Have you ever tried one of these specialty pan kits? It gives you step-by-step instructions on how to decorate it, minimal creativity required (although a steady hand does help). We got the cake pan at New York Cake & Baking Distributors (sigh ... I miss that place), and they even had a McQueen food coloring kit.
In a couple of weeks, my church is doing a friendly "Ace of Cakes" activity/competition. I am planning to make a cake that looks like this:
I'm thinking it won't be too difficult because it is an easy shape and I am fond of piping. I have plans for an inedible steeple. What do you think? Am I in over my head? Any suggestions?