This Elmo Cake was my second attempt working with rolled fondant and a tiered cake (I made a practice cake the week before), so I kept the baking simple. I used boxed cake and icing from a tub. I would definitely go back and make buttercream icing because the store bought stuff wasn't stiff enough.
This cake is three tiers 10" 8" and 6", and three different flavors. The bottom tier is chocolate, the second tier is lemon cake with lemon filling, and the top tier is strawberry with strawberry filling.
I baked a total of 6 cakes and trimmed each one with a cake trimmer so they would all be the same height. I iced each tier and then covered each tier with rolled fondant (I used white Wilton fondant and kneaded in food coloring). Then came the construction. I used wooden dowels and cardboard cake plates covered with a sheet of wax paper. After my tiers were stacked, I started decorating. All of the fondant cut outs were secured with water. I just used a very small paint brush to apply water.
The Elmo on top was made from rice crispy treats. I'm a vegetarian, so I had to use the marshmallow fluff recipe instead to avoid gelatin. I think I ended up using a lot more fluff than the recipe called for to make it stiffer. Once I got the consistency I was looking for, I sculpted the treats into the basic shape I needed and put it in the freezer. I made this before the cakes, and I took it out of the freezer any time I was waiting for something else to come together and began the finer sculpting with a knife. I would carve on it until it was getting soft and then put it back in the freezer. I covered Elmo in fondant. They eyes and nose are also fondant, and they are stabilized with toothpicks. Elmo was secured with one dowel on the top tier.
The base is just 4 cardboard cake plates covered with fondant. I meant to wrap ribbon around the base, but I forgot. I was so tired.
I made this cake for my son's 2nd birthday because he was nuts about Elmo, and he really loved it. He just kept screaming "Elmo! Elmo!" My guests enjoyed it too and were impressed. I was surprised at how easy it was. I was so intimidated before I started, but if you give yourself plenty of time (It took my about 15 hours start to finish), then it will turn out great!