I checked out this site to find cake ideas. My son loves Spongebob and although only I actually picked out the cake form at a party store. Then my creative juices started flowing. I couldn't just make a cake from a form. So, after reviewing how others made their cakes I took some pointers and made a few adjustments of my own to make this Spongebob First Birthday Cake.
Then I thought, everyone makes them laying flat which isn't much of a challenge since Spongebob is rectangular so on I went (please note this is my first character cake).
I started out making three 9"x13" sheet cakes. I used a chocolate cherry cake from scratch, a butter vanilla cake and a marble cake (box cake mix). I then prepared from scratch a peanut butter frosting for the layers. After completely cooled, I cut each layer into three equal parts and leveled the tops of the cakes to ensure the cake would be level. I used three cakes because I knew the leveling would eliminate some of the cake and I wanted to serve about 25 people.
Using a 2'x2' plywood base, I layered each cake with the peanut butter frosting. Once I got about half way done I inserted 3-8"dowels (1/2" diam.) and continued layering until all the layers were used up. I wrapped the cake in plastic wrap (too large for the fridge)and allowed the cake to rest for about 3 hours to allow for settling. I then coated the cake in buttercream frosting (store bought)and allowed the cake to sit another hour in a cool area to let the buttercream harden (that way if you make any mistakes with the fondant the cream doesn't stick to it and you can re-work the fondant).
Luckily, there are Spongebob icing dyes out there which make coloring the fondant a breeze (pre-made, I do make my own but pre-made is much more reliable and not too costly). I made the shirt sleeves, arms and hands out of fondant coated 1/4" diam. wooden dowels as well as the legs and nose. The feet and pant legs were made out of marshmallow treats which are easy to mold, then coated in fondant. The party hat and pineapple were also made out of marshmallow treats covered in fondant. The eyelashes, belt and cheeks are decorating icing.
After coating the body in fondant, I waited until the next morning to apply the details. The eyes, shirt collar, mouth, teeth, etc. were all made out of fondant which was dampened with water and affixed to the body. The sand is a combination of light brown sugar and brown granulated sugar. I made the fish and turtle out of molded chocolate. Unfortunately I ran out of time so I had to free hand "Happy Birthday Andrew."
There you have it, a novice making my first character cake which I got great praise for. There wasn't a scrap left by the end of the party. I'm hard on myself and wasn't completely satisfied. If I had done it again, I would have baked the cake two days before the party to allow the cakes to harden a bit (the cakes settled significantly when the fondant was applied). I would have also anchored the dowels into the wooden base for more support. In addition, I would have layered the cakes and put the base fondant the day before the party and the final touches the morning of).
Besides that, I was very pleased with the results. And most importantly my son absolutely loved his first birthday cake!