Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Gingerbread Houses

The last time I made these was with a Year 11 Food Technology class in 2012. The gingerbread house was a special end of year treat and each year I would get the chorus of 'are we making the gingerbread houses or I want to do the houses that you made with year 11 last year' - the school magazine had a lot to answer for. I thought that in retirement I would never make another but I was obviously mistaken.

These cannot be whipped up in a hurry and are not something for the time poor. The gingerbread mixture needs to be made and allowed to stand for several hours or overnight, then the dough needs to rolled out and cut out. The pieces need to be baked and completely cold before assembling the house and then the fun part - the decoration. It also takes quite some time to fully decorate a house, however, simpler decorations will reduce the amount of time needed.

Each house needs a front/back, two walls and two roof pieces. Doors and doorways can be cut out, however for this one I used white chocolate to make the door and window panels.

Note that a few baking mishaps can be corrected with some royal icing.

Royal icing is used to 'glue' the house together. I also smooth a thin layer on the edges of the roof to represent some snow.

I use an assortment of lollies and chocolates to decorate. All of these are attached with a little royal icing, and the finished house is a complete sugar overload. The inside can also be filled with sweets prior to attaching the last roof section.

The roof has freckles as shingles, alternate the sides that show for a more interesting roof. The chimneys are raspberry licorice.

Arrange the smarties in any pattern that you like, I seem to always make a circular wreath for the front and then cover the back and sides with alternating rows of smarties and freckles.

The doors and windows are made from a piece of white chocolate, shaved to reduce the thickness but also to create the illusion of a panelled door.

Spread a thin layer of icing in clumps onto the board to make the snow on the ground. Create a garden with mint leaves pushed onto bullets, trim the bottomof the bullet so that it is Licorice allsorts make good planter pots.

The final step is to sift some icing sugar over the house and garden so that it looks like fresh snow.

If it is to be a gift wrap in cellophane a tie up with a big bow.

The gingerbread can also be baked into smaller and more manageable cookies, then iced and decorated.

 Try cutting out the dough with a Christmas tree cutter or hearts and stars.

Once again the trees can be heavily decorated

or a little less

I also like my cat biscuit cutter.


for gingerbread men, houses, sleighs etc


1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup Golden Syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 egg
5 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda


Heat butter, syrup, sugar and vinegar until dissolved. Stir occasionally.

Remove from heat and allow to stand and cool (approx 10 -20) mins

Add egg and beat with a wooden spoon.

Add remaining dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Allow the dough to cool/chill for a couple of hours. I usually do this overnight and leave it wrapped in clingfilm in a container on the bench.

Roll dough onto Gladbake, approx 6mm thick

Cut out shapes. Leave shapes on Gladbake and reuse dough that has been cut away.

Place Glad bake with shapes on greased trays

Bake 180 C for approx 15 mins

Trim shapes if desired. This needs to be done as soon as the pieces are removed from the oven.

Cool and decorate.

sufficient dough to make 2 houses and some cookies

1 comment:

  1. That gingerbread house has a definite Wow Factor, Kerrie. Is anyone actually going to eat that, or is it just for decoration? Phyllis