My son wanted a dinosaur party this year, so I came up with this Dinosaur cake. I searched the net looking at various pictures of other cakes, and gathered ideas to put together with my own.
I baked one regular chocolate box-mix cake in 9" round pans. When the cake was cool, I cut one round in half, securing the two halves together with chocolate frosting. I placed the cake, cut side down, on a foil covered jellyroll pan (used food-grade foil, made by Wilton). For the legs, I cut 2 pieces off of the edges of the second round cake, and then cut those edges in half to make 4 legs. I cut a large section from the remaining edge, cut that chunk in half to form the skull, then used parts of the center of the cake to form a long, thin triangle for the snout. The tail was fashioned from the remaining pieces of cake, laid end to end, secured together with frosting, and sculpted with a knife to form a rounded shape. All pieces were secured to the foil with a small amount of chocolate frosting.
I used store-bought cream cheese frosting, tinted with Wilton gel coloring (moss green and brown) for the majority of the body. For the gray spots, I reserved a small amount of the body frosting and added a small amount of violet gel coloring. Crumb coated the body completely, then used a pastry bag and tri-star tip to cover, and a single star tip for the gray spots. Used Wilton pre-made black icing with small writing tip to pipe the mouth, jawline, and around the eyes. The eyes are red strawberry-shaped fruit snacks with black icing pupils and green accents; the nostrils are brown M&Ms; the teeth are marshmallows cut to shape with kitchen shears; the claws are chocolate chips; the spine scales are Oreo 100-calorie pack cookies. When the party guests saw the cake, each kid said "COOL!", and the moms were pretty impressed ("You MADE that?!?!").
I think it turned out pretty well, but next time I would chill the frosting after tinting it so that it would be a bit firmer. It slid off the cake in some sections, and the stars were not very well defined. Of course, the kids didn't notice!