Trim the tops off the 2 tube cakes to level. Trim the flat end of the bowl cake to level. Cut a hole through the center of the bowl cake the width of the Barbie doll. Place 1 tube cake, trimmed-side up, on a cake plate. Place the second tube cake, trimmed side up on top, and the bowl cake, trimmed side down, on top. Spread 1 cup of frosting between each layer. Remove all clothing from the doll and wrap the doll's hair in plastic wrap. Insert doll into the hole of the bowl cake up to its waist. Use half of the remaining frosting to completely cover the outside of the cakes, evenly smoothing to form the skirt part of the doll. Tint remaining frosting with food coloring to desired colors. Using pastry bags and decorating tips, decorate the skirt and upper half of the doll with colored frosting, as desired. Remove plastic from the doll's hair, and serve.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch tube pan. Dust the bottom and sides of pan with flour and tap out any excess. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter with paddle attachment until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition until well incorporated, occasionally scraping down the sides of bowl. Mix together the buttermilk and vanilla. Slowly add the sifted flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not over beat. Pour batter into prepared tube pan and bake 40 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Cake can be stored in freezer for up to 1 month. Yield: 1 cake
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage). Meanwhile, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry; do not overbeat. With mixer running, add syrup to whites in a stream, beating on high speed until no longer steaming, about 3 minutes. Add butter bit by bit, beating until spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes; beat in vanilla. If icing curdles, keep beating until smooth. Yield: 4 1/2 cups
To make a bowl cake, make half the yellow cake recipe, and bake in a buttered and floured 3-quart, 9 1/2-inch-diameter stainless-steel bowl in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 40 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
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