- Cake Batter:
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Yellow food colouring
- 1 Belle barbie doll
- Vanilla buttercream (recipe at www.pankobunny.com)
- Bake the cakes: Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla extract, salt and the eggs one at a time, mixing with each addition. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, then add to the batter in 2 additions, alternating with the milk. Divide the batter in half and dye one half yellow. Grease a small aluminum bowl and 2 9-inch cake pans. They should reach the height of Belle's waist when stacked on top of each other. Distribute the batter between the bowl and cake pans, alternating with large dollops of white and yellow batter. Bake at 350F for 35-60 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. The cake in the bowl will take longer to cook, since it's a deeper pan. Allow the cakes to cool to the touch, then remove from the pans and cool completely.
- Assembly: Slice off the tops of the cakes to flatten the surface. Dye the buttercream yellow and spread some between each layer and stack all layers, with the dome-shaped cake on the top. Trim the edges of the bottom 2 layers so that they extend downwards from the edges of the dome to look like a dress. Slice a small hole down through the center of the cake for Belle to stand in. Undress Belle and wrap her legs and hair in plastic wrap. Insert her into the cake. Move her arms upwards while you decorate the cake. Evenly cover the cake in a layer of buttercream. Place the remaining buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a #126 piping tip. Mark 6 or 7 points on the cake where the fabric of her buttercream dress will gather. Starting at the base of the cake, pipe a long, sash-like pattern, curving upwards at each marker. Continue until you cover the entire dress, slightly overlapping the bottom layers to create volume. Pipe Belle's top with the same buttercream. Add a couple drops of orange or brown food colouring to the remaining buttercream and using the same #126 piping tip, pipe a single row of dark yellow sashes onto the dress, as well as sleeves onto her top. Untie Belle's hair and move her arms downwards. Then slice and enjoy!