Change MySQL 5.5 default character-set to UTF8

Last night cPanel upgraded the version of MySQL on one of our servers to the latest MySQL 5.5. Unfortunately this results in over 4000 emails from that server, crying that various websites couldn't connect to the MySQL database. The error found in /var/log/mysqld.log was
InnoDBErrorlog file ./ib_logfile0 is of different size 0 5242880 bytes
InnoDB
than specified in the .cnf file 0 26214400 bytes!
131218 23:06:21 [ERROR] Plugin 'InnoDB' init function returned error.
131218 23:06:21 [ERROR] Plugin 'InnoDB' registration as a STORAGE ENGINE failed.
131218 23:06:21 [ERROR] /usr/sbin/mysqldunknown variable 'default-character-set=utf8'
131218 23:06:21 [ERROR] Aborting 

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