The pièce de résistance of Christmas, we’re providing you with a step-by-step guide (including a template) to create a glorious gingerbread house!
4 cups self-raising flour
1 1/4 cups plain flour
2 Tbsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
210 g cold butter, diced 1 cm
1/2 cup golden syrup
Icing (to glue house)
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2-3 Tbsp water
Royal icing (optional, to decorate house)
2 egg whites
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Set aside a piping bag or snap-lock bag.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter. Using clean hands, rub the mixture between your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, alternatively you can do this with a food processor. Whisk golden syrup and eggs together in small bowl then add to gingerbread mix and mix until it comes together as a dough. Place onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute until smooth. Cut dough in half, wrap each piece separately in plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
- Leave one piece of dough in the fridge and place the other between two sheets of baking paper (measuring about 55 x 30cm). Roll dough into a rectangle measuring about 50 x 27cm and about 0.5cm thick.
- Remove top layer of baking paper and use the template (download HERE) to cut out one roof tile, one side tile and one end tile. Remove excess dough and re-roll between two sheets of baking paper to 0.5cm thick again. Use this mixture to cut out the chimney, trees or gingerbread men. Place gingerbread shapes in freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the second piece of dough and chill in freezer for 15 minutes to firm up. Once all pieces are chilled, bake for 18-20 minutes until cooled and an even brown colour with dark edges. Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Set aside on a wire rack to cool.
Sift icing sugar into a large bowl. Add water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until it is a thick but pipe-able consistency then add to piping bag or snap-lock bag and cut off a very small tip for piping.
Whisk egg whites in a mixer or with a hand beater. Once foamy, start adding icing sugar 1 Tbsp at a time until all is incorporated.
1. Lay out the pieces of your house and pipe on any decorations, if desired.
2. Using a large chopping board as your base, place 4 food cans (or something heavy of similar size) on the board. These will act as your support while building.
3. Place your walls onto the board, one at a time, piping icing between each wall to stick them together. The end pieces should sit outside the side pieces.
4. Pipe icing onto the top seams of the walls to attach the roof. One piece at a time, place the roof tiles on top of the walls. Place a can or some books under the end of the tiles to help hold them up. Pipe icing down the centre seam of the roof to attach both tile together.
5. Leave to dry for at least 1 hour then attach the chimney. Pipe icing onto the base of the chimney and hold on the house for 1 minute to allow it to set in place. Pipe icing to surround the chimney to help it stay in place.
6. Once all the pieces are assembled, continue any further decorating. Use icing to attach any lollies or simply dust with icing sugar to create a snowy effect.
To serve, once you have admired your beautiful handiwork for long enough, grab a clean hammer or large spoon and demolish your house – enjoy the delicious morsels of house that remain.
TIP: The icing is what helps to glue your house together. If you would like to make a prettier piping icing for decorating, use the royal icing recipe above.