I made this little cake for my nephew, Garrett, who loves Skylanders. Prior to making this cake, I knew absolutely nothing about Skylanders, but after doing some extensive research (I don't think people realize how much time "cakers" spend researching a topic prior to making a cake). I decided that I wanted to make a cake based on the Skylanders Portal of Power. The most difficult part was choosing which character to use as a topper, which determines the color of the portal. After talking with an expert at Wal-Mart (a sweet, young boy who appeared to know everything about Skylanders and was more than willing to share his wealth of knowledge with me), I was convinced that Fizzy Frenzy Pop Fizz was the perfect character to use. Oddly enough, he kind of reminds me of My Pet Monster. Remember that show? I digress... For this cake, I used three six-inch layers of chocolate cake with peanut butter filling (a family favorite).
While the cake was baking, I worked on the banner. I found a picture of a logo online that had a name underneath the logo. I was able to use PowerPoint to cover up the other name and then use Word Art to replace it with Garrett's name. I also resized the image to be six inches wide. To save everyone else the trouble, here is the logo with the name removed so that you can add a name of your choosing:
Since the character I chose was from Trap Team, the "Trap Team" subtitle was written in red/black, which is why I wrote Garrett's name in red/black. I used the Arial Black font with all capital letters. I printed it out on cardstock and taped two skewers to the back.
When the cake had cooled, I leveled it, filled each layer with peanut butter frosting, and then covered it with a thin layer of peanut butter frosting. Then I marbled some gray fondant with a little bit of white and covered the whole cake. I didn't roll the fondant quite as thin as I normally do, because I didn't want it to tear when I made the rocks.
Before putting the fondant onto the cake, I used my rock impression mat to make a general outline of the rocks, but it ended up getting a little bit stretched out when I added the fondant to the cake, so I used the back of a butter knife to add some definition to the outline of the rocks (If you don't have an impression mat, you could just use a butter knife to make the rocks). I also used the butter knife to make little lines and indentations to give the rocks more character.
After I had finished outlining and adding definition to the rocks, I accented the lines that I had made with black luster dust. I used a small, angled brush to add luster dust between all of the rocks. The brush also helped me to round the edges of the rocks a little bit, and to expand the gaps between rocks. Then I brushed luster dust onto random places on the rocks to give them some dimension.
Once the rocks were complete, I added a strip of marbled fondant (about 1 1/2 inches wide and 19 inches long) around the top edge of the cake, attaching it with piping gel. I allowed the top portion of the strip to stick up over the top edge of the cake by about a half of an inch.
In the pictures of the portals that I saw online, this top edge appeared to be made up of rocks that were more linear and less circular (if that makes any sense), so I didn't bother to use my rock impression mat for the edge. Instead, I just used the back of a butter knife to make lines and cracks, and then I brushed some black luster dust in the lines/cracks. I don't know why I didn't end up taking any pictures during this process, but this is a close-up of the top edge in the end:
After I finished the top edge, I added the purple circle in the middle. I actually marbled some purple and white fondant to try to give it a swirling vortex effect, but I over-mixed the fondant, so it didn't end up very swirly. I rolled out the marbled fondant and placed my six-inch pan on top of it as a guide to cut the circle. Then I placed the circle of fondant on top of the cake and pressed it outward with my fingers until it met the edge of the stone. Again, I didn't take pictures during this step, but this is what it looked like later on... Not very marbled. :-(
After I attached the circle, I added eight vertical strips around the cake. Again, I marbled some gray and white fondant, rolled it out, and then cut eight strips that were one inch wide. I use my impression mat to add a rocky texture, and then I attached each strip with some piping gel, curving the top of each strip up over the top edge. Then I used a butter knife and some black luster dust to accentuate the rocky texture.
Next, I made the symbols that went around the top edge of the cake. Believe it or not, I had a really difficult time finding the exact symbols. I ended up using three different pictures and I was able to make out four different symbols, so I repeated each symbol. I wasn't too picky about this part because I didn't think that anyone would look at it very closely. As a matter of fact, I probably could have just invented my own symbols and no one would have noticed. :-)
I used my clay extruder to add a border around the bottom edge. After looking at countless pictures online, I still couldn't figure out whether the border is supposed to match the color of the the portal, or if it is always supposed to be neon green. I decided to go with purple, since it matched better. I attached it with piping gel, and I used my butter knife to press the border into the crevices.
Lastly, I added Fizzy and the banner.