My daughter’s 2nd birthday was coming up and I wanted to make a cake about something she was interested in at the time. Of course, Dora the Explorer came to mind. I wanted to make a cake that was epic, like something off of one of the cake TV shows. I decided to follow the storyline of the cartoon. Dora always has an adventure to take and there’s always three things she has to make it through. This inspired the 360 Degree Dora Adventure Birthday Cake. The story is that Dora and her friends have to make it across the lake, up the ladder, and arrive at the birthday castle. I wanted to use the whole cake to tell the story so it was visually appealing any way you looked at it.
We made the base of the cake out of two 10″ round cakes made with a yellow cake mix. We filled the layers of cake with homemade banana cream flavored butter cream frosting. I then frosted the outside of the cake with chocolate butter cream frosting.
The top tier was made out of two 6″ round cakes made with a chocolate cake mix. We filled the layers of cake with raspberry flavored butter cream frosting, then frosted the outside with chocolate butter cream frosting.
We used Satin Ice fondant. It was the first time I had used it and possibly the first or second time my sister used it. It was a little difficult to work with, but we managed to cover the whole top tier with green fondant. The bottom tier was so large and the fondant started to get dry so it kept breaking on the bottom tier. We problem solved and just put fondant on top of the bottom tier and left the sides with the chocolate butter cream frosting. It turned out to be a good idea, otherwise the cake would have been VERY green.
We piped vines and leaves on the sides of the bottom tier and applied color flow flowers my sister had made previously. The top of the bottom tier has a color flow lake and ladder. I bought the Dora, Boots, and Diego figurines and palm trees at a cake store. The rocks are candy rocks I got from the same store, we just applied them all with a little butter cream frosting to make them stay put. We piped ferns on the bottom of the top tier to cover up the seam where the top and bottom tiers meet. We colored some white fondant brown to make the path that goes around and up onto the top tier to the castle.
The top tier was supported by dowels inserted into the bottom tier. We colored fondant (following Dora colors) and used letter and number cutouts from the cake store to apply my daughter’s name and age on the backside of the top tier. I couldn’t find a good small toy castle for the top so I painted a cheap plaster castle from the craft store. The star candles were available at the craft store and the cake store.
It was such a blast to make and my daughter loved it so much! It was really special to be able to make that for her 2nd birthday and the guests were very impressed! The cake was delicious too!