To make this cake, use a prepackaged cake mix prepared according to the pound-cake directions. You'll also need several zip-close plastic bags (or pastry bags), red decorator frosting and brown and orange paste food coloring, which are available at baking-supply stores. Watch the step-by-step video
1 package (18.25 oz.) yellow-cake mix, prepared according to pound-cake version
4 large eggs
1 box (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting
1 can (16 oz.) dark chocolate frosting
Brown and orange paste food coloring
2 three-inch-long pieces strawberry fruit leather (such as Fruit by the Foot)
2 black candy-coated chocolates (such as M&M's)
1 tube (4.25 oz.) red decorating frosting
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch cake pan with wax paper.
Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions for the pound-cake recipe. (Add the pudding mix, increase the number of eggs to 4, and decrease the water to 1 cup.)
Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; about 35 to 45 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, and then invert the cake ont a rack and allow it to cool completely.
Line a cookie sheet with a piece of wax paper.
Place the chocolate chips into a resealable bag and microwave (with the bag open) on high for about 30 seconds or until the chocolate chips are melted. Snip a small corner from the bag and pipe a "Y" about 3 inches long onto the wax paper. (This will be Dora's cowlick.) Transfer the cookie sheet to the refrigerator until ready to use.
Spoon 1/4 cup of the vanilla frosting (for Dora's eyes) into a resealable bag and set aside.
Mix 2 tablespoons of the vanilla frosting with 2 tablespoons of the chocolate frosting (for Dora's irises) and spoon this lighter chocolate frosting into a resealable bag; set it aside.
Tint the remaining vanilla frosting a golden brown using the orange and brown food paste coloring.
Tint 3 tablespoons a darker shade of this color and spoon it into a resealable bag (for Dora's nose and chin); set it aside.
Trim the top of the cake with a large serrated knife to make it level.
Place the cake trimmed side down onto a serving platter.
Using the Dora Face Cake Template, cut the cake and discard the scraps.
Use the template again to score or mark outlines of Dora's face and hair with a toothpick.
Frost the top and side of Dora's face first with the golden-brown frosting.
Spread some of the chocolate frosting on the side of the cake (for the sides of Dora's hair).
Spoon the remaining chocolate frosting into a resealable bag and sip a corner from bag.
Pipe on Dora's hair.
Mark the center of Dora's eyes with a toothpick.
Snip a small corner from the vanilla-frosting bag and pipe in the eyes.
Snip a small corner from the light-chocolate bag and pipe the irises.
Add candy-coated chocolates and a dot of white to finish Dora's eyes.
On a clean work surface, press the two pieces of fruit leather together, overlapping them slightly.
Cut out the mouth shape according to the template.
Place the mouth on the cake and pipe a line around it with the red decorating frosting.
Snip a small corner from the bag with the dark golden-brown frosting and pipe on Dora's nose and chin.
Peel Dora's cowlick from the wax paper and insert it into top of her head. (You may need to use a toothpick to stabilize