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Tangled Rapunzel Cake

I think I might have impressed myself with this one. At least at 2 a.m. when I finished up, I thought it might be my best culinary masterpiece to date.

Tangled Rapunzel Cake

Instead of waiting until that evening to reveal the cake to the Princess, I showed it to her when she woke up the morning of her actual birthday. I figured she could appreciate it longer that way. And that was a well-played move, Mom.

Princess Cupcake was fully impressed. (As was the hubs.)

“I LOVE IT! Can I play with it?”

“Look DAD! Look! A Princess Cake! That Tangled!”

She kept going into the kitchen and checking on it during the day and evening.

She was enchanted by it and it was SO worth the late night cram.


Here’s how I did it so you can make your own Princess cake:

Strawberry Cake from Scratch

(I doubled this to be safe – there was a lot left over.)

What you need:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 (3oz) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 4 room temperature eggs (you can speed this process up by putting them in a bowl of hot – not boiling – water for 5 minutes)
  • 2-3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup room temperature whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree (take a package of frozen sweetened strawberries and puree it in your food processor)

Preheat oven to 350

Grease and flour your cake pans. You want to use 3 8-inch round cake pans and one ovenproof glass bowl.

In your big bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy chunks.

Beat eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each.

Combine flour and baking powder.

Stir flour mixture into the batter alternating with the milk. Do NOT FORGET TO ADD ALL THE MILK. I did, and they were a little on the dhry side.

Blend in the vanilla and strawberry puree.

Divide the batter evenly between pans.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, testing with a toothpick or knife in the middle to see if it comes out clean.

Cook cakes on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove to cool completely.


Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Since I doubled the cake, I doubled this too – and again had a lot left over. But I was paranoid about running out. Also, this was a little bit runny for me – but it actually worked well when it came to decorating that it wasn’t so stiff.

  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 1 (8-ounce) package softened cream cheese
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thaw and puree
  • ½ teaspoon strawberry extract
  • 7 cups confectioners’ sugar (for me, 2 lbs equaled 8.5 cups)

In BIG bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.

Beat in ¼ cup of the strawberry puree and the vanilla. (You’ll have some puree left over)

Gradually add the sugar, beating until smooth before adding more.

Both of the above were from AllRecipes.com. Thank you!!!



Princess Cake

Shear the tops of your cakes so that they have an even surface. A serrated knife works best, and if you freeze them for about 45 minutes, that will help keep crumbs to a minimum. DON’T freeze these overnight, and DON’T wrap them in waxed paper and freeze together until they are completely cooled. Even if they feel like they are, don’t believe it.  As you might guess, I did both of the above and spent a considerable amount of time (and cut myself repeatedly in the process) of trying to separate the frozen cakes.

Cut a small hole in the center of each. You are going to drop your doll into this hole. Make it as small as possible.  I couldn’t find a cookie cutter the right size, so I actually make my circle cut pattern with a soft-boiled egg holder lid that my mother-in-law gave us. (First time I found legitimate use for it.)

Put the bottom layer of your cake on the serving platter or cake stand that you will use. Slip some parchment paper a few inches wide (or waxed paper) under the edges of your cake about ¼ in. You’re going to pull these out after you’ve  decorated it and it will give you a clean plate and smooth edges.

Frost the top layer of your cake. Place a layer on top. Frost it. Place a layer on top. Frost it. Place the cake made in the bowl on top of it so the dome side is up.

base cake

Put a crumb coat of frosting on the cake. I never knew what this meant until now. It means to make a thin layer to cover the cake. You can make it smooth by taking a piece of paper and curve it slightly, from the bottom to the top use the edge to create a smooth surface.  Be sure to spread frosting around the hole at the top.

covered cake

Freeze the cake for 45 minutes to set the crumb coat.

Strip your doll while the cake is in the freezer. Wrap the doll in saran wrap – or if you don’t have that, use waxed paper with a rubber band. It doesn’t work nearly as well and gives her a bit of a bumpy waist, but you can work around it. I did. If you are using a Rapunzel doll, you also want to wrap her hair up so it doesn’t get in your way. I secured it on top of her head with another rubber band.

doll in saran wrap

For this cake, I also divided my frosting into a large bowl and small bowl. The small bowl with lighter purple was for her sleeves, some of the bodice and the inside of her skirt. I used Duff’s (love Duff!) Color Gels.

Duffs color gel

After the cake is good and chilled, start covering the whole mountain with frosting. I chose to do the paper drag again to give me a smooth surface.

Drop your doll into the middle of the cake. Use frosting to fill in the gaps. Or, if you’re like me and have a large gap on both sides to fill, use the cut cake that you had trimmed from the 9” round cakes that you made instead of the 8” because that’s what size cake pans you have. I filled in the holes with that and then frosted over it. You could probably fill it in with anything edible… bread maybe? … if you actually made the right size cakes to begin with and didn’t have any leftovers.

Tangled Rapunzel

I filled my squishy cake decorating tubes with frosting and put the princess dress that was my pattern, next to me on the counter. I started with the inside fold of her skirt and used a spatula with the lighter frosting to create the triangle. I covered the rest of the cake with the darker color.

Again, on the bodice of her gown, I did the lighter and darker purple stripes.

Tangled Rapunzel cake

After I got all the basics on the cake, I pulled out the Princess Shimmer tubes (purchased at Krogers) and used the silver to accent the shoulders where the lace was. I used pink for the criss-cross ties on her bodice and stripes on her shoulders.

Tangled Rapunzel cake

In the fold of her skirt, I added dark purple swirls (again with the Princess Shimmers) and in the middle of each flower placed an edible pearl.  I also used the silver shimmer again to fill in some more texture to mimic the glitter on her actual skirt. I also added some definition to the fold in her skirt with the purple and outlined the bottom of the dress.

I let the cake sit over night to let the frosting harden so the long hair from the doll wouldn’t get glued in. In the morning I let Rapunzel’s hair down, added the extension and draped it around the cake.

Tangled Rapunzel Cake


inside of rapunzel cake

Special thanks to BettyCrocker.com for getting me started in the right direction!

Update: Here’s a photo of the cake Lori — one of my awesome readers — made for her girls! LOVE it!!!

Rapunzel Cake LorisAnd here are photos from another super talented reader Michelle who made it too:

 Rapunzel Cake michelle    Rapunzel Cake michelle

 Have you made this cake? I’d love to see it! Send me your photos and I’ll post them here.



  1. Hey Trista I sent you an email with a picture of the cake please let me know what you think. Thanks.

  2. Wonderful cake I’m going to try to make one for my 2 and 4 year olds birthday party, I just have one question what size bowl did you use to make it.

    • Hi Lori,
      Thanks for reading. 🙂 I used an 8 inch bowl, but I was using 9 inch pans for the cake. Didn’t work out so well… I had to cut down the cake from the pans. Why I was surprised, I don’t know. I think the best thing to do is to grab your pans and your bowls and see what’s the closest fit. The trick is wondering how full to make the bowl because baking it can be a problem if you fill it to the top — it might spill as it expands (put a baking sheet under it) and it will take forever for the middle to bake while the edges brown. I’d fill the bowl that’s the closest fit about 1/2 way to 2/3 full (closer to 2/3) and go for it. You can always trim back if it’s too big, but you can’t go the other way. Good luck!!! Let me know how it turns out.

      • Well Trista I made the cake this weekend and it turned out great my girls loved it and no one believe I did it. Thanks again for your post with out it I know it wouldn’t of turned out this wonderful..

        • That’s AWESOME Lori! Did you do Rapunzel or another princess? I’d love to see it – if you don’t mind, send me a photo at trista (at) mommyupgrade (dot) com?

  3. Great Job!!! That’s a cake that any princess can be proud to eat!!!

    • Awww, thanks!!! When I was cutting the pieces down (any prying them apart) I was thinking, WTH am I doing??? But once I started decorating it, I really had a good time. Even at 2 a.m.!


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