The cake was a big hit, both for the decorating (from everyone) and the cake itself (from the kids). I and my s-i-l thought the cake was a little dry and definitely too sweet, but the other moms who tried some more marveled that a low-sugar cake tasted OK at all.
Pictures behind some cuts:( The front view... )
The drawbridge "planks" are gum, the green things are jellybeans, the larger yellow and pink are hard candies, and the little dots on the crenellations are candy dots. The tall flags are also candles--I only set one of them on fire while lighting the candles... :(( Looking down from the top... )
Pink squares inside are a different kind of gum. The Playmobile figure scaling the walls is there because the party was at a rock-climbing facility, so a climber was needed. The rope is a Twizzler. For those with long memories, last year's party was at the same place, with a rock-climbing themed cake
.( close-up with climber )
Niece made most of the decisions on candy placement, raiding her sugar-free collection for the candies and gum. I spotted the dots at a store this morning and added those at the last minute. Flags were printed on the computer, glued to the tall candles, and curled around pens overnight to get the waving effect. A little powdered sugar added the "snow", plus helped to show up the details of the castle.
The best part of the party was watching niece deal with the cake. She asked if she could cut it, and after offering advice on how to go about it, I let her take over. And it almost ran like an auction: "who wants half a tower?" "I want the gum!" "Can I have the front?" The gum seemed to be in great demand, to my surprise, but the hottest ticket (so to speak) were the 3 surviving flags. Those were finally handed out by niece doing 3 rounds of eenie-meenie-minie-moe among the 12 (I think) guests. Anyway, she had a great time running the whole show, and the adults all stood back with a smile.