Valley of the Cake Dolls
It was my granddaughter’s second birthday and I traveled 1700 miles to see her. I spent the week with her before her birthday and was reminded just how sweet and volatile a 2 year old can be. She could go from sweet and cuddly to total meltdown in the matter of seconds with just one little word “No”. That one word would be uttered and her happy giggling world would suddenly turn into something that can only be related to an all out “China Syndrome” nuclear meltdown. She would do this several times a day and with her being 2 she never really cared where or when. This I can say, she has healthily lungs and is strong as an ox.
When my sister and I were little as well as my own daughter and nieces, we were blessed with the cakes my mother made. They were these gorgeous creations made from a doll and lots of cake and creamy frosting. They as everything that my mother did were pure perfection. My mother would bake the cake of our choosing in a bundt or angel food pan. Then she would take an inexpensive Barbie want-a –be doll and take her legs off so all that was left was the upper torso. Then she would fill the hole in the middle with stiff frosting and stick the doll in the frosting so it would stand upright. Once she had the entire cake frosted like a beautiful ball gown she would take a piping envelope and make the top of the dress on the doll with piping and sprinkles and candies and such. It was any little girl’s dream come true. Mother is now making doll cakes for the little angels in heaven, but her tradition must live on. My daughter’s only request of me for my precious little granddaughter was a “doll cake just like Meme used to make”. Don’t get me wrong, I can cook, I can bake and I can plate food and make it look delectable, but cake decorating is not my forte’. So off the two of us go to get the necessary supplies, which is where my story truly begins.
This is what Meme's cakes would look like. This is from the "How To" website.
No longer do they make the Barbie knock-off dolls that you can tear their legs off. No today they make dolls whose legs do not come off. The day of the birthday, it is just Miss Priss and I at home and we get out the supplies ready to embark on our maiden voyage as grandmother and granddaughter making the first of a long line of doll cakes. So I get out the bundt pan, fill it with creamy strawberry cake batter and place it in the over and start to work figuring out how to fit a 16” tall Barbie into a 10’ tall cake and make her stand up. Once the bundt is cooked I stick the doll in the center to measure and realize there is no way short of cutting of the doll’s legs. I had one problem, no way to cut them off. I have no tools not even a sharp pair of scissors. Trying to emulate Meme and make do with what I had on hand I decided if I baked another cake, in a round cake pan that might give me the height needed. So into the oven the next layer went. I placed the bundt cake on top of the regular round cake then stuck the doll into that in hopes I had solved my dilemma. The doll was still a good bit too tall. So in a stroke of genius I bent the dolls legs back into an unnatural position of kneeling and secured them with a large rubber band. I wrapped her in plastic wrap and stuck her in the middle of the cake and ‘ouila, it was perfect. I then proceeded to cover the whole thing in rich and creamy pink frosting. The dolls torso was still devoid of any covering. I had looked for a piping bag but could not find one so purchased canned piping instead. I covered the bodice with this piping only to realize it was very hard to control and way too oily to put on the plastic wrap. So it would slide down the bodice onto the cake. After several attempts I was able to get it to stick and the effect if not perfection was acceptable to a two year old. The party was to be later that evening after dinner. I placed the cake in the refrigerator to keep the icing from melting anymore than it was and proceeded on with dinner.
We gathered presents and cake and took the party outside. To say it was a pink party is not being fair to you. Think Pep tobismal explosion and then cover that in pink wrapping. Yes, it was pink.
That’s it, that’s my cake story.