Gingerbread kits are not just for the holidays! Here, the cookies from the Wilton Mini Gingerbread Village become a Winter Wonderland village perched on top of a 2-tier cake billowing with drifts of icing snow.
One day in advance, prepare to decorate. Make royal icing. Reserve stiff icing. Thin remaining icing to slightly thicker than typical flow-in icing (add few drops of water at a time; icing will be ready when a small amount dropped into the mixture takes a count of 18 to disappear. Place both icings in separate decorating bags fitted with tip 2.
Decorate unassembled gingerbread house panels. With cookie pieces lying flat, flow in windows and doors on house panels with thinned icing. For side panels and roofs, free hand door and window area to be filled in. Let dry several hours.
Outline decorations. Using stiff icing in decorating bag, outline windows and doors and pipe dots and lines on edges. Let dry several hours.
Make layered cakes. Bake and cool three 6 in. and three 8 in. cake layers. Trim one layer of each size to 1 in high. Level, stack and fill layers on cake boards for 5 in. high cakes. Ice in buttercream and prepare for stacked construction. Stack cakes.
Decorate cakes. Fill one decorating bag with tip 1A with buttercream icing. Fill a second bag with a coupler and tip 8 with buttercream icing. Attach one decorated house piece to top of 6 in. cake. On cake sides, attach house pieces to sides of cake with icing. Pipe tip 8 bead trees. Pipe tip 1A snow mounds on cake tops and around bottom of houses, using spatula to form drifts. Pipe tip 2 dots on tiers.