Enjoy the festive season by filling your home with the warm and comforting scent of fresh gingerbread! We love the idea of building a gingerbread house for the centrepiece of your table or simply a delicious dessert. Plus if you have some smaller hands around to help, it can be a great activity to bond over. Read our recipe for gingerbread and instructions to build your very own gingerbread house below.
Designing your gingerbread house
First create and cut out pattern pieces. You can use paper or any stiff card however cardboard tends to work best.
You will need:
- 2 x side walls (12 x 20cm)
- 2 x front/back walls. To make, bake x 2 rectangles at 12 x 13cm with a triangle to go on top at 12 x 8 x 8 cm
- 2 x rectangles for the roof (12 x 22cm)
The measurements are just a guideline. Feel free to be creative with the design and size of your house.
The gingerbread recipe:
You will need to bake your gingerbread the day before so that it can harden and set prior to building.
You will need:
- 3 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pure icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 185g butter, chopped
- 1/2 cup golden syrup
- 2 eggs
- Using an electric mixer or food processor combine flours, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- In a small bowl or jug whisk golden syrup and eggs together. Slowly add egg mixture and process until dough just comes together.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth. Cut dough into six portions, two slightly larger than the others and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least four hours or until well chilled.
- Roll dough one portion at a time, about 5mm thick. Using cardboard cut-outs as a guide, cut shapes from dough. Place gingerbread in a single layer on trays lined with baking paper.
Tip: before baking freeze for 15 minutes or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake two trays at a time for 15 minutes or until firm. Cool on trays.
- Trim pieces while warm by laying the pattern pieces over them and use a large, straight chef’s knife to trim off any parts of the pieces that have spread beyond the pattern.
- Leave out overnight to cool and harden.
Making the icing
The best way to avoid gingerbread related disasters is to start with a very strong, quick drying icing. Use the following recipe:
- 3 large egg whites
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 4 3⁄4 cups icing sugar
- In a large clean bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer at medium speed.
- Add icing sugar in small amounts, mixing well on high speed after each addition.
- Beat on high speed until mixture thickens.
- Refrigerate covered until ready to use. You may need to stir icing to soften before use.
Assembling the house
- Put icing into a piping bag. If you don’t have one, place the icing into a zip-lock bag and cut-off a corner.
- Use icing to join walls together by piping a thick line of icing along the end of one of the pieces. Place unopened cans of food to support walls until icing dries.
- If you get a nice, thick consistency there is no need to hold each piece in place for long.
- Repeat with the other edges of the remaining pieces.
- Let set for at least one hour before attempting to add the roof pieces.
- Use icing to attach roof to walls, using cans on the outside to support the roof to prevent it from slipping off walls until icing dries completely.
- Let set for another hour before decorating with icing and lollies.
- This gingerbread house will keep for up to one week.
Do you have any favourite Christmas treats you like to bake? Share your ideas with us over on our Facebook page!