First, I want to wish all my Food52 friends a happy holiday and a big thank you for solving my culinary challenges this year!

Second, I have yet another challange come my way, I have taken on the task of baking a Barbie cake for my 5 yr. olds BDay party. Through my research I have learned that I can bake the cake in an oven-safe bowl. Although I just went through my kitchen and found many bowls, but none that say "oven-safe". If a bowl is marked Microwave & Dishwasher safe, can I presume that it is ALSO oven-safe?



KitchenKim December 25, 2010
The Barbie Cake finally came together at the end! And my 5 year old daughter just loved it. Thanks again for all of you who helped me get through this baking project! KitchenKim
KitchenKim December 15, 2010
Wow - Betteirene - Your response not only answered my inital question, but summarized all future questions I probably would have had as well. I am so impressed with the time and techinique you have used on your Barbie cakes. And with the advice I have recieved from all of your responses; as I use my Dunkin Hines mix and add less water,baking it in my stanless steel bowl, and as I clear my freezer to freeze the chocolate cake, and as I make my "crumb coat", and use the foil to make the bodice of the dress, and pull out all my glitter & edible pearls, and hot pink frosting, I will hopefully see my 5 year old beaming at the cake & think of all you, who helped me get there. And then I will need a vacation! Thanks so much! I will post a picture if it worthy!
hardlikearmour December 15, 2010
Wow...awesome instructions betteirene!
betteirene December 14, 2010
It makes me glad that your daughter's birthday and Christmas are two separate celebrations. What a thoughtful gift to her! I decorate cakes, and you should hear some of the stories I've been told about December babies feeling cheated.

I use a Bundt cake pan and a 9" round pan to make the skirt. I make two batches of Dorie Greenspan's buttermilk-lemon party cake and fill the Bundt pan 3/4 full and bake it on a cookie sheet at 325 degrees for about an hour. The rest of the batter goes in the round pan and gets baked for 40-50 minutes, also at 325. The Bundt cake has more of a skirt shape, and its pattern makes the dress look like a ball gown. I wrap Barbie in foil, making the bodice look as if she's wearing a strapless silver gown. The cake round is placed on a plate and its top is iced; the Bundt cake goes on top, and the foil-wrapped Barbie is placed in the hole. After icing and decorating the skirt, icing can be piped over the foil so that the bodice matches the skirt.

I've baked cakes in stainless steel bowls and glass Pyrex bowls and glass measuring cups and pots and pans and Dutch ovens and coffee cans. They all work. To get a sense of proportion without having to bake a cake, fill a likely container with water, freeze it, then unmold it. Put Barbie behind it, and if you like the way she looks, go right ahead and use that container for your bakeware.

Some other considerations: If you're not making the cake from scratch, use only the Duncan Hines brand with two eggs, 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup less water per box than called for in the directions. It'll be moist, but not so moist that it falls apart during decorating.

If your container holds more than 3 cups of cake batter, lower the baking temperature to 325 degrees, 300 degrees if it's a ceramic or glass container. Your baking time will be longer, which will allow the cake to brown normally but be cooked all the way through. Rotate the cake(s) after 45 minutes, and do the toothpick test when you see that the center has formed a dome that no longer looks wet.

If you end up having to shape the cake with a knife, freezing it first (don't worry about it becoming hard as a rock--it won't) and trimming with a serrated knife will reduce crumbs.

Prevent unsightly crumbs in the frosting by covering the cake's edges and cut surfaces with a crumb coat: Whatever you use for frosting, thin it with warm water and spread or spoon it on the cake, then allow it to crust over for an hour before decorating.

gigiaxline December 14, 2010
Happy Holidays Kitchen Kim - you helped me with my first food pickle :D so thank you. And I want to see pictures of Barbie in all her cake glamor when you're done! Good luck!
hardlikearmour December 14, 2010
I think I'd go spiffypaws route, as it seems you'd get more even baking. I'd be afraid with the bowl you'd have to overbake the outsides to get the center cooked.
spiffypaws December 14, 2010
You could always bake the cake in any oven safe pans that you have, stack and ice the layers, then cut to the desired shape. You'll waste some cake, but that's what the decoraters do in the bakery I work in. Beats buying a new pan if you don't have oven-safe ones in the correct size.
mrslarkin December 14, 2010
yes! happy holidays! And let us know how the cake comes out!!
drbabs December 14, 2010
Oh, and happy holidays to you, too!
drbabs December 14, 2010
I think if it's only marked microwave and dishwasher (but not oven) safe, that you definitely shouldn't put it in the oven.
KitchenKim December 14, 2010
I happen to have three nesting in my kitchen:). I will try that instead. Thanks Mrslarkin!
mrslarkin December 14, 2010
Do you have any stainless steel bowls, by any chance?? Those would work. I think a ceramic bowl must say "oven safe" on it to be sure.
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