Make & Do, Recipes

How To Make A Little Mermaid Doll Ariel Birthday Cake

I recently wrote about Thea’s birthday party, and promised you a tutorial on her Ariel doll Little Mermaid cake. My mum used to make me a Flower Fairy cake every year, where the cake was made in a pudding bowl, turned upside down and made into the Flower Fairy’s skirt. I loved them so much, and knew Thea would too.

Finished Ariel Little Mermaid Cake doll cake

My Ariel cake, held together with jam, icing and hope!

Here she is in all her finished glory – I have to say I was very relieved she turned out as well as she did!

It was actually fairly simple to put together, but it was quite time consuming; I’d recommend baking the cake the night before it’s needed and constructing it and decorating it on the day of the party. I did it all in the morning and it was pretty stressful!

Start by making a four egg sponge cake. I made vanilla flavour but you could make chocolate too, by adding about 50g/2oz cocoa to the flour, and leaving out the vanilla extract.

Ingredients for A Little Mermaid Cake

250g/4oz soft margarine or butter
250g/4oz caster sugar
4 large eggs
300g/10oz plain flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Cream together the butter/margarine and sugar until pale and fluffy. I used an electric whisk.
2. Gradually whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. I also added some pink food colouring at this point.
3. Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold together.
4. Pour half into a greased, lined pudding basin, and the rest evenly into two greased, lined 7 inch cake tins.

I  didn’t use enough pink food colouring, so you couldn’t see it once it was cooked, next time I’ll make it much darker.

The three cakes ready for the ovenBake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the normal cakes are cooked, and leave the pudding bowl cake in for another 15 minutes or so, but keep an eye on it, as all ovens are different. Two normal cakes and one cooked in a pudding bowlThe normal cakes didn’t rise as much as I’d have liked (but my oven is rubbish so I’ll put it down to that!)

Whilst the cake was baking, I wrapped Ariel’s head and legs in clingfilm to protect them from the cake and icing. I also made a little bodice out of some old material so that her top would match the skirt, which would be pink. I just stuck it on with sellotape.

Wrap Ariel's hair and legs in cling fim and make her a little bodice

You might not want to show this picture to your child: kind of disturbing, sorry!

Remove the cakes from the tins and pudding bowl and allow to cool completely. You can cut the pudding bowl cake in half horizontally to help cool it down, as you can sandwich it back together with jam.

Construct the Little Mermaid Cake

I stacked the cakes up to see if they’d be tall enough to go up to Ariel’s waist and it didn’t look good, but I realised I could trim off some of the second 7 inch cake, to make a smaller layer at the top, so I just about got away with it. Test the stack of cakes next to the doll to check the height

Cut a hole in each cake just big enough for Ariel’s legs to go through. It needs to be snug or it will be all wobbly. I also trimmed the edge off this cake so it would be slightly smaller than the bottom one, and I used the trimmings to make the final top layer.Make a hole in the centre of the cake for the doll's feet

Spread jam or icing on your base plate and stack up the cakes, making sure the centre holes are aligned. Add a generous layer of jam or icing at each layer to stick it all together, (and because it will taste great too!) and put Ariel carefully into the cake.

How to Decorate the Little Mermaid Cake

You’ll need a LOT of butter icing. I flavoured mine with vanilla extract and added pink food colouring until I got the right sort of shade to match the little bodice I’d made. I didn’t follow a recipe for this, I just made what I thought would be enough…

Ice the cake, using a small spatula or butter knife, working from the top down – I had a feeling I wouldn’t have enough icing, so I did the front first and worked my way round to the back just in case I ran out.

I left the icing fairly rough, as I was going to stick decorations on it, but in an ideal world it would be lovely and smooth, and you could pipe decorations onto it! I just stuck some iced gems around the base as I thought they looked a bit like sea creatures, and then got some sparkly pink and purple sugar decorations from Sainsbury’s to press into the rest of the skirt. Take the clingfilm off Ariel’s head, add her tiara and move her arms down, and she’s done!

There is one snag with this cake… where do you put the candles? I used some leftover cake and we stuck on some cardboard cut outs of Sebastian and Flounder, and that did the trick. You could also cover a small potato with foil.Ariel Little Mermaid Cake and smaller cake for candles

So what did the birthday girl think? Ava was most excited but Thea absolutely loved it too. Ava and Thea with the Ariel doll cake

I was pretty gutted to have to cut into it, but it did taste nice. Why not pin this tutorial for later?

An easy to follow step by step tutorial showing you how to make a Little Mermaid Doll Birthday cake.You might also like the step by step tutorial I wrote for a classic Harriet Hedgehog cake.

I’m linking up to:

A Moment with Franca for #KCACALS
Mrs Crafty B for #MakingHome
PinkPearBear and ThisMum’sLife for #BigPinkLink
Mummascribbles for #TwinklyTuesday


  1. Silly Mummy

    1st April 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Wow – that is some cake! It looks great. Dread to think what would happen if I tried this! #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      4th April 2016 at 8:46 pm

      Ha ha thank you, it did have the potential to be a disaster but luckily I pulled it off! xx

  2. Maria

    27th March 2016 at 9:46 am

    Wow! The cake looks amazing Becky! No wonder the girls loved it. Having two boys means I wouldn’t get the chance to make something like this. It’s usually superheroes or Paw Patrol!

    Thanks for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on 2nd April when the linky opens again x

    1. Becky Pink

      28th March 2016 at 10:17 am

      Ah thanks Maria, yeah I don’t think they would appreciate it if you gave a superhero a big pink skirt, would they? He he xx

      1. Maria

        29th March 2016 at 8:22 pm

        hahah no they would definitely not be impressed although M keeps telling me his favourite colour is red which is close to pink right? lol

  3. Annie B

    26th March 2016 at 9:14 am

    This is amazing. Great work. I was totally freaked out when I saw her all wrapped in cling film and then your caption made me giggle. This really is great. Gonna share on my Facebook page! #MakingHome

    1. Becky Pink

      28th March 2016 at 10:18 am

      Thanks so much Annie, it was fun to give myself a challenge – I probably would have cried if it had gone wrong though! xx

  4. tracey bowden

    23rd March 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Oh wow this is fab! I am a rubbish cake maker completely awful at it I wish I could do something like this! #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      23rd March 2016 at 9:39 pm

      Ah thanks so much Tracey, I do love doing something a bit special for their birthdays and was so relieved it worked out well! xx

  5. Kiri

    22nd March 2016 at 9:06 pm

    That looks great! Though poor Ariel being wrapped in cling film! #twinklytuesday

    1. Becky Pink

      24th March 2016 at 9:37 am

      He he I know, it’s like something out of a horror movie isn’t it! But at least her hair didn’t get all sticky xx

  6. This Mum's Life

    21st March 2016 at 8:50 pm

    WOW!! That is amazing!! Although time consuming, I bet it was loads of fun, and must’ve been really satisfying to see the finished product! I’m not surprised your girls were over the moon, it’s every little girls dream isn’t it, to have a cake like this?! It was my littlest’s birthday at the weekend, and I’m a bit of a nervous baker (nothing much really goes to plan!) but I did make some minion themed cupcakes that I was proud of! I’d like to be able to do something of this level though, because it’s always special to make the cake for their birthday! Thanks so much for sharing with #bigpinklink!

    1. Becky Pink

      21st March 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Ah thanks so much, I’m so pleased you like it! I always feel like I have to make a home made cake as mum always did for us, but I didn’t manage to Ava’s last year as it was close to Christmas and I was going a bit crazy, and she really loved the cake I bought her from a supermarket. Good luck with your cake – as long as it’s made with love I’m sure it will be a winner xx

  7. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap)

    21st March 2016 at 7:34 pm

    This is so clever and a cake I wanted when I was little too! My Mum had this cook book with it in years ago. I bet the girls were thrilled. Hope they didn’t eat Ariel though 🙂 xx #bigpinklink

    1. Becky Pink

      21st March 2016 at 9:03 pm

      He he no Ariel is safely tucked up in bed with Thea. But her hair is already really matted and her shoes and tiara are long gone! xx

  8. Educating Roversi

    20th March 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Awesome! Ariel is my fave! #KCACOLS

  9. Pickinguptoys

    20th March 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Wow,what a fantastic idea and you make it look so easy!Love the little faces at the end,so chuffed 🙂 #kcacols

    1. Becky Pink

      20th March 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Ah thanks so much, it wasn’t that hard, just time consuming xx

  10. Kayleigh

    20th March 2016 at 9:16 am

    I love this it looks great! My daughter would absolutely love a cake like this for her birthday so I’m tempted to give it a go. I love the iced gems around the bottom of the cake, that was a really nice touch #KCACOLS

  11. Fi - Beauty Baby and Me

    20th March 2016 at 8:23 am

    OMG This cake is AMAZING! God I wish I could bake! xx #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      20th March 2016 at 8:41 am

      Ah thanks so much Fi – I thought it was worth a try as even if it went wrong it would be funny! Luckily it went well this time! xx

  12. Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

    19th March 2016 at 9:46 pm

    What a fabulous cake any little girl would be delighted with. Who needs fancy moulded cake tins when a good old pudding basin will do the trick too

    1. Becky Pink

      20th March 2016 at 8:42 am

      Ha ha Angela, I’m with you on that one, what would you do with a special tin the other 364 days of the year? Though I do think you can hire them at some places, which makes sense. But yep, the pudding basin worked just fine 🙂 xx

  13. BloggerMummyLauren

    19th March 2016 at 9:40 pm

    That is one awesome cake! I always wondered how they were made, stacking up the cakes is a great idea! My daughter would love this x

    1. Becky Pink

      20th March 2016 at 8:43 am

      Thanks so much Lauren, it was pretty easy, just time consuming but I really enjoyed making it, and Thea loved it so that always makes it worth the effort. xx

  14. Maura

    19th March 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Wow that is some cake! Well done !#makinghome

    1. Becky Pink

      20th March 2016 at 8:43 am

      Thanks so much Maura, I loved making it xx

  15. Little Miss & Mummy

    19th March 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I’d be so happy If I’d made this, its amazing! I’m a massive Little Mermaid fan, so this would be my cake of choice.

    1. Becky Pink

      20th March 2016 at 8:47 am

      Thank you so much, we are big Little Mermaid fans so even though I was a bit worried when she asked for it I was also quite excited and I’m so glad it turned out well for her xx

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