Did you skip making gingerbread houses during Christmas last year and regret doing so? Well, we have a piece of good news. You can make up for the missed opportunity this Valentine’s Day. These cute little DIY gingerbread houses make an adorable village and are the perfect afternoon project for you and your kids. This simple, fail-proof recipe allows you to create a village from scratch easily.
So, gather your favorite red, pink, and white candy and frosting to whip up a large batch of whimsical Valentine’s Day gingerbread houses quickly. The recipe makes approximately four houses, but you can double the ingredients to make more houses with your little ones. They will make a pretty Valentine’s Day centerpiece or mantle decoration.
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup molasses
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Creamy vanilla frosting (1 tub will decorate four houses)
- Various candies in different colors
- Heart-shaped cookie cutter
- Parchment paper
- Cookie sheet
- Icing bottle
- Plastic wrap
- Rolling pin
Preparation for gingerbread
- For the gingerbread, cream vegetable shortening and sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Add in molasses and water and mix again until combined.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, and cornstarch) in a separate bowl.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet sugar mixture and mix until well combined. It should form a crumbly dough.
- Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Set out a sheet of parchment paper and place the unwrapped dough on it.
- Place another sheet of parchment on top of the dough and roll with the rolling pin until it’s about 1⁄4″ thick.
- Remove the top sheet of parchment. Using the cookie cutter, cut out two hearts for every house you will make.
- Create the walls and roof. Cut three small sheets of parchment paper. Using your cutter as a measuring tool, cut one sheet of parchment that’s as tall as the short side of your heart when the heart is lying on its side and 2″ wide.
- Cut another sheet that’s as tall as the tall side of your heart when the heart is on its side and 2″ wide.
- For the roof, cut a sheet 2″ wide and 1″ longer than the distance between the two ends of your heart lying on its side.
- Place these sheets of parchment over your rolled dough and cut around them with the knife. You’ll need one of each shape for each house you are making.
- Remove all excess dough from between the shapes.
- Place a parchment sheet with all cut shapes on a cookie sheet and bake. Check the gingerbread after one hour; it should be firm and cooked through.
Procedure for gingerbread house
- Once the gingerbread is cooled completely, start assembling it to make gingerbread houses with your kids.
- Start by assembling one heart with two walls.
- Put room-temperature vanilla frosting (filled-in icing bottle) on the side of one heart. Then, place frosting on three sides of each of the walls.
- Stand the heart on its side with the two walls pressed into the back side of the heart toward their respective edges.
- Place a line of frosting on the top of each wall, and set the roof across the walls.
- Place a line of frosting on the bottom edge of the other heart and place the heart on the uncovered side of the two walls.
- Press the two hearts toward each other to ensure the house is firmly assembled.
- Now comes the fun part! Let your munchkins decorate the gingerbread house as they like, using icing to affix the candies to the gingerbread house or the tray you’re decorating.
Voila, your gingerbread village full of houses, is ready for Valentine’s Day. The process might look tedious, but trust us, it is not. Once you get a hang of it, you and your kids can make the gingerbread house in no time. So, gather your kids and surprise your partner with this DIY gingerbread village on Valentine’s Day. Also, don’t forget to share your experience in the comment section below!