A tall gingerbread house in a snowy Christmas scene

Simple gingerbread house

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(63 ratings)

Prep: 2 hrs Cook: 30 mins Plus holding together time

More effort

Makes 1 house with 12 portions

Bake a gingerbread house with our simple biscuit recipe and design template. Get the kids involved, too, and weave some magical Christmas memories

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal636
  • fat30g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs80g
  • sugars38g
  • fibre2g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.6g
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Ingredients

    For the gingerbread

    • 250g unsalted butter
    • 200g dark muscovado sugar
    • 7 tbsp golden syrup
      Golden syrup

      Golden syrup

      goal-dun sir-rup

      Golden syrup is a clear, sparkling, golden-amber coloured, sweet

    • 600g plain flour
    • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
      Bicarbonate of soda

      Bicarbonate of soda

      Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

    • 4 tsp ground ginger

    To decorate

    • 200g bag flaked almonds
    • 2 egg whites
    • 500g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
    • 125g pack mini chocolate fingers
      Chocolate

      Chocolate

      chok-let

      Chocolate as we know it in pressed

    • generous selection of sweets of your choice, choose your own colour theme
    • 1 mini chocolate roll or a dipped chocolate flake
      Chocolate

      Chocolate

      chok-let

      Chocolate as we know it in pressed

    • few edible silver balls

    For the house design

    Method

    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 (download from ingredients list). 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.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    WB
    18th Dec, 2016
    3.8
    Had never made a gingerbread cottage before and, as my presentation skills aren't the best, was not expecting to produce anything like the picture. But this is an easy recipe, you can modify the decorations however you like and it works really well. Took on the tips of others; some extra spicing, chocolate buttons for roof tiles and royal icing sugar mix instead of faffing with egg whites. Cut out heart shaped windows to put a light inside (then forgot to cut out a door to put it in through!) Didn't bother with choc fingers, wanted it to be gingerbread house, not a log cabin. The template walls looked tiny, but it makes up really well (cans as support for walls, ramekins for roof to rest on, while setting.) My main tip would be to roll out and bake dough roughly to size and cut out round templates after baking. Got my cottage, trees and some tasty offcuts without having to cut, bake, retrim. Making a template from one of those flexi chopping mats to make it all even easier next year. Thanks GF!
    sarahhardy27
    23rd Aug, 2016
    Hi, was wanting to make a dairy free version of this. Was wondering if using a butter replacement , such as coconut oil, or margarine would work ? Has anyone tried this ? Thanks
    Indi71
    24th Dec, 2015
    The recipe was really good and the biscuit tasted great! But I would advise that if you are in a humid climate (like Australia) than to put the house together at night when it is cool, because the icing will just melt. Another solution to this problem could be to use a stronger icing then the recipe uses.
    Lexiec
    21st Dec, 2015
    5.05
    My children aged 13 and 10 have just finished making this, pretty much on their own. They are absolutely delighted with the finished result. It looks brilliant! My son is allergic to dairy and egg so we used Tomor kosher hard margarine (although I think any hard marg would do). For the icing and to glue it together, we just made quite thick water icing (no egg) and it has stuck together without any problem at all. I trimmed the pieces with a sharp knife when they came out of the oven so that it all still fitted together. Oh yes, and the offcuts we tried tasted delicious too! Thank you, BBC Good Food.
    liensirch
    17th Dec, 2015
    5.05
    Have made many of these gingerbread houses and have had no problem with them and everyone that has received them have loved them. Stop icing drying out by putting a damp teatowel over the bowl. Prop the walls up with bean tins or anything else until the icing has dried enough. Its almost like building a house of cards. Piped scollops on the roof instead of using nuts, it was easier.
    Joesyjo's picture
    Joesyjo
    10th Aug, 2015
    5.05
    Followed this recipe exactly and it worked perfectly. It was a real struggle to get all the bits stuck together, even when using toothpicks as suggested in other posts. We got in complete mess with icing everywhere, but we had fun anyway. Although our house does not look anything like the one in the photo!
    fionaclaireporter
    17th May, 2015
    5.05
    Followed the recipe closely (except for skipping the flaked almonds) and it worked really well! Baking time was about right too.
    cdjones
    4th Feb, 2015
    5.05
    I made this at Christmas, and it went perfectly! I just stuck on white chocolate buttons for snowy tiles on the roof when decorating, rather than baking with flaked almonds. Very easy to make and looks fabulous!
    Gurlmail
    19th Dec, 2014
    I cant download the template either - it just slides when I click on click here
    Fidra
    18th Dec, 2014
    5.05
    I've just made this! Be very careful to use plain flour, and I'd recommend putting it on the bottom shelf of your oven, it will take more than 12 minutes, I'd say 15 to 20, I've just made it into biscuits, next year I'll try making a gingerbread house. Taste is wonderful! Easy to make, (probably easier to eat...)

    Pages

    Tim0398
    8th Mar, 2017
    How can I adjust the recipe to make a larger gingerbread house? Or... more dough :)
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    10th Mar, 2017
    Thank you for your question. This recipe is specific to the dimensions given and we are unable to give alternatives without testing. We have a variety of other gingerbread house recipes to give you different designs and quantities. We hope you find one that suits. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/search/recipes?query=gingerbread+house
    maven13
    12th Dec, 2016
    I have a question! Can I use honey to substitute golden syrop? (it is very hard to find it and expensive where I live).
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    15th Dec, 2016
    Hi there, thanks for your question. Using honey instead of golden syrup may slightly affect the result but you can make that substition if golden syrup isn't available. Go for a mild-flavoured runny honey.
    Karry04
    14th Nov, 2016
    How long will the gingerbread house keep for ?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    15th Nov, 2016
    Thanks for your question. The gingerbread will stay fresh and crisp for about a week but if you're not planning to eat it, you can make it as far in advance as you like.
    wendolenek
    13th Dec, 2014
    I can't download the template :(
    samilou1989's picture
    samilou1989
    6th Nov, 2013
    Can someone quickly tell me how long I can leave this before eating? Thanks x
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    22nd Dec, 2014
    Hi samilou1989 the gingerbread is ready to eat once it has been baked and is cool enough to handle and will be fine to eat for 1 week. Any longer and it should just be used as a decorative item and not eaten.
    sjms
    18th Oct, 2013
    Quick question!! Can the dough be frozen??

    Pages

    ceeayebee
    13th Dec, 2014
    I make these every year, and due to losing my notes I used this as a basis ( I like a bit more spice and some fresh ginger in mine). It was just fine creating quite a hard biscuit, that softens up nicely after a week or so. Anyway some points I find helpful after much trial and error: 1. When the gingerbread cooks it obviously rises and misshapes a bit. Some of the joints need to be quite precise, eg walls and roof. Therefore you have to trim them to the template after cooking too. If you do it as soon as it is cool enough to handle it will cut really easily. If it has cooled then you need a serated knife. For this reason it makes sense to just do a couple of pieces at a time. 2. If you want windows with coloured glass in them ( looks pretty when you pop a candle in), then precut the windows, and put broken up boiled sweets in the gap. This will set into the gingerbread like a clear piece of glass. two things: makesure you cook it on baking paper. Overcut the windows a bit because the holes shrink, and be prepared that they will be a bit rustic (ie not straight edges). 3. For icing I use royal icing. Ie with egg white powder ( some people are funny about raw egg white) and a tsp of lemon juice this apparently prevents over whipping so you can have the confidence to give it a really hard ziz with the machine ( you can look up the instructions in google/ back of the packet). If it is drying too fast/not fast enough as many comments say then just add a drop more water/icing sugar, to get the thickness required. My experience is icing doesn't really dry out quickly if you tie off the bag without air in it, it seems to lasts hours. Equally, if you trim it correctly ( ie flat surfaces to flat surfaces) then it should stick to each other just fine. Another trick if the above doesn't work is to cut 'foundations' in the base piece. At a minimum I always use some spare straight off cuts to reinforce the base on the inside and give it two right angle surfaces to stick to. (For me the outside is more important than the inside...nobody will see it). 4. My biggest problem/worry is the roof sliding off. I tackle this by engineering cross beams ( just the off cuts rolled straight), I then cut a small hole in the roof which fits onto the beam like a peg would. But I love the idea of using cocktail sticks. (I guess you have to work fast to get them stuck in though? How do you get them out? / Avoid people eating them?) The beams also allow you to fill the loft/roof area with sweets and still be able to have the candle twinkling though the coloured windows. 5. The templates are just guides, for me the fun is in designing it myself! 6. For the snow, icicles, water icing ( just icing sugar mixed with water) works well, especially if sticking things like grated coconut for snow. In my head the glaze makes it keep longer too.