Simple gingerbread house

Simple gingerbread house

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(56 ratings)


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Cooking time

Skill level

Moderately easy


Makes 1 house

Use this gingerbread recipe to get the kids in the kitchen and create some magical memories

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info


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For the gingerbread

To decorate

  • 200g bag flaked almonds
  • 2 egg whites
  • 500g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
  • 125g pack mini chocolate fingers
  • generous selection of sweets of your choice, choose your own colour theme
  • 1 mini chocolate roll or a dipped chocolate flake
  • few edible silver balls

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  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a large bowl, then stir in the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. If it won’t quite come together, add a tiny splash of water.
  2. Cut out the template (see below to download). Put a sheet of baking paper on your work surface and roll about one quarter of the dough to the thickness of two £1 coins. Cut out one of the sections, then slide the gingerbread, still on its baking paper, onto a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling the trimmings, until you have two side walls, a front and back wall and two roof panels. Any leftover dough can be cut into Christmas trees, if you like.
  3. Pick out the most intact flaked almonds and gently poke them into the roof sections, pointy-end first, to look like roof tiles. Bake all the sections for 12 mins or until firm and just a little darker at the edges. Leave to cool for a few mins to firm up, then trim around the templates again to give clean, sharp edges. Leave to cool completely.
  4. Put the egg whites in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, then stir to make a thick, smooth icing. Spoon into a piping bag with a medium nozzle. Pipe generous snakes of icing along the wall edges, one by one, to join the walls together. Use a small bowl to support the walls from the inside, then allow to dry, ideally for a few hours.
  5. Once dry, remove the supports and fix the roof panels on. The angle is steep so you may need to hold these on firmly for a few mins until the icing starts to dry. Dry completely, ideally overnight. To decorate, pipe a little icing along the length of 20 mini chocolate fingers and stick these lengthways onto the side walls of the house. Use three, upright, for the door.
  6. Using the icing, stick sweets around the door and on the front of the house. To make the icicles, start with the nozzle at a 90-degree angle to the roof and squeeze out a pea-sized blob of icing. Keeping the pressure on, pull the nozzle down and then off – the icing will pull away, leaving a pointy trail. Repeat all around the front of the house. Cut the chocolate mini roll or dipped Flake on an angle, then fix with icing to make a chimney. Pipe a little icing around the top. If you’ve made gingerbread trees, decorate these now, too, topping each with a silver ball, if using. Dust the roof with icing sugar for a snowy effect. Lay a winding path of sweets, and fix gingerbread trees around and about using blobs of icing. Your gingerbread house will be edible for about a week but will last a lot longer.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2008

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marlyly89's picture

My first attempt at making a gingerbread house. Biscuits break really easily, and its incredibly difficult to get the pieces to stay together. Won't be trying this again.

rochelec's picture

This recipe and instructions are great and easy to follow (I'm a bit averse to 'going it alone' as I'm not that experienced when it comes to making the structure); decorating is where I have had much practise. I think that the thickness of the shell supported the weight easily, and it looks truly rustic and like a proper little alpine cottage. I added chocolate fingers to the gable ends (front and back) to add to the alpine look and 'glued' small waffle-effect biscuits to create an open window-shutter effect, and my daughter loved this. From a healthy-eating perspective (yes, I know I'm being a little bit humbug here), it's wonderful that there is less space on this one to attach sweets (I had a fight last year with my daughter wanting to eat the sweets every time she walked into the kitchen). My only comment is that I live in a hot climate and the icing was always just too runny, even after time in the fridge. Everything kept slipping or sliding off, even with a support structure akin to the best construction site. I had to use the basic icing sugar and water combination to hold the structure together, then the egg-white combination for the sweets. I then sprinkled a little edible glitter onto the roof to create a bit magic. Thank you, so much for this recipe.

sarahlou-72's picture

This recipe is brilliant! Have just used it to make tons of gingerbread men... Used Doves Farm gluten free flour as my daughter has a recent wheat intolerance and they came out fab! As a previous commenter said, if baking shapes rather than the house then 10 minutes is enough - which is great as the measurements produce so many you can have a little production line going ;) I rolled out to width of 2 pound coins as stated whereas my daughters went thinner and mine were better and held together more. This will be a firm favourite any time of the year now... fresh out of the oven they literally melt in the mouth!

Cobo Wood's picture

You could cut the recipe by about one third. It made the house, several trees & 2 dozen ginger biscuits!

talie265's picture

I just used the gingerbread recipe, as I needed to make a big batch of gingerbread biscuits and the recipe had a good flavour. As other people have said the dough is buttery, but this wasn't a problem after baking. I made 96 thin gingerbread stars out of the recipe, so there is a lot of mixture here! I added an extra tsp of ginger, which I think added to the flavour. A tasty gingerbread recipe!

Wessycookiejesssie's picture

Yh it's on the side but u don't really need the template try and make ur own make two roofs the same shape two front of the houses and a bottom larger part. That's as simple as it gets hope it helps

newfiemum's picture

Recipe turned out well, though I agree with others that it is quite buttery to roll out. Lost left over for cookies.. must have about 40 made. Also keep an eye on the time, mine were done after 10 mins.. Will make again !

glitter19943's picture

Does anybody know the measurements for the template? I desperately want to make this but don't have a printer to print the templates! If only I had the measurements I could make my own template :(? Any help would be much appreciated :)!

philtheskill's picture

Roof panels are 170mm x 130mm
Side walls are 70mm high x 90mm wide
Front and back walls are 210mm high with the slope joining the sides at 70mm (the height of the side walls)

Hope this helps

Muizenberga's picture

Really easy to make- didn't do the template (freestyled a bit) but it still went really well. The only slight issue was that the dough was very buttery- maybe I'd do it with less butter next time?

mammo's picture

it will not let me click to download the template - help

sjms's picture

Quick question - can the dough be frozen??

n51w03's picture

No, unfortunately not. Sorry

sharonmdonovan's picture

Brilliant recipe! I did quite a bit of research and this recipe had the most positive comments. My daughter wanted a hansel and gretel house for her birthday cake and I'd not made a ginger bread house before. The link to the template for this page didn't work, so I found a Martha Stewart one and this recipe made more than enough dough for it.
I swapped the 250g butter for Stork baking block due to a dairy intolerance with my youngest, worked a treat, lovely taste. Even if the construction of the house doesn't go so well, at least it will taste superb :-)

caminouflet's picture

I made my first Gingerbread House using this recipe and it was a big success. I got so many compliments on this. Was really easy to do as I followed all the steps very carefully and my little sister who's four had great fun decorating it with me. Was perfect! Thanks a lot!!

jayneperks's picture
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Very easy to make! i use this recipe for ginger bread when ever i make it with a few occasional alterations.

1. i use mainly cinimon and only a little ginger 3:1 ratio really, personal taste i think .
2. i include honey and reduce golden syrup. if if is going to be eaten soon. as the honey makes it softer to eat.

great structural dough and you can get imaginative... i have made a castle and globe theatre in the past

tachapeyre's picture
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Really easy to make and tastes great!

happyphantom's picture
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I had lots of fun making this house, it was the first time I'd ever made anything like this and I was really pleased with how well it came out.

I left the dough in the fridge overnight as I'd read this helped, and I put the shapes back in the fridge before baking them after I'd cut them out. My only problem was gingerbread was a bit thick, although I rolled out as per instructions to the depth of 2 £1 coins, will roll out thinner next time.

thefer87's picture
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Made this today, took about 3 hours in total. Ran out of ginger, so substituted 1 of the teaspoons of ginger for allspice, which tasted great. Went for the option of honey rather than golden syrup, which tasted great too. Templates worked out perfect, re-cut biscuits using templates again after they had cooked, because they seemed to have changed shape in the oven! Fitted together great, and propped it up with a couple of glasses and small boxes under the roof edges while it set. Only left it for half an hour before I started decorating. Used chocolate buttons for the roof tiles, and a flake for the chimney. Used diamond shaped jellies, and did block paving out the front. All together- a fab project for Xmas eve, family and friends very impressed, will definitely be making this again next year!

myrealname's picture
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I've been looking for a good recipe for a gingerbread house for ages, and after trying this one I'm still looking. I followed the recipe exactly, and when I got to the bit where it says "stir in the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. If it won't quite come together, add a tiny splash of water." I knew it wasn't going to work as I didn't have a stiff dough, I had a runny batter. I left it in the fridge overnight to get firm, and the next day it was a workable dough, so I made the pieces for a house, which cooked beautifully - except they were still too soft. We ended up just eating it as it was. Another problem with it though is that it's not gingery enough for me - I could barely taste it. I'm going to try the recipe in the Great British Bakeoff Showstoppers book next!