In advance: Prepare fondant trims. Tint 3 oz. fondant burgundy.
Add 1/4 teaspoon Gum-Tex. Roll out 1/8 in. thick. Use pattern to
cut out mortarboard. Cut a 3/4 x 6 in. long strip. Shape into a
circle for base of cap; secure ends using damp brush. Reserve
excess burgundy fondant for bow. For diploma, cut dowel rod to
4 in. long. Roll out 3 oz. white fondant 1/8 in. thick. Cut a 4 x 3 1/2 in.
strip. Wrap around dowel rod brushed with Piping Gel. Let
pieces dry on cornstarch-dusted, waxed paper-covered board.
Attach mortarboard to base with thinned fondant adhesive.
Bake and cool cake. Trim off bow, skirt ruffles and ties on legs.
Ice sides and background areas smooth. Use tip 4 to outline and
fill in eyes, mouth, tongue and cheeks; pat smooth with finger
dipped in cornstarch. Outline all details with tip 4. Fill in with tip
16 stars; overpipe nose for dimension. Pipe tip 18 curlicues for
hair. Position diploma. Pipe over fingers tip 4 and tip 16 stars.
Roll reserved burgundy fondant into a 1/8 x 8 in. rope. Shape into
bow on diploma. Pipe tip 18 shell border. Attach mortarboard
*Combine Golden Yellow with Lemon Yellow for yellow shown.