Recipe

How to decorate an easy gingerbread house

Gingerbread houses can be notoriously fiddly, which is why we chose to decorate with our favourite store bought treats! This easy gingerbread house is still the real deal, however, so you will need to bake the gingerbread pieces ahead of time and stick them together with icing. It's the perfect marriage of baking and crafting that is guaranteed to impress this Christmas.

  • Makes 1 Item
  • 3 hrs cooking
gingerbread house

Ingredients

Easy gingerbread house
  • 250 gram (8 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (350g) golden syrup
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 cup (750g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 sheet cardboard
  • 28 centimetre x 33cm (11¼-inches x 13¼-inches) covered board
  • 700 gram (1½ pounds) assorted sweets
  • desiccated coconut, for `snow' glaze
  • 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatine royal icing
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 1/4 cup s (500g) pure icing (confectioners') sugar, approximately
  • 1/2 teaspoon strained lemon juice

Method

Easy gingerbread house
  • 1
    Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in golden syrup and egg yolks. Sift in flour, spices and soda; stir to combine. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide dough in half, cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F. Cut cardboard into a 20cm (8-inch) square and a 20cm (8-inch) equilateral triangle (all the sides are the same length). Roll one dough half on a piece of baking paper into a 5mm (¼-inch) thickness
  • 3
    Using cardboard templates, cut out one square and one triangle; remove excess dough. Slide shapes, still on baking paper, onto a large oven tray. Roll out remaining dough half; cut out another square and triangle; remove excess dough. Place, still on baking paper, on another oven tray.
  • 4
    Cut out a door and window from one triangle (keep door shape, discard window); place door on tray with other shapes; bake door about 30 minutes; bake larger shapes for about 40 minutes or until firm. Stand shapes for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool
  • 5
    Make glaze; while the gingerbread is still warm, combine sugar, water and gelatine in a small microwave-safe dish. Microwave on MEDIUM (55%) for 30 seconds; stir until sugar dissolves.
  • 6
    Make royal icing; Lightly beat egg whites in a small bowl, on low speed, with an electric mixer until just broken up; do not whip into peaks. Beat in the icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time, to get the required piping consistency, then stir in juice. Cover surface of icing with plastic wrap to prevent drying.
  • 7
    Brush all gingerbread shapes with the glaze while still warm; stand until cool. Spread a thin layer of icing on the covered board (to use as a non-slip base). Assemble gingerbread house on board, as pictured, using icing to secure pieces together; stand until set. Sprinkle desiccated coconut on board around the house. Spoon icing into a piping bag, pipe along all joins. Position the door in place with icing. Stand until set.
  • 8
    Thin a small amount of remaining icing with a little water; pipe peaks of icing on the underside of roof to represent snow/icicles. Stand until set. Using a small plain tube, pipe an outline around the window and door. Decorate house with sweets; secure to house with icing.

Notes

The gingerbread house can be assembled up to 1 week ahead; store in an enclosed box in a cool dry place. If weather is humid, assemble 2 days ahead. Use leftover dough to cut out snowflake and other Christmas-themed biscuits for gifts or a Christmas tree. Instead of cutting out a window, you could do what we've done in the picture above; use a heart-shaped cutter to cut shape from dough; attach to house with a little icing, stand until set.

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