A joy to make with and for kids, this gingerbread castle will wow the room this festive season. Making your own gingerbread castle is easy with a little preparation and time.
With our guide, there’s no need to fear making your own baked construction. This gingerbread castle is a showstopping Christmas dessert the kids will be talking about for years! The secret with gingerbread is to roll and bake it quickly. Separating the dough into four then rolling out and cutting out the stencil one by one, whilst the previous wall is in the oven helps the dough stay malleable.
When assembling, the very thick icing is used to glue the walls together and to the base, and the same icing can be used to let it snow on your glistening gingerbread castle walls! For another festive, ginger-heavy recipe, be sure to make our delicious easy lebkuchen.
- 500g unsalted butter
- 400g dark muscovado sugar
- 150g golden syrup
- 1.2kg plain flour
- 4tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 1/2tbsp ground ginger
- 350g icing sugar
- 1tsp green food colouring
- For the chocolate sauce:
- 200g double cream
- 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- For decoration:
- Edible gold spray and gold glitter
- Green ribbon
- You will need:
- an A4 piece of paper
- 4 flat baking trays
- 2 piping bags
Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. To make the castle template, use an A4 piece of paper and mark out two turrets either side at the top of the paper measuring 7cm (23/4inch) in from sides and 7cm (23/4inch) down. Draw two small box shaped dips at the top of each turret. Cut out the dips and the middle section separating the turrets. Then draw a drawbridge by marking a 10cm (4inch) line, 8cm (3inches) in from the side at the bottom as well as another 10cm (4inch) line also 8cm (3inch) in from the other side. Draw a line to top the rectangle. Cut out the rectangle and set the castle template aside.
In a large saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar and golden syrup, then, off the heat, mix in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger. You could have a firm dough. Allow to cool for 1 min.
Divide the dough into four, then roll each piece out to size a little bigger than A4 on a piece on baking paper. Using the template, cut each piece into the castle shape, choosing just one piece of dough to cut the drawbridge out of. Transfer the drawbridge rectangle to a separate piece of baking paper. Place each gingerbread castle shape via the baking paper to an individual baking tray then bake for 8-10 mins until golden. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your oven. Allow to cool slightly then trim any edges to straighten if they have cooked uneven.
To assemble the castle, make a thick icing by stirring 2 tbsp of cold water into 300g (101/2oz) of the icing sugar and use half of it to fill an icing bag with a 1cm wide nozzle or a plastic bag you can cut the tip off once full of icing. On a large cake board or flat baking tin, draw out a 21cm (1/4inch) square with the icing. Place one non-drawbridge wall, flat on a work surface and ice a line of icing down one side. Place another full wall side upright onto the icing, matching up the sides exactly, then hold for 1 min. Turn the walls on to their bottoms so they are standing up and onto the icing square. Attach another full wall in the same way, then attached the front of the castle with the icing.
Ice the edging of the turrets with the white icing, then set the white icing bag aside. Spray the top of the white icing with gold. In a bowl, mix together the green food colouring, 50g (13/4oz) icing sugar and 1-2 tsp of cold water to make a thick paste. Fill another icing bag or plastic bag with the mixture and pipe window shapes on all walls of the castle. Attach the bottom of the rectangular piece of gingerbread to the bottom of the drawbridge hole with the white icing then add two pieces of thin green ribbon either side of the drawbridge with the white icing. Use the remaining white icing to pipe snowlike toppings to all the windows and the drawbridge. Dust with edible gold spray and glitter, and allow to set.
To make the chocolate sauce, place the cream in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, then add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Allow to cool then transfer to a serving pot. If you have made the sauce ahead, reheat in the microwave for 30 secs-1 min and stir. Spray with gold and then serve with the gingerbread house. After it’s been demolished, keep gingerbread in an airtight container for up to a week.
RECIPE AND FOOD STYLING: LIZ O’KEEFE
Top tip for making Gingerbread castle
Construct the castle where you’d like to display it if you can, to avoid any last-minute ruins.