If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know all about the dollycakes, but for the uninitiated, here’s the deal…
Whenever I flipped through the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Cookbook as a child, I knew it was that time of year: summer. School’s out, the pool’s warm, my freckles are coming back, and my birthday is around the corner. When asked what kind of cake I wanted, the answer was never chocolate or vanilla. A pool table, a princess, or a three tiered wedding cake was the expected answer. Planning was involved, and a mix of architecture and magic was needed to deliver what I got to blow my candles off of that year.
I come from a family of girls, and each year my mom and my aunt Tina would churn out 4 cakes that to this day get WTF glances from friends casually perusing our family albums. It started simply enough, with my mom bringing back her memories of “Dolly Varden” cakes from Australia. They made one Princess cake, decorated with some marshmallows and candy flowers, and the rest is history. Each time they grew a little more complex: the birthday girl’s favorite candy, or favorite color was incorporated, and then a doll who looked like her was added. For my Aunt Pam’s 60th birthday, Tina gave her blonde doll an a-line bob and formed wire rim glasses out of a paper clip. Little touches like these are what makes these dolls so special.
Each time they have a personality of their own, and before you slice into her skirt, you pause a bit to think about if she likes her outfit today. I do, anyway. When Tina resurrected our childhood birthday staple for Aunt Pam’s birthday, it was like a light switch inside me went on. The delight on Pam’s face, and everyone at the table’s, taking in the details and and wincing a bit when they sliced into her German chocolate skirt, convinced me that the Dolly Cake was in need of a revival.
Ever since, I’ve made couture inspired Dollycakes for my friends and family, starting with a Balmain one for my sister, and now recently this Rooney Mara in Givenchy one for the ladies (and gentleman) at The Covetour. She was my favorite look of the night, and I loved the idea of giving a blonde doll power brows and dark lipstick. I’m not a pastry chef, and am actually pretty bad at icing or anything too hand/eye coordination heavy, so using ingredients like dried coconut helps so much. Hope you like my newest version!