Whilst you can of course buy kits where the house just needs putting together and decorating, one thing we love about Christmas is the actual baking! So we thought we’d show you how to make your very own from scratch and the recipe even leaves you with enough for a batch or two of biscuits.
Download templates here
- 300g unsalted butter
- 200ml golden syrup
- 120g caster sugar
- 200ml whipping cream
- 1tsp ground cloves
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp black pepper
- 4tsp ground cinnamon
- 2tsp baking powder
- 900g plain flour
- 1 square cake board
- White piping icing
- Your choice of sweets
- Caramel glue
- 60g cold water
- 200g caster sugar
- Add the butter, golden syrup and sugar to a saucepan. Heat over a medium heat until everything is completely melted and mix until it’s all combined. Take the pan off the heat and cool the mixture slightly.
- Stir in the whipping cream and sift in the spices, baking powder and most of the flour.
- Stir in the rest of the flour little by little until you get a smooth dough.
- Pour into a mixing bowl, cover with cling film and leave the dough to cool in the fridge overnight, this step can’t be skipped I’m afraid as it will be too wet to use the same day.
The Next Day
- Trace the templates provided, you’ll need two tall wall pieces, two wide wall pieces (one with a cut out so you can place an electronic candle in there if you want), two roof pieces and two parts of each chimney side, four in total (chimney optional). Tip: The roof and wide wall pieces are the same size so you’ll need 4 of this section in total.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or gas mark 4 and cut pieces of baking parchment for all of your house pieces.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and start rolling out the dough to cut your house pieces. I like to go quite thin (3mm) as if the roof is too heavy, it will only get heavier when you decorate and can cause the house to fall apart.
- Place your rolled out dough on top of your parchment and place your template over the dough and carefully cut out the pieces. Cut out any windows you’d like (if any), I like heart windows. The dough softens up quickly so it’s best to do it on top of the paper so you don’t change the shape too much when lifting it.
- Carefully lift your paper with the cut out dough onto your baking tray and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes and then leave to cool. Repeat until all of your pieces are cut and baked.
- To build the house you’ll need to use caramel glue, you can use royal icing but the caramel is much stronger and sets almost instantly. Add the water and sugar to a saucepan and boil until the mixture goes a golden caramel colour around 160°C. Do not stir whilst it’s boiling and be extremely careful as it’s hot. This can be gently reheated during the construction process if it cools too much.
- Stick the sides of the house together by dipping the sides carefully in the caramel and pressing together. Do the sides first and hold in place until they harden which won’t take long. Then move onto the roof and paint the sides of the top edges of the walls with the caramel glue with a silicone brush. Be careful as the caramel will be hot.
- Now for the chimney, I would glue the sides of the chimney together first so the two squares are opposite each other. Then brush the caramel onto the pieces with the cut outs and place it onto the roof.
- This is really where you get to be creative, and usually where the kids prefer to get stuck in! It’s easier to use the white icing already sold in piping bags that come with nozzles but you can make your own royal icing if you prefer.
- Now is where you can cover up any imperfections or caramel that may have snuck in. I like outlining the roof and side pieces and added tiles and icicles to the roof. The icing works as a glue and you can add as many sweets to your gingerbread house as you like. We like Smarties, MatchMakers and mini candy canes.
- You can use the smarties for tiles, MatchMakers for fence posts and door and the candy canes make cute windows.
- You can now pipe patterns onto the house, names, anything you want! Then you can finish it off by lining the cake board with MatchMakers and dusting some icing sugar so it looks like it has a snow covered garden.