Being a Dad I am not a cake expert, so thanks for this site and all the ideas. I looked at a lot of cakes but ended up doing a fairly simple Princess Castle Cake Design.
I made two 9"x13" cakes and three 9" round cakes in advance. I leveled them all with a cake leveler. I also made buttercream and raspberry cream cheese icing in advance. I cut a large piece of plywood, cut small blocks of wood and screwed them to the bottom, and drilled into those and glued dowel rods into them to support the towers.
The night before the party I worked from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. building the cake. I made rice crispy treat and formed tubes of it for the towers. I used gel coloring on the icing and also on the fondant. I colored the fondant and rolled it out and covered the towers with the fondant. It shows the bumps of the rice crispy stuff, but this was my first time working with fondant and so I didn't know much about how to do it. I did not make it, I bought it.
So then I put the large cakes on the board, and frosted them with buttercream frosting. I wish I had let the frosting warm up some because it pulled crumbs, I even thinned it some with water but it just snags crumbs as you put it on. I need a tip on that. Next I loaded the round cakes on top, and slathered on the cream cheese icing which is way easier to apply. I colored some marzipan and cut shapes to make some princesses on the front towers. Mixed some green gel into coconut to make the grass.
I cut my daughter's name out of fondant just for decoration. Then I went ahead and added an M&M rainbow just for the heck of it. At the party I put ice cream cones with pink frosting on top of the towers. I thought it was pretty good for my first cake foray. I must have sat in the craft store cake section for an hour like a deer in the headlights. Buying all the stuff and everything I am sure I spent over $100 on this cake, and probably ten hours of work not counting shopping and internet studying. I'm glad I did it but my goodness, it was rough.
I will do better with the fondant next time if I use it again. Also I couldn't refrigerate the cake (board was too large!) and the cream cheese icing almost melted on me. But, it looked good and everyone said it tasted really good. And there was a lot of cake there. We had a fun time, good luck with your cake!
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