For the cake

  • 175g Butter
  • 150g Soft margarine
  • 275g Caster sugar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 225g Self raising flour
  • ½tsp Baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100g Ground almonds
  • 1tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1tsp Almond essence

For the buttercream

  • 175g Unsalted butter
  • 250g Icing sugar, sifted
  • Rind of 2 lemons, grated

For the filling

  • 3tbsp Raspberry jam
  • 1 Betty Crocker vanilla frosting

For the decoration

  • 6tbsp Apricot jam
  • 500g Golden marzipan
  • 1kg Ready to roll white icing
  • 1 Egg white
  • 200g Icing sugar plus extra for rolling
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Iced flowers
  • Pink food colouring
  • Iced gem biscuits
  • Edible gold balls
  • 1 doll
  • 1 Party ring biscuit
  • 1 Paper umbrella


  • STEP 1

    This is not difficult to make but it looks quite spectacular. You can make this ahead of the party and pop it into the freezer before decorating. Bake this cake in a fairly deep round Pyrex bowl to make the skirt and then cut a hole through the centre of the cake and insert the doll. The bowl should be at least 5 1/2 inches deep. You can buy in some specialist shops a doll decoration which is simply the top half of the doll on a spike.

  • STEP 2

    Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C. Beat the butter, margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time together with 1 tbsp of flour to stop the mixture curdling. Mix in the remaining flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in the ground almonds, vanilla and almond essences until thoroughly blended.

  • STEP 3

    Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 1.2 litre (2 pint), 17 cm (6 ½ in) diameter pudding basin and a 20 cm (8 in) ring mould. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170C/ 325F/ Gas 3 and bake for a further 25 minutes. For the ring mould and about 40 minutes for the pudding basin (test with a skewer to make sure the cake is cooked). The ring mould will take less time to cook than the pudding basin and will need to be removed from the oven first. Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack.

  • STEP 4

    Prepare the buttercream. Cream the butter and sifted icing sugar in an n electric mixer, then beat in the grated lemon rind. When the cake is completely cold cut it horizontally into three and one from the ring mould horizontally in half. Sandwich these layers together with the buttercream icing. Gently warm the apricot jam and brush the ring mould cake with a little warm jam and place the pudding basin sponge on top. Brush the entire surface of the cake with half the apricot jam.

  • STEP 5

    On a plastic-wrap covered work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to form a large circle big enough to cover the cake. Lift. Place the largest section top-side down on a large plate or chopping board and spread over 2/3rds of the jam followed by 2/3rds of the frosting. Put the centre section on top and spread over the remaining jam and frosting. Finally put the smallest section on top, rounded side up.

  • STEP 6

    Lift the marzipan with the aid of the plastic wrap and drape it over the cake. Smooth the marzipan into position. Trim away excess marzipan with a sharp knife. Use remaining apricot jam to brush over the marzipan.

  • STEP 7

    Colour about 750g of ready-to-roll icing using a few drops of pink food colouring and roll out to form a large circle about 45 cm (18 in) diameter. Cut the circumference of the circle in a fairly free wavy pattern. Drape the icing over the cake so that it is smooth at the top but then hangs down in folds to form the skirt.

  • STEP 8

    Take a sharp knife and cut a hole in the top of the cake. Hollow down through the centre until you have a space big enough to fit in a doll. Insert the doll (suitably dressed!) up to her waist. Cut out white petals from white icing to fill the gap between the doll and the skirt and if necessary attach a ribbon around her waist or use a band of icing.

  • STEP 9

    To make the icing to pipe round the dress. Beat a small egg white until stiff then gently beat in about 200g icing sugar with a squeeze of lemon to get a fairly stiff mixture. Use the icing to pipe lines around the skirt and attach sugar flowers as decorations. Alternatively you could use white writing icing. You can make the doll a hat from a pink party ring and give her an umbrella to hold.

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