by Kellie McInnes
(Littlehampton, South Australia)
Dora with Balloons
I enlarged a picture of Dora on photocopier to fit inside the size of 2 lamington trays together, then I traced it onto baking paper, making a few changes as I went (I wanted the arms and head to be in a different position). I also drew some balloons onto baking paper to put on the Dora cake.
I baked the 2 lamington tin sized cakes with 1 1/2 times cake mix in each tin, using a recipe from the Aust. Womens Weekly kids birthday cake cookbook. The cookbook said to cook for 1/2 hour, but I found it only needed 20 mins.
Once the cakes had cooled for a few hours, I put them onto my prepared cake board (60 x 50cm thin piece of MDF from hardware store, covered in foil from party shop). I put my baking paper template on top & kept in place with toothpicks, then cut it out.
I made shallow knife incisions on top of cake for the outlines so I could see where I needed to ice the different colours. I made 2 times butter cream icing ( also from cookbook). I divided up the butter cream - I used it untinted for shoes & eyes, then I put a small amount of cocoa to make light brown for skin, then added a lot more cocoa for hair and eyes, then food colouring for the other colours.
Once I had iced cake, I used liquorice to do the outlining, mini m&m's for bracelet and tops of socks, then I put coloured sprinkles over the top of food coloured icing to brighten it up.
My 4 year old daughter really wanted a fairytale adventure Dora cake, but I'm no artist, and the iced sheet cakes seemed so difficult. I had this type of Dora Cake in mind, (copied of course from the Barbie version) but didn't know how I was going to be able to pull it off.
She helped me make a chocolate bundt cake (from a mix) and iced it with chocolate frosting. She thought that was her cake, and she was happy enough with it. Then when she wasn't looking, I added the Dora doll (btw it was difficult to find one with long enough hair, this one was from the snow princess line) and "dressed" her in marshmallow fondant (which I had also never tried before, but found instructions at http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm (or google fondant101).
This was my second "fitting", but only because I did it once and was so excited with the results and knew I could do better. Believe me, the girls loved the cake, and even the fondant. They each wanted a piece of the necklace and bracelet, and fought over the earrings! I've heard that traditional fondant isn't that tasty to kids, but they all loved the marshmallow version, and it was really quite simple.
The parents all asked where I bought this cake, and didn't want to believe that I made it. (but really you can tell that it's no professional job!!) I added 4 sparklers instead of candles, and it was a hit. This was my first attempt at a super cool cake, and I'm hooked!