That being said, I found a tutorial online that I pretty much followed exactly.
You can find it here:
I owned several cake decorating tips already, but I did have to go out and buy a couple more.
I couldn't find all of the ones recommended, so I made due.
Baby requested a strawberry cake, but strawberries are $5 a pound right now, so she got a raspberry cake.
I had raspberry puree in the fridge leftover from this brownie recipe.
I used this Strawberry Cake recipe, swapping the berries.
The Ariel tutorial suggests using four layers of 8" rounds.
Instead, I doubled the cake recipe, baked part of it in a Pyrex bowl, and the rest in a 9" round cake pan.
I'll start from there.
The round cake was bigger around than the bowl cake, so I trimmed the excess off.
I put a layer of the frosting (the recipe gives you what gel colors to use for the frosting, one of which I already had) in between the two layers, just to keep it steady.
I pulled a lazy Susan out of my spice cupboard and it made ALL the difference in the world.
I should pick one up just for frosting cakes.
I smuggled Baby's Ariel Barbie out of her room, and wrapped her tail in plastic wrap before shoving her into the middle of the cake.
That's when I realized my cake wasn't tall enough.
So I pulled the bowl layer off and crammed all my trimmed pieces on.
This photo made me laugh out loud when I saw it.
Looks like something that should be on a Pinterest Fail blog.
But hey, it worked.
Yes, I had started my first row of frosting before realizing the cake was too short.
Then I put the bowl cake back on and shoved Ariel back in.
The tip you use first was new to me and I LOVE IT.
Genius people, genius.
That one made me laugh out loud, too.
Keepin' it real, folks.
So once you get that base on, you're supposed to use a tool, that every store was sold out of, to smooth it out.
So I used my scooper thingy.
It definitely didn't get it as smooth as the tutorial video, but whatev.
Also, let me point this out now, I think that professional cake decorators use that nasty "icing" stuff that tastes like garbage.
I used my standby Betty Crocker recipe for Buttercream Frosting.
I think the consistency makes a difference.
Or, I could just be making excuses for inadequacy.
Next up, you're supposed to run an offset spatula up the skirt for pleats.
I had a smaller one than used in the tutorial.
Again, not super smooth, but good enough.
This is where the consistency of the frosting really starts to matter.
Too dry and it won't come out of the tip good.
Too wet, and it's dripping instead of holding its form.
I think mine was a bit on the, too wet, end.
My ruffles were a little sad looking.
Again, another detail that didn't come out exactly the way I would have liked.
More detail work.
The final product.
Far from perfect, but she made a little girl's day, and that was the goal from the beginning.
I decorated her the day before the party, and the two older kids were allowed to peek in the garage fridge where I had her.
They both came running in to tell me it was SOOOOO awesome and I did SUCH a good job.