I used Loucee Creations: Birthday Cheer along with a clustering tutorial from Karen Diamond Designs. This was about like the blending trouble I had...need LOTS more practice to get clustering down. I also cut out the cake pan, which took awhile, but looks so much better than before.
Update: This (not-so-great) layout was (randomly) picked to win LouCee Creations' shop at MyMemories! Thank you so much!!