How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake

Call it a Russian Nesting Doll or a Matryoshka, but either way, it's the perfect inspiration for this folksy, colorful shaped cake. Perfect for a baby shower...doll inside of doll...get it? or for an adorable First Birthday celebration, this is a show stopper that will get your guests excited. To make this cake, you'll need standard pans from your baking collection, some buttercream and fondant. However, to really drive the folk art feeling home, we used our Floral Applique Cutter Set to cut fondant shapes and then made them pop with some painted food coloring. This cutter set is an essential tool in any cake decorator's arsenal...the possibilities are endless.


Recipe Notes: To make this cake, you will need a 6" single layer cake and an 8" single layer cake and a large batch of American style buttercream. Our go to recipes are our Vanilla Cake or Classic Chocolate Cake and Brenda's Bakery Buttercream.

Availability: In stock

Shop ProductsPriceQty
Fat Daddio's Red Rolled Fondant Icing - 8oz
$5.95
Fat Daddio's White Rolled Fondant Icing - 8 oz
$6.95
JEM Floral Applique Cutters - Set of 12
$14.95
Paintbrushes - Set of 5
$8.95
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Availability: In stock

INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1: ICE CAKE AND COVER THE TOP WITH FONDANT

Bake your 6" and 8" single layers and prepare your large batch of Brenda's Bakery Buttercream. We recommend wrapping and freezing your cakes for a few hours before starting to make icing them easier. Trim the bottom of the 6" layer and both sides of the 8" layer to create flat spots.

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

Tint 2/3 of your icing aqua (We used  little blue and green gel paste) and leave the rest white. Crumbcoat and then ice your cake in a layer of buttercream. We used a spatula dipped in very hot water then shaken off to smooth the buttercream. You can also thoroughly chill your cake and then use the paper towel technique seen in our Pirate Skull Cake Tutorial.

Place your cake in the fridge to chill for an hour before the next step.

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

Roll out your red fondant into a large circle. Roll your fondant thin, about 1/8" thickness so that it covers easily and leaves you with enough excess for the bow tails. Cut a scalloped shape in the bottom of the fondant.

Drape the fondant over the head of the doll, use your hands to smooth it over the edge and then trim the excess at the base of the cake.

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

Roll out the excess red fondant and cut out two leaf shapes, about 2 1/2" long. Pinch each leaf at one end and use a dab of water to attach it to the cake. Add a ball in the center to finish the bow.

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

STEP 2: CREATE AND PAINT THE DETAILS

Tint 1/3 of your fondant flesh color (we used a touch of pink and a touch of yellow). Roll and cut out a 4" circle and set aside. (We used a large can of tomatoes as our 4" diameter cutting guide)

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

Roll out the remaining white fondant and use the Floral Applique Cutter Set to cut out decorative pieces.

Here are a few tips for success:

1) Make sure you roll your fondant fairly thin. Fondant that's thicker than the depth of the cutter will not cut cleanly.

2) Make sure the surface of your fondant is not sticky. Dust the fondant on both sides with a light coating of powdered sugar and brush off the excess with your hand to leave a chalky surface ideal for cutting.

3) Press the cutter into the fondant, shake the cutter back and forth on the cutting surface and then lift and remove the piece. This will create a cleaner edge.

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

Lay out the applique pieces to organize a pattern and get ready for painting. Use a carving tool or toothpick to create the markings for the hair on the doll's face. We used the bottom of a piping tip to press in the markings for the doll's eyes. 

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

Mix up your paint by adding a drop of gel paste to a cup or plate. Add several drops of clear alcohol or clear extract. Swirl the two together to get a watercolor style paint. Always test the color on an excess piece of fondant to make sure it's what you want before starting.

We used red, pink and yellow for the applique and orange and black and pink for the face.

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

STEP 3: ADD THE FONDANT PIECES AND FINISH THE CAKE

Attach the face to the red part of the cake using a light coating of water to get it to stick.

The floral applique pattern did not end up fitting on the belly of the doll! So, we improvised and moved a few pieces around to make it all fit! That's cake decorating for you.

We also used the left over white buttercream to pipe some dots around the face of the doll and added a few to the belly pattern. Totally optional!

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

How To Make A Russian Nesting Doll Cake| Cakegirls Step x Step

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