The Princess and the Pea Cake

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The Princess & the Pea Cake
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Fairy tales can come true with this sweet rendition of the extra-sensitive princess and her super-tall bed. Despite the cake's magical appearance, you won't lose sleep worrying about making it! The mattresses are two cakes that have been cut into quarters and stacked. The quilt and dust ruffle are made from store-bought fondant. For the headboard and footboard, just use melted candy and our printable template to "draw" the designs on wax paper. This cake recipe was inspired by a Great Cake Contest entry from Karen W. of Iowa City, Iowa.

Download The Princess and the Pea Cake Template

What you'll need

  • Headboard/footboard template
  • Wax paper
  • 8 Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Fudge Pirouette Wafers
  • 1 cup dark cocoa melting candies (we used Wilton Candy Melts)
  • 9 ziplock bags
  • 2 cakes baked in 10- by 15-inch jelly roll pans
  • 5 1/4 cups vanilla frosting
  • 4 drinking straws
  • Plastic gloves
  • Red, blue, yellow, and green food coloring
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) fondant
  • Cornstarch (for dusting)
  • 5 marshmallows
  • 1 vanilla wafer cookie
  • 1 tube chocolate decorators' icing
  • 4 brown M&M's and 1 green M&M

How to make it

  1. Make the headboard and footboard: Lay the template on a cookie sheet and tape a piece of wax paper on top. Line up two Pirouette wafers along each bedpost and use a serrated knife to trim them to size. Set them aside.

  2. Melt half of the cocoa candies as directed on the package, then spoon the candy into a ziplock bag and snip a 1/8-inch hole from one corner. Pipe the candy onto the wax paper, following the lines on the template. While the candy is still soft, press the Pirouette wafers in place. Place the pan in the refrigerator until the candy is set, about 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat to make the footboard.

  3. The Princess & the Pea Cake - Step 3

    Build the bed: If needed, trim the tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife to make them level.

  4. Spread 1 1/2 to 2 cups of vanilla frosting on the cakes' tops, reserving about a teaspoon of frosting for the princess's face. Cut the cakes into quarters so that you end up with eight 5- by 7 1/2-inch pieces.

  5. Stack the pieces on a serving platter. Insert 4 straws down through the center of the cake to make it more stable.

  6. Make the linens: 6 Working on a sheet of wax paper and wearing plastic gloves, knead 1 drop of red food coloring into the fondant to make it pink. Divide the fondant in half, then knead 1 drop of blue into one of the halves to make it purple. Work the pieces until the color is even throughout.

  7. On a second sheet of wax paper lightly dusted with cornstarch, use a cornstarch-dusted rolling pin to roll the pink fondant into a 5- by 7-inch rectangle. Use a pizza cutter or knife to trim the edges and lightly score the top with crossing lines to look like quilting. Roll the purple fondant into a 7- by 1-inch strip and two 18- by 1-inch strips.

  8. Secure the 7-inch strip along one long edge of the pink blanket with a few drops of water. For the dust ruffle, crimp the top edges of the long strips and lightly press them around the cake's bottom layer.

  9. Decorate the bed: Tint the remaining frosting (see guide below). Spoon the pale yellow, blue, pink, purple, and green frostings intoseparate ziplock bags. Snip a 1/8-inch hole from a corner of each. Starting above the dust ruffle and working up, pipe frosting on the sides of the cake, alternating colors so you end up with 6 "mattresses," each about 1 inch tall.

  10. For the princess's body, lay 3 marshmallows end to end lengthwise down the center of the cake, using a few dots of frosting to secure them. Place 2 slightly flattened marshmallows perpendicular to the body for a pillow.

  11. Lay the fondant blanket over the marshmallow body. Spoon the dark yellow, leftover vanilla, and red frostings into ziplock bags. Snip a V-inch hole from the bags of dark yellow and vanilla, and an even smaller hole from the bag of red frosting. Use a dot of dark yellow frosting to secure the vanilla wafer to the pillow. Pipe on dark yellow hair, vanilla eyes and nose, and a red mouth. Use chocolate decorators' icing for the pupils.

  12. Gently peel the wax paper from the headboard and footboard. Press the pieces onto the short ends of the cake, adding more frosting to secure if necessary. Use chocolate frosting to attach a chocolate M&M to the top of each bedpost. Press a green M&M pea into the side of the cake. Serves 24.
    How to Tint the Frosting:
    pale yellow: 1 cup frosting + 10 drops yellow
    blue: 1/2 cup frosting + 5 drops blue
    pink: 1/2 cup frosting + 8 drops red
    purple: 1/2 cup frosting + 4 drops red + 2 drops blue
    green: 1/2 cup frosting + 8 drops green
    dark yellow: 3 tablespoons frosting + 2 or 3 drops yellow
    red: 1 tablespoon frosting + 2 drops red

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