This backpack cake was made for a co-worker of my dad's who was going backpacking across Canada. It's a 1 layer 9x13 yellow cake.
I found a picture on the web of Backpack from Dora the Explorer and used it as my inspiration. I cut the cake into a backpack shape, iced it with a thin layer of buttercream and covered it with fondant. (The color is juniper green with a little brown.) The top flap is fondant and the buckle is candy clay (see Wilton website for recipe) tinted grey. The Canada flag patch is a piece of fondant colored with red edible marker and outlined in red buttercream.
I made pepperoni out of fondant (he worked at a meat packing plant) and wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed this in a fondant "pocket" on the side. On the other side is a map of Canada.
I added buttercream writing and buttercream seams along the top flap and around the pockets.
This was an easy way to make Dora's backpack. I put parchment paper under a 9x13 yellow cake from a box, baked, cooled and pulled the cake out onto a cutting board using the paper. I made sure the cake was chilled before cutting it down to shape- It was easier to frost when cooled (less crumbs). The frosting is just vanilla frosting from a can which I tinted purple. I used wax paper cut into desired shapes to lightly "trace" the eyes, eyebrows and mouth onto purple frosting with a sharp knife. You could do without this step if you trust your steady hand and art skills- but I don't trust mine! Chocolate frosting for outlines and eyes- I didn't have black. Red sprinkles over vanilla frosting for mouth. The eyebrows are vanilla frosting tinted yellow. Drew everything on with a small piping tip and "smushed" with a wet finger to make smooth. My 2 year old loved it!
My daughter loved Dora, but her favorite character on it was Backpack and Map. I just used a 13 x 9 cake pan and then cut the corners off for Backpack. I then decorated it using a star tip. For the eyes I used brown mini M&M's.
For Map I took a strawberry cake roll and angled it so it would sit against Backpack. Then used a little white icing and some more brown mini M&M's. My daughter LOVED this Backpack and Map Cake and it was very quick and easy to make.