Homemade Gingerbread House 2.0
Last year I started a tradition of making a homemade gingerbread house with my kitchen helper. We started small and the little house fit perfectly on our mantel. This year I asked my kitchen helper what theme our gingerbread house should be and without hesitation he said “A Bear’s BBQ Gingerbread House!”. This was not surprising since Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ is his favorite place to enjoy a meal. The recipe and design approach was still simple and you can transform the dough into your own favorite destination your kitchen helper desires.
Once I knew this year’s gingerbread house theme I decided to increase the size compared to last years house and reference the actual location we visit for design elements. The building contains a classic pointed pediment design above the main set of doors. I knew if I made my house in a similar shape, the Bear’s BBQ that we love to visit would shine through. Adding in as many details as you can will transform your gingerbread house and bring a smile to your kitchen helper’s face every morning they wake up.
The gingerbread dough recipe is not only great for building a structure, it tastes great and fills your home with an amazing gingerbread scent. This is a two day process. Day one you make the dough and have it chill overnight. The overnight chill is essential, since you don’t want to be rolling out soft sticky dough. Additionally, chilling your dough will prevent the dough from spreading too much while baking and keep a clean edge. Don’t worry, if it spread slightly you can clean up the straight lines after they are removed from the oven. Your kitchen helper will have so much fun decorating and using the piping bag. I was really impressed in how well he did piping the frosting and realized that all the art he makes with glue at school and at home transfers to the kitchen. Enjoy taking nibbles of the house over the course of 2 weeks and have fun, be creative and turn your kitchen helper’s ideas into a reality.
Recipe Source: Bake From Scratch
- 1/2 Cup - Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1 Cup - Packed Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Large Edd
- 2/3 Cup - Molasses
- 2 3/4 Cups - All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon - Baking Powder
- 1 1/4 Teaspoon - Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon - Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon - Ground Cloves
- 1 Teaspoon - Ground Ginger
- 1/2 Teaspoon - Kosher Salt
- ROYAL ICING:
- 4 Cups - Confectioners Sugar
- 5 Tablespoons - Meringue Powder
- 1/3 Cup + 1/2 Teaspoon - Cold Water (the extra 1/2 tsp will be added for the icing used for decorating the exterior)
- You will be making the dough and chilling it overnight, so if you don't have your house design complete you have time. (I provide my design/dimensions in the picture above)
- To make the dough
- Using your stand mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until fluffy (3 minutes). Then add the egg, mix (scrape the edge of the bowl) Add the molasses. Mix well
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour to the butter mixture and combine
- Wrap the disc of dough in plastic wrap and chill 8hr or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have two parchment lined baking sheets ready for to transfer dough. If you have quarter sheet pans they might work best if you don't have much room in your fridge. You will be chilling the cut out dough before they go into the oven
- Cut the disc of dough in half and place the second half back into the refrigerator. Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper on your work surface. Add the dough and place another sheet of parchment on top
- Roll dough to 1/8" thickness. Place your template onto the rolled out dough and cut around. Cut up and down so the dough doesn't move too much. Cut as many template cut outs in the single sheet of dough before pulling excess dough around your template cut outs.
- Transfer this parchment paper with cut out onto a large baking sheet.
- Re-roll the dough and repeat the process until all the cut outs are complete. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes before baking
- Bake at 350 until crisp 15-20 minutes. Let the pieces completely cool on the baking sheet (not on a wire rack)
- You can keep these pieces in an airtight container for 2 days before constructing the house, just in case you need to purchase the fun details. All my details, trees, wreaths etc can be found at your local craft store.
- While the pieces are cooling it's time to make the royal icing.
- ROYAL ICING:
- In a large bowl add the confectioners sugar, meringue powder and 1/3 cup water
- Once you add the 1/3 Cup water take 1/4 of the icing and transfer into a smaller bowl. Add a 1/2 tsp of water and mix. This smaller portion of icing will be using for piping works, windows, doors, etc.
- Using a ziploc bag and your #10 pipping tip, fill with your pipping icing for decorating. I decorated the front of the house while it was laying down, once dried I could build the house.
- Using a large ziploc bag add the "construction" icing and cut a small hole at the corner. Pipe a line of icing on your parchment lined cardboard that your house will sit on. Then add icing on one side of the house. I placed an empty glass jar on the back side of the house so the two pieces could set up.
- Continue this process until the roof is in place and then have fun adding your decorations
Nicole is a professional photographer, mother to an energetic child, and founder of Make and Taste. She has been a Commercial, Editorial and Lifestyle photographer for 9 years and has been published in various magazines and brand websites. Nicole is passionate about providing her child with meaningful experiences and documenting all of the fun along the way. You can always find her baking with her 5 year old and enjoying a good cup of coffee.