Ta da! I'm so pleased with how this turned out. What do you think?
Sort of wish I would have not been so rushed and taken a picture before Dora had three candles sticking out of her hair. Oh well. It's festive, right?
I baked it in Wilton's Dora cake pan and using a Betty Crocker Butter Pecan cake mix. It was delish. Since this was my first cake, I'm not even going to divulge how many hours I spent mixing frosting to the right consistency and color tone.
Yellow, light purple, pink and blue = easy.
Skin tone (face/arms), black (outline/eyes) light brown (eyes/mouth/nose/outlines), dark brown (hair) and red (Map's tongue) = difficult.
Tips for anyone ever trying to make skin tone: Wilton suggests using Copper to color the frosting a skin tone color. The more coloring I added, the darker orangey copper color it became. I ended up mixing my medium toned copper with a light brown to get what you see above. It's all trial and error, but I would recommend throwing a bit of brown coloring into the copper mix. The skin tone I settled on shown above is probably a little dark, although I don't think it was as dark as the picture shows in reality.
As for getting a dark brown like I had to use for Dora's hair, I used nearly an entire ounce of brown Wilton icing color, which meant you could not squeak by purchasing a 8 or 12 pack of 1/2 ounce icing colors. I learned this the hard way and had to make a run in the morning to JoAnn's to get more coloring and finish the cake before the party started!
Wilton shares pointers on coloring icing. Two I experienced first hand: First, colors deepen in buttercream icings upon setting. I had to wait overnight and noticed my frosting colors were all darker. Not a problem in my case since I was trying to achieve darker colors. Second, sunlight causes colors to lighten, as seen in the picture above (especially her shirt and backpack) because the cake was out in daylight before being consumed.
So fun! Can't wait to make another one!