So here is the big reveal:
*First, just let me say that there was not a weird color variation on the finished product. This is what happens if someone forgets to take a pic before writing the name of someone else's child on a cake that they intend to post online. Then the person, who is still learning GIMP, attempts to erase the name with a photo editing tool.*
1. The cake itself is a dressed up box mix using the WASC (White Almond Sour Cream) recipe from Cake Central. I have to say I'm just not a fan of almond flavoring, and while it was moist but not crumbly (the pitfalls of a lot of white cake recipes) I thought it a little overly sweet. It made a huge batch, enough for 2 13x9-inch pans. Strawberry Mousse filling.
3. I used the Buttercream Dream recipe from the same site and reduced the amount of sugar and so the amount of liquid used. Then I found it hard to get the right consistency; it was great for icing but needed tinkering before I could make a decent flower. Lots of learning on this cake.
4. Since I didn't have a pretty pan to put it all on, I tried my hand at making fondant (marshmallow fondant in this case) to cover an upside-down baking sheet. I know this stuff is far more popular than buttercream these days but I'm still not sure why.
4. The tiara was made with royal icing. Someone has kindly posted a tutorial for this on Cake Central, downloadable templates are also available there. That site is a fabulous place to go for inspiration. Here is a close-up of mine:
I know, it would have been a lot more impressive with a little bling (Luster Dust). But remember that I live in a veeery tiny town so bling is at least an hour from me.