Scrumbles Gingerbread House
X2 Front/back pieces - 20x24cm
X2 Side pieces - same as pieces above, plus with a traingular peak shape at the top - so overall these are taller
X2 Roof pieces - 20.5x13cm (approximately - it’s best to make your front and side piece templates first, then check that your roof pieces will fit with these)
- 330g salted butter (cubed and softened, room temperature)
- 330g dark muscovado sugar
- 210g golden syrup
- 65g black treacle
- 800g plain flour
- 5tbsp ground ginger 1tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2tsp ground cloves
- Up to 2tbsp water, to combine
- 550g icing sugar
- 90g egg white (approx 3 medium egg whites)
- Plus, a little additional icing sugar and egg white to tweak consistency.
- Your choice of food dyes
Plus extra icing sugar (up to 100g) to thicken icing consistency for building structure and icicle piping.
- Your choice of sprinkles
- Green candy melts (or your choice of sweets/chocolate for the roof)
- 120g coconut flakes
- 100g icing sugar (to decorate and dust)
- 1kg white fondant
- A few tablespoons of liquid glucose/golden syrup/jam to brush on to gingerbread
- Piece or clear orange hard candy, or isomalt (optional)
1) Add the butter, muscovado sugar, golden syrup and treacle to a bowl. Beat with a spatula or electric beaters, until smooth, combined and easily spreadable.
2) Add the flour and ground spices. Mix, aiming to combine the flour into the butter mixture by using a spatula or wooden spoon to repeatedly press it together against the sides of the bowl. One the mixture starts coming together, switch to using your hands to combine into a ball. Add up to 2tbsp water to help combine.
3) Divide the dough into three roughly equal pieces (it’s easier to work with less at a time). Then place a piece of dough on to a large sheet of baking paper. Scatter the top with a little extra flour, then roll out to the thickness of a pound coin (I prefer thinner gingerbread, and this way you’ll ensure you have enough for the whole house!). Place a paper template on top, then use a knife or pizza wheel to cut around it. Remove the excess dough around it. Slide the baking paper (along with shaped dough) on to a baking tray. Then chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven 180C (fan).
4) Repeat this process, using remaining dough and rerolling cutoffs, until you have cut out all the necessary template shapes for the main structure (x2 roof pieces, x2 for front and back of house, and x2 for sides of house). Tip: You can cut out a window shape on the front piece if you want to create a window that has potential to light up later. Just make sure to bake the separate window frame a little differently to the rest. It will need a thin border/frame, with the centre removed. Add a piece of clear orange candy or isomalt to the centre before baking. Leave the sugar to cool completely before peeling this off the baking paper.
5) Using the leftover scraps of dough, remember to cut out the smaller shapes for the windows of the house, door, christmas trees, sleigh, presents on top of the sleigh, cat for the roof, and signpost. Just remember to chill each tray before baking, and try to keep all the smaller pieces on a separate baking tray as they will bake faster.
6) Bake the larger structural shapes for around 15 minutes, or until they darken at the edges. Let cool for 15 minutes on the baking tray (they will firm up once cool) , before carefully transferring to a wire rack. The smaller shapes (depending on exact size) will take roughly 8-10 minutes to bake.
7) Once you have all the shapes baked, make the royal icing to decorate the windows. Add the icing sugar and egg white to a bowl and whisk until smooth and combined. You want the consistency to hold a ribbon for around 15-20 seconds, before this smooths itself out. This will be a good consistency for outlining, flooding and decorating the windows with cat designs. If the consistency is too thick/too thin, add additional icing sugar or egg white to adjust it slightly. A little goes a long way!
8) Divide the icing into separate bowls, depending on how many different colours you want to create. Leave at least around a 1/3 of the icing in the main bowl - this is for assembling the gingerbread house later.
9) Stir through gel food dyes to colour your icing, then place these into separate piping bags. For the green and blue background colours on each window (plus pink on the door), it’s useful to have two piping bags of green, two of blue, etc. Have a much smaller quantity in one of the piping bags, and cut a small opening - this one will be for outlining. Cut a larger opening in the piping bag with more icing - this one will be for flooding (I.e. filling the area within the icing with a block colour).
10) To decorate all the windows, you will want to start each with a layer of icing (outlined and then flooded), then leave this to set before going in with the cat designs on top. If you make any mistakes, you can scrape these off, as long as the layer below has hardened fully. Royal icing can take over 4 hours to full harden, but I prefer to leave it for longer. Humidity can affect how long this process takes. Overall though, have fun with it and see what you can create! You can stick on sprinkles and use edible glitter in your designs too. And use these same techniques to decorate a biscuit sleigh and cat for the roof, a signpost, christmas trees, etc.
11) In between biscuits setting, you can cover the structural gingerbread pieces with fondant. Knead a little green food dye into the fondant (first setting aside a small amount to make a snowman cat later!), then lightly dust a work surface with icing sugar and roll out the fondant. Brush liquid glucose, golden syrup, or jam over each piece of structural gingerbread (except the roof panels!). Then cover each with a layer of fondant - just lift and drape over each piece, then smooth into place and trim off the excess. The fondant won’t look totally smooth but that’s fine. You can use a knife to score a brick pattern in the side and back panels of the house.
12) Once you’ve decorate all the windows and details, add extra icing sugar to the remaining royal icing mixture in the bowl, and keep adding icing sugar and stirring until it is thick and holds a soft peak. Place this in a large strong piping bag and cut a medium tip. Use this to pipe on the gingerbread and stick together to start creating the main structure. Whilst the icing is setting, use heavy household items just to ensure pressure is maintained and it doesn’t collapse before it sets! Add the roof pieces last of all.
13) Decorate the roof with candy melts (or similar), using icing to stick these down. Use icing to stick on all the windows and door. Decorate around the house by scattering flaked coconut (blend this a little finer first). This helps create height with the ‘snow’ on the ground effect. Then sieve over icing sugar so it dusts the roof and ground. You can use a spoon to build up areas of icing/snow too.
14) Make a snowman cat with the leftover fondant. Place the trees and sign (use icing to help stand these up). Use the remaining icing to pipe icicles hanging down from the roof edges. Add the sleigh, presents and cat on top of the roof - using icing to stick these in place. Place fairy lights inside the house if you want the sugar glass window to light up.
And you’re DONE 👏