This woodland fox cake is made with a simple vanilla cake that's filled with colorful vanilla buttercream, and fondant ears and eyes.
On a silicone mat, roll the orange fondant to 1/4 inch thick then use a sharp x-acto knife to cut out two ears. Rub shortening on the edges of the ears to smooth them out. Cut small pieces on the edges of the ears to resemble fur.
Insert a covered wire or long toothpick halfway into each fondant ear. Then roll out a thin piece of white fondant to make the inner ear.
With a small paintbrush, paint thin black lines on the tops of the ears. Set aside to dry up to 2-3 hours.
Next, roll out 1/8 inch thick piece of black fondant. Cut two small circles out the black fondant then roll out two small pieces of white fondant for the whites of the eye. Use water to attach the white fondant to the black fondant. Roll out a small ball of black fondant for the nose. Set aside to dry.
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Spray three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk and stir together the cake mix, all-purpose flour, and salt. Set aside.
In the stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugar on medium-high for 5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time to the stand mixer bowl and beat on medium until well incorporated.
Turn the mixer on low and add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture until fully incorporated.
Add the vanilla and milk and beat on low until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Finish by adding the remaining flour mixture and mix on medium for another 30 seconds.
Evenly distribute the cake batter among the three cake pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
Remove cakes from the oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes before inverting onto cooling racks to cool completely. Wrap cakes in plastic wrap and place into the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
In the stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Mix until incorporated completely. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat the frosting for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer on low and mix for 2 minutes to push out any air bubbles.
Divide the buttercream in half, keep one-half white for filling and crumb coating. Divide the other half of the buttercream into four bowls, place the majority of the buttercream in a big bowl to color with orange gel food color and a drop of brown and red food color. Then split the remaining buttercream into three smaller bowls — one-color per bowl, color with deep red, yellow, and green gel food color.
Layer one vanilla cake, cut side up onto cake board. Add a 2/3 cup of vanilla buttercream over the cake. Place another cake layer cut side down over the top. Repeat the process for another layer — Crumb coat with white vanilla buttercream and freeze for 30 minutes.
Add a thick layer of orange buttercream all over the cake. Use an offset spatula to fill in any gaps with more buttercream. Then use a cake scraper to smooth out the sides of the cake. Use the offset spatula to make the top edges sharp and smooth.
Add the dark red buttercream to a piping bag with #844 star tip, and place the yellow buttercream into a prepared piping bag with a smaller star tip. Then place the green buttercream into a piping bag with a coupler and a leaf tip.
Use a toothpick to outline the fox’s face on the orange buttercream.
Insert the fox ears into the top of the cake then turn them slightly outwards.
Begin to pipe the face with the white buttercream, use an offset spatula to smooth out the buttercream. (Note: Add a few drops of water onto the spatula to make it smooth out easier, wipe off on a clean towel in between to keep the buttercream smooth).
Then pipe three large rosettes with the red buttercream along the top edge of the cake, this will resemble a flower crown. Add the yellow stars and green leaves in between the red rosettes.
Add the eyes, and nose to the cake to complete the fox’s face!
Serve at room temperature and enjoy!