Gingerbread house of the year
I didn’t make a gingerbread house last year so this year I decided to make a big one. I bought 1,5 kg of the ready-made dough that is much easier to bake and suits better for the house-building than the family recipe.
- 1,5 kg of gingerbread dough
- 1 dl of egg whites
- About 6 dl of icing sugar
- Candies and sprinkles
- Baking glue (2 tubes of Dr Oetker baking glue)
- Food colouring (optional)
- Food colouring pens (optional)
- Gelatin sheets (optional)
Here is the pattern I made for this house. You can download it for free here. I added some examples for windows but use your imagination!
It is important to roll the dough thin enough (2-3 mm) so that the pieces don’t spread too much in the oven. Use enough flour underneath the dough so that your pieces don’t stick. It’s better to cut the windows and doors only after the piece has been moved to the baking tray. Remember also to make the base that can be a bit thicker.
Making the windows
After baking the pieces can cool and harden overnight. Then the fun starts by adding the windows. I used Dr Oetker gelatine sheets for the windows. You can use food colouring pens to add a “stained glass” effect to some of the windows. Just work fast with your pens before the gelatine softens! Glue the windows on with a few drops of baking glue. Then it was time to add the icing…
Royal icing – the recipe
- 1/2 dl egg whites
- 3 dl icing sugar
- Food colouring (powder works better than liquid)
Whip the egg whites and the icing sugar for 3 to 4 min until the mixture is bright white and foamy. Add food colouring and mix. You can thin the mixture by adding a tiny bit of water if it gets too thick.
Spread your pieces on your working surface and spread the icing evenly. The royal icing makes a really nice and smooth surface. Let the first layer harden a bit and then you can add candies and/or other colours and details.
Before this year, I always used melted sugar to glue my gingerbread house together. That was very difficult since the melted sugar is hot and hardens very quickly. The Baking glue made the house-building much easier!
A tip: Large glasses can be used to keep the walls prodded up while you are assembling the house.
On a whim, I put a set of remote-controlled led candles inside so that I can light up the house from the inside. Then glued the roof on. I prodded the roof up with a couple of wooden skewers so that I could leave it to dry. I assembled the chimney but didn’t put it on before the glue had dried.
The final touchess
The next day I made more royal icing and this time left it white. (My first batch was pale purple.) Now I covered all the edges and corners with the white icing and added little swirls and dots for decoration. I attached the chimney and added a few more candies.
You can bet that I was super nervous when I needed to finally move the house out of my baking surface! I didn’t own a plate or a tray big enough so I covered a thick and sturdy piece of cardboard with
I am happy with how this turned out. It took several days but mostly because of the long drying periods. The actual work time was not that long.
Do you plan to make or have you already made a gingerbread house for Christmas?
I have been busy doing some Christmas sewing that I am unfortunately not able to show you before the holidays. I bet many of my readers are doing the same! In any case, happy sewing and baking and warm and fuzzy feelings for all of you!
Omg wow this is amazing! Well done Katja! (:
Oh, it is so lovely! How late I am to find this beauty. Nevermind, I saved the pattern for next christmas. 🙂 I also made gingerbread houses (5 of them, actually), but they are much smaller with very simple structures. I never knew that baking glue existed, so I used very thick royal icing (2 eggwhites + 300 g icing sugar) in a piping bag to build the house.