A tall gingerbread house in a snowy Christmas scene

Simple gingerbread house

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(79 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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    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 translucent, golden-amber coloured, sweet syrup, which can only be produced…

    • 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 ganache


      Chocolate ganache is a combination of chocolate and double cream. It's simple to…

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

      Chocolate ganache


      Chocolate ganache is a combination of chocolate and double cream. It's simple to…

    • few edible silver balls

    For the house design


    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

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    16th Dec, 2019
    We made this 2 or 3 years ago. I think I had 3 goes at the gingerbread. It kept cracking. Secret was thick, slab-like walls and roof and it was still crumbly. Worth it in the end. My son decorated & took it in to school for his "build a house" project where they kept it and ate it. Huge success utlimately & he loved doing it but this time I am going to try the Mary Berry recipe. Pics here: https://imgur.com/35n3guR https://imgur.com/9VzAJYr
    Monique Hodgkinson's picture
    Monique Hodgkinson
    8th Dec, 2019
    This recipe did not work at all, I wish I'd read the comments first! The dough was impossible to knead/roll out, and resulted in flaky, crumbly gingerbread with a rough and unattractive texture. Do NOT recommend.
    Lissa Pelzer's picture
    Lissa Pelzer
    2nd Dec, 2019
    Seriously? I wasted my afternoon shopping and making this. The texture of the dough is oily and flakey. I tried needing it, it broke apart, tried rolling - same. It went in the oven and once cooled, I picked it up very carefully and it fell apart. I see I'm not alone. Next time I'll read the comments first or just use a different site.
    Tess Pattinson's picture
    Tess Pattinson
    18th Nov, 2019
    This is a great recipe, don't know why everyone is complaining. Don't try to role the dough out, simply kneed it flat. It it tasty and easy to make and looks amazing
    22nd Dec, 2018
    This is a great recipe for a gingerbread house BUT be aware that the dough is a nightmare to handle. It is oily and fragile and you'll really need to knead it out flat by hand before rolling and there will be lots of squeezing and hand slapping! But don't give up! Use cling film under it to transfer the pieces. It cooked in about 10 minutes and the pieces bake really hard! So good for a gingerbread house! My secret tip is don't bother cutting out your template pieces, just stick it on the rolled dough and indent the outline with a pizza cutter. The paper will get oily but it stays together, the pizza cutter worked well for cutting out too! No cracks or issues with this dough bake wise, great recipe!
    18th Dec, 2018
    worst recipe for gingerbread ive ever used. :( very very oily, super hard to work with ... i nearly threw it out but after reading comments ive noticed that others went ahead and baked that oily dough and it was ok, so i did too and my house parts look fine when baked but i had a leftover dough which i wanted to make some gingerbread men the next day, and it wasn't possible at all. bcoz of all the butter, once the dough cools its just solid - u cannot roll it out or do anything, ive tried heat it up a little, but it didn't really help... the dough weirdly crumbled..... will not be using again. i advise you strongly to find another recipe...
    Rafi Adler's picture
    Rafi Adler
    3rd Dec, 2018
    I never really bake, and had never made anything of the sort before this. It was easy to follow, and it looked surprisingly like the original! It tastes rather good as well. I managed to win a work Bake Off competition with this, so thanks BBC Good Food!
    31st Dec, 2017
    well, I made an account here just to make a comment about this recipe. This was my first time to make a gingerbread house, I followed the recipe to the dot (except for not using melasses, but using maple syrup), even bought the brown sugar etc. The ingredients aren't something I have in my house every day, so they were a bit pricey. Let's say that it's UNEATABLE, because of the baking soda it's sour and when you take a bite (I made a few gingerbread men extra), this sour taste stays in your mouth for some time and when you burp (just needed to be honest to the bone), it's horrible! I would say that something must be wrong with this recipe and I'm so disappointed, waisted 3 hours of my life, tons of nervs and money. Horrible!!!
    31st Dec, 2017
    This house makes our biggest family Christmas tradition: making and decorating the gingerbread house. Although the roof panels are a little steep so we tend to adapt the template, the gingerbread itself tastes amazing!
    Aimee Wilkins
    23rd Dec, 2017
    The worst gingerbread recipe I've used. So greasy the gingerbread wouldn't roll out, even with copious amounts of extra flour. Use a Be-Ro recipe instead.


    8th Mar, 2017
    How can I adjust the recipe to make a larger gingerbread house? Or... more dough :)
    goodfoodteam's picture
    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
    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
    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.
    14th Nov, 2016
    How long will the gingerbread house keep for ?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    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.
    13th Dec, 2014
    I can't download the template :(
    samilou1989's picture
    6th Nov, 2013
    Can someone quickly tell me how long I can leave this before eating? Thanks x
    goodfoodteam's picture
    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.
    18th Oct, 2013
    Quick question!! Can the dough be frozen??


    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.
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