His party is Saturday, so I had to come up with a cake. I do not have a Curious George cake pan. I decided to use the Wilton lion cake pan I have, basically because of the fun, wavy edge that is usually the lion's mane. I previously turned the lion cake into an "Alex the Lion" from Madagascar cake, so I was confident I could pull out my cartoonin' skills again.
Sawed Off chose a strawberry cake mix (I quit making birthday cakes from scratch after H-Bomb's first b-day "health cake" disaster almost six years ago). I made the usual Buttercream Frosting, but this time I used vanilla instead of coconut extract. I did have about half a batch of buttercream frosting, brown chocolate flavor, leftover from birthday cupcakes on the actual day of Sawed Off's birthday, the perfect color for Curious George's fur!
I baked the cake, and it came out looking exactly like a lion. No surprise.
I covered it with a generous crumb coat, both to keep crumbs at bay during the main decorating process and to cover the lion details in order to provide a clean palette for drawing Curious George.
This picture was my inspiration:
I used a toothpick (and an angled icing spatula) to draw (and erase) Curious George, then I let the frosting set up for a little bit.
Meanwhile, I mixed up frosting in a lighter brown, grayish-black, and yellow.
I didn't think I had enough for all the colors, and it's so hard to match colors if you run out, so I mixed up another half batch of Buttercream Frosting and attempted to make it red (a difficult color, plus I ran out of one red coloring and had finish with a different kind). The red turned out not so red, but more a fun orange, so it worked as an accent color.
I outlined most of the cake first with the grayish-black, except for the face. This way, the details of the face would be more prominent.
Next, I decided to do a smoother face, rather than the usual "star" fill-in technique. I applied the light brown color with an angled icing spatula, a baby spoon, and toothpicks. I tried to make the frosting smoother, but wasn't too fussy about it, and used the toothpicks to push the frosting toward the edges and the outlines without disturbing or messing up the lines. I left some space where the details of the face would be.
I filled in the hands in the same manner, since they are the same color as the face.
Then I went back with the grayish-black and outlined the mouth, eyes and nose.
I used a star tip (my fallback, the tip with which I am most comfortable) to fill George's brown fur on his face, arms and body.
I used the same size star tip to fill in the yellow stripes and then the orange stripes, as well as the edges of the cake in orange.