I wanted to try to make a camouflage cake for my son's 8th birthday party and it was actually some of the cakes from THIS SITE that convinced me I might be able to pull it off, even though I've never considered myself to be much of a cake decorator! Although some of the batter appears to be chocolate, it isn't. The entire Homemade Camo Cake Design was made from a simple white cake mix. I made homemade buttercream icing (the Wilson recipe) and bought the food coloring at a local cake decorating shop. (All In One Cake Shop - Austin, Tx)
For both batter and icing - I divided into four bowls and made a small mix of black, a small mix of dark green (moss green plus some black mixed in), a larger bowl of lighter moss green (just the moss green) and a larger bowl of tan (mostly warm brown with a little bit of black mixed in).
For the batter, I just spooned it into the cake dish with no particular method except to make sure I got a good mix of all of the colors throughout the whole cake. I did NOT swirl with a knife or mix it together in any way once it was in the cake pan.
For the icing, I put blobs of colors (different sizes and shapes) onto the cooled cake, then put wax paper on top and smoothed everything together with my fingers. Some tricks to watch out for when it comes to icing a cake this way: sometimes the icing gets a little bit too sticky and tries to hang onto the wax paper. When that happens, rub the paper quickly to sort of encourage the icing to stay put. It will take a long time because you'll see places that need more icing and you'll be rubbing small sections at a time all around the edges. (The top goes a lot faster.)
I chose to have a smaller top section (I just used a square brownie pan) because I liked the idea of having uneven terrain since I knew my son wanted army guys on top of it. He wanted as many army guys on top as we could fit, so that's what I did. The red, white, and blue sparkler candles were a happy coincidence - I just happened to have them in my house - but I'm glad I did. They made for a nice touch!