Log Home Gingerbread House
Make a gingerbread house with this gingerbread house recipe or use a gingerbread house kit to make a beautiful and fun Christmas centerpiece.
The beauty of making a gingerbread house is that kids can help, and the finished gingerbread house centerpiece doesn’t have to be perfect.
Gingerbread houses are a log home tradition, and you don’t have to be an artist, a pastry chef or even that creative, to make a gingerbread house that smells great and quickly becomes the center of attention!
Make a Gingerbread House with This Gingerbread House Recipe
A gingerbread house is made with human grade ingredients and is edible, but it’s mostly for display. So, if your kids want to make a few gingerbread cookies on the side, that’s OK.
The main thing is that you need to be flexible and just enjoy the project together…
Make a Gingerbread House Dough
Make patterns or templates using the patterns below. Enlarge them on a photocopier to get the size that you want.
1 ½ cups vegetable shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 t. salt
6 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
- Use a heavy duty mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat the shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the molasses and vanilla.
Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl.
- Stir dry ingredients into the shortening mixture and mix until well combined.
- Divide the dough into 2 balls, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Cut Out Gingerbread House Shapes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out dough to 1/4” thick, on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. If you prefer, you can roll it between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
- Remove the top piece of parchment paper.
- Use the patterns that you made (See below). Spray templates with cooking oil and position them on the dough.
- Cut around the outlines of the templates and cut out the windows (or score them, if you just want to outline them with icing).
Bake the Gingerbread House Pieces
- Carefully slide the parchment paper, with the gingerbread house pieces onto a baking sheet. Make sure the pieces lie flat.
- Bake at 350 F until the gingerbread house pieces are firm, but not hard to the touch, about 20-25 minutes.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Decorate Your Gingerbread House
When you make a gingerbread house, the most fun is decorating the house! This is where your imagination can go wild. And your kids will love this part!
Royal Icing Recipe to Make a Gingerbread House
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons water
1 ½ teaspoon meringue powder
- Beat the sugar, water and meringue powder in a medium bowl at high speed for 8-10 minutes, until it is stiff.
- You can color the icing with food coloring, but traditional gingerbread house icing is white, to simulate snow on the house. To color the icing, divide the icing into 3 bowls. Color one red, one green and leave one white. If you do this, work fast.
- Spoon some of the icing into a pastry bag with a #3 decorating tip.
- Cover the rest of the icing, as it can dry and get hard fast.
Put the Gingerbread House Together
- Use a plate or piece of cardboard for the base (what you’ll set the Gingerbread House on).
- The trickiest part when you make a gingerbread house is assembling the pieces. You will use the royal icing as “glue” to hold the pieces together and to attach candy, nuts or other decorations to the house.
- Using the pastry bag, pipe icing along the edges of the gingerbread house pieces.
- Hold the pieces in place or prop them up until the icing begins to harden. Make the sides of the house first; then attach the roof last.
Decorate a Gingerbread House
This is where the fun begins when you make a gingerbread house! I’ll give you some ideas to get you started. And make sure you check out my gingerbread house pictures here for more ideas.
- Log house – Use your pastry tube to make the chinking on a log cabin. The gingerbread has the color of stained logs.
- Doors and windows – pipe icing for a door, wreath and windows. Add little candies to the wreath for color and texture.
- Porch or deck – use flat candy (chocolate?) to form a flat surface in front of the gingerbread house.
- Snow – White snow on the roof and the lawn makes your gingerbread house look wintry.
- Roof – Slivered almonds give your gingerbread house roof a tiled look.
- Bushes – use green icing to make little bushes
- Berries – pipe little dots onto the bushes to make red berries.
- Sugar crystals – will give your gingerbread house some sparkle
- Candy canes – fun to add. Use them to line the path to your house.
- Path to the house – use pretty candies to lead guest to your gingerbread house.
You’ll think of even more ways to make a gingerbread house special. Make sure you check out my gingerbread house pictures for more ideas.
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