Enchanted Castle Cake

First it was an Elmo Cake, then a Minnie Mouse Cake and this year my friend’s daughter requested a “princess cake.” I stretched that idea a tad and made an Enchanted Castle Cake which I then surrounded with her Disney Princess figurines. My reasoning… Princesses usually live in castles! The most important thing though…. She loved it. And while last year I opted to rent the Minnie Mouse pan this year I just went ahead and purchased the Enchanted Castle Pan from Wilton. Luckily Wilton has numerous different ideas for that pan so I am sure I will get a few more uses out of it. I will say that I did cheat a bit for this cake by using a Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix and a few containers of Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting which I tinted in the appropriate colors.

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The before picture of the cake. Luckily the important aspects of the cake were visible for me to decorate, but, I did have to freehand the windows.

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Little by little the castle came alive. Of course I had my doubts along the way.

Enchanted Castle Step by Step

But, at this point of the decorating I was very happy with the outcome.

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All that was left was to add flowers to the castle. Since I have never been that good at making flowers, I decided to make them separately and then add them to the cake. I made simple drop flowers on wax paper and then let them set for a while before placing them in the freezer for a few minutes to make transferring them to the cake easier.

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I then “glued” them onto the cake with green tinted icing and then piped in some leaves for the final touch.

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And you can’t have a princess cake without some princesses.

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Along with the cake I also make Vanilla Squared (vanilla cake with vanilla frosting) cupcakes which I baked in Disney Princess cupcake liners and sprinkled with pink and purple cake sparkles then displayed on a Disney Princess cupcake stand.

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I wonder what next year’s theme will be….

Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 12 Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to medium low; beat in half of the flour mixture, then all of the milk, then the remaining flour mixture until just combined.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely. Top with frosting

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream

Directions

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Minnie Mouse Cake

I started my blog about a year ago with an  Elmo Cake for a friend’s daughter’s birthday, well, here we are a year later and it’s time for another character cake. After mentioning a castle cake, a Cinderella cake, a Minnie Mouse cake and then back to Cinderella the birthday girl finally settled on a Minnie Mouse cake. Luckily I was able to find a place near me that actually rents out the cake pans so I won’t be collecting them. Needless to say, Elmo has been a one-time use pan thus far.

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After testing out a vanilla cake recipe last week that didn’t come out that great I opted to just use a yellow cake box mix for the cake. I actually had to bake the cake two times. The first time I used one box of mix and the cake was on the flat side and it was really difficult to distinguish the mold pattern on it. The second time I used a box and a half of mix and the results were much better. The cake was much taller and while I wish the mold pattern was more distinguishable on Minnie Mouse’s face, it was 100% better than my first attempt.

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I also cheated when it came to making the frosting. I am usually one who loves making things from scratch, but, since I knew I was going to need quite a bit of frosting for this cake I opted to just go with store bought vanilla frosting to ensure that it would all be the same consistency and taste. I prepped all of my decorating bags with couplers and decorating tips the night before so I could save time while decorating. While the cake cooled I got to mixing all of the colors I would need. I kept the colors I wasn’t working with in the refrigerator so they wouldn’t soften up. Working with frosting that’s too soft can become a mess very quickly. It won’t hold shape or anything and it’s very frustrating… I speak from experience. While the frosting may seem to stiff when you take it out of the refrigerator once you give it a few stirs with a spatula and start working with it in the decorating bag it becomes the perfect consistency.

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After transferring the cake to a decorative cake board it was time to get to work. I started by frosting the background and sides of the cake with yellow. Admittedly, I was concerned immediately that the cake wasn’t going to look good, but, I forged ahead.

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Next up, I outlined Minnie Mouse with black frosting using a size 3 decorating tip. Once she started to look like herself I felt more at ease. If you look closely at the picture you can see that I actually messed up once or twice with the outlining, but, since I was filling in the cake with individual stars as opposed to spreading the frosting all of those mishaps would be covered up and no one would be the wiser.

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Now it was time for Minnie’s face to come to life. To create the stars I used a size 16 decorating tip and to smooth out the frosting in her eyes, nose and mouth I used a decorator brush dampened with water.

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Bringing more of her face to life I next filled in her ears with black stars as well as her legs. At this point I was very happy with how it was coming together.

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Some pink stars on Minnie’s bow and dress really added some much needed color.

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I then added white stars on Minnie’s gloves and trim on her dress and violet stars on her dress sash and shoes.

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And finally, I cleaned up the cake board and added yellow rosettes using a size 21 decorator tip along the border to complete the cake. I was really happy with the final outcome, so was the birthday girl, that’s what really matters.

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I also made some cupcakes to go along with the cake. Unfortunately you can’t see it in the picture, but, the cupcake liners were Minnie Mouse themed.

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The cake was a hit at the party, which also happened to be a Superbowl party as well. So, we all got an extra fill of cake during that thirty-four minute delay!