This cake is made of 3 8 x8″ chocolate layers.
Before baking the cake I worked on the figurines. I combined fondant and gum paste together, not too much fondant, just enough to keep the gum paste from getting too hard, to quickly. I used gels to colour the fondant. Then I made the characters and used edible glue to hold some pieces together, and edible markers to do the faces and details. Let these dry for a full day, be sure to turn occasionally so all sides harden.
Bake the layers and stack on top, icing each layer in between. Then ice the all sides of the cake. Then to make the dirt effect on the sides, take Oreo cookies and crush them in a food processor and press by handful up against the sides, until covered, leaving about an inch around all four sides of the top of the cake uncovered from crumbs, otherwise your icing will just fall off when trying to do the hanging bushes. Be sure to tap the cake board firmly to let all the loose crumbs fall, and then use a silicone brush to brush away the extra crumbs. On the top side, I used a piece of green fondant and then green butter cream icing to do the bushes. I used the icing to secure my characters to the top of the cake.
For the Happy Birthday sign, I used pearl beads to make the design and then pressed it into the icing on the side.