Tips on how to make a top-notch gingerbread dough
#1 – Bring the dough together with water
If the dough is looking a little dry, don’t panic, just add a small splash of water and the dough will come together.
#2 - Don’t roll the dough too thin
If your gingerbread pieces are too thin, your house will come crashing down! Rolling the dough out to 5mm (1/4 inch) thick will give you the strong foundations you need to make your gingerbread palace.
#3 - Roll your dough between two sheets of parchment paper
There’s nothing more annoying than dough sticking to your work surface or rolling pin! Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper (or baking sheets) to get yourself out of those sticky situations.
#4 - Use a ruler when cutting your shapes
There are tonnes of gingerbread house templates online to give you all the shapes you need. If you don’t have a steady hand, use a ruler to help you neatly cut out your shapes.
#5 – Use a rotary pizza cutter
If you’re finding it hard to cut the shapes with a knife, use a rotary pizza cutter instead to give you more control.
#6 – Create beautiful stained glass windows
Place a boiled sweet in the windows of your gingerbread house before you bake them – the sweets will melt to create beautiful, coloured windows. You can also crush some different coloured boiled sweets and place a small pile of crushed pieces in the windows to create some stunning stained glass windows!
#7 - Trim your shapes while they’re still warm
Sometimes your gingerbread pieces can spread slightly while they cook. When you take them out of the oven, trim the shapes while they’re still warm to tidy up the edges.
#8 - Make your gingerbread gluten-free
Can’t have gluten? No problem! Simply replace the plain flour with gluten-free flour.
Grab your hard hat – it’s time to build and decorate your gingerbread house!
It’s time to unleash your creativity – grab your candy canes, peppermints and royal icing and get ready to decorate your gingerbread house.
Take a look at these helpful tips on how to build and decorate your new masterpiece.
#1 – Look online for some inspiration
If you don’t know how to decorate your gingerbread creation, have a look online to get some ideas and plan what you’re going to do.
#2 – Make sure the gingerbread has cooled completely before starting
Your gingerbread pieces must be cooled completely before you build your delicious house, otherwise, your royal icing won’t stick your pieces together and the walls can curve – nobody wants a wobbly house!
#3 - Decorate pieces first before sticking them together
When your gingerbread pieces are stuck together, it can be quite hard to decorate your house in an upright position. Why not try and decorate the front of the house, roof pieces, and sides of the house on a flat surface first? Then you just need to stick the pieces together, and Bob’s your uncle – you have a stunning gingerbread house!
#4 – Stop your royal icing drying out
Everyone knows that you can’t build a house without cement! Royal icing hardens as it dries, making it the perfect tool to stick your gingerbread house together. Cover your bowl of royal icing with a damp cloth while you’re building your house, this will stop the icing from drying out.
#5 – Put your royal icing in a piping bag
Place your royal icing in a piping bag so you have more control over where it goes, giving your house a neater finish.
#6 – Make icicles with your icing
Not only is royal icing a great sort-of-cement, but it’s also the perfect consistency to create icicles on your gingerbread house – giving your house a real festive feel!
#7 - Sprinkle icing sugar over your house
Sift some icing sugar over the top of your creation to make it look like freshly fallen snow.
#8 – Protect your house with plastic wrap
Sometimes a gingerbread house is so beautifully decorated, it’s too good to eat! Why not proudly display your gingerbread palace instead? We suggest lightly covering your house in plastic wrap or cling film at night to protect it and keep it looking great.
#9 - Add an electric tea light
Take your Christmas display to the next level and bring your gingerbread house to life with the warm glow of an electric tea light.