It's the ultimate festive decadence for kids. A whole house made of biscuits and sweets - and this gingerbread house recipe makes it easy.
Golden brown spiced biscuit walls, little windows laced with snowy white icing, and colourful sweets everywhere - kids can't resist a gingerbread house, and most adults can't either. This is a perfect festive project. You can make things even easier by buying a house cutter set, which will provide you will the exact dimensions you need. But if you don't have one, just measure carefully and use a template cut out of baking parchment. Take things slowly - gingerbread dough really benefits from being left to cool in between stages. Chill before rolling out and again before cooking.
- 90g clear honey
- 175g soft dark brown sugar
- 60g butter
- 350g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 medium egg
- 500g packet royal icing sugar
- selection of sweets, to decorate
- Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. To begin making your gingerbread house pieces, melt the honey, sugar and butter in a pan over a gentle heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger and spice into a bowl. Add the cooled honey and egg, and mix together to form a dough.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Stamp out the house using cutters, or use paper to make your own template. You will need four walls (two squares and two squares with a pointed side that will make the gable ends of the house) and two rectangles for the roof for a basic model. Take the front section of the house and cut out the door and windows. Put the pieces of dough onto a lined baking tray and bake for 12-15 mins or until slightly browned. Leave to cool, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.
- Make up the royal icing and fill a piping bag. Pipe around the door and windows, then pipe ‘tiles’ on the roof. Leave to set.
- Pipe down the sides of the house and roof to stick them together. Stick sweets of your choice on the house with icing to decorate – and don’t forget the chimney. Dolly mixtures, Smarties, M&Ms and sprinkles all work really well when decorating a gingerbread house because they are so colourful.
Top tips for making this gingerbread house recipe
Don't skip the chilling stages as it's a chance for your gingerbread to settle and relax, meaning it will hold its shape better when you bake it, and be less likely to crack. The longer you can leave it the better. We suggest a minimum of 2 hours chilling. You also want to make sure when rolling out your dough you roll it quite thin: the thicker the dough the stronger the chance of it cracking.
If you're cutting out windows and doors, cut them fully out, but them leave them in place in the dough. This will mean they keep their shape perfectly. Press the cut outs out as soon as you take the gingerbread out of the oven, before it cools and hardens.
The key ingredient to help keep your house together is royal icing - it is the glue that holds everything firm, as well as being a pretty, snowy decoration. Don't be stingy with it - make more than you need not less. You can always use any extra to decorate the plate for a snowy effect. Also make sure the icing isn't too runny, or things will get messy. Have a look at our guide on how to make royal icing to help you achieve the perfect consistency.
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