It’s an interesting food network challenge, today: princess cakes. There’s a little cancer survivor princess walking around judging, and she’s adorable. Seems she won a “Be-a-princess” competition, or some such, and along with her kid-pinion, she’s commenting on the “realistic and the fun” of the five princesses up on the cake block: Belle, Snow White, Jasmine, Ariel, and Cinderella.

15 minutes in, technique is so much more of a discussion than it has been in previous cakes. It seemed to me that rather than a difference in ambition or final result, it seems that in this competition the real differentiation will be in the professionalism of the cake bakers – and that’s not a good thing!

There was, rather than carving, cake smashing: one set of competitors felt that they were too good to carve (wastes cake?) and instead was picking up handfuls of cake and smashing it on. While normally I find Kerri, with her trademark renaissance headpiece, to be a real meanie, here I have to agree. That’s simply not appetizing! There was a missing exacto knife and a race around the kitchen.

The Jasmine Flying High cake – her Jasmine is beautiful, the monkey gave her trouble. The Cinderella cake lacks a real Cinderella, but it’s a beautiful castle! (Not particularly, in my opinion, Disney did the Cinderella Castle cake much better. Though they had more than 7 hours, I’m sure) Snow White– well, she’s nothing but Snow White, and I have to give her that it’s actually a princess – however, she’s got a landscape to make. A lot of it.

I think that the beautiful mermaid cake will take this contest. The cake itself is a beautiful coral reef, and while Ariel doesn’t yet have hair or anything, she’s absolutely lifelike and utterly beautiful. She is everything I remember from watching that movie as a child. In terms of technique, he took shells and pressed them into fondant to make a beautiful fondant reef, which he then airbrushed. Pretty.

Spontaneously, there is a Belle cake – I don’t remember this much from earlier, except that this kitchen was the one missing an Exacto knife earlier in the competition. Now? The cake isn’t going too terribly well. Huge marks off for disorganization – assuming they even finish, which isn’t looking hot for them, right now. In the Cinderella cake, we finally see princesses: all of which were premade. Kerri isn’t going to be too happy with that! I think we have our losers.

The Jasmine cake went from nonexistent to stacked so quickly. Jasmine is to be standing on a bunch of pillows, and there were these colored-sand filled dowels. It was very pretty and I’m excited to see the finished product. News from Belle, she looks awful – but her cake maker knows that and feels guilty. It’s a bad day to have a bad day, but Belle is having one.

Ariel is so beautiful, except her head is falling off. They pipe on a necklace to hide the cracks, but I’m terrified for another Scar incident (his head fell to the floor by the feet of the judges. Whoops!)

Jasmine’s cake reminds me, in its finish, of a Bratz doll. She’s overly tall and skinny, with a very large head. The cake itself is a huge question of balance – the doll was too tall and heavy for the airy pillow cake, and it’ll be a real miracle if there isn’t an accident moving to the final table. Kerri tells the cake artist that to leave the toothpicks that are holding Jasmine in will cost her dearly – possibly Kerri’s way of saying “We think you’d win if they weren’t there.”

Dopey, much to my surprise, actually came out of somewhere, and the Snow White cake is quite beautiful and complete. However, it pales in comparison, both really and technically, to the amazing work of art that is the Ariel cake. I’m sure that if I saw it closer up, I would notice Ariel’s head falling off, but as of the camera pass-over, it was completely beautiful. Everything that Ariel (my personal favorite princess) should be!

Cinderella is a beautiful castle. Cinderella is left in exact proportion to said castle, meaning that Cinderella’s cake feels very much like “Castle cake” and not like princess cake at all. We won’t even mention Belle further.

Wow. So all the cakes made it easily and safely – and of course they save Jasmin’s cake until last. I’ll save you the drama: they all make it safely.

3rd place: Elizabeth Hodes and her Jasmine.
2nd place: Norman and his beautiful Ariel. He got robbed because of some scales (He didn’t imprint any scales into Ariel’s tail. Lame!)
1st Place: Chef Mary Mayer and her Snow White. Her second win (possibly her first, but the second I’ve seen. She also won the Simpsons cake)