This cake was made for little Emma, the niece of my friend and colleague, Linh, to celebrate her 2nd birthday on August 11, 2007 in San Jose, CA.

At the age of two, children are just starting to recognize things. Apparently, Dora is one of the few characters that Emma recognizes. So it was a simple selection on the part of the parents.

Since Dora the Explorer is a pretty popular cartoon character these days, I was able to just buy the Wilton pan right off the shelf. I frequent a local cake decorating supply shop called 'Barbara of Pauline's' in south San Jose. I try to buy local as much as possible to support other cake decorators in their endevours.

What else but the famous "Chocolate Blackout Cake" recipe by Margaret Braun.

No filling since this is a simple sheet cake.

The icing is orange scented italian meringue buttercream using orange extract and colored with gel food colorings. The brown and black icings are bittersweet chocolate italian meringue with a little gel food coloring as well.

No special decoration, just a bunch of colored stars. Kind of like paint-by-number with colored icings. I love the bright colors.