I made a giant cubby house sized Hansel and Gretel gingerbread house.
This was definitely my craziest project I’ve attempted yet. If anyone has a need to make something this size, take note, do not underestimate the amount of time something like this takes. 3 solid days of hard core baking.
- The first day was spent just mixing the gingerbread dough.
- The second day was spent cutting the pieces and baking.
- The third was spent putting the whole thing together.
And here are the recipes and tools you’ll need
The gingerbread house calculator. You’ll need to know your measurements beforehand.
A cardboard cubby house to use as the frame to support this whole thing. I purchased one here in Australia , also available in the UK on Amazon
but there’s this one from Amazon for those in the US.
- 3 cups plain flour
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- 1.5 tbsp of ginger
- 1 tbsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of cloves
- 1 tsp of bicarb soda
- ¼ cup of golden syrup (or molasses)
- 113g butter
- In a mixer, pour in 3 cups plain flour, ½ cup of sugar, 1.5 tbsp of ginger, 1 tbsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of cloves, and 1 tsp of bicarb soda.
- In a saucepan, mix together ¼ cup of golden syrup and 113g butter.
- When the golden syrup and butter have melted, pour into the mixer, mix.
- Wrap in gladwrap and place in the fridge until ready to use.
- Roll and cut out gingerbread.
- Bake at 160oC for about until it’s golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
So here’s the process I took.
Use the online gingerbread house calculator to estimate how many batches of gingerbread you’ll need (it recommended ~43 batches of gingerbread for the frame I used, however I altered my gingerbread recipe so I believe I ended up needing less).
Mix mix mix all that dough! Store in the fridge until tomorrow.
Spend your day rolling out dough and baking the pieces.
Use your cardboard frame template to create a cardboard brick template, and count how many you’ll need to make.
Roll and cut out lots and lots of gingerbread bricks. I also photocopied the window shutters, window frames, roof decorations and traced out the doors so I was able to cut out the gingerbread pieces to the same size.
I finished it off by making curved roof tiles, so they would fit in with each other.
Put it all together.
Lay out painters plastic on the floor or table where you’ll ‘build’ the gingerbread house on top, because using sugar glue and icing is one big sticky mess. Pop together the cardboard frame and set to work.
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ a cup of water
- few tablespoons of golden syrup
- Mix the white sugar with the water and golden syrup.
- Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Then let it come to a low boil, until the temperature (using a candy thermometer) reaches hard crack stage.
- You can reheat this once or twice (max), but don't let it come to a boil.
- Stir until it seems smooth and flows off a wooden spoon.
Work wall by wall, drizzling sugar glue on the back of a gingerbread brick, and pressing it to the cardboard frame. Hold it for a minute until it holds.
I started on the walls first, then the roof, finishing off with doors and window shutters.
Use the royal icing (I made it semi runny so it flowed around easier) to fill into the gaps between the gingerbread bricks, where the cardboard design might be showing through.
Use a non runny royal icing to create swirls on the gingerbread for decoration.
Dust with sifted icing sugar over the roof to finish off.
I’d be lying if I said this was easy. It was three days of exhaustion, but when you start a project, especially like this, and one that’s been on your mind for a few years? You need to keep going until it’s finished.