So the littlest… my pixie… my LuBelle, sometimes called LuBella (whose technical REAL name is Lucy Ella, that of which is only used when she’s in BIIIIIG trouble) turned the great big FIVE this past July.

You know… the kindo’ five where you get to ride that mysterious big yellow bus soon to be arriving at the end of the driveway, with your big brother and sisters each morning.

close up square sofia

The kindo’ five where you get to go off each day for an almost SEVEN solid hours, playing all sorts of games, making all sorts of crafts, and having all sorts of fun with the new little friends you’ve just made who are also of the big “five” sort, whilst leaving your mama at home… alone… crying silently into her tea ’cause her baby’s just left her and there’s no one left to cuddle with for SEVEN STRAIGHT HOURS each day.

You know.  She just turned THAT kindo’ five.

sofia and stand right

And last year for her birthday, when she suggested that she might want a Sofia the First birthday cake, I was able to quickly talk her into a Wreck it Ralph theme instead.  (I don’t know.  Don’t ask me why.  I was just NOT feeling a Sofia the First cake.  It was all the rage last year, and I think I’d just seen them around so often that I just couldn’t bear to go there.  I was revolting.)

sofia square

Well THIS year, li’l pixie was NOT havin’ my shenanigans.  See, she’s a BIG girl now… the big FIVE, remember?  And she KNOWS that her and her siblings get to pick WHATEVER they want for their birthday cake (that “whatever” being reasonable and appropriate, of course) and she KNEW I had not a leg to stand on when attempting to resist Sofia the First again this year.

close wide sofia

So she done gone and put her foot down, planted those little hands on those little hips, stared me square in the eyes, and stated in her most serious pixie voice EVER, that what she wanted MOST OF ALL was to have a Sofia the First themed birthday cake this time.


And I kid you not, the girl wouldn’t look away until I nodded my head and verbally agreed to her very reasonable (though slightly pushy) request.  (Thomas says she reminds him of  *AHEM* someone he “knows”.   I’ve no idea what he’s talking about.)


I caved, and Pixie got her wish.  I agreed to make her the very best Sofia the First cake that I could.

sofia cut

But I tell you, the smile she gave me (the one that lights up her whole face) and the tight pixie hug that followed her sweet victory was enough to turn even the coldest of hearts into a warm puddle of mush.  And it makes me wonder (and tremble slightly) at the future… at just how much “caving” will actually take place in this house… and how many sweet victories that little one will have under her belt by the time she’s old enough to leave us for good.

‘Cause dang… girl’s got this “pushy requests” thing DOWN.  Knaw I’m sayin’. 😉 Xx

lucy and sofia

 Some notes on how I made this “doll” style, Sofia the First cake…


I used the Wilton Sports Pan for the round top cake layer.  (Love that thing so much and have used it for SEVERAL cakes, thus far.)

And to figure out how many round layers I’d need underneath it, I printed out a picture of Sofia the First that I was basing the design on, to the actual size I wanted her to be.  Then I measured out how tall her skirt should be and decided I only needed one more layer of cake underneath to get it there.


You can see the edge of the cake from the ball pan was just a little wider than the layer underneath, so I just trimmed it up a bit before I ganached. (Not shown here, unfortunately.)

Then, I used my icing bag and my Wilton Cake Icer Tip to add my ganache.  (Which I always use to ice my cakes with ’cause ever since I started doing it this way, I no longer need to crumb coat!!  Just one coat of buttercream or ganache and YOU.IS.DONE.  A dream!)



I scraped the sides down, as usual, with my bench scraper.  But then, for the rounded top, I used a piece of a clear plastic craft sheet, at .020 thickness, to bend and scrape and smooth.


See, it’s bendable so it gets those rounded parts nice and smooth!



I sculpted Sofia’s head (using my AWESOME mini sugar shapers that you can get a discount on, here!) out of modeling chocolate (use my free video, here, on how to make modeling chocolate and why you NEED to… or you can just purchase some premade, here, if you’re short on time), her eyeballs were gumpaste, and then I painted on her face with my petal dusts mixed with lemon extract (or vodka).

Note: I’ve since designed a face mold that would fit this size cake perfectly, so if you need help creating a face, you can use the McGreevy Cakes face mold to save time (and some heartache).  

You can find it by clicking HERE, and be sure to watch the how-to videos on that product page, as well as the figure modeling tutorials on for tips on how to easily use the mold!


I made sure that I knew how tall her head and torso should be based on my reference photo, and then sculpted her neck and torso separately, both out of modeling chocolate again, fused them together with just a little water, and ran a 1/4″ wooden dowel up through the back center and into the head.

And we now have a torso mold and arms & legs molds available HERE to match the head mold that would be PERFECT for this project if you want to save time!

I did all of this before I covered the cake, just to make sure the proportions were right when I held the head and torso up to it, before I forged ahead.

‘Cause… yeah.

Note: For help on creating the torso and arms, you can watch the more recent Strawberry Princess doll cake video tutorial on Cakeheads as that one is made with the same proportions and is just a different version of this cake!


K, back to the cake.

I  measured and cut a strip of white fondant that would wrap around the entire circumference of the cake with extra to spare.

I sprayed the cake with some water so it would stick and then wrapped it around the cake, gathering the fondant in pleats every couple of inches.  This was subtle, but I wanted to give the underskirt just a bit of movement rather than it laying completely flat against the cake.



I snipped the top gathered sections of the white with scissors so that the fondant would lay flat against the cake.


Next, I rolled out a large purple circle of modeling chocolate.

You could use fondant instead here, but I like how mod choc is less stretchy and a bit more stiff, and doesn’t show every bump underneath it.  Also, I wanted this top layer of the dress to flair out just a bit, and knew mod choc would be the best way to achieve that look.



I marked the center of the purple circle and then laid it over the top of the cake.

This part can be kind of tricky.  Just make sure it’s long enough to nearly touch the board, all around, and then use your exacto knife to cut the scallops as best you can.  You can smooth the mod choc flat onto the cake if you want, but I wanted it to flair out a bit, so I just kind of held the bottom edge with my left hand and cut with my right, trying to make nice, even scallops.

I’m sure there’s a better way… but my brain couldn’t think of one at the time. (Aaaand STILL can’t.)


Then I used my size six, angle chisel tip, soft sugar shaper to make the lines from her waist down to the corners of the scallops.

And then I popped her into the center.


Alrighty, so next up was to make her shoulders.  So I formed these two little shapes out of mod choc and attached them with some water.

Then, I sculpted her arms and hands out of mod choc, too, and started in on the rest of the details of her dress.
(Watch the Bunny Girl video tutorial for help on sculpting arms and hands!)

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Time for her hair.
(The Bunny Girl video tutorial also shows how to create hair for your figures!)

I used mod choc again, here, and started with a layer of hair underneath, worked my way around and then added layers on top.


(I was horribly pressed for time on this one, so I didn’t worry about the smoothness of the back of Sofia.  Don’t do as I do.  Leave yourself enough time.  And look away now ’cause it’s embarrassing.)

For the basic shape of most of the chunks, I rolled a sausage shape in my hands, tapered it at one end, and then flattened it a bit with my palm.

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Once I had all of the layers on, I used a dresden like tool from my inexpensive clay tool set to score lines into the mod choc to better represent hair.


I was short on time… so for the crown, I used a First Impressions tiara mold that I had in my tool closet.   It was a bit too big for her head though, so I used mod choc again in the mold so it would be somewhat sturdy, and then cut it down a bit, did just a tiny bit of reshaping and popped it onto her head.

If you don’t have a handy little crown mold around 😉 you can always pipe out a small tiara shape onto some wax paper using royal icing and let it dry completely before adding it.

sofia tall

And then I went to town on the rest of the details.

I used royal icing and my smallest round hole tip to pipe on the beading.

And I used my hydrangea cutter/mold to make the flower shapes for the bottom of her dress.

If I had more time, I would’ve painted the crown and necklace with my favorite silver highlighter dust, and painted her amulet with some confectioner’s glaze to make it shiny!  (grrrrr… it kills me that I didn’t give myself enough time for those extra touches.  That’s the FUN stuff! *sigh*)

This is the basic technique of a traditional doll cake.   You can use it with any plastic doll inserted (wrapped in cling wrap) into the middle, instead of sculpting your own character.  Just cut out a small circle of cake in the center before you insert the doll, and then go ahead and decorate like a BOSS.

And you’ll make any little girl swoon.

GuaranTEE it. Xx

  1. Sandra 3 years ago

    Thanks Shawna for your good advise ! Love it 👍

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