When Henri turned 3 he was all about Diego & Dora. Okay actually he was all about Dora. (I think he had a crush). For the longest time you couldn’t get through a day in my house without being encouraged to ¡vamanos! or go ¡al rescate! or yell at Swiper to stop swiping- and the Map! Oy. Don’t get me started on the Map!
Anyhoo… there was nothing he wanted for his cake except something ‘Dora’-themed.
So that’s what he got. (Complete with really crappy old cell phone pics… weeeee!)
Looking at the pics now, 4 years later… I’ll admit I was really disappointed with some parts of this cake. My own fault- I’d made the figures earlier in the week along with the basket for a hot air balloon, intending to write Henri’s name on a banner hanging from it, and set that aside to dry with the figures. Only later on did I bake the cake, and begin decorating while the figures were still set aside.
My plan was to make the cake look like a hill with a little waterfall running down… all so I could use my bright idea of Goldfish crackers as goldfish. I figured I’d stand the characters naturally around, like they were enjoying a day in the rainforest after landing from a fun ride.
The cake was iced with grass and water areas, and I put the chocolate rocks around the base and crushed up graham crackers as sand. Finally, the night before the party, I got the figures and basket up from the basement where they’d been drying near the dehumidifier… and instantly realized they were too big. Like, WAY too big.
In fact the only place on the cake that had room to set down the hot air balloon basket was directly on the top of the waterfall.
Even Dora and Diego would know that’s a muy not safe landing spot. 😦
But, it was too late to do anything about it. Now I know the importance of scale and measuring my work, and haven’t had an incident like this again.
Closeups of Diego & Boots, Dora (wearing Backpack), and Baby Jaguar, along with the Goldfish in the water. For the water I’d put down white icing first and let it set a bit, then overlaid it with blue icing and deliberately chopped them together in places, breaking the crust on the white icing, much like I did for the hot tub water in the Betty Boop cake. If I were redoing the cake I’d also take more time to make the characters look more screen-accurate, specifically in their faces, and most specifically for Dora’s face. I remember having the hardest time mixing the correct colors and had no tools beyond toothpicks at the time, so the figure modelling isn’t my best work, though the kids didn’t seem to mind much.
To make the hot air balloon I used a regular balloon attached to one of those rigid sticks with a balloon holder on top, like you get at carnivals and fairs. I always save stuff like that in case it comes in handy, and for this it did, as I’d had no idea how I’d rig up a balloon before I thought of it. I hung a loop of yarn around the balloon, tacked down in spots with dabs of clear nailpolish, and into the ‘basket’ part I pressed 4 paperclips, leaving only a loop off each end sticking out. I tied the dangling yarn to the paperclip loops and voila- a hot air balloon.
And when it came down to it? All the kids cared about was that they could eat it. And it was good. 🙂
Henri’s other birthday cakes so far