How To Make a Royal Icing Gazebo

The instructions for the gazebo shown in the previous post came from the book The Art of Royal Icing by Eddie Spence MBE.  So as not to infringe on his copyright, I can show you how I made it but I cannot provide the templates for the design.  If you really want to try this gazebo at some point, you will have to have purchase Eddie Spence’s book.  His instructions for making this are very thorough and easy to follow.  The only difference is some of the British terminology, i.e. run-out icing for flood icing.  This gazebo is actually a cake topper but as Ron and I are not big cake eaters, I decided that making the gazebo without a cake for it to sit on would be just fine.

The following lists the equipment used in this project:

piping bag

1.5 PME tip (2)


coupler fastener

small decorating bottle

tip coupler and ring for decorating bottle

1/4 metre of pink tulle (more than enough)


small piece of corrugated cardboard cut into a 7″ hexagon

Crisco shortening

cellophane (basket wrap quality)

one batch of royal icing

printed copies of gazebo templates

First order of business was to print off two copies of the six templates necessary to make this gazebo (found on page 296 of the book).  I then cut out each of the templates.  I also cut out pieces of pink tulle the same size as the side panels, doors and roof sections.  These sections measured as follows:

Side Panels ~ 2″ wide x 3 7/8″ long (5 panels required)

Door Panels ~ 1″ wide x 3 7/8″ long (2 panels required)

Roof Panels ~ 2″ wide at base of triangle x 3″ high (six panels required)

I also cut out the templates for the solid base which the gazebo would sit on, smaller bases to position the cookie heart on, as well as the curved fillet template for the roof adornment.  These pieces measured as follows:

Curved Fillets ~ 2″ wide x 3/4″ high at the center point.  (I did not use the pink tulle for the fillet pieces)

Large Solid Hexagon Base ~ 7″ from each point

Medium Solid Hexagon Base ~ 5″ from each point

Small Solid Hexagon Bases ~ 1 1/4″ from each point and 1″ from each point

As my royal icing was mixing, I followed Eddie Spence’s instruction to use pieces of cellophane lightly coated with white vegetable fat (Crisco).  These would be used to place over the templates.   Then, I cut sections of pink tulle to match the shape and size of the templates.  The tulle would be placed on top of the greased cellophane and then the outlines of the templates would be piped right on to the tulle.  Normally, I have always piped on to waxed paper when creating structures with royal icing and I have to tell you, the greased cellophane works so much better!

Once my icing was mixed to a stiff consistency, I half filled my piping bag with it.  The first thing I piped was a dotted border for the large hexagon base which was cut from corrugated cardboard and covered in foil.  When the border dried, I flooded it with flood icing and set it aside to dry completely.

Next the medium base was piped and flooded along with the smaller two bases that would hold the cookie heart inside the centre of the gazebo.  The roof fillets were also done at this time and set aside to dry.

I next piped the templates for roof.  The template was place under the greased cellophane, then the matching piece of pink tulle was placed on top and with stiff piping icing, all the roof pieces were piped.  This is a three-step process. The border of roof section is piped first, when dry it is flooded and when the flood icing is dry, the filigree work is piped in.  The piping was done using a 1.5 tip. The flooding was done using a small decorating bottle filled with flood icing and fitted with a 1.5 tip.

In his book, Eddie Spence uses white tulle while I went with pink.  Any excess tulle can be trimmed with scissors once your templates have dried.  Basically the tulle, while giving the gazebo an even more delicate look, also helps to support the scroll work.

Following the roof pieces, the sides and the doors of the gazebo were completed using the same three-step process as the roof pieces.

Whenever I make structures with royal icing I always make extra pieces.  You never know when you might accidentally smudge one or two of your scroll works :)

With all the pieces piped and flooded, they were left to dry completely overnight.  Once you have everything set to go, making all the required pieces does not take a lot of time actually and everything here was completed in an afternoon.

Next day, peel all your sections away from the cellophane and arrange in the order you are going to piece them together.  To attach all the roof pieces I used a piece of styrofoam with the template of the roof drawn on it.  In the centre of the template I made a hole and inserted three wooden skewers for the tip of each roof section to rest against.  A piece of greased cellophane was put in place and one at a time, a roof piece was positioned on a piped line of royal icing.  As each additional roof piece was added, a line of piping was attached to the side of the roof piece as well as on the base of the roof piece.

Once you have assembled all the roof pieces together, run beads of icing down each side of the sections and two beads of varying sizes on the very top (after removing the supporting sticks of course).

Now it’s time to assemble the sides of the gazebo.  You will be placing the sides on the medium dried hexagon piece (5″).  Run a line of royal icing the length of one side along the inside edge of the hexagon and attach a side.  Support it in place until it has dried and then run a strip of piping icing down one side of the section and along the bottom where you will attach the next side of the gazebo.  When the second side is in place, run a row of beaded icing along the inside edge down the length of the side.

Repeat this process until you have all the sides attached.  You will not be able to run the interior bead of icing along the final two sections however.  Don’t worry about this.  Once all sides are in place, attach the doors of the gazebo.  Then run beads of icing along all the length of the exterior of all the side panels.

Next it’s time to insert the heart cookie into the center of the gazebo.  Using a small dot of royal icing, attach the two small hexagon pieces together (1 1/4″ and 1″ ) larger piece on the bottom.  Then apply a large dot of royal icing on the top of the smaller hexagon and place the cookie in the middle.  Hold or support in place until dry.  Position the cookie in the center of the gazebo.  When your heart cookie has been positioned, pipe a strip of royal icing all along the top of the gazebo side panels.

Now, place your roof section on top.  Once the roof has dried to the panels, attach each roof fillet by applying a line of piping icing at the base of each roof section and position each roof fillet in place, one section at a time.

To finish the roof, apply a row of beaded royal icing all around the exterior base of the roof.  Position the finished gazebo on the large (7″) hexagon.  You can firmly attach it with a few drops of royal icing should you so chose.  If this is to be used as a cake topper then the gazebo must be removed from the cake before cutting and because of the tulle, it is of course, not edible :)

Oops…I just realized that I forget to add that I was linking this up to Cheryl’s I’m Lovin’ It Friday’s party.  If you have a chance, be sure to go and check out all the wonderful ideas from crafting to cooking on her site.

Leave a Reply

  1. O. M. G.! My eyes are glazing over…there’s so much detail!!!!!

    I could never, EVER, in a gazillion years have the patience or the steady hands to do such a beautiful and clean job as this.

    Paula, you did Eddie Spence proud!

  2. You must have the hands of a surgeon! If I attempted this I would have to make 200 pieces of each because I would break them! I am in awe of this project!! Thank you for the step by step tutorial!


  3. The most amazing piece of edible art! Can’t believe you made this, I wouldn’t even know where to begin………. well follow your instructions of course. You have such talent Paula. Someday I would like to tackle a piece like this but it’s bake to kitchen to practice :)

  4. Oh, my! How utterly gorgeous is that?!?!? I cannot believe the detail…the time and effort that goes into a project like that! If you lived near me, I would have begged you do my daughter’s wedding cake!!!

  5. Wow! You are amazing! I saw this on Tidy Mom’s linky party and thought it was plastic I can’t believe you made it with frosting! I am in awe of your talent! Thank you for sharing! :)

  6. Paula, this gazebo is just STUNNING! I swear, you are going to become known as the “royal icing building baker” one day, and soon! I hope you save that in a very safe place – you may have a bride come asking for such a lovely topper, and I can’t imagine the hours involved to make another one! I’m just so blown away!

  7. OH COME ON!a Are you serious!? That is INCREDIBLE work, Paula!

    You know what a sucker I am for your work and how I love to duplicate what I see. But NOT this time… Not even going to try… I’m just going to admire from afar and sulk over my inability to recreate your masterpiece! xxoo :)

  8. I would never even dream of attempting so beautiful – you have an amazing talent. I could have swore that was a doll’s gazebo and given it to my cousin to play with – you are absolutely brilliant :)
    110000 etc./10 :D
    A fantastic blog!!!

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Paula that is amaZing!
    I totally want to live in that magical gazebo!
    How on earth do you create something that lovely!
    That is sugar magic!
    Hugs from Bainbridge my friend!

  10. Paula!!! I’m flat out in awe! I have never seen anything even half this intricate and delicate! I’m positive I would have broken in it every five seconds! The final result is just a work of art!!! I think I’m going to have to get that book!

  11. Okay so it’s almost 3am and I’m reading this post and just saying, no, no, it’s not possible. Seriously? Wow Paula! You are so amazing and so ambitious! I would go running, screaming, pulling out all my hair before I would attempt a project like this! You are so amazing! Your gazebo is beyond gorgeous! I’m in awe of you, seriously! Wow. Awesome job!

  12. You need to focus in on your flooding. you’ve gone over the edges quite a bit. I also think that your piping icing was rather slack. Eddie makes his up to off peak and you need to make sure that it holds its own