My eldest daughter's school had a carnival fundraiser and this cake was my donation for the cakewalk. I am by no means artistic and have zero imagination, so wasn't too hopeful about the success of this cake, resigning myself to the idea that I was probably going to have to go buy a cake in the end.
I did some research on this site to get a few ideas, but found that many of the cakes here were a tad "out of my league". I decided a flat cake was the way to go for me. Once I decided on the ice cream cone, I Googled an image that I could sketch out (once again, VERY limited art skills here, so it was pretty basic).
I cut out a piece of parchment paper the size of my 9x13 pan, then I drew an outline of the ice cream cone with a felt, and cut it out. I just used a box cake (confetti as I felt this was fitting of a carnival) and baked as per directions. Once it was completely cooled, I placed the parchment cut out on top and cut the cake out around it.
I used store bought vanilla icing (two small tubs... probably one large would do too). I iced the cake with a thin coat of just plain white first and put it in the fridge to harden (I learned this from watching cake shows on TLC and the food network. They call it "dirty icing" - I don't know why they do it, but I did it so the little bits of cut cake wouldn't mess up my icing).
Once it was hardened (about 1/2 an hour) I proceeded to ice with the different colors (I just split up the icing into three bowls and colored them with food dye), starting with the cone and working my way up. Once that was done, I placed chocolate chips on the first scoop and bubble gum balls on the top scoop. Then I used a fine tip and cake mates decorating icing to outline the cone and scoops.
It is by no means a professional looking cake, but I was pretty happy with the final result and the kids got a kick out of it. Believe me, if I could do this then you can do it! Good luck.