Gingerbread Houses


Here are a few pictures of the gingerbread houses that I have created over the years. It has become a Christmas tradition that started over 20 years ago. Every year I would make them, to give to family and friends.


Sometimes I would use a pattern that I found and other times it would be one that I made myself. If I was feeling a little rushed, I would make the traditional kind. Actually, three at a time. Usually they turned out quite well, but not always. One morning I got up to find that the chimney on one had caved in the roof!! I'm so glad I hadn't delivered it already! Now, I try to make sure that I cook the pieces enough and also let everything cool and harden before trying to decorate. That requires patience and sometimes I am a little short on that. I'm always in a hurry!! I tell a little more about that on my paper mache page.


I haven't quite figured out how I can be not very energetic but still be in a hurry all the time. Maybe I burn up that energy being in too big of hurry. Could the benefit of slowing down be having more energy and maybe getting more done? I may have stumbled upon a great Revelation. Well, maybe not. One of the comments on a school report card from my younger years was "works well, sporadically". CERTAIN people around here think that is pretty funny. Okay, so what I really need to do is learn to pace myself!


Okay, sorry to get off track here. I think another comment may have been "gets distracted easily". Now, back to the gingerbread houses...


Here is the recipe that I always use. I think it tastes better than the standard recipe. It uses honey, instead of molasses.

  • 6 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cloves or alspice
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamin
  • 1 cup of margarine or butter
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of honey

Beat butter until soft. Add sugar and honey and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs.

In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Slowly add to wet ingredients.

Turn on to floured surface and knead well.

Roll out on to wax paper and cut into required shapes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.



Royal Icing Recipe to glue the Gingerbread Houses

  •  2 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 large egg (use white only)
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Mix icing sugar with cream of tartar. Add egg white. Mix. If it is too dry, add a small amount of water. This should be quite stiff. I use to use one of those little plastic cake decorator tubes. The plastic ring on the top would get broken off and I would end up with blisters. I took a cake decorating class and learned how to use a pastry bag. I will never go back to the frustration of using that cheap little decorator set to make my gingerbread houses. No more blisters!



This is one of my favorite creations. My sister in law is from Holland so I made it for her. This was from my own pattern. The bottom half is covered in jelly beans. The roof is covered in shredded wheat. The railing is made from pretzels and the tulips are gum paste. It stood up so well, she saved it and put it out at Christmas the next year. It even still smelled good but I wouldn't recommend eating it after that long.


gingerbread-windmill

Another pattern I did myself, was a treehouse. The tree has a tinfoil support system underneath. This can be challenging to make because the dough wants to slide off the branches when it starts to heat up in the oven.

The leaves on the tree were made from gum paste. The fallen leaves were from gingerbread.

The ladder is pretzel sticks, glued together with royal icing.



Edible-treehouse

The train was a pattern that I found on the internet (I can't remember where). I altered it slightly. This has a lot of pieces and was more time consuming than I expected.


Train-from-gingerbread

This castle is easy to do, but it is heavy when it is finished. It has a lot of icing on it!

The towers are made from ice cream cones. I don't think that was part of the instructions.

The bottom part is covered in jelly beans.

To make the glass in the windows, I boiled sugar, colored with food coloring.


Gingerbread-castle-to-eat

You can get a castle pattern and instructions here: http://www.wilton.com/idea/Illuminated-Gingerbread-Castle


Even though I usually make a really big mess in the kitchen, it just wouldn't seem like Christmas, if I didn't make gingerbread houses.

I just got a KitchenAid mixer, last year and it really speeds up the process. It makes it a lot faster and easier. You can use this mixer to knead the dough and mix up the icing. Now, I can really work well... sporadically!


  1. Make Craft Projects
  2. Christmas Crafts
  3. Gingerbread Houses

Featured Craft of the Month

This miniature Apple is just the right size for an American Girl Doll.

Who needs to buy expensive toy food, when you can make your own for a fraction of the cost?