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Gingerbread House Tutorial and How-To…From a PRO!

Gingerbread House Tutorial and How-To…From a PRO!

Tip 7: When making royal icing, I always make the version with meringue powder.

So easy, so dependable! But for good measure, here is the recipe with egg whites

Sweet Edible Gingerbread House Cement: Royal Icing

Sweet Edible Gingerbread House Cement: Royal Icing

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 t cream of tartar
  • 2 lb (1 bag) powdered sugar
  • ½ t clear artificial vanilla

Instructions

  1. Pour egg whites into an impeccably clean mixing bowl, free from all traces of grease. Add the sugar and cream of tartar and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 10-15 minutes, until the icing is stiff. A stand mixer is also very helpful here.
  2. To prevent crusting over, keep the bowl covered with a wet cloth at all times. Be sure all utensils used to mix and store royal icing are free from any traces of grease. This is critical, as even the smallest trace of fat means that the icing will not set.

Mix up a big batch, and prevent it from crusting over by putting a wet towel over the bowl.


If you’re going to assemble more than one house, use a large disposable pastry bag. You want to have to refill as infrequently as possible.


KopyKake brand is vastly preferable to Wilton brand for disposable bags. You’ll have to order online or go to a cake decorating store to find the KopyKake brand, however. (Buy them here) It’s not available at the big craft stores. I’d choose parchment paper cones over the Wilton disposable cones. I’ve had too many of them burst at the seams.

Tip 8: Cake circles make perfect, pretty bases for small houses.


Yes, I buy them 100 at a time. We’re that serious about gingerbread. You can buy them here.

For larger houses, I cut cardboard boxes into rectangles, and cover with freezer paper, dull side out. It makes a nice, snowy white, inexpensive base. While it’s not strictly necessary to make the house on a base, it’s much sturdier, and I love having room to landscape around my gingerbread houses.

Tip 9: Especially if you’re going to make multiple houses, seriously consider an A-frame design.

Not only does it look cute and germanic, it’s also super easy to assemble!

My husband’s job, holding the first two pieces for me:


And then it stands up on its own while I assemble the rest:


If you’re going to make more elaborate designs, especially ones with four walls and a roof, assemble in stages. Adhere the walls together, and prop them in place with cans, just like Paula figured out. DON’T add the roof yet! Wait a few hours, come back, and then you can add the roof. Be sure your royal icing is nice and thick, especially if you have a steep pitch to your roof, and if possible, stack cans to reach right under the eaves, to hold the roof in place should it start to slip before the icing sets up.

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Thanks for checking out my Gingerbread House Tutorial and How-To…From a PRO! post. Check out the full collection of Christmas articles, and also find more Christmas gift, decor, and recipe ideas by Tauni Everett, Michelle Stewart, Randi Dukes, Ashton Swank, Mariah Leeson and Liz Call.
 

M.Upham

Wednesday 10th of July 2019

Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I have never liked the taste of gingerbread. Never. I made this for Christmas and I couldn't stop snarfing it down. The flavor was perfect! And the recioe worked wonderfully for our gingerbread houses. We are using this recipe from now on every year.

Paula Biggs

Monday 15th of July 2019

I'm so glad it worked so well for you! I do agree--it's one to use every year. Tikkido does such a great job with all her gingerbread recipes!

Sharlene Baker

Saturday 8th of December 2018

Hi, Paula. Thanks for sharing your recipes and your tutorial. I was thinking of making this with my preschool class (16 children). I've just ordered cookie cutters to make the house. The Dimensions are 5.5" tall for the front and back of the house, the side wall is 5.7", and the roof and base floor is 6.69x3.93" (not even sure if I would do the floor). Would I need to double or triple the recipe to make enough houses for my preschoolers? Thanks so much! Very excited for making these next week!

Sincerely, - Sharlene

Paula Biggs

Sunday 9th of December 2018

Hmmm...not really sure! I would not recommend doubling, as the bowl gets REALLY full with six cups of flour. I think I got 5 or 6 houses per batch with the small a-frame template tikkido provides (it is much easier to use!) Your dough usage will also differ based on how thin you roll the dough before baking.

Rebecca Gentges

Tuesday 4th of December 2018

I have used your tutorial for gingerbread for 3 years running now. It is the best one I've found yet! thanks so much for this info. It has made me very adventureous on designs. My family looks forward to designing and decorating every year now. My husband can't wait for the leftover sticks!!!!

Paula Biggs

Tuesday 4th of December 2018

Thanks so much, Rebecca! We're huge fans of Tikkido's recipe, too!! We're on year 8, and don't see changing any time soon :) It's perfect!

Jo Edmunds

Friday 30th of November 2018

Hey! Just wanted you to know I’ve been making this recipe for the last 7 years and it has always turned out perfect. I can consistently get 5 A frame houses plus extra trees, animals, etc out of one batch which is plenty for my family. I love your tip to use a silpat mat. I now use one 1’x3’ piece of cardboard (double thick) for a gingerbread village. Plus it’s easier to move when needed. And I’ve made cookie cutters for the A frame shapes. Streamlined the process so much! Thanks again! Happy gingerbread house making!

Paula at Frog Prince Paperie

Saturday 15th of December 2018

What a fabulous idea! I love how you've made it your own. Wishing you many more happy years of gingerbread baking. :)

Brenna

Sunday 18th of November 2018

How many houses can you make out of this recipe?

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