Ann Reardon

Easy Gingerbread House Tutorial

 

If you’ve never made a gingerbread house before then this is a good one to start with. There are lots of more complex gingerbread house templates on this site that you can challenge yourself with later. There are a few tips for making gingerbread houses that you should know:

1. If the walls or roof are not firm when cooled, put them back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Soft walls will collapse when you try and build with them.

2. Take a break, it is best to build the walls – let that set. Add the roof – let that set. Then finally it’s time to decorate. Adding the weight of lollies and more icing before the walls and roof are firmly in place may end up in the house collapsing.

3. Choose a colour theme for your candy of 2-3 colours (eg: pink, red, white), it will make your house look more cohesive and classy.

4. If you want lights put them in when you build the walls so the cord can go underneath the walls.

5. When decorating with kids a bowl of lollies each for eating and a separate bowl for decorating can help limit the amount that gets consumed.

6. Have fun, it doesn’t have to look perfect

7. Once you’re done and the icing has set wrap in cellophane and your house will keep for a month.

Easy Ginger Bread House Template

 

Gingerbread dough recipe

Make 1 1/2 batches of this recipe. Note my bowl is 4.8L (1.27 gallons) (1.27 gallons (4.81 litres)) and one batch fills it so unless you have a bigger bowl you will need to make it in batches.
430g (15.17 ounces) or 2 cups butter, roughly chopped
430g (15.17 ounces) or 2 cups caster (super fine) sugar
250g (8.82 ounces) or 2/3 cup glucose syrup
260g (9.17 ounces) or 3/4 cup molasses
180 mL (6.09 fluid ounces) or 2/3 cup milk (4%)
1195g (42.15 ounces) or 7 1/2 cups plain flour
12g (0.42 ounces) or 2 tsp bicarb soda
20g (0.71 ounces) or 3 Tbsp cinnamon (optional, you can adjust the quantity of all spices to make it taste how you want)
12g (0.42 ounces) or 2 Tbsp ground cloves (optional)
18g (0.63 ounces) or 3 Tbsp ground ginger (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit).

Put the butter, sugar and syrups into a bowl and microwave until the butter is melted. Add the milk and all the dry ingredients. Stir until you can not see any more flour. The mixture should be soft. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.

Repeat and make another 1/2 batch so you have 1 1/2 batches in total.

Roll out the dough on non-stick baking paper. Sprinkle the dough with flour to stop it sticking to the rolling pin. Cut out all your template pieces, paying attention to the ones that say cut 2. After cutting around the template pieces leave a border of dough around each piece, see the video for example. Remove the paper template pieces and extra dough.

Slide onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven and re-do all the cuts making sure they are straight and all the way through the dough, remove any windows at this stage and return to the oven for 15 minutes more.

For the roof place over something that is rounded to the same shape as the curve on the wall and bake for 10 minutes, remove the extra border and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Assembly & Decoration

Lollies of your choice, I used curlywurly’s, Kool fruits, Kool mints, jelly belly jelly beans, Malteser’s, swirl candies, candy canes, sour straps, thick candy canes for the corners.

A base board to put the house on

300g (10.58 ounces) compound milk chocolate, plus additional 300g (10.58 ounces) white chocolate if you want / need to cover the roof like I did in the video.

Royal icing

how to make royal icing for gingerbread houses
Make 2 batches of below, one for assembly and one for decorating.
Royal Icing Recipe (with fresh egg)
3 egg whites
450g (15.87 ounces) (15.87 ounces (449.91 grams)) or 3 1/2 cup plus 1Tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (or a teaspoon of lemon juice)
Whip all ingredients together on high speed until white and thick enough to hold its shape.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I have been busy over the last year planning, writing and overseeing the photography and layout for my first ever cookbook! There are heaps of my favourite dessert recipes in there with a chapter on pastries, ice-cream, yummy cakes, artistic desserts and of course chocolate desserts. Each chapter has its own intro explaining the food science that you'll need to know for success every time. Booksellers where you can pre-order your very own copy: http://bit.ly/ARcookbook


All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

19 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann

    Your 2017 recipe is great! I made this with my big sister (I’m on the right in the picture and my sister Emily is on the left) in New Zealand and shared it with my cousins. I love watching your show.

  2. Rating: 5

    This recipe is awesome, I finally got around to making a gingerbread house for the first time in my life! My mum doesn’t like the faff with decorating so we never made one at home, now it’s gonna be my new favourite Christmas activity 🙂 Thank you Ann!
    I replaced butter with nice tasting margarine (absolutely not shortening), which made the dough a bit softer, but it only mattered when I was making cookies from leftovers – I had to work fast! I also made royal icing with aquafaba, but with all honesty, I think that whipping it made more difference than using aquafaba… It doesn’t set super fast but fast enough if you let it set before putting the roof on. My red coloured icing split after it’s dried but it might have just been the quality of my colourings.

    • Rating: 5

      I’m sorry I meant to give it 5 stars!

    • That looks amazing

  3. Rating: 5

    This recipe was a challenge with only a tabletop oven and a hand mixer, but I love how it turned out in the end! Wish I would have scaled down, though. I forgot that Ann has a whole family to help eat through hers, meanwhile the two of us are going to be eating this plus the leftover dough for ages! XD

  4. Rating: 4.5

    Hello Ann, if I order the templet how long is the shipping? Our x mass is in January 6.
    Thank you

    • It’s a downloadable template that you print yourself!

  5. Rating: 5

    Hi Anne
    My gingerbread house pieces are all cooled and now it’s time to decorate!
    Perfectly baked pieces thanks to your tip about leaving the cutoffs until it’s half baked.
    My house smells of warm and delicious gingerbread.
    Thankyou for another great tutorial

  6. Rating: 5

    This recipe works really well! The gingerbread tastes nice and is very sturdy. I was just surprised how much building material I got from making a single batch of dough and a 2/3 batch of royal icing – this was still enough for three small houses and then some. Thank you very much for this fun project!

  7. Rating: 5

    Hello Ann! Can you color the royal icing, and if so, would you use gel or liquid dye? Or i I need the icing/glue to be fairly dark in color, is it better to just use chocolate?

    Thank you and happy holidays!

    • You can dye it. I usually use gel, but I believe that either work. hope that helps 🙂

  8. Rating: 5

    Just glue it black with royal icing let it sit for about 1 or 2 hours

  9. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, I was planning to make this house for Christmas and I was wondering how many people this will feed. Thanks in advance, I absolutely love your videos!! 🙂

    Also someone said this above, I haven’t tried this yet but I have to rate this recipe in order to post the comment, so if you want to try this don’t take my rating into consideration.

  10. Rating: 5

    How long before Christmas should we make it?
    And how long is it ok to eat?

  11. Rating: 3

    It went smoothly until i tried to put the roof on…it broke and i’d already spent 6 hours making it so i gotta figure out a way to save it somehow. definitely make sure you don’t make the roofs too thick and get the right curve factor…

  12. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann !!
    I really like your videos and I’m making the gingerbread house right now (my dough is already in the fridge)
    I was just wondering whether it’s safe to put a dry kitchen towel in the oven for the curved roof ? I’m a little worried about that.
    Thank you for all your videos and recipes !
    Luana

  13. Rating: 4.5

    Can we use this recipe for gingerbread cookies?

  14. Rating: 5

    What’s the reason your recipe doesn’t need eggs, but most recipes have eggs in them?

    PS The site is asking me to rate your recipe, but I haven’t actually tried it yet, so people looking for reviews, don’t take mine into account.

    • I think it might be because the recipe needs to be sturdy for making a gingerbread house instead of soft or chewy like other gingerbread recipes. The eggs will probably give it a cakey texture instead of a harder and more sturdy texture. I’ve made the recipe and the gingerbread was really sturdy and hard but very good and nice for making a house! My house hasn’t fallen down yet! (This is just my opinion but I hope that it helps!)

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