I bought the cake from the store plain and added the "Tangled" theme.
I used the smallest cake pan I could find at the store. This is usually the third tier if I make a three tiered cake. I have three of those so I baked them in batches, trying not to overfill the pans. I cut the tops off to level them and layered them with some buttercream icing between the layers and over the cake like a normal cake is made. The recipe is here.
Not having any cake dowels, which are necessary for support, I used three candy canes through the 5 layers. It was 8 at night and the store that has these is 20 minutes away!! Nobody eats this decorated part at the party so I didn't feel guilty! You can get cake dowels at your local store no problem.
The roof was made of the same small cake layer and a cupcake that I shaved a bit to make pointy. I also layered and covered this part with icing.
After all this is done I finally get to play with fondant. I kind of think of it as edible Play-Doh. You can shape it into whatever you want- it has the same properties and consistences. It hardens when you cool it in the refrigerator. I use a standard bunch of cookie cutters that I bought from the craft store. I usually use this recipe at Peggy's baking corner. It tastes a whole lot better than the commercial kind. This time I decided to try Wilton's and I have decided to go back to the Marshmallow fondant. It is easier to work with. I can adjust the water content to the desert's unique humidity content which is always dry.
The colors are made from basic food coloring or cocoa for the brown. (I am still experimenting with this since the cocoa powder dries the fondant and makes it harder to work with. You see the confectioner sugar and icing all over the front door. I think I need to play more with gel food coloring.)
The cone of the roof was made with three quarters of a circle of fondant. The rectangle for the base was not big enough, but I made it work. The biggest lesson I have learn, while baking a cake, is how to cover up a mistake. Instead of panicking, I made this the front, added the door, a whole bunch of vines and flowers, and hair.
The seam on the roof had vines and flowers made from the fondant as well. Don't like the way the vines look? I covered the messiness with leaves and flowers. I always mess up those thin icing lines. Everything was attached to the gray tower with green buttercream icing. I used cookie cutters to cut out the green grass, but added bushes of green buttercream, to cover the terrible looking seams at the bottom.
I just had to add those cute mushrooms. They taste good too!
After being out for a while the cake did lean a bit. Oh well. It's isn't perfect. Flowers and extra green icing also comes in handy covering up the messy handwriting. You can tell I got the hang of the gel icing pen when I got to Anna's name!
As children came in the door, we did craft activity of pink and purple crowns that the children decorated themselves with foamies and crayon. The biggest advice I have for a children's birthday party is keep them busy!
They wrote their name on the paper hair for the game Pin The Hair On The Princess. I used the hair and princess from a coloring page I found online.
One of the best compliments I received was a mom asked to take a picture of the cake! Yay! Of course, Anna had a blast and with all her friends.
Let me know if you used any of these ideas for your birthday party. I would love to see what you make!