Making Gingerbread houses weeks leading to Christmas is one of those festive activities that my children and I look forward to every year. Although building these gingerbread houses has become a tradition, meaning it is done every year around Christmas, it has become more exciting as my kids get older.
In previous years, we built one gingerbread house and that was it. This year though, we decided to do a gingerbread house challenge where each of us built our own gingerbread house. Am not going to lie, it was harder and messier than I thought but we had soo much fun and to me, nothing is more beautiful than spending my time doing these fun activities that cost almost nothing with my children while they are still young .
Making these little houses is very easy. First you will have to make the dough, which am going to help you with. Then you can choose to do free stye where you just cut the blocks (shapes) for your house by eye balling and cutting or you use a ruler. This year, I discovered this amazing 3D House & Christmas Scenario Cookies Cutter Set that made the cutting of the shapes for the house much easier than previous years. It took the eye balling and guessing away, which in the end made building the house very easy.
So without rumbling too much, let’s go through the steps to building a fun gingerbread house, stating with the dough;
For the Dough
150 g Honey
100 g Sugar Beet Syrup ( or molasses )
150 g Butter
200 g Brown Sugar
150 g Ground Hazelnut ( or almond nut )
450 g All-purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
2-3 teaspoons gingerbread spice
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
1 Medium size Egg
For Suger Frosting
300 g Powdered Sugar / Confectioner’s Sugar
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Egg White
Candies and Nuts to decorate
Step one: In a small pot, combine honey, sugar beet syrup, butter and brown sugar. Put the pot on a medium heat, while stirring frequently, heat it on the heat until all the sugar is melted then set aside to cool completely.
Step two: In a big enough bowl, combine all-purpose flour, hazelnut, gingerbread spice, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt.
Step three: Create a well in the centre and pour the honey mixture that has cooled in it. Add the egg and with a wooden spoon or a spatula, stir to combine. Now using clean hands, knead the dough until it it is smooth and comes together. It will be a bit sticky so bare that in mind.
Step four: Divide the dough into 2 and wrap each in a plastic wrap then refrigerate for 8 hours. I personally refrigerate overnight.
Cutting shapes and Baking :
Step five: Pre-heat your oven to 190°C (374°F) Using Top and Bottom heat.
Step six: Take dough out of refrigerator, dust a clean surface with a bit of flour and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to your preferred thickness. I will suggest between 1/2 -1 cm thick. If you are using the 3D house cookie cutters then it’s easy. Just cut the front and back of the house, cut out the entrance, cut the side walls, the roof and the base if you do not have some kind of a card board to sit the house on.
Step seven: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the shapes on it, leaving a little space between them so they do not stick together while baking. Bake between 15-20 minutes. I always take mine out after 15 minutes but because everyones oven is little different, you keep your eye on them while they are baking.
Step eight: Ones done, let them cool completely on a wire rack. If you plan on building the house the same day, then make the glue ( Sugar frosting ). This can be done by whisking the egg white with a wire whisk, hand mixer or stand mixer to soft peaks. Gradually add powder sugar and lemon juice until it is thick, white and fluffy.
Step nine: Start assembling the house. Fill a piping bag with some of the frosting and use it as a glue to hold the walls together. You will have to hold onto walls for a the sugar frosting to firm up a bit before letting go. After this, I let it sit for at least 2 hour before putting the roof so the glue sugar frosting really gets the chance to firm up.
Note; Put a plastic wrap over the top of the remaining sugar frosting to prevent it from drying out while waiting for the house to dry.
Step ten: Ones the walls are strong enough, attach the roofs with more sugar frosting. Now you can go wild with some candies ( gummy bears, smarties or m&ms, nuts, etc. You can also colour a bit of the sugar frosting to decorate the gingerbread house.
My children and myself had a blast building these houses and I hope you and your children experience the same. YOU CAN WATCH THE FULL VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE.
For any questions about this recipe,