Saturday, December 3, 2011

3rd Day of Christmas // Gingerbread House

While Christmas in New Zealand arrives smack-bang in the middle of summer you can’t escape the cool-weather themed goodies, including a gingerbread house covered in snow!

I personally love gingerbread. I have great memories of making jube-covered gingerbread men at my Grandma’s house over the holidays. 

I drew up this pattern myself (it comes in handy drawing houses for a living sometimes!) which you can find an A3 PDF copy of here. Just print it out, cut out the pieces (laminate them if you want to) and trim out your gingerbread dough! Easy! In this little tutorial I’ll take you through making and baking the gingerbread, putting the house together and decorating it with lollies and royal icing. Yum!! I made my gingerbread house over a couple of days, baking the gingerbread one day and putting it together the next. 

This recipe will well and truely be enough for all you gingerbread house pieces. I made some little gingerbread men with the leftovers and froze some too for another day!

Gingerbread Dough

300g Butter, softened
1/2 C Soft Brown Sugar (packed)
6 T Golden Syrup
2 t Baking Soda
3 t Boiling Water
4 1/2 C Plain Flour
6 t Ground Ginger
1 t Cinnamon
1 t Allspice
Assorted boiled lollies for windows.

Preheat oven to 150°C fan bake. 

1. Beat together butter, sugar and golden syrup.
2. The mixture should be pale and creamy like this.
3. Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon and allspice into bowl.
4. Add baking soda to boiling water and add to mixture. 

5. Mix to a dough. I like using plastic gloves; you could use bare (clean) hands or a spatula.
6. Roll dough out on a floured surface to about 5mm thick.
7. Lay pattern pieces on top of dough and cut out with a butter knife/roller.
8. Place pieces on a lined baking tray using a spatula. Have it close by so none break!

9. Place chosen colour of lollies in a plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin until crushed.
10. Sprinkle lolly dust into cut out window areas. Make sure there are no gaps.
11. Bake in oven for approx 15 minutes, until they begin to colour. Keep an eye on the lolly windows – you don’t want them to bubble up, just melt.
12. Leave for a few minutes on the tray, then gently remove (be careful of windows!) to a cooling rack.

Royal Icing

2 Egg Whites
500g Icing Sugar approx, sifted
Couple of drops of lemon juice

1. Separate egg white into a clean glass bowl.
2. Whisk egg white with a fork to break it up.
3. Add icing sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time, whisk through & add lemon juice.
4. Continue adding icing sugar until you have a fairly stiff royal icing. (It stays on fork when you lift it)

Putting it Together

1. Place the royal icing in a piping bag with a small round tip using a spatula.
2. Stick base of house to a cake board with a smear of royal icing.
3. Run icing along long edge of base and add long walls. Hold for a bit and then lean a glass against them to hold them up.
4. Run icing along short end of base and end of walls. Stick on end walls and repeat bracing in step 3. Fan long walls out slightly so they match up with the slope of the end walls. Run an extra line of icing in inside corner of walls to help stick everything. Leave to dry for 10 minutes or so at this stage.

**To keep icing in piping bag from clogging tip in-between times, wrap it in a damp paper towel. If it does harden, insert a pin up tip to release the icing.

5. Run icing along top of walls.
6. Stick on roof pieces. My glasses happened to be the right height for the roof to lean on and not slide off. Otherwise, hold in place for a minute or so to make sure the roof sticks.
7. Run another line of icing down center of roof in a zig zag to fill in the gap.
8. Run icing down side of door and stick in opening, ajar. Leave to dry at this stage.

9. Pipe a line of icing and begin adding chocolate buttons to the roof like shingles.
10. Cover the whole roof with chocolate buttons. Pipe a wiggly snow line over the top of the roof where the two sections join.  
11. Decorate roof edges with royal icing ‘icicles’         
12. Decorate window sills and door with more royal icing. 

All done!! You could set a battery powered tea light inside your gingerbread house so it glows from the inside. I would suggest wrapping it in clear cellophane if you want to keep it and not devour it immediately!

This would make a gorgeous table-top decoration at Christmas, or you could put the basic house together and then let the kids go wild decorating it with assorted lollies!

Like all of my '12 Days of Christmas' DIY tutorials, there is a PDF version of this blog post here. Simpy click on the link, print out the tutorial and get to work. Easy as that. Feedback appreciated!

Make sure to check out the rest of my 12Days of Christmas posts for more awesome decorating ideas, recipes, and gift ideas!


  1. This is simply beautiful KC and something I have always wanted to do - maybe I should make one as a gift? It's just lovely!

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  3. Reading this made me really really want gingerbread.....yummy!

  4. I just find out about your blog. this is AMAZING!!! Gosh, you are so gifted, Im really impressed!
    => new follower =)

  5. Aww it's lovely! I got a gingerbread house kit for Xmas last year so I'm going to try it out this year :) x

  6. Omg it's just the cutest thing ever!
    You seem like a great cook!
    Check out and follow my blog if you want :)