Coming up with new ideas for birthday cakes can be a challenge. Coming up with simple, easy to make cakes even more so! In this tutorial, learn how to make a Princess Poppy Trolls cake, which could be easily adapted to any of your favorite trolls!
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Every time I get in to the car with my daughter the refrain from the back is the same: Trolls soundtrack please mummy. It’s on a loop! When it came time to write a list for her birthday Trolls, and especially Princess Poppy, featured heavily.
After making a Barbie Princess Cake for my daughter last year, I had my work cut out to come up with something this year. After much debate – castles, Frozen, mermaids, fairies – we had settled on a Princess Poppy Trolls cake. But, how?
Of course, I consulted Pinterest and there are a lot of beautiful cakes, but none that jumped out at me.
There were a few reasons for this: I wanted to make Princess Poppy but my skills don’t extend to full-on sculpture with fondant, I wanted it to be quick and easy to serve at her birthday party, I wanted to use a mix of frosting and fondant.
After some brainstorming and sketching, this idea was born. A princess poppy cake with pull-apart cupcake hair… Then, I just had to make it! And now you can too, with step by step instructions…
To make this Princess Poppy Trolls cake you will need:
- One 8 or 9 inch round cake, single layer [I use these Wilton tins and have them in a variety of sizes!]
- 29 cupcakes (27 for the hair and 2 for her ears) [you can always use a smaller round cake, perhaps a 6 inch, and alter the number of cupcakes, based on the number of your guests. It’s handy to have two cupcake/muffin tins to make baking the cupcakes easier and faster!]
- Fondant: pale pink, bright pink, black, white, blue and green [I used approximately 8oz of pale pink icing to cover the face and ears, then small amounts of each of the other colors for features/accessories. If you can’t find all the colors you need then you can use white fondant as a base, using food dye to color.]
- Frosting [I used plain vanilla frosting to dirty-ice under the fondant and two tubs (32oz total) of ready-made bright pink frosting for her hair]
- Large stiff cake board [I used an off-cut of wood, but a couple of layers of stiff cardboard would work]
- A picture of Princess Poppy (google images is your friend), printed out to be the same size as your round cake, to use as a template for her features [OR, use my printable template included at the bottom of this post!]
I also used fondant adhesive and a fondant roller, both of which are handy, but not essential. I also have special fondant-cutting/decorating tools (scalpel etc.) which are handy for the detailed areas, but a small sharp knife will do the job too.
1. Once you have baked your cake and cupcakes, leave them to cool and then lay them out to finalize the number of cupcakes that you want to use.
Once the cakes are completely cool, you’re ready to start the decoration.
1. Roll out the pale pink fondant until it is large enough to more than cover the cake.
2. Dirty ice the cake, I used vanilla frosting.
3. Lay the sheet of pink fondant over the cake, smooth it out and then start trimming. Cut it slightly larger than you think you need and then ‘tuck’ it in neatly under the cake. Work your way around the cake until it is completely covered.
4. Using a round cookie cutter (or similar) cut out two rounds big enough to cover two of the cupcakes to make the ears, dirty ice two cupcakes and top with fondant.
5. Take your picture of Princess Poppy and carefully cut out her eyes. Keep the rest of her face intact as you will use this to ‘mark’ where her eyes should go on the cake before placing them.
6. Using the cut-out eyes as a template, cut out the black shape of eyes/eyelashes.
7. Next, cut out the white circle and use it as a template to cut out the required fondant.
8. Repeat with the pink and blacks circles, and then lastly roll two small balls of white fondant for the highlights.
9. Using a little fondant adhesive, layer the elements of the eyes until you have two complete eyes.
10. Using the print out of Poppy’s face (which will now have two holes in it where the eyes used to be!) mark the locations for the eyes lightly on the cake, then stick the completed eyes in place with a little fondant adhesive.
11. Using the same process, cut out her nose and her eyebrows from the print-out and then from fondant, again using the holes in the print-out to mark their locations on the cake.
12. For her mouth, I just made a thin roll of fondant and gave her a little smile!
13. Use the same process to make her headband. Roll and cut a strip of green fondant long enough to lay over her hair, and then cut out small green leaves and blue flowers. Layer the leaves and flowers as shown above, stick and leave to dry. Then, lay this to one side to use once later.
You are now ready to frost her ‘hair’. Lay the cupcakes out into their final positions. You want them pushed as tightly as possible against each other to make frosting the gaps easier.
14. Firstly, add her fringe/bangs to her face. I used a palette knife and marked out where I wanted her fringe/bangs to go and then filled in with the frosting. Use the spreading action to create continuous lines in the direction her hair would fall.
15. Then start icing the cupcakes! Start at the head and work your way to the end of her hair. The cupcakes will want to move, popping a blob of frosting on the bottom of each one should help keep them in place, but use one hand to keep them in place if need be as you frost each line of cupcakes. Again use the palette knife to create sweeps of hair as you go. Work your way all the way up to the top and you will soon have Poppy’s trademark hairstyle. Lay on her headband and your work is done!
My daughter loved her cake, and it was a big hit at her birthday party. We served the cupcakes to the kids, and it was perfect. It was so quick and easy to serve too, which at a party with 20 kids, all clamoring for cake, is a very good thing!
And Princess Poppy’s ear was a perfect spot for a candle :)
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, I’m happy to help, and let me know if you try making it!
Feel free to download this printable template which will (hopefully!) help with Poppy’s face… printed out at standard US letter size (or A4), the features will fit an 8 or 9 inch round cake.