Wendy’s festive gingerbread house

This recipe makes enough for at least five small gingerbread houses, plus lots left over for festive shapes . Before you start baking, make sure you have:
One batch makes this much gingerbread

- a very large bowl
- a decent rolling pin
- a piping bag/cylinder and nozzles
- baking paper
- sweets (jelly tots, Smarties, licquorice etc.)
- extra icing sugar, in case you run out
- cardboard for the templates (see below)

Gingerbread

500 grams butter
750 grams (2 cups) golden syrup/treacle
500 grams (2 cups) sugar
2 eggs
4 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons bi-carb soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ginger
1.25 kilograms (10 cups) plain flour

Icing

2 egg whites
800 grams (about 4.5 cups) pure icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Method

Place butter, treacle & sugar in a heavy-based pan and stir slowly over a low heat until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Cool for at least 10 minutes, then transfer the mix to a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together.

In another separate bowl, whisk the eggs and vinegar until just combined. Add this mix to the cooled butter mix and beat well with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Add all the sifted dry ingredients gradually to the butter mix. The gingerbread should now be thick enough to form a soft ball. Leave mix in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight, before rolling. The cooler the mix is, the softer the gingerbread will bake. For crispy gingerbread, roll straight away.

On a well-floured surface, take a chunk of gingerbread and roll it into a ball. If a little soft, knead the gingerbread with extra flour until it’s thick enough to roll. Roll the gingerbread to a thickness of approximately 1/2 centimetre. Take your cardboard templates (see measurements below) and use a non-serrated knife to cut around the templates. If the surface isn’t well floured, the gingerbread may stick, causing stretched shapes.

Place the shapes onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and cook in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celsius) for approximately 12-15 minutes. Check during cooking because if the oven heat isn’t even, the shapes will burn.

Once baked, remove from oven and leave the gingerbread on the tray for five minutes. Take the pieces off the tray and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully before icing.

Icing method

Beat the egg whites until combined. Add the sifted icing sugar until the mix is quite firm. Add the lemon juice (this will give the icing a slight shine).

Download this image to print out and use

House Template

Cut your own using the following measurements:
Roof: 10cm x 11.5cm
Sides: 9.5cm x 5cm
Front & back: 10cm x 4.5cm x 9.5cm (the diagonal)
Chimney pieces: 1.5cm x 5cm, 1.5cm x 3cm, then two more with a diagonal cut (see diagram)

…0r just download the PDF version here or JPG version shown here. UPDATE: This template gets downloaded thousands of times per year, but nobody has ever let me know how the recipe/template worked for them. Please do leave a message below!

House Construction

Cover a large plate with foil. Spoon a small amount of icing onto the plate in the shape of the gingerbread house foundations (a rectangle). Using a piping bag, pipe some icing on the short ends of the two house sides (the small, rectangular pieces). Place the un-piped sides on the plate, parallel to each other but far enough apart for the house front and back edges to rest on the piped sides. You should now have a rectangle base for the roof to attach to. Give the structure a few minutes to “glue” together. You can add the door to the front of the house and start working on the chimney (fiddly) while you’re waiting.

Pipe down the edges of the front and back sections from the top tip to where they meet the sides. Take each roof panel and place on each side – simultaneously if possible – so that they meet at the top.

Decorate with sweets and icing. Allow a few hours for the icing to harden before wrapping in cellephane or covering.

House construction - chimney in two separate parts Stick icing on bottom of chimney Attach chimney once rest of house is set Decorate with sweets Enjoy, or wrap up to resist tucking in

About

I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

Posted in Recipes
10 comments on “Wendy’s festive gingerbread house
  1. Angelica says:

    Thanks!!! for sharing n_n.

  2. adelle says:

    I used this template last year and I’ll be using it again this year.
    Although I think I will make it a little smaller this year…
    We never actually EAT all the gingerbread!

    Here’s a link to some pictures and some tips!

    http://www.adelle.com.au/how-to-make-a-gingerbread-house

    Anyhoo.. thanks for a great template!

  3. Taryn says:

    I’m excited to try this with my boys and their friends this year. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  4. Catnip says:

    We used your template to make gluten free vegan gingerbread houses. I’ll try to upload a photo to my blog soon.

  5. Freckles says:

    Thanks for the recipe and template.

    The recipe makes a lot of dough, far more than I needed for the 5 houses using the template, though that is not a complaint since it’s easily freezable to use later. The gingerbread biscuit is a nice hard crunchy one, excellent for gingerbread house making.

    The templates and instructions were excellent. I didn’t use the chimneys because I thought they’d be too fiddly.

    Everyone enjoyed the assembling and decorating.

  6. Wendy says:

    Ah, the biscuit will be crunchy if you don’t refrigerate the mix before cooking. The butter temperature doesn’t cool down which means it gets really hot in the oven, causing more liquid loss. For a chewier/softer biscuit, refrigerate over night!

    I’m pleased everyone has enjoyed this so far. Very keen to see the gluten-free vegan version!

  7. Elise says:

    Used the template first time this year…already had recipe and dough made…works really well, though my son commented he thought it should be bigger, so will have to up the size for the next one :)

    As I can see comments & feedback, can you perhaps delete your note on the template about same and perhaps leave this website as the place to submit feedback….would think it useful and time saving…

  8. mrsmouthy says:

    I’ve used your template for several years in a row–it fits together perfect and is such a cute design. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  9. Hi Wendy,
    I downloaded your gingerbread house pattern and used it this year, I wanted a classic pattern with a chimney. Thank you for providing one; it was perfect. It was my first gingerbread house made in years and I really enjoyed it. Also it was my first gingerbread made on my own as an adult, so…I made it with totem poles, a pond, and ninjas! Here is my blog address http://thealinnemeier.wordpress.com
    I’ve posted pictures of the house so you can finally see one of the houses you made possible : )
    Thanks again,
    Thea

  10. I used your template to make Gingerbread Houses for my art class here in Chuncheon, Korea. The kids absolutely loved it, and I had a fun time preparing the houses for them and helping them to decorate. I used a different recipe for the dough, since some of your ingredients are a bit hard to find here, but your template was the absolute best that I could find. Thanks so much!

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