The Ballerina Birthday

This is the story of a fun Ballerina themed birthday…oh the possibilities!


The plan was to make a tutu for a sweet little ballerina and of course make sure to match it with a pair of ballerina slippers. The whole idea took off from there and that was the easy part.  A couple of online tutorials gave me all the information needed to begin my work.


The three year old to be birthday girl requested chocolate cake.  Even with the many delicious chocolate cake recipes I’ve collected, a few tweaks to a chocolate cake mix turned out one very delicious chocolate cake.  No one knows this cake is from a mix unless they ask for the recipe!

No fondant on my cakes, strawberry whipped cream frosted this cake to taste perfection, the fondant was used to make a sweet cake topper.


When I saw a picture of these fondant ballerina slippers I had no choice but to find out how to make them. After three on line tutorials I was ready to give it a try. Adding too much food colour to my first batch of fondant and ending up with hot pink was not going to deter me, instead I used the paste for a trial run.   The second batch was just the right shade of pink.  Thanks to my flower girl at my wedding who a few years ago afer about thirty five years shared a marshmallow, sugar based fondant recipe which is so super easy to make and a dream to use. Thank you Elisabeth for coming to my aid once again. Who could have imagined.


this oneYou know the ballerina theme got serious when the cake wore a tutu and ballerina slippers. Yes, a tutu for the cake. Some elastic and tulle dressed up a round piece of Styrofoam. The slippers… well I was quite pleased how they turned out considering it was my first attempt at making them.




The idea of making ballerina cookies kept with the theme but presented a bit of a challenge when the perfect ballerina cookie cutter I found on line was going to have a problem getting to me due to a looming postal strike. Luckily with some help from a couple of very nice ladies it arrived at my home in plenty of time.  Who needs mail service anyways!


My sweet ballerina, you’re three years old only once, it had to be memorable…for me as well!


Here are the online tutorials I used for the tutu…

and for the fondant Ballet Slippers…

This is where I got the slipper template…

The ballerina cookies were made from the chocolate pinwheel cookie recipe.

Instead of using chocolate in half of the dough I added a few drops of red food colour until I got the shade of pink I was looking for.

The ballerina cookie cutter was purchased from…

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • If you never try you’ll never know what you can actually do!  I can’t say I wasn’t nervous or didn’t have plan B ready if my efforts to make the fondant ballerina slippers failed but I was compelled to give it a try.
  • I took ideas from a few tutorials for the tutu and fondant slippers, the ones I’ve listed in my opinion were the best and most useful.

For a great chocolate cake from a mix…

  • sift the chocolate cake mix before using  this results in less beating to incorporate the lumps in the mix giving a more tender crumb in the end.
  • separate egg whites from yolks
  • beat together sifted cake mix, oil, yolks and use buttermilk instead of water.
  • Beat the egg whites until stiff.
  • Fold the egg whites into the batter for a light, fluffier cake.
  • Follow baking instructions on box.

For the Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting…

Making this requires a little work but is well worth it.

3 cups 35% whipping cream

1 tablespoon unflavoured gelatin dissolved at low heat in 1/3 cup water

1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons corn starch

  • Place cream into a large bowl then pour dissolved gelatin mixture in a thin stream into the cream while stirring constantly.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. The gelatin stabilizes the whipping cream allowing the cream to keep its shape for a very long time…no drooping cream.
  • In a small pot cook down strawberries in the quarter cup water until soft.
  • Put through a sieve to extract all the juice returning the juice only into the pot. Discard remaining pulp.
  • Place on medium heat and bring to a boil.
  • Stir corn starch and sugar together then add to strawberry juice stirring constantly until it thickens. (This can also be done the day before) then place in refrigerator.
  • When ready to frost cake, whip the cream until it begins to thicken, add sugar to taste and continue beating until stiff peaks.
  • Fold the cold strawberry mixture into the cream until well incorporated and no streaks remain. (Add as much strawberry mixture into the cream as you want remembering the more you add the more strawberry taste.  Also the more you add the darker pink the cream will get.
  • Fills and frosts a 3 layer cake.

Monkey update…

Sophia attended the party but went home with one of the little guests…I just can’t hold on to any of these little monkeys.  I love making them…then they leave me!



8 thoughts on “The Ballerina Birthday

  1. marianne says:

    what can I say, just an amazing birthday gift for a perfect little girl, she must have been thrilled, such a good Nonna, you put me to shame – lol


  2. Liz says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Just spectacular!! How incredibly beautiful and so fitting for a sweet ballerina. (For the record, I may have shared the recipe but you have taken it to places I can only dream of arriving!) You never cease to amaze me. AMAZING!!!


  3. domenicamanafo says:

    Hello Elisabeth,
    Thank you for your kind words.
    Please don’t sell yourself short, I know you are very talented and able to do even more than you think you can.
    Like I’ve said before you’ll never know what you can do unless you try. Be ready to be surprised as I was with the result!
    Thanks again for the great fondant recipe but especially for being my flower girl!


    • Liz says:

      Being your flower girl brings back such wonderful memories. I believe it was my first sleep over. I remember your dad introducing me to your budgie. Hanging out with the “big girls”. Getting a great hair wash and set and wearing a really cute polka dotted dress (I still have the head piece) Thank you for the kind words and encouragement. I have learned by watching great ones such as yourself. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by gifted cooks and bakers. Now trying to encourage the next generation….


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