Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How to bake a Gingerbread House

"Daddy, I think mummy is crying!"

I still remember. This happened years ago and I promise that it won't happen again!

Years ago, I had a minor meltdown while constructing mini gingerbread houses for Christmas. Silly me! It was an unforgettable experience and since then, I have not make another gingerbread house again. Why? Am I a chicken or what??? LOL!

After all these years of baking, I still think that baking a gingerbread house from scratch can be challenging but can't deny too that it can be an extremely fun thing to do!

So here we go again...

Here I have baked another gingerbread house! Not just a gingerbread house but a large and professional looking one!!! With absolutely NO crying and any meltdown!!! LOL!

Christmas gingerbread house
Christmas Gingerbread House
You have guessed it right? I have made this impressive gingerbread house with a d.line Gingerbread House Bake Kit.
This kit contains 7 metal cookie cutters, a recipe and a set of instructions.

Honestly, I can't deny that the cutters provided in this kit have made my life so so SO much easier but what to do if you can't find this kit??? Don't panic! I will provide you the measurements of the cutters that I used and they are:

The front / back
The side
The roof
The chimmey and windows
Plus a Christmas tree cutter (provided by the kit) - any size should be ok
And my own gingerbread man and reindeer cutters

To make the gingerbread dough, this is what I did:

Instead of using copha shortening (suggested by the recipe in the kit), I have used butter. No Copha, please!!!
And instead of using brown sugar, treacle or golden syrup, this recipe uses molasses which is a fantastic choice as this gingerbread house smells so yummy!!!
No electric mixer or any fanciful equipment is required to do this.
Just a saucepan and a spoon can do this job beautifully!
Then transfer dough onto a cling wrap and allow it to rest in the fridge for about an hour.
After chilling, the dough is "cool" and firm enough to handle.
Roll portions of dough in between two sheets of baking paper and cut them into shapes accordingly.
I have baked my gingerbread slightly more than usual so that they are more robust to handle.
After baking, I have gathered these ingredients (plus warm water) to make a fluffy kind of royal icing.
Instead of meringue powder, you can use egg whites to make this icing but for me, I prefer not to use raw eggs.
Whip mixture until stiff peaks form.
Now I'm ready to assemble these...
... into this!
Although there is a crack in front, I have managed to patch it with no tears and no worries! Ha!
I decorated the house with gingerbread man, reindeer, tree, lollies, sprinkles and chocolate sticks.
Plus lots of sparkling bling on it.
Can you see my bling bling?

"Hey mum, our house smells so good!" said my son whenever he took a deep breath at our dining area.

"This gingerbread house is making our house smelling so yummy and Christmasy!"

"Thanks Sweetie. Glad that you like it"

Here's the recipe that is mostly adapted from d.line Gingerbread House Kit.

The original recipe uses Copha shortening to bake the gingerbread and also raw egg whites to make the royal icing but I don't.

Make one large house

For the gingerbread:
250g butter (the original recipe uses Copha shortening... Eeeewww!)
340g unsulphured blackstrap molasses
200g sugar
750g all purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

This amount is more than enough to make the house and you will have about 1/4-1/3 of the dough as leftover.
Nevertheless, I will highly recommend you to make this amount as it is always better to have extra than not enough. Then you will have to make more dough again! Any leftover? You can always use it to bake more gingerbread man for your family :) Or store it in the freezer for up to 3 months and use it whenever you are ready to use them for baking.

For the royal icing with egg white:
4 large egg white
650g (6 1/2 cup) icing sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar

I didn't use this royal icing recipe because I prefer not to use raw egg for my baking.
This amount of icing made is more than enough to construct and decorate the house and you will have about 1/4-1/3 of it as leftover.

Instead, I have made my royal icing with meringue powder this reduced amount which is just right for me!

For the royal icing with meringue powder (adapted from Joy of Baking):
2 1/2 cups (300g) icing sugar
2 1/4 tbsp (24g) meringue powder
90 ml warm water, for a thicker kind of consistency

Any decoration that you like to decorate your house and I have used:
sour patch kids
chocolate waffle sticks
Christmas sprinkles
silver cachous
red colouring gel to colour a small amount of royal icing
edible glittering powder
extra icing sugar to dust

To bake the gingerbread:

Preheat oven at 190°C. Line baking trays with baking papers.

Using medium low heat, melt butter in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Add sugar and molasses into the melted butter. Stir and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Combine flour, ground ginger, nutmeg, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Sift the flour mixture into the melted butter mixture. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula to combine.

Transfer dough into a cling wrap. Knead the dough slightly until it is pliable and not too sticky to handle. Wrap the dough with the cling wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for 1 hr or until firm.

When the dough is firm enough for rolling. Remove it from the fridge and the cling wrap and divide dough into 3-4 portions. Use a rolling pin, roll each portion on a well floured surface into a large rectangle with 1/4 inch or 0.5 cm thickness. Then, use the cookie cutters provided to cut into shapes. Repeat the rolling and cutting with the rest of the portions.

You will need:
2 x front/back
2 x side
cut the windows from one front/back and one side cookies
Tip from the original recipe: Do not remove the window dough. It will keep the window shape while baking. However, I can't remove my window from my baked cookies and I just use it as it is.
2 x roof
2 x chimneys with triangle cut out
2 x chimneys with no triangle cut out

For the large cookies (front/back, side and roof), bake for 13 mins or until lightly browned. For the smaller cookies (chimmeys, tree, gingerbread man and reindeer), bake for 7 mins or until lightly browned. As soon as the cookies are removed from the oven, re-cut the window immediately to get the exact sizes and shape or otherwise just leave it as it is.

Transfer the cookies to cool onto a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

To prepare the royal icing:

For the royal icing with egg white, use an electric mixer with whisk attachment to beat egg white until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and cream of tartar. Continue to beat until smooth and stiff peaks form.

For the royal icing with meringue powder, use an electric mixer with whisk attachment to beat the icing sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form, about 5 mins. If required, add more icing sugar or water to get the right consistency.

The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with damp cloth or plastic wrap when not in use.

To assemble:

Take a cardboard base and spread a heavy icing base where the front/back and the end cookies stand.

Arrange the front/back and the end cookies to form the base of the house and press the corners together. Apply more icing from the inside of the house to secure the edges together.

Allow the icing on the house to harden for about 15 mins

Apply beads of icing on the rim of the top side of the end cookies and place one section of the roof at a time. Hold to secure the roof for a few minutes and allow to stand for about 10 mins before repeating the same step with the other section of the roof.

Note: The kit suggests adhering a paper (provided in the kit) on the two root sections but I choose not to do that because I'm not sure if the paper is edible???

Next, construct the chimney by icing 4 pieces of it to form a box with the triangle cut out parts parallel to each other. Allow it to harden for about 10 mins and attach it on the top of the roof.

There you go... Here's our gingerbread house. Now you can decorate this house with all the tree and decorations that you like :)

Happy Baking
Please support me and like me at Facebook...

Thanks d.line for providing me this fantastic Gingerbread House Kit. I really love it! 

For you and your Christmas, d.line and I are giving away one Star Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter Set to one lucky winner! This giveaway is open to ALL readers. Submission ends on 14 Dec 2015. To win, please enter your details:

dline Star Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter Set

This post is linked at Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2015 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.


  1. Your tree looks amazing! And I love the idea of meringue powder.

  2. Wow Zoe! I'm impressed!
    The gingerbread house looks stunning! :)
    Early Merry Christmas x

  3. Hello Zoe! Happy to be hosting with you and Diana again this month :)

    Tried many years ago to make a gingerbread house too, but it was too humid in KL and our house only withstanded 1 day :(

  4. Hi Zoe, I did not know you can replace egg white with meringue powder. I MUST search for it cos I am not comfortable with egg white. Thank you.

  5. I tried a gingerbread house once, and vowed never again.

  6. wow, wow, wow!! Yr house is magnificent, Zoe!!! I never thought of baking a gingerbread house but now you made me feels like doing one too!! but before i get my hands on them, i better start off with just the gingerbread man himself first! LOL!!!

    Great job, Zoe! I'm very sure yr kids are happy kids! haha :D

  7. Very cute gingerbread house with the gingerbread man and tree, etc. I love to eat gingerbread. Not easy to make gingerbread. Have a wonderful week!

  8. I'm big fans of capilano's product. Hope I can found the molasses in Malaysia, here only sell their honey products :(

  9. I admit I am chicken.. :D I think gingerbread house from scratch is challenging so I am afraid even to try. But your gingerbread house looks really great!

  10. Wow....Its perfect... Beautifully done Zoe...U are an amazing mom...I bet ur kids loved it.

  11. Can't wait to do this with my daughter when she gets a bit older. :)

  12. Butter is always better than shortening. Always. I've never made gingerbread house -- really should try it one of these days. Good idea to use a kit -- seems to take some of the labor and uncertainty out of the project. This looks wonderful! Thanks.

  13. Thankyou for these recipes, my daughter has developed a love of Baking and we are excited to begin christmas baking, I love that she and i can share this love ( she is a Teenager, need I say more )

  14. What an adorable little gingerbread house! I bet your little man must be so excited! Glad to be hosting with you and Yen again! :)

  15. Awesome prizes Zoe would love to win please

  16. Wow !! such a big project to me !! i want to eat as well !!
    really enjoy reading your recipe post ! Recipe post can be real fun when blogged by you !

  17. Zoe, I am so impressed! No more crying, huh? hee...hee... Your gingerbread house reminds me of the story Hansel and Gretel :D

  18. Very handy bake kit. Life saver ~ LOL.

  19. Hi Zoe, so lovely your gingerbread house! :)

  20. You should b giving a pat on your back. Looks pretty awesome!

  21. Awesome! This gingerbread house of yours is beautifully done. Love the decor too ... lollies, chocolates, sparkles, gingerbread man ... bling bling!

  22. Amazing gingerbread house from scratch......!

  23. Hi Zoe, Lovely gingerbread house . Looks so cute & festive ;) I'll be delighted to join you all for Cook & Celebrate event . Thanks for letting me know , I really don't want to miss out the fun . Truly miss blogging hehehehe Have a great day ;)

  24. Well done on the gingerbread house! I'd love to try my hand at it too :)

  25. Wow this looks great dear.so easy with measurements there

  26. Well, this is handy to have around. Thanks for sharing, Zoe. Your gingerbread house looks amazing! :D

  27. Amazing and useful post. Oh, my daughter would love to build this one. The biggest challenge is finding the cookie cutters. Shall check in amazon India . Thanks for such a lovely post.

  28. Nice.may i know where to get this ginger bread mould?

    1. Hi Rachel,

      This gingerbread cutters are available in most home ware shops in Australia. If you are not living in Aus, you can try buying it via ebay or Amazon.



  29. Can i store the gingerbread house in the fridge? If i put it under room temperature, will the royal icing melt under the humid weather?

    1. Hi Happy Baker,

      Please do not store gingerbread house in the fridge. The humidity will kill the house :p Our Gingerbread house was fine throughout our hot summery weather and I don't think it will not melt in any tropical weather.