One of the annual festive bakes in my family is a gingerbread house. I say annual very loosely as I actually only started the tradition two years ago but it’s firmly on the list as one of my favourites. Creating a sweetie covered house is possibly some of the most fun baking I have had with the girls and my only bit of advice is buy more sweets than you need as lots seem to go missing during the build. It wasn’t me I promise!

Although they look complicated they are actually quite simple to make once you get the pieces ready and you can release your inner child and go to town with candy canes, jelly tots and chocolate buttons to create the perfect little woodland retreat. This year the girls have requested we also add gingerbread people and trees in to the scene. No pressure then!

{How To Make The Gingerbread}

I figure you can’t beat the baking guru so I either use a a good old Mary Berry recipe detailed below or my other favourite is in my Peyton and Byrne cookbook. Both are equally delicious.

How To Make A Gingerbread House

What You Will Need

375g/13oz unsalted butter
300g/10½oz dark muscovado sugar
150g/5½oz golden syrup
900g/2lb plain flour
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp ground ginger


Cut Your Template

How To Make A Gingerbread House

You can download templates off the internet if needed or feel free to create your own. You will need two side rectangles, two end pieces which are basically rectangles with triangles on top, and then two more slightly larger rectangles for the roof. I draw mine on graph paper and after last years ended up a bit giant I am going for the following dimensions this year.

Side Walls – A rectangle 10cm long x 8cm high
End Walls – The rectangular piece should be 15cm wide x 8cm high then from each edge draw to a central point an additional 6cm higher. This will give you a piece that is 14cm high in total.
Roof – A rectangle 12cm wide by 10cm high

Make The Gingerbread

How To Make A Gingerbread House

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 (fan 180C).
2. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup together in a large pan. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger together into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
3. Pour in the melted butter mixture, stir it in and, when cool enough to handle, knead to a stiff dough.
4. Divide the mixture into five equally-sized pieces, cut one of these pieces in half (so you have six pieces in total).
5. Roll each piece out on a sheet of greaseproof paper to ¾cm/⅓in thick. Using the templates, cut out the sections for the roof, sides, front and back of the house. Slide onto three baking trays lined with baking parchment.
6. Bake the gingerbread for 7-8 minutes.

{How To Construct Your House}

How To Make A Gingerbread House

What You Will Need

A cake board or other suitable board
Royal icing or melted chocolate
A variety of sweets

Assemble Your Pieces

To assemble the house you will need a strong edible glue. This could be a thick royal icing (you can buy boxes, normally by the icing sugar) or make your own by whipping up egg whites and icing sugar. Alternatively a caramel makes an excellent strong glue. The trick is not to use anything too runny or it just won’t hold.

Pipe your icing down the edge of one of the side walls and the same on one of the end walls then carefully push them at right angles together. Repeat with the other two pieces until you have all four walls in place.

Ideally you want to leave this for a good 5 or 6 hours to set properly before adding the roof. I tend to assemble the house in advance to stop the kids getting bored!

Once this is dry use the same method of piping and attaching to put the roof in place. I then add extra icing piped on all the joins to make it more secure. Leave to set again.

Decorate The House

How To Make A Gingerbread House

This is the fun part. Grab a selection of sweets and some icing or melted chocolate and go wild. Obviously I always want it to look perfect but that’s not going to happen with the kids so I let them loose to create their perfect house.

For the roof you can add sweets like smarties or chocolate buttons in a tiled effect (you will need more than your think!) or just dot them randomly around. Then frame the windows and doors with jelly tots, candy canes and whatever else you have got your hands on.

How about adding some marshmallow snowmen outside or trees made from upside down ice cream cones covered in green icing. You really can go to town.

How To Make A Gingerbread House

How To Make A Gingerbread House

Then all that’s left to do is enjoy your creation. If you can bare to eat it that is! Make sure you head back tomorrow when I’ll be sharing some festive cupcake ideas.