GINGERBREAD HOUSE RECIPE
A German tradition fills the house with gorgeous ginger goodness. This is a challege but a throughly enjoyable to have a go with all the family. Get creative and make this house your own by adding on your own decorations too.
438g Pastry flour (keep one small sachet aside for dusting)
5g bicarbonate of soda
5g ground ginger
5g ground cinnamon
40g sugar x 3
50g syrup x2
50g muscavado sugar
100g Royal icing sugar x 3
Holly & berry sprinkles
1 tablespoon water dough & 3 tablespoons water for icing
1 large egg ((or substitute vegan liquid egg or 60ml plant milk)
85g soft butter (plant or dairy)
YOU WILL NEED TO ADD
PREPARE THE DOUGH
Whisk together 6 sachets of flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside. Use a hand-held or stand mixer with a paddle attachment to beat the butter and sugars until creamy and smooth, for around 2 minutes on medium speed. Incorporate the egg, syrup, and water on high speed; scrape the sides and bottom, beat as needed. You can also do this by hand.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients on low speed until a thick cookie dough forms. Divide the dough, create discs of roughly 10 cm, wrap them in a tea towel, and chill them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut out all the shapes from your template. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Then preheat the oven to 180°C.
ROLL, CUT & BAKE THE SHAPES
Take the dough discs out of the freezer and roll them between two pieces of parchment paper to prevent sticking and to ensure an even thickness of 6mm.
Dust each of the template shapes with flour from the extra sachet included to prevent the shapes from becoming sticky while you cut. Carefully cut the dough with a small knife into template shapes; make TWO of each shape.
Repurpose the dough scraps, creating extra shapes with a star cookie cutter.
Arrange the gingerbread shapes on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Straighten the shapes if necessary after transferring them to the baking sheet. Bake the house pieces for 18-20 minutes; bake the chimney pieces for 12-13 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Let the pieces cool on a flat surface to maintain their shape; otherwise, the gingerbread house edges will very slightly curl up.
*Cooled gingerbread house pieces can be made up to 1 week in advance; cover them tightly and store them at room temperature.
In the meantime, prepare the royal icing by sifting icing sugar into a large bowl. Pour in 3 tablespoons of water. Go gently as you don’t want the icing to be too liquid. Whisk gently as the icing sugar will go everywhere otherwise! You want a smooth icing with no lumps.
Fit the piping bag with a connector and nozzle. Stand it up in a tall glass, nozzle end down, and fill it with the icing. You may need to do this in batches and refill.
Now watch the video below to guide you through constructing the house. Choose a nice serving plate for the gingerbread house to be presented on.
Start with two pieces: the front of the house and 1 side. Pipe a thick line of royal icing on one long edge and one short edge of the side of the house piece. Stick it to your base. Use whatever you have around the house to help it stand up. You can see in the video that I use glasses to help prop up the house.
Next, run a line of royal icing along the bottom of the front of the house piece. Stick it to your base, adhering it to the side of the house piece. Hold the two in place for a few minutes until the icing is partially set, propping them up as necessary. Repeat with the 2nd side of the house piece and back of the house piece. Pipe royal icing inside any seams, inside and outside of the house, to fill any voids. Don’t be afraid to go heavy on the royal icing; when it dries, it looks like snow! Allow it to set at room temperature for at least 1 hour before adding the roof pieces.
The roof pieces will be placed on top of the house base. Run a thick line of royal icing on the inside edges of one of the roof pieces and adhere it to the base. Hold it in place for a few minutes. Repeat with the 2nd roof piece. Run a thick line of royal icing where the two roof pieces meet at the top of the house. Hold it in place for a few minutes.
LET THE HOUSE SET AND DECORATE
Before decorating, ensure the icing sets completely on the entire house. Pipe swirls of icing and patterns. Refer to the template guide for inspiration. Stick on sprinkles using icing. You can also add your own sweets and festive decorations; get creative.
Allow the house to set at room temperature for 3-6 hours or overnight. If anything is unstable, make sure you keep any leftover icing to help stick down any moving parts.
- Now all that is left is to show off your showstopper and dig in!