This map cake was to celebrate Charles Darwin's 200th birthday. (Yes it's a science geek thing). The cake is vanilla cappuccino (you can make a buttercream icing but add a bunch of espresso instead of milk or cream to get an incredible flavor).
To get the map (which is a map of the route that Darwin took on his voyages around the world) onto the cake, I printed a copy of it in reverse, taped wax paper over it, piped it the way I wanted with buttercream, and put it in the freezer for about an hour. Flip it over onto the cake and voila!
To make the figurines, I used white chocolate truffle (it's easier than you think, you can Google search for a recipe) and just dyed and formed it. For those of you non-science geeks, the ship Darwin was on was called the Beagle, hence the reason he's riding a dog - just a weird science joke.
I made this Homemade Canada Cake Design for my History class. It's a white cake with purple butter-cream icing in the middle. I covered the cake with marshmallow fondant, which I made by melting marshmallows in the microwave with a little water then added powdered sugar to it, then I took extra fondant and colored some with black cake color paste and that's how I got the marble look on the Inuksuk.
Then I colored the remaining with red cake color paste to get the color I wanted for the maple leafs, I rolled that out on my counter coated with icing sugar so it didn't stick, then I took my two maple leaf cookie cutters ( two sizes small and large ) then I just placed them around the cake. The class loved the cake.
My two sons' favorite book is the Scrambled States of America. This Scrambled States of America Cake is their most recent birthday cake.
The cake is covered with homemade buttercream and homemade marshmallow fondant. The decorations were done freehand are made out of royal icing (dried on wax paper for three days). I attached them to silver craft wire with hot glue (so they couldn't be eaten). The one's attached directly to the cake and board were fought over, however, by party guests! The board is homemade (15x15 inch MDF, white spray-painted doll heads, wax paper, craft ribbon attached with hot glue).