How to make a Dolly Varden Cake

There are not many little girls who wouldn’t like a Dolly Varden cake!  Simple and so easy to create a beautiful girlie cake and great for those people who aren’t too keen on spending hours witha piping bag in their hands.  Here are some basic instructions for one of our creations.

What you’ll need….

1 x Dolly Varden Cake tin

1 x Barbie or doll of choice, legs removed and bottom half covered in cling film

2 x vanilla packet cake mixes or double quantity of your favourite butter cake

1 x qty Buttercream (follow the link for our favourite recipe)

1 x Wilton pink icing colour

1 x packet Marshmallows

20 x white 5 petal daisy (approx)

20 x pink 5 petal daisy  (approx)

1 x pot Candy Pink or Twinkle White Rainbow Dust Edible Glitter


What to do….

1. Grease and line dolly varden tin and 3/4 fill with cake batter.

2. Bake as directed on packet.

3. Cool in tin for 5 mins then place on a rack to cool completely.

4. Put cooled cake into freezer for about 30 mins to firm up.  This will help when you are icing the cake.  Fresh cakes are beautifully moist and crumbly and freezing will stop these fresh crumbs from going everywhere when you are icing.  Your cake will also be easier to level (if necessary) when it is firm.

5. Make up buttercream as directed and tint using small amount of pink colouring until the desired shade is reached.

6. Level cake bottom with a sharp knife or use a Wilton Cake Leveler so you cake sits flat. Insert doll into cake. Place cake onto cake board or serving platter.

7.  Apply a thin crumb coat of icing by spreading a thin layer of buttercream over entire cake. The crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that is the “base coat” . It glues the crumbs into the cake (especially important for dark cakes with light frostings) and primes the cake for the thicker, smoother layer to follow. There’s no need to make this coat perfect, but you do want to make sure you cover every crumb of the exposed cake. Once you’ve finished  the crumb coat, you can set it in the fridge for 30 minutes before adding the final coat.

8. Spread a second, thick layer of buttercream over the cake.  Either smooth entirely using a palette knife or use a butter knife to sweep upwards to make a patterned skirt like the one pictured.

9. Decorate bottom of cake with marshmallows, if desired,  and place sugar flowers at top of your cake (around your dolls waist) and around the bottom of the skirt.  Sprinkle with edible glitter.

10. Sit back with a coffee/tea and admire how clever you are!


We just love this cake, you can be as creative as you want, changing the colour and decorations.  We have seen this tin used to make a fairy, princess, mermaid and even a dinosaur!