frosting is Best?

I love using our homemade buttercream frosting when I am decorating cakes with beautiful detail like these princess cakes. Buttercream frosting holds its shape well and it is easy to pipe so you can do all kinds of fun designs for your Barbie birthday cake. You can also use Cream Cheese Frosting recipe or even fondant to decorate your cake. You will want about 6-7 cups of frosting to cover your cake if you are wanting to pipe the entire cake. This allows for some extra for dividing and color mixing. 

Cupcake decorating supplies next to a bowl of buttercream frosting

Tips for Decorating

  • Clip up the doll’s hair or any accessories while decorating. 
  • Lightly frost the cake before piping or decorating. This is called a “crumb coat”. It adds strength to the cake once the decorating icing is applied and keeps unwanted crumbs from being seen.
  • Use a cake plate or lazy Susan when decorating. This will make it easier to turn while piping. 
  • Separate your frosting into bowls, color with food coloring, then cover with a damp cloth until ready to use so the frosting doesn’t dry out.
  • Practice piping on wax paper until you get comfortable creating your designs. Here is a great post on some simple piping techniques to try. 
  • Use gel food coloring from the craft store. These types of food coloring are far superior to the water food coloring at the grocery story. You will get brighter colors and the perfect tint to match your princess. 
  • Get creative with decorations! You can use sprinkles or any shape or size, piping gels, or any other fun sugary ingredients you can find.
Frosting being piped onto a Barbie cake to look like a dress

Disney Elsa Cake

For the Elsa Barbie doll birthday cake we used a Barbie that had a painted on body and a skirt (instead of a full dress). This made it super easy to decorate. We mixed Sky Blue and Lavender food coloring to get the right colors. We kept adding color a drop at a time until it matched Elsa’s bodice colors. 

For the skirt, we did 2 colors. The top color was more heavy on the blue and the bottom was heavier on the lavender color. To get the “hombre” look, we filled one pastry bag with the blue, another one with the purple and then put BOTH bags (no tips in either bag) in one bag with the star tip. That way the two colors combined without mixing too much. It gave it more of a swirled look.

Close up of a Barbie cake to show detail of frosting and cake decorations

We used a star tip to make the “swirls”. We alternated the direction of each swirl to give it more interest. You could also probably do rosettes and it would look beautiful. We finished off the look with pearl sprinkles and sparkly snowflake foam stickers (of course, we removed the stickers before eating). 

Disney Rapunzel Cake

For the Rapunzel cake, we mostly piped little flowers using a star tip. We used a flat tip for the ribbon on the front of the dress and a larger star tip for the “shell” looking border along the bottom. 

Pink and purple Princess Birthday Cake

More Delicious Birthday Cake Recipes

There’s nothing more I love in life than a slice of beautiful, luscious, moist birthday cake. Use a box cake mix (like in the recipe below) or try making your cake from scratch using one of our homemade cake recipes:

How to Make a Princess Birthday Cake

Barbie cake made with an Elsa Barbie doll

Barbie Birthday Cake

5 from 14 votes
This Princess Birthday Cake or Barbie Birthday Cake is every little girl's dream! This recipe works for any size Barbie or Princess doll and is very fun to make!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Decorating 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, make up cake batter for both cake mixes. *Optional – for a more dense and moist cake substitute half of the water for the same amount of sour cream.
    Grease and flour an 8" pan and a ceramic medium oven-safe bowl or a medium-sized and small glass oven-safe bowl (see notes above). Spray pans with cooking spray (or grease with butter) and dust lightly with flour. Turn upside-down and tap the bowl to get rid of excess flour.
    A pan and a bowl stacked to show the shape of a Barbie cake
  • Fill with batter until they are a little over ¾ full. Use remaining batter for cup cakes.
    Bake at 325 for about an hour or until the center feels set (checking after 30 minutes). If you are using a cake pan for one of the layers, check after 20 minutes. 
    Two prepared round cakes and a bowl-shaped cake
  • About 10 minutes after you remove the cake from the oven, turn out of bowl onto wax paper. This prevents the cake from sweating and sticking to the bowl.
    Stick the cakes in the freezer for a few hours or overnight until they are really firm.
    Layer the small cake onto the large cake and trim any over hang.
    Cake layers stacked to make a Barbie cake
  • Stick your Princess or Barbie in the center of the cake and frost over her upper half to make it look like a dress.
    An Elsa Barbie doll sticking out of layers of cake
  • Layer with a thin layer of frosting to create a "crumb coat".
    A cake shaped like a skirt for a princess Barbie doll with a simple layer of frosting
  • Make frosting (see link above) and decorate.
    Frosting being piped onto a Barbie cake to look like a dress

Video

Notes

Nutrition represents a standard white cake mix with buttercream frosting. Nutritional values of other flavors may vary.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 385kcalCarbohydrates: 84gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 717mgPotassium: 64mgFiber: 1gSugar: 44gCalcium: 226mgIron: 2mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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Comments

  1. Could you give a link to which doll you used in this cake? So pretty! I’m assuming she’s a Rapunzel doll but I couldn’t find the exact one. Want to make this cake for my daughter’s birthday.

    1. It has been a long time since we made this cake, I don’t know if they sell that specific doll anymore. But any Rapunzel Barbie doll will work!

  2. 5 stars
    These are so fun! I remember when I was little my mom made one for me one year. I don’t have any little girls of my own, but I love this recipe and will pass it on to my friends with girls. <3

  3. 5 stars
    I’m going to make it for my granddaughter last time I made one was for my mother she was 80 years old. And she use to make them for my birthday I still have the cake doll with real hair she used .

  4. 5 stars
    Wow, this cake looks amazing! Unfortunately, only boys in my family but I am definitely showing it to my sister as she has two girls!

  5. 5 stars
    What an amazingly creative cake idea!! I feel like this would be every little girl’s ideal birthday cake! Love that it looks super fancy but is pretty easy to make too!

  6. 5 stars
    This is a delightful birthday cake and I love the idea of it. I bet any girl would love this for her special day and be thrilled to get such a pretty cake!

    1. 5 stars
      It looks Fantastic. Probably every girl dreams of this. This is every little girl’s dream! Great share with easy directions!

  7. Could you make the cake the day before and then frost it the day if party? Would you you still freeze it or just store in the fridge overnight? Or is it best to do it all the day of?

    1. Yes! You can store it in the freezer overnight. That way it will be really easy to frost. Just make sure it has about 30 minutes to thaw after frosting.

  8. 5 stars
    Fantastic! This is every little girl’s dream! My mom made me one for one of my birthdays. Actually…she made one LARGE one and like 6 small ones! Nothing like over doing it! lol …. Great, easy directions!