When you think Christmas, one of the many symbolic traditions that come to mind is the Gingerbread House. A modeled house made of cookie dough, icing and candy is a favorite Christmas tradition that has been around for many years.
Last Christmas I decided it was time to add a new tradition to our family as we made a Gingerbread House on Christmas eve. It was a fun activity and an amazing token of the festivities that Christmas brings! I remember baking in the kitchen with granny while dad made us Christmassy drinks as we decorated our Gingerbread House.
You might be wondering where on earth the Gingerbread House comes from, well I have some facts on this Christmas treat here:
I have been waiting almost a whole year to share my experience and recipe with you but before we jump right into it, don’t forget to put on some Christmas music to get you into the festive swing of things. Nothing is better than baking along to some festive tunes.
Gingerbread house Recipe:
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup dark sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
700 g flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
50 ml Orange Juice
*You will also need a Gingerbread house mold. Granny purchased the one we used at a bookstore that contained the mold and the recipe book. I purchased a smaller one at my local home ware store.
- Preheat oven to 180 ºC
- Heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan over low heat, stirring until the butter and sugar has melted. Set aside to cool.
- Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
- Combine the butter mixture to the flour mixture. Then add the eggs, orange and orange juice. Mix with hands to make a dough.
- Knead the dough until smooth. Tear off pieces and press into ginger bread mold.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm to the touch. Cool before removing from mold.
- Make sure to let the gingerbread house cool over night before assembling.
6 cups icing sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
3 egg whites
- Sift icing sugar and cream of tartar together
- Gradually whisk in egg whites until smooth and thick
*You will need a cake board for this part.
After the gingerbread has cooled it is time to start the fun!
- Cover the cake board with icing, you can make soft peaks in this icing to make it look like snow.
- Push one of the walls of the gingerbread house into the icing until it is secure
- Ice the sides of the wall and place the next piece on the cake board. Continue this step until all the pieces are on the cake board and are stuck together.
- Let this dry for at least 30 minutes before putting on the roof
- Attach the roof with icing along with the chimney pieces. Let this sit for another 2 hours before icing. If you find this part difficult you can use tooth picks to reinforce the structure of the house.
Traditionally a gingerbread house is decorated with candy and a glazed icing. I feel you can do just about anything when it comes to decorations so don’t feel limited by what you see here. I of course went the traditional route by whipping up some icing, buying a large amount of candy and added a few plastic icing decorations on my house.
- Using a plastic bag or an icing gun pipe on the details of the house.
- Make sure to ice on the roof tiles and windows
- Add sweets to to house
- Dust with edible glitter to make it look more magical
- Optional: Use battery powered tea light candles inside the house to make it look like the lights are on.
- Marvel at your creation!
And that is how you make a Gingerbread House! I hope you enjoyed this Christmas recipe. Let me know what Christmas treats you enjoy making and if you would try out the gingerbread house.
If you are looking for another festive recipe have a look at my Egg Nog Recipe over here: Egg Nog.