I actually spent around a month researching and planning a princess castle birthday cake for my daughter's first birthday, strategically working out how I was going to create all of the effects I wanted and how it would all fit together. I know she didn't fully appreciate it but everyone that came to her party did and I took plenty of pictures for her to look back on when she is old enough!
I looked at every single photo of castle cakes on this website and read the descriptions of the ones I liked the most. I took the best parts from all of my favs to come up with my own.
I've been buying the Cake Decorating magazines and followed their instructions on baking the cake a few days before I wanted to cover it and wrapping it in cling film and storing it. It also advised to put the cakes in the fridge for one hour before trimming off the tops and sides. This all went very smoothly.
The best tip I got from here was how to do the turrets, it's soo easy when you know how! You simply place two ice cream cup cones end to end and stick them together with edible glue, cover them with regal ice and the take a ice cream cornet, cover that with regal ice and place it on top.
For the brick effect I used a FMM Impression Mat Cobble/Stone, the only problem was the mat was very small (150 x 70mm) so you can see the joins but I feel that adds to the effect. I also used a straight frill cutter to create the top effect of the walls rather than cutting out the squares myself, it saved a lot of time
The one thing I would have done differently if I'd had more time would have been to create a tile effect on the top of the turrets (the cornet)I used a round frill cutter to create the little sashes underneath the windows and I would have layered these upon one another to create the tile effect.
To go with the cake I also made 30 scones, 24 cupcakes, 30 crown cookies (pic attached), and a carrot and banana cake! All of this was done over 3 days before my daughter's party.
All in all I was quite happy with my daughter's cake, it's the first time I did a cake with this much detail and I'm already planning the rest of my families cakes for the next year!