Gingerbread house cakes are popular at Christmas, but house birthday cakes are a great idea too. Build a log cabin or a country cottage, model one after your own house or add a special theme, like a fairy house or haunted house. Once you have constructed the basic house shape you can have hours of fun decorating the cake and adding details, using all kinds of cookies and candies as your building materials.
Bake two rectangular sponge cakes in a baking pan measuring 9 inches by 13 inches by 2 inches. Place half of one sponge on a cake board or rectangular plate. Spread it with royal icing, which works like glue to hold the cakes together.
Place the other half on top of the first one. This gives the basic 3D rectangular house shape.
Cut the second cake into two halves. Cut each half into four triangles. Use four of the triangles to construct the roof. Spread the top of the cake with royal icing. Use each triangle's longest side as its base, and place each one in position to make the roof, spreading each interior side with more icing to hold it together.
Push a long wooden skewer through the roof to secure it if necessary, remembering to take care when cutting the cake. Trim the sides to achieve a neat finished shape. Cover the entire cake with frosting in a color of your choice.
Decorate the cake using cookies, wafers, candies and chocolate as building materials. Chocolate flakes and wafer cookie sticks make good wooden-style roofing materials. Chocolate buttons can be positioned as roofing tiles. Use cookie wafers as doors, and colored candies as decorations. Candy canes, malt sticks or pretzel sticks are ideal for fencing
Freeze the cake pieces before icing and assembling to make them easier to work with. Use ready-made pound cakes if you are pressed for time.