Christmas isn’t Christmas without a Gingerbread House.
Making gingerbread houses is the perfect pre-Christmas activity to do with the kids (or alone if you’re a perfectionist)
As you know, I am a BIG fan of all things Christmas and a Christmas gingerbread house is on my list of things to make each year.
I am really fussy about how I like my gingerbread (quite gingery) I found the Mima Sinclair recipe to be the perfect balance.
Some years, if I’m particularly well prepared, I make both a big house and smaller houses to gift to others.
The smaller houses are cute and can sit on your coffee cup too whilst watching a Christmas film.
This is the recipe I now use for my gingerbread houses, it makes two large houses and a few biscuits or around 20 small houses – the templates for the houses can be found at the bottom.
Gingerbread House Ingredients
200g unsalted butter
200g dark brown sugar
60g golden syrup
The zest of 1/2 an orange
4 rounded tsp ground ginger
2 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
A level tsp bicarbonate soda
500g plain flour
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
Royal Icing Sugar for decoration
Gingerbread House Method
Put the treacle and syrup into a large saucepan with the sugar, butter, zest and spices. Melt it all together over a low/medium heat, stirring until the sugar has all dissolved.
Increase the heat and bring the mixture to boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the bicarbonate soda. It’ll all fizz up, panic not (just watch your hands), mix until it’s all combined then leave to cool for about 15 minutes.
Sift the flour and salt, fold it into the mixture in small batches. You can use a wooden spoon unless you have one of those big fancy mixers. I don’t. Once the flour is folded in, beat in the egg until just combined. Do not overwork the mixture.
Scrape the mixture onto a clean surface and knead until smooth. The dough is really sticky but don’t add more flour – it’s meant to be like this. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 160°C/140°C fan assisted/Gas mark 3. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper or silicone tray liners. Use the printable templates to create card versions. I have included templates for small houses and big houses.
Roll the dough onto greaseproof paper to a depth of 5mm. Use the templates and a sharp knife (I use a small craft knife) to cut out the pieces to create a house. Place on a lined baking tray and repeat until you run out of tray.
Place the tray into the fridge or freezer for few mins and then pop them in the in the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Use the your sharp knife to carefully straighten any edges that may have spread whilst baking. For smaller houses, make sure the doors are wide enough or they won’t fit on your mug. Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the tray and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
How To Build Your Gingerbread House
Make up the Royal Icing as per the instructions on the box. It needs to make soft peaks in the bowl. You could make your own but I’m not the person to ask about how to do that! Put some of the icing into an icing bag with a small nozzle. Pipe icing along the side edges of the wall pieces and stick them to the end wall pieces. Pipe a little extra icing on the joins INSIDE the house for support.
Ice along the top edges of the end wall pieces, where the roof will sit. Stick the roof pieces in place and hold for maybe a minute while it sets. On small houses, stick the chimney on.
Use the remaining icing to decorate. If your roof doesn’t quite meet at the top, use icing to disguise it as ‘snow-lined’, icing along the roof edges can look like icicles.
I sometimes use smarties for the roof and jelly sweets for windows – stick whatever you want on it!
Leave to set for a couple of hours before moving them.
Note – if you have made gingerbread biscuits too, they are lovely dipped in milk or dark chocolate.
Gingerbread House Templates
Just click the button and download your Gingerbread House templates here.