Tinkerbell enjoys spring–she comes out to grace a birthday cake for a precious little girl who turned 5 last week. I made a simple version of a cute Tinkerbell cake from a picture I found on southernbluecelebrations.blogspot.com. I have a few tips and recipes for you, so let’s get started–it’ll be fun!
To get this look you will need:
- 10″ and 6″ cake pans with 2″ sides
- 4 boxed cake mixes, your choice of flavors
- 3 batches of vanilla icing (I used 2 of vanilla and 1 of chocolate to fill the 10″ layers–recipes follow)
- 2 batches marshmallow fondant (recipe follows)
- Decorating sugar or sprinkles (optional)
- 8″ Tinkerbell doll
- Paste food coloring, green, purple and orange
- Cardboard cake circles (make your own or buy from craft or cake decorating store)
- 3- 1/4″ diameter wood dowel rods 4″ long each (to support upper tier) Optional–one longer dowel to attach Tinkerbell
- Fondant smoother tool (highly recommended)
- 1/2 recipe of royal icing (recipe follows)
A few of the steps can be done in advance which is extremely helpful.
First, I recommend making your fondant (recipe follows). It works best when it can rest for a few hours or overnight. However, I have used it immediately after making it with much success.
The flowers I used were 3 dimensional so I cut them out of fondant the day before the party to let them dry and harden. To do this, take a small amount of fondant and add paste food coloring with a toothpick. Knead through the fondant until you have your desired color. Roll fondant flat with a rolling pin, using powdered sugar to keep it from sticking.The flowers I made were cut freehand with a knife, using a round cookie cutter to make the size uniform. Let the flowers dry upside down on whatever container you have available. Make the loops for the bow the day before the event but make the long ribbons the day of the party so they are flexible and drape easily.
Another step to do in advance is baking the cakes. Each tier is a double layer of cake. Prepare pans using the following tip: Grease and flour the cake pans. Cut a piece of parchment paper in a circle to fit the bottom only of your pan. Place parchment right on top of the greased/floured bottom. I also lightly grease the parchment. After mixing the batter according to box directions, bake two 10″ cakes and two 6″ cakes. A 10″ cake pan requires a batch and a half of mix. A 6″ cake takes about a half of a batch of mix. The 10″ pans require extra time to bake. Keep checking on them using the toothpick test to ensure the cake is baked through. The 6″ might require less time so keep checking on your cake to avoid burning. Take cake/s out of the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes. With a long knife or strong thread, slice off mounded top of cake to level evenly. Invert cake onto cooling rack. After cooling for about 10 minutes, remove parchment paper from cake bottom. Cool completely. Use immediately or store by wrapping with plastic wrap. After wrapping, it can also be frozen for up to two months. If frozen, thaw completely before icing cake.
To frost cakes and form tiers, place cake bottom-side up on a cardboard cake circle, using a small amount of icing to adhere cake to cardboard. Generously spread icing on top to form your filling layer. Ice all the way to edges. Place the other cake of the same size on top of your filling layer. You may go crazy and use flavored icing here. However, I recommend icing the outsides of the cake with white to make sure your fondant color stays true. If you need to shave off any uneven edges, now is the time to do this with a sharp knife. You have just made a tier! Now ice the entire tier, covering top first then sides. Don’t worry if you have crumbs in your icing here, the cake will be covered in fondant next. Do the other two layers in the same fashion. You now have two separate tiers.
Now comes the fondant covering. It’s time to add color. Using paste food coloring, take a toothpick and scoop up a couple of globs and place on one of your batches of fondant. Knead. Then knead some more until the color is even. If you are satisfied with the color, continue. If you need more color, repeat the above process. It’s better to do this slowly. You can always add more color, but you cannot take color away. To be safe on the amount needed for the 10″ tier, I colored one whole batch of fondant green because if you don’t color enough of the fondant it is very hard to match colors with a new batch. Repeat this process for the lavender tier, only using about half of the batch of fondant.
Next, you will roll out the fondant on a flat surface similar to the way you roll out pie crust. Sprinkle your work surface with powdered sugar. I find it helpful to draw a circle in my powdered sugar to give myself an idea how big I need to roll out my fondant. If you are making a 10″ tier, you will need to roll out 10″ plus 4″ on each side for a total of an 18″ circle. Be sure to continually gently lift or shift the fondant as you roll it out to make sure it is not sticking to your work surface. You may need to swipe more powdered sugar on the work surface. Make sure to continually powder your rolling pin as well. When you have your desired circle, starting at one end, roll the fondant over the rolling pin and immediately drape over your cake. Smooth with fondant smoother (or your hands). It will ruffle out at the bottom. Cut this portion off.
Time to decorate! Add more green paste food coloring to your leftover light green fondant to make a nice grass color. Roll flat and cut long grass shapes–about 12. Cut a few smaller ones to fill in here and there. Attach grass by wetting the back of your shape and it will become sticky enough to adhere. Use the picture as your guide.
Add prepared flowers to the cake by attaching with royal icing. Use the picture as a guide. I used a few candies I had in the house to make the centers of the flowers. Attach with royal icing. You may also use any color of fondant, using royal icing to adhere. The white dots on the top tier are made with royal icing. The center of the large flower topper is a big, flattened ball of white fondant that I rolled in large crystal sugar. Don’t do this step ahead of time as you will need the fondant pliable for Tinkerbell’s feet. The miscellaneous white balls of “pixie dust” are made with white fondant rolled in large crystal sugar. Tip: If any of your decorations have residual powdered sugar, you may remove it by gently painting a small amount of water over them with a clean brush or, using the same brush technique, smooth them with a thin layer of shortening.Now you have two decorated tiers.
Time to place the small one on top of the larger one. Even though these cakes are relatively small, it is a good idea to support the top tier with dowels. To do this, with toothpicks dots, lightly mark a 6″ circle on the top of the 10″. I placed my top tier near the back of the cake, not directly in the center. Cut dowels 4″ or the same height as your bottom tier. Push the three dowels in a triangular fashion within the 6″ circle you marked on the top of the 10″ tier. Place your 6″ tier on top of the bottom 10″ tier, centering over your marked area and the dowels. Admire! Take pictures!
My cake was being used immediately so I waited until the last minute, then inserted Tinkerbell’s feet directly into the fondant in the center of the top flower. She stayed in there just fine but if you have a little longer to wait you might want to attach her to a dowel rod and poke the dowel rod down into the cake for added support.
- 16 oz. mini marshmallows
- 2-5 TBL water
- 8 C. sifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 c. shortening (for kneading and hands)
Microwave marshmallows and water in a large bowl until marshmallows are melted and puffy. Remove from microwave. Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on top of the marshmallow mixture and fold together. Turn out onto a greased counter and knead in the rest of the sugar with greased hands. Continue greasing counter and hands as needed. If fondant is too dry you may add 1/2 TBL. of water at a time. Knead until elastic (about the consistency of play dough) but not sticky.
Royal Icing (Wilton recipe. Makes 3 cups)
- 3 TBL Wilton meringue powder
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 6 TBL warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks. (7-10 minutes with a heavy mixer).
Mrs. Mayo’s Buttercream Icing
- 1/2 C. plus 2 TBL shortening
- 4 C. sifted powdered sugar
- 1/8 C. non-dairy coffee creamer
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 c. water
- 1 tsp. clear vanilla
- 2 drops butter flavoring
Mix together until creamy.
Mrs. Mayo’s Buttercream Chocolate Icing
- 1/3 C. shortening
- 1/3 C. butter or margarine
- 3/4 C. cocoa, packed
- 1/2 C. milk
- 4 C. sifted powdered sugar
- 1 TBL light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. salt
Mix together until creamy.
I hope you give this a try!