You have been there. Happy thoughts of a beautiful gingerbread house with happy children and an amazing decoration to liven your winter home. But it’s not always so! Here’s our simple secret to The Ultimate Gingerbread House. You’ll be amazed!
Who doesn’t love a good gingerbread house? I mean really.
But who has laboured over one to find it slip apart, have the roof fall off, or the walls fall down, or have had the gingerbread tooth breaking hard? Well, unless you started off with a full proof recipe in the first place, I think we have all fallen victim to the Gingerbread House that looks as though it was face to face with the Big Bad Wolf.
So, what’s the secret?
The stores are littered with heaps of gingerbread house kits. And honestly, I have never tried one so I can not speak with any authority on their merits or shortcomings. I am usually of the opinion however that homemade is better. So I am going to share with you my gingerbread recipe, and the secret to making it stay upright, and together, house-like, quaint cottage-like, and not so much landslide disaster victim-like. The secret is not so much about the baking of the bread – but in the icing. Yes, the icing. We call it icing cement. And it works. So right now, before you go any further – get all the notions of royal icing out of your head. IT DOES NOT WORK. There is one more secret, and you’re going to kick yourself if you haven’t thought of it yet. You’ll see.
Gingerbread House Recipe
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. baking soda
1/2 tbsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 300 F, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Whip cream and vanilla until soft peaks form.
Mix sugar, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon in large bowl. Add molasses and whipped cream.
Gradually add the flour in, mixing completely.
Roll out on lightly floured surface, to 1/8″ thin, and cut pieces (get pdf. template here) and place on parchment lined sheets
Bake 30-40 min.
The Icing Cement
2 lg. egg whites (use pasteurized eggs)
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. water
3 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Whip egg whites with tartar and water until frothy.
Add sugar and whip on high speed until stiff. This can take a long time, and whip it until it is stiff. Really stiff. Peaks that don’t fall over at all stiff.
Use immediately. Use the icing to keep the walls up first, and then to secure the roof panels. This icing will harden really fast. Especially if you are in a more arid climate. So while you want to let each wall / corner harden up a bit before adding the next one on – you will want to work fairly quickly with the candies that you decorate, because the icing will become really difficult to work with.
(Pssst… the other secret, is lego scaffolding)