I had this Deer Head Cake Idea for a friend's birthday party. I started the day before by shaping the nose, two eyes and two ears from sugar paste. You need to start them at least a day early so that they can dry and will retain their shape when you put them on the cake.
I painted the nose with black food coloring and eyes with brown food coloring with a black circle in the middle for the pupil. The ears were painted brown on one side and I used a peachy colored food coloring for the inside of the ears. Because the ears are so thin I had to leave a long thin piece of sugar paste on the bottom of the ears to act as a pick to secure them to the cake.
On the day of the party, I started with a nine inch homemade red velvet cake (cake mixes are too tender to carve). I cut the cake in half horizontally and added a layer of vanilla frosting, then I cut the edges off so that the cake was wider at the top than the bottom. I took the two edge pieces that had been cut off the cake and stuck them both together with more frosting. These pieces were going to make up the top of the deer's head so I put them on top of the cake and cut away about half to make the deer's muzzle.
Because I had carved the cake, I needed to use a thin crumb coat of frosting to stop the red crumbs getting mixed up with my "top" frosting and making a mess. I secured the nose and eyes with tooth picks, and at this point the cake looked remarkably like a seal (my son loved it and wants me to make him a seal cake for his birthday next year. Once I added the ears though I was pleased with the results.
I am not a big fan of sugar paste, because I don't like the taste of it, but I do love to use it for accents to buttercream!