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

    • 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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    Tom Weston's picture
    Tom Weston
    11th Dec, 2017
    The most frustrating thing I have ever encountered. Please don't waste your time on the simple fragile construction!! Biscuits taste great, but don't waste an afternoon and then an evening attempting the house!
    4th Dec, 2017
    I put the entire gingerbread ingredients plus a lightly whisked egg in the mixer (without heating/melting butter etc) until it came together in a dough and used it to make excellent gingerbread flavoured shaped biscuits rather than a house. My point is, if you add an egg, you will have a decent sturdy gingerbread recipe for biscuits.
    18th Dec, 2016
    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!
    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
    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.
    21st Dec, 2015
    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.
    17th Dec, 2015
    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
    10th Aug, 2015
    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!
    17th May, 2015
    Followed the recipe closely (except for skipping the flaked almonds) and it worked really well! Baking time was about right too.
    4th Feb, 2015
    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!


    goodfoodteam's picture
    22nd Dec, 2014
    Thanks for your question, this dough should be fine to freeze, just defrost overnight in the fridge before using.


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