My daughter was turning one and I have a sister who makes cakes on a semi-professional basis. I wasn't trying to compete with her but being an artist, I did feel I had to hold my own at least. We love all things fairy and magical so we knew my daughter's theme right away.
We began with the Wilton Enchanted Castle Kit and made one of their alternate versions as shown in their yearbook. We added a few of our own tricks and techniques too.
The whole affair is positioned on their tall tier cake stand with one cake plate at the bottom, then a 13.5" column topped with a second cake plate. Two 14" round cake layers make the green grass lower cake. As I frosted the green lower cake I used the flat of a butter knife and kind of wacked it flat against the frosting pulling up quickly to give a ruffled, grass like appearance. I had made the unicorn in a chocolate mold and he was placed by the tree, along with a pair of roses I free formed from red tinted fondant.
Around the sides of the cake I placed yellow chocolate fairies done in a mold similar to flower fairies. These were meant to be lollipops but I just trimmed down the edge where the lollipop stick would otherwise go. I only filled the molds halfway so they wouldn't be too heavy and slide off the sides. The letters for my daughter's name were cut freehand from rolled white fondant.
The tree we formed using rice krispie treats around the center column, then frosting over it. Wilton uses lollipop sticks covered in frosting, but we tried that and didn't like it. we got much better results with the rice krispies and pretzel rods.
The castle is formed with 2 8" round cake layers topped with a roof made from the Wilton Wonder mold. The turrets are covered in fondant that has been tinted with copper. I used fondant in a flower press to make all the tiny flowers, and green tinted fondant to shape all the leaves.
The turrets are made from ice cream cones that I dipped in chocolate then rolled in crushed nuts for a thatched authentic roof look.
It took about 10 hours to bake and assemble the cake parts, around 4-6 hours for the fondant assembly, covering of pillars and making leaves, and another 5-6 hours to decorate all the piping and tiny flowers as my husband kept making the fondant and icing for me. This is NOT anything I would undertake on a regular basis or for my daughter's next birthday, but maybe for her sweet 16.