We didn’t need that big of a cake for my son’s birthday, so the part of this that is cake is Jack’s head. The rest was hand drawn by me. If it would have been for a larger gathering I would have done the base on a half sheet cake.
Chocolate cake with homemade buttercream frosting (real buttercream, with BUTTER!) I used the whitener by Wilton to get it as white as possible. For the black accents I used Betty Crocker milk chocolate frosting tinted with Wilton’s black color gel. You only have to use a little bit of tint that way. Comes out nice and black without having a funny taste.
When making any of my cakes I put thin layer of frosting on and then put the cake in the freezer for a few minutes to stiffen it up. I then put another thin layer of frosting and smooth as much as possible. I keep putting it back in to the freezer for a few minutes to keep stiffening the frosting to allow me to really smooth it out. I smooth it with a frosting spatula that has been warmed in a glass of hot water and dried.
I covered the base drawings with plastic wrap to protect it while I frosted the cake. I also use a rotating cake pedestal. Makes it easier to run the spatula around the outside of the cake. In doing the face I used a toothpick to give myself a rough outline of where I wanted to put things. This way, if I didn’t like the placement, I can just use my warm knife and smooth it back out and redo it.