Gingerbread houses are adorable, sweet and make a fun edible Christmas decoration. However the house itself can be hard to make when you don’t really know what proportions to make the wall pieces.
I found a way to make a perfect gingerbread house every time. If you know me then you know I love going to Hobby Lobby for Christmas shopping. They have a great variety of things for every type of Christmas color combo you could think of.
While I was there I saw a silicone mold for a gingerbread house. I grabbed it knowing how wonderful it would be to make gingerbread houses easily, without having to hope all the pieces fit together after you bake them.
The package had a gingerbread recipe on the back, so I used that. I could have used any recipe but decided to try the recipe that came with the mold. Following the directions for the gingerbread dough, I rolled it out and laid it over the mold and used a knife to cut off the excess. I then pushed the dough into the mold to make sure the design made an impression.
I baked it for the correct amount of time, checking it about halfway through. I noticed the walls of the house were puffed up. ( As shown in the Photo Below)
I corrected this by taking a tooth pick and poking a little hole in the center of the bubbles to let the air escape. Then I allowed them to finish cooking. I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool in the molds.
. When they were cool I placed them on the counter and pulled them from the molds. Its easier to pull the silicone mold down from the corner to get the piece in your fingers and then life it out of the mold. That way they don’t break. They looked like this below.
The package didn’t come with instructions for frosting which I thought it should. So I had to develop my own, which turned out GREAT! I have always had hard icing on my gingerbread houses but this frosting ( gingerbread house glue) held the pieces together without being hard. It was actually edible and is still pretty soft after 4 days of sitting/drying on the house. I posted the recipe below.
Once the frosting was mixed and placed in a bag to pipe, I had the boys help me put this little house together. I I tried getting them to hold the walls while I put frosting on the next piece. Once the house is built they can decorate. It helps if you pipe out the frosting and you give them little dishes of things to decorate with.
I love trying to find ways to get the little ones in on the holiday fun. They enjoy helping and feeling like they are apart of the project, which boost their self esteem. I love to see that proud look on their faces after its all finished….and I even got my husband to come over and help a little.
We all had a blast decorating this little gingerbread house. It’s the first one they have ever made! It’s not the prettiest or best looking house on the block, but we made it together and that’s what counts. We didn’t use a lot of candy because it was too tempting for the boys.
Telling my toddlers they cant eat the candy I’m handing them because it needed to go on the house would be almost torture for them. Our humble little gingerbread house maybe below the market price for its neighborhood, but its beautiful in it’s simplicity. I have a few tips for getting the kids to cooperate listed below.
I had a little bit of the dough left over so I made little gingerbread men. The recipe on the package made perfectly soft but firm enough to stand cookies / house walls. I think the cookies could have been a little sweeter. So if you plan to eat your ginger bread house you may want to add more sugar or use a different recipe with the mold.
I have to say I am so glad I bought this gingerbread house mold. It was very easy to use and because it’s made of silicone the clean up was a quick scrub with dish soap and a rinse.
Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes I would because of the ease of use. It took all the guesswork out of finding the right proportions for the gingerbread walls and roof.
The only thing I think they need to add is a frosting recipe to the packaging and a note that says “Check for air bubbles while baking. If air bubbles rise pop with toothpick”.
Hobby Lobby does not have the mold I used listed online but a similar one can be purchased here: Silicone Gingerbread House Mold
Tips For Decorating A Gingerbread House With Kids:
- Explain what you’re going to do. Maybe show a finished picture of a house so they can visualize the goal.
- Give them each their own section of the house to decorate so they don’t fight.
- If candy makes your kids crazy or hyper try letting them decorate with cereal, raisins or dried fruit.
- Let them be messy. If they are getting frosting everywhere you can always clean it up.
- Let them explore and decorate how they feel. You’re creating memories, get lots of photos of them.
- If they do get crazy with the frosting bottle/bag, (Ex. Say “Mama puts on the frosting while the you get to stick the decorations on”
- 2 Cups Powdered Sugar + Extra For Consistency
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 1 Egg White
I put the egg white in a bowl and mixed in the cream of tartar. I mixed those together and added the powdered sugar until it was dry and crumbly. Then I added the water until I got the consistency I was looking for which was thick but easy to squeeze through a piping bag. I then placed the frosting into a bag and started gluing the gingerbread house together.
If you want your frosting thinner add more water. Or less water if you want it thicker.
- 1/2 Cup of Sugar
- 1/2 Cup of Molasses
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of Ginger
- 1 teaspoon of Allspice
- 1 teaspoon of Ground Cloves
- 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of Baking Soda
- 1/2 cup of Butter
- 1 Egg Beaten
- 3 1/2 Cups of Flour
Start by Pre-heating the Oven to 325
Combine the sugar, molasses, ginger, allspice cloves and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Heat until boiling stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. It should foam, then add butter and stir until melted. Add the egg, stirring into the mixture with a fork. Add flour stirring also. Knead dough on floured work surface until mixed.
Roll the dough out about 1/4 of an inch thick. Press into molds, or shape into walls and a roof.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. (Watch Carefully to see if any air bubbles form. If so gently pop with a skewer or knife tip. Cool on a wire rack completely before moving.
For More Amazing Gingerbread House Inpiration Check Out 31 Amazing Gingerbread House Ideas