Barbie Cake + Meringue Girls Book Giveaway!

Barbie Cake via Sweetapolita

Hello, my friends!

So there’s a series of words I never imagined using in the same sentence: chocolate, beet, cake, meringue, and Barbie! But yes. Oh yes. Now it just seems perfectly natural–necessary even–to combine them all.

As a child of the 70s, I’m no stranger to doll cakes, but I have never had the joy of making one, particularly one of this magnitude. That was until I came across the recipe in a new baking book I absolutely adore: Meringue Girls: Incredible Sweets Everybody Cake Make by Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman. What a visual delight! I’ve always been a meringue enthusiast, but I have to say that these girls have taken meringues, and all things meringue, to an entirely new level.

Meringue Girls Cookbook

So if the cover doesn’t have you giddy, the recipes and images throughout the book are sure to. And while the cover of a cookbook can sometimes be a little misleading, in this case the entire book lives up to the awesome package: it’s filled to the brim with unique, vibrant, and easy to follow meringue recipes and useful techniques for foolproof meringue (we’ve all had our fair share of meringue mishaps, no?). As you probably know, I’m a meringue enthusiast, but even for those of you who haven’t ventured too far down meringue lane, I have a feeling this book will inspire you more than you might expect.

The “Meringue Girls” take us through the basics first–making the perfect batch of meringue every time, countless flavouring ideas (think Hot Cross Bun, Manuka Honey, Lavender, and more), and super-awesome colouring techniques, like “striping,” as I did here with the Barbie Cake meringue “kisses,” as they call them. They then delight us through different chapters of unexpected and irresistible meringue recipes, such as the cutest rainbow cake in the universe–the Meringue Rainbow Cake, the decadent Ferrero Rocher Meringue Tower, the unbelievably tempting Honeycomb, Chocolate, Salted Peanut Meringues (um, hello!), and so much more. Can you tell I’m totally smitten with this book?

Meringue via Sweetapolita

So I went for it. I embarked upon the intriguing Chocolate and Beet Barbie Cake. I mean, how could I not? The colours, the quirkiness, the nostalgia, oh my! Sure, it did seem like a bit of an undertaking but, well, I’ve been known to frolic with such recipes before, right? And I love a challenge. But in the end, it was more joy than challenge. I had so much fun creating this cake–for obvious reasons–but I think the best part about it was that it was like nothing I’ve ever done, or seen, before. I love that. I had to give it a whirl! (And as a mom of two little girly cakelets, I’d never be forgiven if I didn’t choose this recipe to start.)

Meringues via Sweetapolita

So this Barbie and meringue extravaganza is essentially two layers of a very rich chocolate and beet cake–one baked in a regular flat round cake pan, and the other “layer” baked in a rounded bowl (you could also use a contour cake pan if you have it), and then filled and frosted with a luscious whipped cream and cream cheese icing, and then decorated with a rainbow of stripy meringue kisses that literally melt in your mouth–one of the reasons I can’t get enough baked meringue of any kind. Oh, and of course we can’t forget that Barbie is perched upon this delightful “skirt” for everyone to admire. So fun!

Barbie Cake via Sweetapolita

See, even Barbie says “ta-da!” She’s impressed with the fanciful candy-coloured skirt I made her. (That was only after she forgave me for, um, cutting off her legs . . . ouch!). I was searching for more of a retro Barbie, but I was pleased with her blue and purple bodice so I went for her, even though she’s more of a circa 1999 variety. It was, however, sometime around the moment I was styling her hair for this cake that I realized that I am officially never allowed to complain about my job. Let’s just say no two days are the same.

Barbie Cake via Sweetapolita

Needless to say, the cake was so visually pleasing and incredibly decadent. I absolutely love the whipped cream and cream cheese icing–light as air, but with a rich and creamy texture and tang that only cream cheese brings. It paired nicely with the intensity of the chocolate cake and sweetness of the meringues. This is one of those cakes that pleases adults just as much as kids, I’m sure, which makes it a perfect party cake for anyone. ♥

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, I’m thrilled to giveaway 3 copies of this gorgeous and unique book, Meringue Girls: Incredible Sweets Everybody Cake Make, courtesy of the folks at Chronicle Books!

Here’s the recipe for this whimsical cake!

Chocolate and Beet Barbie Cake + Meringue Girls Giveaway

Ingredients

  • For the Meringue Girls Mixture (for the meringue kisses):
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cups) superfine sugar
  • 150 g egg whites (from about 5 eggs)
  • For the Cake:
  • 1 2/3 cups vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 3/4 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 g) superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 g) good-quality dark cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 lb cooked and peeled beets
  • 6 eggs
  • For the Icing:
  • 1 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 cups (400 g) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 Barbie doll (clothes and legs removed)
  • Barbie accessories

Instructions

  1. For the meringue (for the meringue kisses):
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, pour in the sugar, and put the baking sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the sugar are just beginning to melt. Heating the sugar will help it dissolve in the egg whites more quickly and help create a glossy, stable mixture.
  4. Meanwhile, make sure the bowl and whisk attachment of your stand mixer are free from grease. Pour the egg whites into the bowl. Whisk on low speed at first, allowing small bubbles to form, then increase the speed to high and continue whisking until the egg whites form stiff peaks and the bowl can be tipped upside down without the whites falling out. Stop whisking just before the whites take on a cotton-woolly appearance; if they do, they have been over whisked, and the egg protein has lost some of its elasticity.
  5. By now, the sugar should be ready to take out of the oven.
  6. With the whites stiff and while whisking again at high speed, add one big tablespoonful of hot sugar after another to the bowl ensuring that the whites come back up to stiff peaks after each addition. Don't worry about small clumps of sugar, but avoid adding large chunks of caramelized sugar from the edges of the baking sheet.
  7. Once you have added the sugar, continue to whisk on high speed for 5 to 7 minutes. Rub a bit of the mixture between your fingers, and if you can still feel gritty sugar, keeping whisking at high speed until the sugar has dissolved, the mixture is smooth, and the bowl is a bit cooler to the touch. The meringue will continue to thicken up during this stage. You know it is ready to use when it forms a nice smooth, shiny peak on the tip of your upturned finger.
  8. To make striped mini meringue kisses:
  9. Divide the meringue mixture into six portions. Form each portion into mini striped kisses in the color of your choice. (It's fine to pipe more than one color onto a single baking sheet.) Turn a large disposable piping bag with a 3/4 inch opening, or a reusable one, inside out. Invert the bag over a jug or bottle so that it holds itself up. Using natural food coloring and a clean paintbrush, paint wide stripes from the tip of your piping bag to halfway down (about five stripes). Roll the bag so the painted side is inside, folding the edges over to make a sturdy vessel.
  10. Carefully spoon your meringue mixture into the piping bag, rolling the sides up. you need to pack the meringue in tightly, ensure there are no air bubbles. Pinch the top of the bag closed, gently pushing the mixture in.
  11. If using a disposable piping bag, with sharp scissors, but the tip of the bag so that the opening measures 3/4 inch in diameter.
  12. To the get the meringue mixture flowing, twist the top of the piping bag to push the meringue to the bottom. Pipe small dollops onto the four corners of your baking sheets (if you are using a full batch of Meringue Girls Mixture, you will need a couple of baking sheets). Line the baking sheets with parchment paper; the meringue dollops with act as a glue and stick the paper to the sheets.
  13. Piping the mini meringue kisses:
  14. Hold the piping bag vertically with both hands, securing the twisted top with your dominant hand and placing your other hand halfway down the bag. Use the top hand to apply pressure and the lower hand to control the flow of the meringue. Squeeze the bag to form a kiss with a 1-inch base, and then lift the bag up while releasing some pressure so that the meringue forms a peak at the top. Space the kisses about 3/4 inch apart.
  15. Position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Slide the baking sheets into the oven Bake for 20 minutes, or until they can be lifted off the parchment paper with their bases intact. Let cool completely on the baking sheets. Stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, the kisses will keep for up to 2 weeks.
  16. To make the cake:
  17. Turn up the oven temperature to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan and the line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease an 8-inch ovenproof bowl (about 10 inches deep) and line it with parchment paper.
  18. Sift the flour, superfine sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder into a large bowl. Cut the beets into large chunks and add to a blender along with the eggs and oil. Puree until smooth. Pour the beet mixture into the dry ingredients and fold until combined.
  19. Pour one-half of the batter into the prepared springform pan and the remaining batter into the prepared bowl. Bake the cakes for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cakes out of the pan and bowl onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment and let cool completely.
  20. To make the icing:
  21. In a large bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks, then add the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth and stiff.
  22. Bling out your Barbie however you'd like--goth or glam, it's up to you.
  23. Set the flat cake layer (the one baked in the springform pan) on a cake platter. Spread with about 1 cup of icing in an even layer. Set the bowl-shaped cake on top, tapered-end up. Using a knife, trim the stacked cake to form a nice hoop-skirt shape.
  24. With a long, slender knife (such as a bread knife), cut a 2-inch deep hole in the center of the cake and insert Barbie to just below her waist. Spread the remaining icing over the cake, taking care to work around Barbie.
  25. Carefully place meringue kisses on the cake, arranging on color at a time in a row around Barbie, starting at her waist and working down. Press the kisses lightly into the icing so that they stick and form a beautiful, colorful meringue-kiss skirt.
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Sweetapolita’s Notes:

    • For my meringue colours, I used AmeriColor gel paste colours in Lemon Yellow, Teal, Soft Pink, Regal Purple, and Sky Blue. The recipe does call for “natural” food colouring, which I didn’t have, but you can certainly use those if you do. Because we use quite a bit to stripe the meringues, it would definitely be a great idea, but of course not crucial. You can make the meringues up to 2 weeks ahead, which is really helpful with a cake like this.
    • For the 8-inch flat cake layer, I used a standard 8 x 2-inch round cake pan, and it worked well!
    • Try to find a Barbie with plastic bodice, since having any article of clothing around the icing could get icky.
    • Have fun with this–it is like reliving childhood, but stylish and quirky. ♥

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Good luck & enjoy! 

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Comments

    • Colleen says

      I’m a fan on Facebook, and shocked to be the first commenter.

      Any suggestions for a Canada Day cake? I’m leaning towards something with strawberries now that they are in season around here.

    • tecsesq says

      schaumstucke are german merengue cookies with sliced almonds in and on them and my granny made the perfectly so those are my very favorite.

  1. Hilary Lewis says

    My favorite would have to be lemon meringue pie! This barbie cake is gorgeous. Usually, I think the doll cakes look kind of silly, but this is just perfect!

  2. says

    My favourite meringue dessert would be a meringue torte, with hazelnut meringue, layered with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and fresh berries.

    Can’t believe I’m only the second commenter! But super excited to be so :)

  3. Anna Russell says

    I would love this for my daughter!!! She just adores all things Barbie and meringue!! Match made in sweet sweet heaven!!! <3

  4. Eva Mendaro Carrió says

    I love meringue with virtually anything but if I have to choose just one way it would be hazelnut and chocolate meringue bites. Love this colorful cake!

  5. Kathryn says

    I love all meringues, especially lemon!! Ever since I was little I have always wanted a barbie cake! Now at 23 im still waiting for someone to make me one. Maybe I need to just make myself one?

  6. Sarah Simmons says

    How amazingly gorgeous! We love at good barbie cake at my place. It’s funny, I was it looking at making little meringue kisses like this as a wedding favour- you can fill them with salted caramel or Nutella! X

  7. Michelle fay says

    My little niece Skylah would just love to dance around this barbie cake with her ballerina outfit on,she is a huge barbie fan and although only 4 she impersonates barbie to a tee

  8. Carmen Patricia Ferreira says

    First of all, congratulations for your fantastic work!
    My favourite dessert is Lemon Meringue Pie.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Ashlee says

    I live in New Zealand, so I would have to say Pavlova, covered in freshly whipped cream and summer berries. The perfect summer dessert!

  10. Rena says

    I make a delicious layer cake if meringue w shredded chocolate then whipped cream and strawberries. It’s a big family fave

  11. JT says

    I am a fan of you and of this crazy flourless chocolate almond cherry cake (for Passover!) with kirsch and cherry preserves and kirsch flavored soft merengue on top!

  12. Angelina says

    I love classic, crunchy meringue swirls the most, second to that would be meringue-based frozen yogurt!

  13. veronica mascarell says

    Merengue covered in white chocolate filled with strwberries and cream! Best merengue ever!

  14. says

    I have made meringue cookies (not flavored with anything but vanilla) and they are my absolute favorite thing ever. To me they taste a little like toasted marshmallows and what could be better?

  15. Stephanie Herringe Beauchamp says

    My mum tagged me and I love your page. The colours and recipes are inspiring me to bake!!

  16. Alesia Kurlek says

    My favourite meringue dessert is definitely pavlova with fresh berries! I’m also a fan on Facebook. ;)

  17. Penny says

    And I’m also a fan on facebook! Funny, because today I woke up thinking I needed to make meringue cookies. I guess this is a sign :)

  18. Shiyomi says

    Toss up between strawberry swiss meringue buttercream OR this meringue dessert my grandma makes: meringue (broken into pieces), fruits and cream.

  19. says

    Amazing And Mind blowing!!! So amazed to see that it is so colorful…Totally loved it :) Wish i love to try it on my Daughter’s Birthday :)

    Am sure i ll make it as a cake or cupcake or treats as meringue kisses topper

    Am fan in your Face book :)

  20. Laetitia says

    I adore anything meringue, but strawberry pavlova is probably my all time favourite- It is available at my house 24/7 during strawberry season(so right now!)!

  21. Kerryn says

    I’m a fan of lemon, lime or lemon and lime meringue pie.
    I actually used your lemon meringue delight cake recipe for making a doll cake for a friends 30th birthday.

  22. Sarah Richards says

    Have been a fan on Feb for a while now.

    My fave is meringue fingers dipped in chocolate and sandwiched together with plenty of whipped cream!

  23. Alba says

    I have never really liked doll cakes, but Rosie, you make everything beautiful! And I l-o-v-e meringues, so… :)

  24. Michaela says

    Looks amazing…. Had one doll cake as a child, my mom spent hours making it perfect :) Bet she would have preferred making the meringues… As far as meringue for dessert, favourite of all time has to be the ice cream truffles (coffee and zabaglione flavoured ice cream) which were covered in crushed meringue. They were perfect

  25. Stephanie Ace says

    Being an Australian/South American I have to say that my two favourite meringue desserts would be the good ol’ Pavlova topped with whipped cream and fresh berries, and Chilean Chilenitos – covered in meringue and filled with delicious dulce de leche. YUM – I definitely have the best of both worlds :)

  26. Mariclod Nadon says

    Lavender Meringue! Love anything with lavender. Just made your strawberry lavender buttermilk cake this past weekend and it was just a big hit! So moist and delicious! These meringues on this cake are amazing…never seen such bright colors! My 5 year old just saw the picture and asked me to make it! Thanks for the inspiration.

  27. Margie says

    I love, love, love meringue! I just wish I knew how to make them as well as these. Maybe the book will teach me? ;)

  28. Paula L. says

    I love lemon meringue pie, but I remembered a chocolate pavlova that Nigella Lawson had in one of her books. Delish!

  29. Callie Hagood says

    I had never made meringues until a couple of years ago when I was inspired by your raspberry meringues. They were delicious! This book looks awesome!

  30. says

    This is such a gorgeous cake! I love that it’s sort of a modern version of those doll cakes. My grandmother made me one of those when I was younger because I loved barbies, and I remember being completely horrified when she took the doll out of the cake and it didn’t have any legs! Ha! But I have her doll cake pan now and this totally makes me want to make one. With gorgeous, colorful meringue decorations. What a lovely cookbook! :)

  31. Claire says

    My mum’ famous dime bar cake. A pavlova base, topped with crushed dime bars, cream, egg yolks and sugar, frozen until it turns into a delicious ice cream texture. Amazing!

  32. Ronnetta says

    totally a sweetapolita fb fan! and my husband is canadian…we are nearly finished with the immigration process to bring him to the US…sorry, Rosie. canada is losing one fine citizen with him! <3

  33. Emma says

    I had a cherry blossom meringue at DC’s cherry blossom festival years ago. It was so good, I still remember it!

  34. Marcia says

    My favorite is a pavlova – so beautiful and so delicious!
    But this cake….wow! I have a 6 year old niece who would go nuts for this! I wish I had the nerve to attempt it! You did a beautiful job!!

  35. Theresaf says

    I have loved lemon meringue pie since forever. Those spinning pies at the diner where the meringue is crazy high. aahhh. But chocolate meringues are also extremely delicious. Wait – can I pick a lemon meringue pie with a chocolate meringue crust! I think I just did. I’m going to need that book for more inspiration!
    Theresa

  36. Vanessa says

    My favorite meringue is Mint Meringue cookies with chocolate chips. It’s always been a Christmas/holiday time staple in my family.

    I am a fan on Facebook too.

  37. Lisa F. says

    I have only had lemon meringue pie I never realized there were other flavors of meringue. Boy am I deprived. Lol quick question for the barbie I did a barbie cake and I wrapped her legs in plastic wrap and pushed her I into middle of cake. I loved barbie souch as a little girl that it would have broken my heart to cut her legs off. Lol I’m loving the retro look of the merengue dress!

  38. Robin says

    My favorite meringue is lemon meringue. My Mom used to only make it in December for my Dad’s birthday and it was a treat for all of us!

  39. Cassie says

    This cake is fantastic! I have an almost 5 year old who would just LOVE this.

    I just had an AMAZING coconut meringue pie from a restaurant that was to die for, it was more on the custard side than pie side…I am literally drooling just thinking about it!

  40. Sam C says

    I like making vanilla bean colorblocked meringues. You dip the meringes in food coloring mixed with water after you make them!

  41. Debbie S. says

    The cake is beautiful! The cake looks wonderful, Barbie is smiling and all is right with the world! Love love love it!

  42. Samantha says

    My favorite has always been Pavlova with lots of fresh fruit and fresh cream on top. I also love coconut macaroons.

  43. Claudia says

    My favorite is Colombian merengon! BTW I am you fan in facebook…and everywhere. I can’t wait for your book.

  44. Lucia says

    My favorite meringue dessert is called Chajá and it’s from Uruguay, where I’m from. It’s basically a layered dessert that has a layer of sponge cake moistened with sugar syrup, topped with swiss meringue buttercream and canned peaches, a sheet of meringue, topped with more swiss meringue buttercream and more peaches and then another layer of the meringue part. And then you cover it in whipped cream and crushed meringue. It’s so good, dangerously good.

  45. Jillian M says

    My favorite is pavlova. I have this little tea shop I like to go to when I need a break, and I always get a pot of tea and a slice of pavlova with fresh cream and berries.

  46. Kristy says

    I love Swiss meringue buttercream on cake, cupcakes or my finger!!! And chocolate meringue pie!! Thanks!

  47. says

    I think my favorite meringue dessert would have to be good, old-fashioned chocolate meringue cookies! They are the perfect juxtaposition of rich decadence and light airiness :)

  48. Anna says

    What a fun cake!! I have twin daughters that just turned 5 and they would scream and dance at the sight of this cake!

    I am already a Facebook fan.

    • Anna says

      My favorite meringue dessert is called Forgotten Kisses. You make the meringue and fold in M&M’s then bake them and leave them in the oven overnight (oven off) as if you have “forgotten” them. They are a Christmas tradition at our house.

  49. Carly says

    Definitely Pavalova, the delightful sweetness of the meringue, the creaminess of the whipped cream and the sweet tang of fresh berries, passionfruit and what ever other goodies you can get your hands on

  50. Yana says

    I can honestly say that I have yet to dislike anything with meringue especially macarons…talk about amazing!

  51. Kat says

    The color palette is so gorgeous! I love meringue mushrooms because they’re so weird and creepily realistic. When dusted in green tea and cocoa, the bitterness tones down the sweetness, and they top everything perfectly: cupcakes, buche de noels, tortes, etc.

  52. stephanie says

    Lemon meringue pie (or bars) has been my favorite from when I was very little! I would pass chocolate and other fruit pies galore just to have it.

  53. Cassie Hayes says

    My favorite is chocolate pudding with meringue topping. Just love the textures and flavors together.

  54. Carla says

    An amazing patisserie in Queensland here in Australia makes an unbelievable hazelnut meringue cake. It is layers of rich hazelnut meringue offset with layers of light and delicious cream!
    Pure heaven!

  55. anna richards says

    I love this Barbie cake! And meringues! Beautiful! As per your norm!!! Would love this book. Looks fun for all sorts of things! Lemon meringue was my first and still most favorite dessert with meringue. Yummy.

  56. Rushi says

    Rose petals macarons and fleur de sel macarons from Ladurée. If I can’t have those I’d be happy to settle for a gorgeous rose pavvy filled with billowy cream and topped with fresh fruits…

  57. Teresa figliomeni says

    My favourite meringue would have to be hazelnut meringue cookies……it’s meringue that has chopped roasted hazelnuts folded in and baked,,,,,delish!

  58. JoeyfromSC says

    coconut meringue pie! yum!

    thanks for the chance to win! I’d love their book! Your blog is great btw!

    Joey

  59. Sarah says

    OMG i Need that Book so much *-* !!!! I do so much LOVE meringue in eating and espacially making ;) ! I Could Sit in Front of an mixer for hours watching egg Whites Beat up *-* ^-^ <3 !!

  60. Sarah says

    And i often pipe like baskets of just normal meringue and Gill them with “rote Grütze ” Eich is a German Dessert made of many different beruß and tastes like Kind of a Natural jell-o and also a Bit like chunky marmalade

  61. cait says

    fruit covered pavlova, lemon meringue pie, just ol’ fashioned meringue cookies… all of them :)

  62. Yvonne says

    I love simple baked meringues, like pavlova. Or lemon meringue pie! I LOVE this Barbie cake (and all your other cakes, too)!

  63. Rachel says

    Simple meringue cookies made with cocoa powder and tiny chocolate chips are one of my favorite holiday gifts to give (and eat :)

  64. Masha says

    I was curious about this book too! But the recipe didn’t work well for me so I switched to my previous method of using 1/2 sugar and 1/2 icing sugar for French meringue or going for Swiss meringue instead. My meringues turned out with crunchy bites of sugar granules, which are very disappointing! However, Alex & Stacey are amazing girls! Hope to meet them some time!

  65. Eliza says

    Can you use canned beetroot? Is your cooked beetroot boiled, baked or steamed? If you dont have the correct sized bowl can you use another round cake pan and cut it? Thanks

  66. says

    I have the book, and I love it :) If you decide to make a Barbie cake again, Nigella Lawson wraps the legs in clingfilm and stick them into the cake (wow, wierd sentence!), so the doll can be used afterwards :)

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