Every little girl’s dream birthday cake is a pink fairy princess castle, right? I know I would’ve loved one when I was a child.!
My best friend’s little girl, Miss A, is turning 5 and after discussing what she might like, we agreed that we can’t go wrong with a pink princess castle cake. Tonight we put one together and it really was super easy. Anyone can do it!
Step 1- the Cake
I made the cake base in the morning already using simple Victoria Sponge recipe which I found on the BBC food site. I modified the recipe by adding cocoa powder to the mixture, just because I know Miss A loves chocolate cake. It took 10 minutes mixing (the electric whisk doing the hard graft really) and 25 minutes in the oven. And I got two 15cm by 15cm cakes- about 4cm thick.
Tip: you can always buy ready made cake base. I find it easiest to work with a sponge cake, as you can always flavour it with the fillings.
The two cakes were placed one on top of the another and glued together with a cream cheese filling (cream cheese and icing sugar mixed to taste).
Step 2- the Frosting
We made a lovely cream cheese frosting using 2 tubs of cream cheese and about 2 cups of icing sugar sieved into it, then added pink food colouring to create the pretty pink.
Over the past years my friend and I have learnt that professional food colourings are worth their dearer price tag- they colour so much better and more consistently. We had some pink in the store cupboard, of which we used only a quarter of a pea-sized dollop to colour the cream cheese. (I whisked it together with my electric whisk until I, very stupidly, got a folk caught by the mixers of the whisk and wrote off my whisk. Argh! Don’t ask!)
Step 3- the Towers
To make the towers my friend bought 4 packs of jammy dodgers. I melted some milk chocolate on the hob in a bain-marie and glued the jammy dodgers together with the molten chocolate smeered between the biscuits. This created 4 imperfect towers that wheren’t coming apart any time soon.
Tip: The advantage of using chocolate is that it hardens fairly quickly (unless it’s the height of summer). In the summer put the towers into the fridge to cool through before attempting to cover them.
Step 4- the Shape
The square cake base went into the middle of the cake plate- we chopped the corners off just slightly, so the towers came in closer.
Tip: This is the time you can get creative with what goes underneath the cake- we used aluminium foil because we were considering creating a moat of jelly.
Step 5- applying the Frosting
Next task was covering the whole cake with frosting. (We did consider using fondant icing like we did with Lightning McQueen, but thought for once we’d make our life just slightly easier and use an easier ingredient.) We trailed a number of implements for the application of the frosting: a silicon spatula and a simple table knife worked best depending on which part of the cake we were working on.
We weren’t really aiming for a very smooth finish and thought a slightly rugged look to the walls would be fit the style of the cake. All in all the frosting took just under an hour to spread over the cake and biscuits. The towers were the most fiddly part.
Step 6- the Turrets
In the meantime, my friend mixed some fondant icing with the pink food colouring and after getting a good, consistent colour, she cut the thinly rolled fondant into a spiral. This spiral was then wrapped around ice cream cones to give the the turrets their “roof tiles”.
Tip: Roll out the fondant between two sheets of cling film- it will stop the fondant icing sticking to the surface and the rolling pin. The cling film will also give it an interesting slightly wavy surface.
Step 7- adding some finer magical detail
The little extra details- these were things like the mini marshmallows that became the parapets (the walls’ jagged tops), mini marshmallows cut in half then pressed onto the towers to form windows.
For the gate we scrapped back the frosting and smeared on some melted chocolate. This gave the effect of a rustic wooden gate. To pretty it up we added 5 little sugar hearts.
What gave this easy pink princess castle its real magical twist, in my opinion, was the holographic edible glitter that we sprinkled and blew onto the castle.
We trialed a number of methods to get a nice even shimmer, but didn’t do too well. In the end we used a battery power soap bubble blower to blow the glitter out of the spoon and slightly more evenly on to the castle.
The glitter is not cheap- £3.50 for a very small tub, but it goes a long way and does give cakes a very magical shine, don’t you think?
In total this cake took about 2.5 hours to make, but I’ll leave it to you to decide whether you think it was worth the effort:
Miss A saw her cake first thing in the morning.
As she’d be in school all day, her mummy thought it would be lovely for her to enjoy looking at the magical, sparkly creation before the hectic party and time came to cut it up. It was her treat to sit having breakfast while admiring the cake. She was so excited and kept saying: “but mummy I have a …, I have a…, I have a real princess castle cake.” Apparently she talked about it a lot all day and was super quick out of class at the end of the day… maybe to get home quickly to her pretty cake?
We sampled the cake and it was delicious!
The cream cheese makes a lovely light frosting (I know it’s only light for the taste buds, not in terms of calories!). The biscuits in the tower soaked some of the moisture up from the frosting and were at that junction of crunchy and soft. Like when dunked into tea for just a second or two. Mmmm!
Now your turn: