This Dora Birthday Cake is the second time I've tried MMF, the first time it stuck to everything and was not a pleasant experience. I searched for suggestions for fondant making and discovered using copha (vegetable shortening) to grease my hands, utensils and work board/station is the solution! My ideas for this cake were inspired from other cakes on this site. The kids and parents absolutely loved this cake and I thoroughly enjoyed making it.
I made two 20cm banana cakes for the base and used two boxes of choc cake mix in 10cm tins for the top. I find the boxed mixes are much cheaper to use but my niece loves banana cake so I made it from scratch. I sandwiched them together with chocolate icing. Then I covered each tier with butter cream and refrigerated for a couple of hours. I made and colored the fondant a week ahead so I could make all the stars, hearts, present boxes etc before hand. Carefully roll out the fondant and smooth the top and sides with a flat surfaced tool to get rid of air bubbles then carefully cut the excess away with a pizza cutter. The blue fondant did tear a bit but I carefully patched it and covered it with the number 3.
I used 8 thick kebab sticks in the bottom cake to support the top one, piped some butter cream where I inserted them and simply sat the top tier on top. Use the off cuts from both cakes and roll small balls to hide where you cut around the cake. Stick the hearts and stars to the cake with a dab of left over butter cream.
I purchased the large Dora and monkey from Big W. Dora was the perfect size and also had a hole in the bottom so I could attach a kebab stick to stick into the cake. The smaller toys came with a book my niece already had.
Now I love using fondant, it's much much easier than using butter cream.