I designed this Dora the Explorer Standing Birthday Cake for a one year old’s birthday. I have done standing cakes, but never one with a skeleton of PVC pipe. Dora is approx 2-1/2ft tall, she is made up of one-6inch cake (2-layers), two-8inch cakes (2-layers each) and her head is a Styrofoam ball,(you can use cake, but you will need copper pipes with PVC over it).
The Styrofoam is lighter. Here is the list of materials: Pvc pipe-1/2inch wide (cut to desired height: ALL FITTINGS ARE 1/2 WIDE: two-45degree angle elbows: two-90degree elbows: one cross: one PVC tee: PVC cutters: wooden board (at least 1 inch thick), screws (not to exceed the length on the board), 4inch round board, two- 4inch cake rounds, one- flange (plumbing tool), one male adapter (this screws into the flange so the PVC pipe can be attached to it, I may be wrong about the name of it but you can check with the store. I do know it has threads in it and screws down, (by turning it by hand )into the flange) one screw driver. One-6inch round cake (2-layers), two-8inch round cakes (2-layers each). 6 batches of vanilla modeling chocolate (you can find the recipe online) tinted flesh color, one batch of modeling dark chocolate (Dora’s hair). One batch royal icing, 4 batches of marshmallow fondant, one batch of rice cereal treats (any of these recipes you can find online at www.Cakecentral.com).
First thing is to screw the flange into the board, twist the male adapter into the flange, measure, cut and push the PVC pipes in place. This forms the legs (pic). To form the hips use two 90degree elbows (pic). To that attach the PVC tee (you must cut a small piece of PVC pipe to slide into the ends of any PVC fitting because the fitting will not slide into each other.
At this point I placed the 4inch round board on the tee and screwed it into place. This holds the 6inch cakes. Place the PVC pipe (long) into the top of the tee. This is the center pipe that will hold the cakes (torso area). Measure so that the pipe will come to the top of the stacked cakes and cut the pipe, and the top of this PVC pipe. Place your cross (PVC pipe fitting). This is the head and neck area, to the cross attached. The two-45degree elbows (the arms) don’t press it down yet, the elbows should recess into the cake slightly, so eyeball where the elbows are and tunnel out a little cake on each side and if cut correctly the elbow and cross should recess into the cake as if the arms were coming out from the cake.
The cake leftover should then be stacked up on the pipe (this is the shoulders). Cover the board with thinned royal icing, then fondant (tinted desired coloring). Ice all cakes and cover Dora with flesh tinted modeling chocolate. Shape legs, arms and hands, ice Styrofoam ball with royal icing (let dry). Cover with flesh modeling chocolate. Place dark chocolate on to form the hair, use tinted fondant for the eyes and mouth and clothes. Shape boots out of RKT (rice krispie treats), ice with royal icing, cover in tinted fondant. I purchased the grass skirt.
Good luck and happy baking.