I wanted to create a cake for my Dad for his 60th birthday but didn't want to do the traditional "over the hill" type cake. So I looked at some ideas with the fondant icing and saw a cute cake with a Grandpa sitting in a chair reading a book to his grandkids and thought of the idea "going over the hill is great with grandkids theme" (since my Dad's birthday is in January).
This was my first time making fondant and working with it. I made a mess of my entire kitchen and house but everyone loved the cake. I started by using 2 cake mixes, I baked one mix in a 9x13 pan for the base and then divided the other mix up in two different size glass bowls and baked them for the hills.
Watch a lot of you-tube videos on working with fondant because that's what I did! I put a thin coat of regular icing on the base and then rolled out the fondant to cover it and make it smooth. Then I added the hills, icing them the same way. I rolled little balls for snowballs as the trim (and to cover-up how the hills connected to the base. I used upside down ice cream sugar cones for the trees and draped some green fondant over them.
The characters were a little tricky. I had watched a video by some amazing expert that sculpted figurines out of fondant (mine looked nothing like hers!) I think the main key is to take your time and let the fondant set up for some time before attaching the different features of the people. I did all the faces and hair first and then the bodies. But I attached the heads to the bodies too soon so the bodies weren't solid enough to hold the weight of the heads and they 'squatted' a bit.
I liked the ease of working with the fondant but it was very time consuming. Dad was tickled and very surprised and all the grandkids enjoyed seeing what their little characters were doing!