Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gingerbread House Recipe and Template

Gingerbread House Recipe

Combine in one bowl, all at once:
2 3/4 cups flour
3t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1/4 t ground cloves (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2/3 cup molasses (Buy at Sam's Club by the gallon. It's cheaper.)
1/3 cup brown sugar

Press dough evenly onto well-oiled cookie sheet all the way to edges. Bake at 300* for 12-15 mins. or until touch leaves no impression. Use template pieces to cut out house pieces immediately. Remove from cookie sheet to counter to cool and harden. You can always stick the cut pieces back in the oven for a while to stiffen even if they've cooled.

Frosting "Cement" Recipe

3 egg whites
1/2 t cream of tartar
1 lb +/- confectioner's sugar

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner's sugar until peanut butter-like consistency. Add water if too stiff, one drop at a time!
You get to make your own template
because I'm too lazy to create a download!
I use an empty cereal box.
The measurements for the front are 7 1/2" from base to the peak, and 3 1/4" from base to bottom of roof. I forgot to measure the base of the front. It's about as wide as the roof (short end)
The measurements for the roof are 5"x5 /2"The sides are 3 1/4" tall x 4 1/2" wide.
(Just in case you couldn't read my writing!)
I had to buy Dove Chocolates instead of regular Christmas candy because there wasn't any in the stores, yet! (Add candy canes.)
Just make sure it's festive and shiny! 
( Andes candies=shutters, Waffle pretzels=windows, gumdrops and spearmint leaves-trees and bushes)

"Cement" icing. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Should be the consistency of peanut butter.
I use a "star" tip and a regular tip (round hole) to decorate. 
Spread a layer of the "cement" on a 10" cake round,
OR a ceramic tile from a flooring store.
Ask for the discontinued tiles.
You can sometimes get them for under $1 ea.
Just make sure that you put felt tabs
on the bottom corners to protect against scratches!

Quickly pipe "cement"on the sides of a side and front,
 centering them in the fresh "cement".

Repeat for other side and back.

Add roof, door and chimney. "Cement" both wrong sides of the
two chimney pieces and connect to make it thicker.

Don't let the base "cement dry before adding  the candy!
(This house was hurried! Pretty messy!)

I like to add something BIG in the back.
Today it was Santa!
For the roof I cross-hatch the cement,
and use M&M's for the centers.
Then I clean it all up by piping all around the eves,
adding dripping icicles.

Wrap in clear Cellophane. Make sure you cut a large enough piece
so that there's plenty on top, above the ribbon.

My children misplaced all of my other ribbon.
Usually there's a lot more. The more the better!

The Plan

Do you want to sell them?

I sell them for $35. each.

I always make a few samples. Some years, when we lived out West, I asked to display them in bakeries and candy shops. If that's what you want to do, remember they get a cut! So price it accordingly.

You can use one as a raffle prize like I did one year to raise money for a local Boy's and Girl's Club. 

Go to office buildings and talk to secretaries who will be thrilled if they have the assignment to get the boss' gifts for the holidays. Bring a sample to show.

Remember,you can...
  • bring one as a"White Elephant" gift
  • or a hostess gift
  • use one as a centerpiece
  • sell them at a craft fair 
  • use them for your child's teacher's gift
One more idea...have a House Party where attendees pay to watch a house being mixed, baked, and put together. AND get a house (miniature) to decorate and take home with the recipe and template. (Sort of like a Pampered Chef party)

Have fun! Let me know how it goes or if you need help. Good luck!


    1. You shared the recipe!!! I was sure it would end up being an old family recipe that you had to double pinky swear not to share! :)

      Thanks for giving us the tools to be dangerous!

    2. HAHA! Tammy! You don't know what a relief it is to pass this on to someone who will take it and run with it. It was such an opportunity given to me so long ago...pass it on!

    3. Oh Betsy, you're a true true gem!! I LOVE THIS and am sooo excited!! I bet my sweet Eve and I will attempt our first gingerbread house this Christmas!! YAY!!

      Perfect post! You made my day happier ... thank you!!

      May your day be happy too!



    4. Aw Betsy, thanks for posting this! I may even give it a go this year! It looks wonderful!
      I'm off to Tweet this!

    5. Elena, this is a very forgiving recipe. Just make sure to bake the gingerbread long enough! Have fun!

    6. We made gingerbread houses in a classroom last year. There were some...ahem....interesting architectural styles - and several structural disasters - but it was great fun and we enjoyed eating the rubble ;-)

    7. HAHA! The disasters are VERY frustrating and a great excuse to indulge. That's funny. My kids make the milk carton gingerbread houses in school every year. They're so cute!

    8. Aw Betsy, thanks for posting this! I may even give it a go this year! It looks wonderful!
      I'm off to Tweet this!


    What do you think? I'd love to know.