I won the most recent Cake Central inspirational Challenge! The theme was Birdhouses and you can see the images included in the inspirational board here. My entry included a big gingerbread Birdhouse, some medium, and tiny little one as cupcake topper and pops. Also decorated cookies.
The best part is that my creations will be feature in Cake Central Magazine
Let me share with you the steps to create the big bird house.
1. First step was to create the design for the bird house. If you are interested you can download my file here. You just need to print it in card stock paper and cut all the pieces to be your templates.
2. You need a recipe of you favorite gingerbread dough. This is the first time I make a gingerbread house so I use a recipe from a book but any recipe for gingerbread houses will work. However you can not use a recipe for sugar cookies or any other cookie because will not be as strong as the dough for gingerbread houses.
3. Cut all the pieces for the birdhouse using the card stock templates, bake them and let them rest until cold. In the two front parts you need to cut the holes before you bake the cookie. I use a small circle cutter for the big hole and a straw for the little hole where the stick for the bird to stand on should be. The hole should be big enough to put a candy cane if you want to use one like I did.
4. Once the cookies are cold start by securing the candy cane in its hole with royal icing in the front part of the house. Then outline and flood that cookie with royal icing. Continue to outline and flood the back and the sides of the front house.
5. For the back house I draw a branch that started on the side of the house and continue to the front. I put both parts together and than outline the branch. You can use and edible marker to draw the branch or you can outline it with royal icing, I use a #2 tip to outline mine then I flood the parts that need it. Immediately I flood with the white RI all around the branch and put the little red candies to look like little berries.
6. Continue with the other side and back of the house , just outline and flood and wait overnight until the royal icing is dry.
8. Once all the flood parts are dry you can work on the details. In the front of the house I use a fondant snowflake. I use a little bit of water in the back of the fondant to glue it to the royal icing. The little roof was made out of gingerbread dough and baked in a circular mold but I bet you can use a piece of fondant or sugar paste to create the same effect. Then I pipe the scrolls and all the details on the sides and waited until dry.
9. For the simulated snow in the branches I pipe a little bit of white RI in different areas and sprinkle them with sugar.
10. Once all parts dry is time to assemble the hose. You need a stiff consistency RI to give a strong support to the house. I started with the front part then one side follow by the other and finally the back of the house. I did the same for both houses. Than you have to wait until is a little bit dry, at least an hour.
11. Next you attach the roof. For the roofs to match on the top I sand them with a zester/grater to create a 45 Degrees angle . You can also sand all the pieces of the house if they loose a little bit of their shape during baking. Just do it before you decorate them.
12. Finally glue the two houses together and glue them to a base. At the last minute I bake the square gingerbread base but was planning to glue it strait to the cake board.
13. The bird is a sugar cookie and to support it, I put a toothpick in between the two sections of the roof when I glue them together. Once dry I glue the bird cookie to the toothpick with more royal icing. Sorry I don’t have more pictures but my kids got sick and I get pretty busy.
Please if you have any question let me know.