Making this cute Easter gingerbread house is a fun challenge to do with the kids over the holidays.
Traditionally speaking, gingerbread houses have nothing to do with Easter. However, we love them at Christmas and this pretty spring version is perfect for the Easter bunny to hide in. It’s shaped like a bird box, which you can decorate with chocolate nests, grassy green icing, little eggs and pastel coloured sweets. If you prefer you could make a garden shed or a country cottage with chocolate covered Shredded Wheat as thatch. You can make all the pieces in advance and get the kids to help with the build, or assemble it for them and leave the decoration to their imagination. It makes a great centrepiece for a party spread. Fill it with eggs and jelly beans so they spill out like a piñata when you crack it open.
- For this Easter recipe you will need:
- 350g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 150g chilled butter, cut into cubes
- 175g light muscovado sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 egg
- For the decoration:
- 500g royal icing sugar
- Green and yellow food colourings
- Mini Easter eggs and jelly sweets for decorating
- 28cm rectangular cake board
To make the gingerbread dough. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon together. Add the butter, then rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture forms fine crumbs.
Stir in the sugar, syrup and egg with 1 tbsp cold water. Using your hands gather the mixture together into a ball and knead lightly until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge while making your house template.
Using card or paper cut out two 16cm x 13cm rectangles for the roof, two 15cm x 10cm rectangles for side walls and two 16cm wide x 17cm pointed end gables. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out a round window in one of the end gables.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. When the dough is firm, dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out pieces to make the house, re-rolling the trimmings as necessary, and lay on baking trays lined with baking parchment.
Bake for 10-12 mins until just golden brown at the edges. Leave to cool on the baking tray for 10 mins before removing and cooling on a wire rack. Store in a cake tin for up to 1 week.
To assemble, mix the royal icing sugar with water as described on the packet. Mix half the icing with green food colouring and cover tightly with cling film. Pipe the white icing on the sides of each piece and assemble the house on a rectangular cake board. Use some cans or packets of food to help support the pieces if necessary. It may be easier to build the walls and leave them to set for a few hours before adding the roof.
To finish, pipe some white icing around the roof and as a fence on the front of the house, decorate with jelly sweets. Decorate the roof, if liked. Place the green icing in a piping bag fitted with a small star shaped nozzle and pipe around the window, as leaves up the sides of the cottage and all over the cake board to make grass, then decorate with mini chocolate eggs.
Top tip for making this Easter gingerbread house
The gingerbread house will keep for up to a week in a cool dry place. If you have any dough left, make it into bunny-shaped biscuits.