Our mosque is for those in the mood for hot nights, cool winds and a desert camel safari. The cakey gingerbread domes contrasts nicely with the crunch of the mosque walls.
- 120 g (¾ cup) plain flour
- 50 g (⅓ cup) self-raising flour
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 1½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100 g (½ cup) brown sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 90 ml light olive oil
- 90 ml milk
- 125 ml (½ cup) golden syrup
- 250 g unsalted butter, softened
- 200 g(1 cup) brown sugar
- 250 ml (1 cup) golden syrup
- 2 egg yolks
- 750 g (5 cups) plain flour, sifted
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 eggwhites
- 450 g (3 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Download the gingerbread mosque template here.
Chilling time 45 minutes
Resting time 2 hours (for icing to set)
We used semi-sphere cake tins to make the mosque domes. You can also use small round ovenproof cups or jelly moulds. The cake mixture will make more than the 3 dome tops needed for the mosque (see Note).
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 1 x 10 cm semi-sphere cake tin and 2 x 6.5 cm semi-sphere cake tins.
Sift flours, mixed spice, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a medium mixing bowl. Stir in brown sugar.
Combine egg, oil and milk in a separate bowl. Add to dry ingredients with golden syrup. Stir until just combined.
Divide evenly among prepared cake tins. Bake for 12-20 minutes, depending on size or until a skewer inserted into the centre of cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven.
Allow to cool in tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool. Set aside.
Cut out mosque template (image 1).
Place butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until light and creamy, about 6–8 minutes.
Add golden syrup, egg yolks, flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda and beat until mixture forms a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead to a smooth dough. Divide dough into 4, flatten each into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Working in batches, roll dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to 5 mm thickness. Transfer dough and paper to a tray and freeze for 15 minutes.
Remove from freezer and slide the dough with the paper onto a workbench. Peel off the top sheet of baking paper. Place templates onto dough and cut around using a sharp knife. You will need to cut a door arch in 2 of the small walls and 1 of the large walls of the mosque (image 2). Do not peel away the dough trimmings at this stage.
Return to freezer for 15 minutes or until dough is firm.
Remove from freezer, remove the dough trimmings from edges, reserve and wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
Place cut gingerbread pieces onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, allowing a little room for spreading. It's best to place similar-sized pieces of dough onto the same tray as these will bake at about the same time. You will probably need to bake in batches, depending on the size of your oven. Refrigerate the other batches until ready to bake.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. (Smaller pieces of dough will take less cooking time.) Allow to cool completely on trays.
Repeat with remaining dough, combining with the reserved trimmings, until you have 15 pieces in total (6 small walls, 4 large walls, 1 large roof, 2 small roofs, 1 small arch door and 1 large arch door).
To decorate and assemble the mosque
To make the royal icing, place eggwhites into a medium mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until foamy. Gradually beat in icing sugar until you have a very stiff paste.
To decorate, spoon some icing into a small piping bag fitted with a 2 mm plain nozzle. Cover remaining icing with plastic wrap. Decorate cakes and walls with icing. Allow icing decorations to harden and set for at least 30 minutes before assembling the mosque (image 3).
Spoon remaining icing into a large piping bag fitted with a 7 mm star pipe to use for assembling the mosque.
To assemble the mosque, think of the icing as glue or "mortar" (i.e. use plenty). Start with the centre tall section of the mosque. Pipe plenty of icing around the edges of a wall piece, then fix to a chopping board or cake board. Use cans or whatever you have in your pantry to secure the wall upright. Do the same with the next adjoining wall until you have built the 4 walls of the centre section (with the wall with the arch at front). Allow to set for 1 hour or until icing is hard (image 4).
Next build the 3 smaller walls on either side (arch walls at the front again). Allow icing to set for 1 hour or more before attaching the roof sections, again using plenty of icing.
Place the dome cakes on top (image 5).
We decorated the scene with plastic palm trees, a plastic camel and tonnes of raw sugar.
• Bake the leftover cake mix in muffin tins (or whatever cake tins you like) - you'll have about 6-8 muffins (depending on your muffin tin size). The leftover muffins can also be frozen for up to 1 month.