My First Gingerbread House

Merry Christmas! I thought I would post something festive today, being Christmas Eve and all 🙂

I’ve been wanting to make a gingerbread house for years.  It’s been on my baking bucket list (yes, I have a baking bucket list) and I’m so happy I finally get to cross it off!  This wasn’t the easiest house to make and I’ve definitely learned a lot on what to do next time (especially on those damn wrought iron fence railings!), but I still wanted to share it all with you (mistakes aside).

Hopefully it will put you in the Holiday mood and inspire you to make your own!

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If you’re thinking of making a gingerbread house, it’s important to have a template.  There are a bunch of free ones online or you can design your own! I used this one. Once you’ve found a template you like, start planning out what you will put on it.  I used this gingerbread recipe which was pretty easy.  I doubled the recipe to for my size house, so feel free to make as little or as much as you’d like! Let the dough chill for a bit and then roll it out.  I would roll it out onto your baking mat (Silpat mats are a lifesaver here!) and cut your pieces right on the baking sheet.  This minimizes your shapes getting distorted by moving them.  Once you have all your pieces baked, let them cool and make sure to keep them labeled!

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If you’d like to add “glass” to your cut out windows, crush up some Werthers Original Candy and fill them into the windows after your house is baked.  Put it back into the oven for a minute or so, until the candy melts.  Make sure you don’t let it boil, otherwise you’ll have bubbles in your window! Let them cool before removing them from the baking sheet.

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Once your pieces are baked, decorate the majority of them before assembling the house (it makes for easier decorating).  You can always touch up or finish the decorating once the house is up.

Assemble your house using royal icing (recipe can be found in the same link as the gingerbread recipe above ^).  This is where soup cans, graham cracker boxes, and other random things work well to hold your pieces up while they’re drying.

Oh, btw, your kitchen will be a mess at this point. Embrace it.

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These wrought iron fences.

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OMG these fences and the hell they put me through.

They were very delicate (they were made out of royal icing) and would break every five seconds. My family would just hear yelling and horrible exclamations coming from the kitchen. They knew to stay away when that happens.

What I should have done was let them dry overnight, but I just didn’t have time.  If you do decide to add a wrought iron fence or any other piped out design, make sure you give it ample time to dry.  Just Google “wrought iron fences template” and you’ll come up with a bunch.  I laid wax paper over my design and piped the royal icing right on top.

Finish assembling and decorating your house and there you have it!

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I’ll give you a shot of each angle.

Right Side:

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Back:

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Left Side:

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Santa decided to hang out on the stoop (I couldn’t fit him on the roof–we’re improvising here!)

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Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope this makes your Holiday a little sweeter 🙂

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