Making a gingerbread house is a time honored tradition for many families around Christmastime! I know my daughter gets incredibly excited for “Gingerbread House Making Day” in preschool each year, but we can’t let kids have all the fun! This year, be creative and create a unique custom gingerbread house to resemble your own home! Now, unless you live in a house that closely resembles Hansel & Gretel’s, it may take a little work to get it done. But trust me that the results will be well worth your while! (Of course, you can always borrow a template from these storied professionals!)
Designing Your House
Step 1: Take a photo of the front of your house (and any other sides you’d like to embellish) to have on hand as reference for your creation.
Step 2: Print out your own Chart Paper to use to design the pieces you need to build your house. You’ll want everything to end up as a sturdy box, so it’s easiest to design parallel sides to keep things simple.
Step 3: Cut out your pieces using thicker card stock, and tape your house together to make sure the dimensions all work out.
Step 4: Take apart the structure and use each piece as a template to cut the gingerbread.
Step 5: Bake all of the pieces in the oven. Once cool, decorate the pieces with royal icing. Once the icing is dry, assemble the building by gluing it together with the caramel.
Recipe for the Gingerbread House
- molasses: ¾ cup
- dark brown sugar: 1¼ cups
- unsalted butter: 1 stick (½ cup)
- ground cinnamon: 1 T
- ground ginger: 1 T
- salt: ½ tsp
- milk: 1½ cups
- all-purpose flour: 6½ cups
- baking powder: 1 T
Step 1: In a medium saucepan, combine the molasses, sugar, butter, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Stir it until the sugar dissolves over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the milk and turn off the heat.
Step 2: Pour the melted ingredients into an electric mixing bowl and slowly incorporate the flour and baking powder until it’s well combined.
Step 3: Divide the dough into four pieces and press into a disc shape. Wrap with plastic and place it in the fridge overnight.
Step 4: When you’re ready to make your house, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to ⅛ inch thick, and then use your template to cut out your pieces.
Step 5: Bake for 15 minutes, but rotate the sheet at the 7 minute mark. Let them cool before adding the decorations!
Royal Icing + Caramel
- egg white: 1 large
- powdered sugar: 2 cups
- granulated sugar: 1½ cups
Step 1: Use an electric mixer to beat the egg white until it becomes foamy.
Step 2: Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat it until it’s white and glossy. Place in a piping bag to decorate!
Step 3: The final ingredient for your house is the glue that holds everything together! Once all the pieces are decorated and dried, add 1½ cups of granulated sugar in a small saucepan and stir for 10 minutes until it becomes a dark amber color.
Step 4: Keep it on low heat and paint your gingerbread house pieces to glue them together.
More Holiday Baking Ideas: