Cut the house templates from cardboard or thick paper and cover in contact so they are easy to use. Using a lead pencil and ruler, make 2 house templates. One which is 6cm wide x 8cm high and one which is 4cm wide x 8cm high. Then draw the pitch of the roof for each into the centre. Cut out each template with scissors.
3 x 340g packets classic sultana cake mix
3 cage-free eggs
2 cups water
180g softened butter
200g packet glace cherries, halved
2 tablespoons plain flour
For the Gingerbread Houses:
415g packet gingerbread mix
1 tablespoon water
1 cage-free egg
35g melted unsalted butter
For the Royal Icing:
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
6 2/3 sifted pure icing sugar
Preheat oven to 140C (120C fan forced). Line a 20cm round cake pan with a double layer of baking paper, extending the baking paper 5cm up the sides of the pan to make a collar. Place cake mix, egg, water and softened butter into a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until ingredients are just combined. Do not overmix.
Toss cherries in flour and gently fold through the cake batter. Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan and bake for 3 hr or until cake is cooked through. Allow to cool in pan for 20 min then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Gingerbread Houses.
Make gingerbread packet mix according to packet directions with the water (a little extra if needed), egg and butter. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 4mm thick. Using the templates you have made, take the 6cm wide house template, cut out six house shapes from the prepared dough using a small sharp knife or pizza cutter and transfer to the baking tray, leaving a 2cm gap between each one.
Using the 4cm wide house template, cut out six house shapes from the remaining dough. Transfer to the prepared baking tray with other dough shapes. Re-roll leftover dough and using an 8-10cm cutter, cut out three gingerbread men. Transfer to baking tray. Bake biscuits in an 180C (160C fan forced) oven for 15 min. Remove and let cool for 5 min then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Royal Icing.
Whisk egg white and lemon juice, add in icing sugar (1 cup at a time) beating well until thick and smooth. Remove about ½ cup icing and thin with lemon juice if needed for piping.
Transfer the thinned portion of the Royal Icing to a piping bag and use to decorate the gingerbread house and gingerbread men cutouts as desired. Set aside until icing has set.
Place the cooled cake onto a serving plate or cake stand. Use remaining Royal Icing to cover the top and sides and sides of the cake. Swirling the rest of the icing onto the top of the cake.
Place gingerbread houses around the sides of the cake and then gingerbread on the top of the cake. Allow to set and then dust with icing sugar.