Trolls have come a long way since they were just a monster under the bridge in a bedtime story.
First came the somewhat-cute, somewhat-creepy Troll dolls, which had wild, frizzy hair in a variety of colours. Then, in 2016, came the popular Dreamworks film Trolls, which catapulted the little creatures back onto the world stage.
The 2016 film introduces us to the Trolls, a small, colourful, happy species that love singing, dancing and good times. They have been imprisoned by the Bergens, a large, grey, miserable species that eat Trolls once a year, during the "Trollstice"... until the Trolls' leader, King Peppy, leads a daring escape. More antics ensue, but we won't spoil those for you.
The film was so successful that it spawned a hit song, Justin Timberlake's Can't Stop The Feeling, and was followed up by a sequel called 'Trolls World Tour', which was released in 2020. There's also been a spin-off TV series called Trolls: The Beat Goes On, which we have recommended as one of the funniest TV shows to watch with your kids.
Princess Poppy is the daughter of King Peppy. Voiced by Anna Kendrick, she's charming, sweet and lovable, and one of the movie's main heroes. She's a hugely popular character, so if your kids are fans of Trolls, they're sure to love this Princess Poppy cake with pull apart cupcake hair.
Trolls Cake Ingredients
To make a Princess Poppy cake, you'll need...
For A Basic Sponge Cake:
350g self-raising flour, 300g caster sugar, 450g softened butter divided into 300g and 150g portions, 1 tsp baking powder, 6 eggs, 4 tsp vanilla extract, 4 tbsp milk, 150g colourful sprinkles, 450g icing sugar, 180g full-fat cream cheese, 1 tbsp vanilla paste.
Buttercream (buy it ready-made or make your own by combining 600g sifted icing sugar with 300g soft unsalted butter), fondant in light pink, dark pink, white and black.
For Princess Poppy's Hair:
250g self-raising flour, 250g caster sugar, 250g softened butter, 4 eggs, 4 tablespoons milk, 2 tsp vanilla extract, pink easy swirl cupcake icing or other piped icing bag.
Trolls Cake Equipment
Mixing bowl, rolling pin, scalpel, palette knife, cupcake trays (at least 16, or 8 in two batches), large round cake tin.
Make sure to read through the whole Trolls birthday cake recipe before getting started. You're going to be making a round, two-layer sponge to make a Princess Poppy cake, and then a batch of cupcakes that will be covered over with icing to make pull apart cupcake hair.
How To Make A Princess Poppy Cake Base
Before we get to the decorations, we need to make a round sponge cake (this could be vanilla, fruit, chocolate... you get the idea). Here we'll show you how to make a pretty 'funfetti' cake that will go perfectly with the Princess Poppy theme.
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/160 fan. Use a little butter two large round cake tins (or bake in two batches).
2) Mix the sugar, 300g of the butter and vanilla paste in a large bowl until pale and fluffy (an electric whisk will save you time and energy). Beat in the eggs one by one.
3) Sift in the flour and baking powder, then add the milk and mix in the sprinkles.
4) Divide the mix between the cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are springy. Set to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack.
5) Make frosting by beating the 150g of butter with half of the icing sugar until it's fluffy. Mix in the cream cheese and then the rest of the icing sugar until it's fully combined. Mix in the vanilla paste.
6) If the tops of your sponges are very uneven, use a knife to cut them flat. Using your palette knife, scrape a layer of icing onto each one and stack them. Then apply the remaining icing thinly around the sides and let the cake set in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Decorating Your Princess Poppy Cake
1) Roll out a sheet of pink fondant icing on a surface (a little icing sugar will prevent sticking) and drape it entirely over your cake, using a knife to trim any excess and smoothing over any lumps or gaps with your fingers.
2) Roll out smaller chunks of black, white and darker pink fondant. Use a scalpel to carefully cut out the facial features you need. The easiest way to do this is to print a picture of Princess Poppy, trace it onto baking paper, put the tracing onto your icing and cut around it.
How To Make Pull Apart Cupcake Hair For Your Princess Poppy Cake
Pull apart cupcake hair means that, while the hair looks attached to the main cake, it's easy to pull apart and eat. Therefore, it should be put together at the last minute in the place you want to serve the Princess Poppy Trolls cake.
1) Make a batch of at least 16 cupcakes. We've added the ingredients for a basic mix in the 'for the hair' section above. You could also use the funfetti mix and separate it into cupcake cases rather than cake tins, just make sure to bake for a shorter time.
2) Arrange the cupcakes so there are two ears either side of the face, and a huge mane of hair rising above it.
3) Simply take some easy swirl cupcake icing in a spray tube and cover the entire thing in pink swirls! You can use a piped icing bag, but this will take more time and effort.
The end result of the pull apart cupcake hair will look awesome but with much less effort than it appears!
Good To Know
We estimate this Princess Poppy cake will take around 3 hours to make. It's perfect for getting mixing and decorating assistance from children aged five and upwards. And it feeds at least 20 people!
The sponge can be kept at room temperature for 3 days and the refrigerated, or frozen for up to three months in clingfilm. But the pull apart cupcake hair should be done just before eating as it won't transport well.
More Trolls Birthday Cake Ideas
Why don't you make cupcakes featuring the different Trolls characters using edible sheets?
You could make your Trolls birthday cake a layer cake in the different Troll colours and add figurines on top.
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