Well, here I am again with a step by step guide on how to make a birthday cake (in this case a Monster High Cake) even if you aren’t a particularly good baker. I make 2 cakes a year (excluding trial runs) and they are for Pickle’s and TM’s birthdays. Very very occasionally I’ll make a bunch of cupcakes. I seem to be ok making cupcakes, must be the short cooking time and I quite enjoy making coloured buttercream. However, I see each birthday as an opportunity to do some creative, learn something new sometimes and give my children a cake they’ll hopefully remember.
Getting the perfect cake made for you is very costly and whilst the ones in the supermarket seem to look good, you can never find the right kind and my children (and me) don’t really like fondant all over a cake – we just never eat it. So, this year, Pickle decided she wanted a Monster High Party and this is how I made the cake.
Her party was on the Sunday so I did the first stage on the Friday. I had coloured fondant that was left over from my son’s cake and made a round disc shape. I had purchased letter cutters from Amazon and used these to cut out my daughter’s name (see below for what I did). I had some edible glue to stick the letters to the disc, but you can used sugar and water. I left it to dry on my trial cake I’d made a few days earlier. I held it onto the cake using toothpicks and left it moulded around the curve of the cake. I left it there to dry and harden for the 2 days. I made the cake below on the Saturday and once it cooled I wrapped it in clingfilm.
The buttercream was done on the morning of the Sunday as I was unable to wrap or cover the cake due to it’s height and I was paranoid about leaving butter in the elements for too long. By all accounts I don’t think a day is an issue, but as I said, I’m paranoid.
Making the Monster High Cake
Firstly I purchased a Wilton Wonder Mould. I did try to fashion the cake in a trial run with 2 sandwich tins and a pyrex bowl but it didn’t end well. I then opted to not make my own cake mixture from scratch. I did so for TM’s cake, but due to the fact I was making something so different from what I normally do, I decided to take the pressure off the actual cake by using Betty Crocker’s Devil’s cake mixture. For this cake mixture I used 2 packets. I followed the instructions on the packets and mixed the two packets seperately (so as to not overflow the mixing bowl).
I use a very cheap mixer and it’s playing up at the moment so I could only mix on “boost”, but it worked fine. A hand mixer will work fine too. A standalone mixer gives you hands free though, so it’s been brilliant to have one.
Whilst mixing I then buttered and floured the mould. For the un-itiated (and I hope some who are, read this) just put a bit of butter on some greaseproof paper / baking parchment to hold it and rub the entire inside of the mould. Take out the rod in the middle and grease that too. Then flick flour over the butter until the tin is covered in a fine layer of it. This will prevent your mixture from sticking to the tin.
Make sure you put the rod back. Once you have greased and floured the tin, pour the mixture in and it went in the over on 180 degrees fan for 1hr 15 min. I did a trial run of this and checked the mixture after 30 minutes and then every 15 minutes after that by sticking a large knife into the mixture. It’s ready once you’ve pulled the knife or metal prod out and no cake mixture sticks to it. I left it to cool for 10 minutes and then used a knife to just slice the top of the cake so I had a nice flat surface to put the cake down on. I then dug out the rod (ha ha) I then turned the cake down onto a cooling rack (I use the metal shelf from the grill on the kitchen counter) and let it cool completely.
lopping off the top
Next I picked one of the Monster High Dolls from her growing collection. I stripped her down and wrapped her lower half in cling film. I then pushed the doll into the hole at the top of the cake and kept pushing down until her feet stopped at the bottom. Her hips were still out of the cake, but that doesn’t matter. You can fill with the space with buttercream. Make your buttercream.
I use a recipe from a Rachel Allen baking book for vanilla buttercream and multiply the quantities. Doing a test run will help you gauge how much to make. I then used A LOT of Black colour gel . After my test run I ordered 4 more containers and I used the lot. I’m still sure the icing was a dark grey. I made another lot of buttercream with violet gel. Then I was ready to start piping.
I have a couple of bags and quite a few nozzles, but I ended up making one bag of black buttercream with interchangeable nozzles and then I did two violet with 2 disposable bags and had different nozzles in each. The top half of the dress was done with a small to medium round nozzle and the dress bit at the bottom was done with a flat ribbon nozzle. I wouldn’t get too hung up on which nozzle to use. If you do a trial run, have a play around with them. Ideally using the smaller nozzle for the body piping and the outline of the triangles and filling in with a bigger nozzle. I however, had a huge nozzle and had to flatten it down.
Doing the body was surprisingly easy (buttercream really does stick to it) and I just did a black boob tube with a V neck tie and then did alternative coloured piping down the bodice. This is the video I used as a guide for the decoration. I chose it because it was entirely buttercream (which I think is forgiving) and no matter how messy it went, I figured it was still going to look good. I swapped the pink for violet which was the right colour for this particular doll (Clawdeen Wolf) and kind of did my own thing with it.
Before doing the bottom of the dress, I put the fondant name plate on the cake, holding it in place by putting 4 toothpicks into the cake for it to balance on. I then used the black buttercream to partly hide the black part of the name plate so just the blue name showed prominently. This is what the finished cake looked like. I have obscured Pickle’s name here though. I bought the silver 7 from Hobbycraft along with the cake board. In order to put the candles on I used leftover fondant and pinched them into triangles around the board and put the candles into them. I think overall it looked far more spectacular than it really was.
My daughter was over the moon and I was so pleased I’d managed to make something exactly as she wished.
Before presenting it to the birthday girl I let the doll’s hair down (I’d put it up for all the piping) and you’ve never seen a happier girl as she blew out the candles.
If you have any questions about any aspect of this, just ask below. I’ve researched everything so should be able to point you in the right direction.