Gingerbread House Recipe –  A Christmas Tradition For The Whole Family

It is a yearly tradition in our house to make gingerbread houses at the beginning of the Christmas season. The kids (and me!) love making them and they sit on the bench until Christmas smelling divine and looking festive.

The trick is to find a good gingerbread recipe that makes a super large batch. I hunted high and low for a gingerbread house recipe that made a large enough batch of gingerbread. Below is the large gingerbread recipe we use, it is a gingerbread house recipe mega batch for family fun!

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This large gingerbread house recipe makes 3 houses of a smallish size, 2 moderate sized ones or one massive villa style ginger bread house and some spare cookies.

gingerbread house recipe

To make a template for your ginger bread house use a corrugated cardboard box, it will help you work out how it will fit together. Ours are about 13cm (5in) across the front and 15cm (6in) long.

Alternately you can buy a cookie cutter set that takes all the guesswork out of it, and you can re-use it each year.

To make the front make a rectangle 13cm (5in) wide and 12cm (4.5in) high, in the center of the top line measure up 5cm (2in) and make a mark, make an angled line down from that mark to each of the top corners, this will give you the peaked roof.

You can use cookie cutters to cut out fancy shaped windows or doors, even try your hand at making a chimney.

If you want windows, you can crush solid sugar candy up and sprinkle them in the gaps.

Decorating a Gingerbread House with Children

We LOVE spending a day decorating our gingerbread houses, but I have picked up a few tips along the way to make gingerbread house decorating much easier with young children.

  1. Pre-make the cookies a day or two before – this is an activity best done once little people are in bed. The straighter the gingerbread cookies, the easier the assembly
  2. Either pre-assemble the house hours before the decorating, or allow the kids to add the sweets while the cookies are flat. I find that pre-assembly works best
  3. The royal icing will eventually set VERY hard, but it takes time to get like that. Use drinking glasses to help support the edges of the roof while the icing sets
  4. Put all the candy into bowls and let the children select some candy to use in to their own bowls or plates. This reduces the inevitable candy eating and running out of the best sweets before everyone is finished

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Large Gingerbread House Recipe

Ingredients:
360g soft butter
3C packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 C treacle (you can substitute for golden syrup or molasses)
12 C flour
1t salt
2t baking powder
2 1/2 T ground ginger
2 1/2 T mixed spice (or a blend of cinnamon, cloves and allspice)

Method:
In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar. You can do this by hand, however the batch is quite large so the stand mixer makes it so easy.

Add the eggs and treacle and beat for 3 more minutes.

On slow add in 1/2-3/4 of the flour plus all the other ingredients.

Once combined remove from the mixer and add in the rest of the flour and knead to combine.

If it is too dry you can add 1-2T of water.

Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or up to 3 days.

gingerbread house recipe
Once you are ready to roll out your dough, leave it on the bench to warm up for 20 minutes or so.

Divide it into manageable sized pieces and roll out to 5-8mm thick, leaving the rest covered with the damp tea towel.

img_0476

I find using dowels to guide the rolling pin really helpful for making sure the pieces are all the same thickness. Or you can get one of the rolling pins with the pin rings.

Or you can use the handles of wooden spoons for a similar effect.

Cut out your design, re-rolling the dough as necessary.

gingerbread house recipe

Bake on baking paper at 180C/350F for 13-15 minutes or until dark golden. While they are hot and soft you can re-trim any stretched edges if you like so they fit together better.

Once cool, you can ice the together with royal icing. This process is slow and painstaking, but the longer you can leave each join to dry before adding more, the less likely they are to collapse!

Use plenty of icing-glue, and allow 20-30 minutes for the walls to dry before you attempt to add the roof.

Royal Icing Recipe – Mega batch for Ginger Bread Houses

Beat 4 large egg whites until very thick.

Beat in 2T of lemon juice (or water) and 1kg/2Lb of icing sugar.

You can add additional water or icing sugar if it is too thick or too thin depending on the size of your egg whites, but I find 4 whites to 1kg to be pretty much perfect.

I put the icing in to several ziplock bags and cut the end off, one for each house-maker.

Then we set up bowls of lollies up the table and let the kids have at it. Below is a gallery of a few years we have done this.

What Christmas traditions do you have in your family? Let me know in the comments below!

Gingerbread houses from 2014:

img_1378 img_1384 img_1391 img_3704

Gingerbread houses from 2015:img_4964

Gingerbread houses from 2016:img_4965 img_4966 20161127_150411a 20161127_150359

Yield: 3 houses

Gingerbread House Recipe -  A Christmas Tradition For The Whole Family

Gingerbread House Recipe -  A Christmas Tradition For The Whole Family

This is a large batch gingerbread house recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 360g soft butter
  • 3C packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 C treacle (you can substitute for golden syrup or molasses)
  • 12 C flour
  • 1t salt
  • 2t baking powder
  • 2 1/2 T ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 T mixed spice (or a blend of cinnamon, cloves and allspice)

Instructions

    In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar. You can do this by hand, however the batch is quite large so the stand mixer makes it so easy.

    Add the eggs and treacle and beat for 3 more minutes.

    On slow add in 1/2-3/4 of the flour plus all the other ingredients.

    Once combined remove from the mixer and add in the rest of the flour and knead to combine.

    If it is too dry you can add 1-2T of water.

    Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or up to 3 days.

    Once you are ready to roll out your dough, leave it on the bench to warm up for 20 minutes or so.

    Divide it into manageable sized pieces and roll out to 5-8mm thick, leaving the rest covered with the damp tea towel.

    I find using dowels to guide the rolling pin really helpful for making sure the pieces are all the same thickness. Or you can get one of the rolling pins with the pin rings.

    Or you can use the handles of wooden spoons for a similar effect.

    Cut out your design, re-rolling the dough as necessary.

    Bake on baking paper at 180C/350F for 13-15 minutes or until dark golden. While they are hot and soft you can re-trim any stretched edges if you like so they fit together better.

    Once cool, you can ice the together with royal icing. This process is slow and painstaking, but the longer you can leave each join to dry before adding more, the less likely they are to collapse!

    Use plenty of icing-glue, and allow 20-30 minutes for the walls to dry before you attempt to add the roof.

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Making gingerbread houses has become an annual Christmas tradition in our house. This is my favourite gingerbread recipe, it makes a massive bulk batch and it is delicious. Get your kids involved this year and start a new tradition!

The trick is to find a good gingerbread recipe that makes a super large batch. Here is the large gingerbread recipe we use. It makes 3 houses of a smallish size, 2 moderate sized ones or one massive villa style house and some spare cookies
The trick is to find a good gingerbread recipe that makes a super large batch. Here is the large gingerbread recipe we use. It makes 3 houses of a smallish size, 2 moderate sized ones or one massive villa style house and some spare cookies.

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