Here's the Dora & Boots Birthday Cake I made for my daughter's 2nd birthday. I can throw a bash for 40 -50 people, no problem, but I'm not a very experienced baker and this was only the 2nd decorated birthday cake I've ever made! I was so stressed about finding a good cake recipe that would turn out and decorating it. Well, it's amazing what you can learn from the internet. I came to this site for inspiration, then to YouTube to learn different techniques for frosting and decorating with icing.
I was originally going to do a frozen buttercream transfer for the design, but was very nervous it wouldn't work. I can't remember where I found instructions for a very neat technique. I copied the faces of Dora and Boots from a coloring book, then taped them on cardboard, sat at my table and punched the outline using a pushpin. When I was done, the opposite side revealed the outlined image... in a braille like pattern! Then I cut out the faces for my templates, and also made a template for the lettering using a fun font from MSWord. Once my "Too Much Chocolate Cake" (from food.com, formerly recipezaar.com) was baked in a 9x13" pan and frosted with Wilton icing (thinned w/ a tsp of water and a tsp of vanilla), and once the frosting was set (slightly dry, not sticky to the touch) I carefully positioned my templates ("pin-punched" side down) and gently pressed them down. When I peeled them up - there were Dora, Boots and my lettering!
Then it was just a matter of drawing over the embossed image with black icing in a bag and #2 tip, mixing the right colors and filling in the images (again using a #2 tip - it was easier to control and get the details). A little nerve-racking, but not difficult if you take your time and keep the templates in sight for additional reference. Lastly, I shadowed the lettering with pink and added some big confetti flower sprinkles and a simple border. I'm very happy with the cake - and everyone at the party, esp. my sweet daughter - absolutely loved the way this cake looked AND tasted.