Making a gingerbread house is a fun baking recipe to make with the kids.
Let your creative side run wild and decorate the house with your own personalised design skills!
How To Make A Gingerbread House
The dough for making a gingerbread house is similar to gingerbread men, you will just be following a few extra steps to turn it into a house!
What You Need
Gingerbread House Template – download here.
Bicarbonate of soda
Ground ginger and mixed spice
Unsalted butter – diced and softened
Soft dark brown sugar
Royal icing sugar (you can make your own if you only have icing sugar)
Decorations for gingerbread house
Making The Gingerbread Dough
Heat up the golden syrup on a gentle heat until it turns to liquid. Leave it to cool.
In a large mixing bowl sift in the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix, and add in the butter, and rub it in to the flour mixture until fine breadcrumbs form before adding in the sugar.
Once the golden syrup is cool, but still runny, beat in the egg.
Make a well in the flour and sugar mix and pour in the egg/syrup mix. Combine together until a dough has formed.
Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough on it until smooth, it shouldn’t require much kneading.
Flour the dough, and using a rolling pin, roll it out to a thickness of about 5mm (1/4 inch) thick.
Cutting Out The Dough – Gingerbread Template
Download and print out the gingerbread template.
You will need to cut out the following pieces;
4 x walls
2 roof sides
There will be a bit of excess dough, depending on the thickness and the exact dimensions used, but any spare can be used to make some more decorations eg. gingerbread men, but I opted to make some trees.
Lay the paper cut-outs on top of the dough and cut out the dough, making sure there is enough flour to stop it from sticking. I used a pizza cutter, as I found it helped get straighter cuts, but a knife will work just fine.
Cooking The Dough
Carefully lay out the dough pieces on baking trays and cook in a preheated oven (180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4) for 10-12 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Leave them to cool on a wire rack before assembling the house.
Making the royal icing:
The royal icing will be our “cement”, and dries very hard, allowing the house to not collapse.
Start by whipping the 2 egg whites with an electric mixer until they are stiff.
Sift in the 400g icing sugar, a little at a time, mixing with a spoon after each addition.
Once all the sugar has been added, mix again with the electric mixer for about a minute, by when the icing should be light, white and thick.
Assembling The Gingerbread House
To hold the gingerbread house together you will need to use some icing. Royal icing is used and can either be made up from Royal icing powder (bought in a bag from the supermarket), or, if it isn’t available you can make your own using icing sugar and egg whites (see the recipe card for details).
With all of the pieces, make sure to have the pretty side (the side that was facing upwards when cooking) facing outwards. The icing needs to be piped onto the back of the pieces. Assemble the house on its final presentation board, as it is not moveable as it is very fragile until it is set.
Start by piping some royal icing around the edge of one of the pointy side walls, and attach the rectangular side wall.
Add the other rectangular side wall on the other side.
Again pipe around the edges of the other pointy end wall, and attach it to the ends of the side walls.
Pipe more icing around the tops of the walls, and gently place the roof pieces on top. You may need to hold them in place for a little bit if they start moving.
Leave the house to stand for 5 minutes. Pipe more icing around the seams and around the base to strengthen the house.
Decorate as you please. I added some icing decorations on the roof and walls, and also used the icing to make my trees stand up.
To do the rest of the decorations on the house, I put the rest of my icing in the piping bag and left it in the fridge until the icing on the house had set, that way I knew I wasn’t going to break the house decorating it.
Decorating The Gingerbread House
Once the gingerbread house is assembled and the icing is dry it’s time to get decorating! You can use any type of sweets and baking decorations that you want to to decorate. I used some strawberry laces and chocolate buttons, held in place with some more royal icing.
How Long Does A Gingerbread House Last?
The gingerbread house will last as long as the gingerbread will, as the icing lasts for a very long time. It will last for 2-3 days, however the gingerbread may be a little soft by then. Covering with a cake cover or a deep bowl can prolong its life.
Gingerbread House Dough
- 150g golden syrup
- 700g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3tbsp ground ginger
- 250g unsalted butter, softened and diced
- 200g soft dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 400g icing sugar
- 2 egg whites
Making the Dough
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.
- Heat the golden syrup in a saucepan on a low heat until it liquefies. Leave it to cool.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger.
- Add in the butter and rub it together using your fingertips until fine breadcrumbs form.
- Mix in the sugar.
- Beat the egg into the cooled syrup.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the egg/syrup mixture.
- Gently combine it to form a rough dough.
- Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth - this shouldn't take long.
- Lightly flour the dough and roll out to a thickness of about 5mm.
Cutting The Dough
- Using the downloaded template, or, a ruler to measure out the dimensions (check the notes), cut out the following pieces: 4 x walls, 2 x roof, 4 x chimney
- Transfer the pieces to a lined baking tray and cook in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown.
- Transfer to a wire rack to completely cool down.
Assembling The House
- Make the Royal icing by whipping the egg whites with an electric whisk until stiff and white.
- Sift in the icing sugar a bit at a time, stirring to incorporate it after each addition.
- Whisk again with the electric mixer for about a minute, the icing should be very thick and very white.
- Transfer to a piping bag ready to assemble the house.
- Pipe around the edges of the end pointy walls (an outline on the back of the piece).
- Attach the side walls to one end wall.
- Add the other end wall to the ends of the side walls.
- Pipe icing on the tops of the walls, and gently place the roof pieces on top.
- Leave to set, saving any spare icing to decorate with later (you can store it in a piping bag in the fridge, make sure the end is closed).
Decorating The House
- Decorate with the icing by adding wavy patterns on the roof and details like a door and windows on the walls.
- Use the royal icing to make any other separate decorations stand up on the board (I did trees). If they keep falling over, prop them up with cocktail sticks until the icing is dry.