Although they are a popular Christmas baking tradition, Gingerbread houses can be tricky to construct and design. In the times I have made one it usually results in me having some sort of breakdown and walking away from the whole thing!
So, if you are wanting to find some tips on how to make your gingerbread house easier to construct and how to make it look more appealing, here are some helpful tips.
Tip 1: If you can, have a drink whilst you are making them!
If you drink and are able to drink, pour yourself something whilst you are making your gingerbread house. This will not only make the whole experience less stressful, but you can turn your gingerbread house decorating into a fun and sociable late night activity to do during these duller times.
Tip 2: If you are baking your house from scratch, add sweets before baking for a glass window effect
Once you have cut out the shape of your gingerbread house with your dough. Cut out some windows, then fill these windows with some hard, colourful, crushed up sweets (it is very important that these sweets are hard boiled ones).
Then put in the oven for the recommend heat and time, making sure your dough is on a baking tray. Once your gingerbread dish ready your sweets should of melted together and created a stain glass window effect.
Tip 3:Grate the sides of the gingerbread house to give them a flatter surface that’s easier to stick together.
Once your gingerbread comes out of the oven the edges can often curve round making them very hard to stick together with icing. Try grating the edges of the gingerbread to give them flatter edges – making it easier to construct. Alternatively if your gingerbread is soft enough you can cut off the round edges off with a warm sharp knife.
Tip 4: Make sure your icing is thick
Icing is the thing that not only holds the house together. But it also will hold all the decorations in place. I would recommend buying icing that is premade and thick. If you are wanting to make your own icing, use royal icing sugar and add very little water to the mixture.
*Construction Tip* When Beginning to construct your gingerbread house. Use books or anything else similar to support the gingerbread pieces whilst the icing dries. Or alternatively if you have a base to your gingerbread house use cocktail sticks to stick the house together whilst it dries.
Tip 5 :Before decorating pick your colour scheme!
Before buying the decorations for your house a good way of making it look more neat is having a set colour theme. You could have anything from colourful sweets to a dark and white chocolate theme. But making your house looks as though it is in some sort of pattern will create a very aesthetically pleasing image! Coconut shavings and sugar can create snowy effect
Tip 6: Another decorating tip if you are stuck on what to do is sprinkling some coconut shavings or sugar over your house.
- Use nuts and fondant for extra effect
Another decorating idea is to use things like nuts or fondant icing for extra effect. Nuts could be used for to add a tilling/brick effect on your house. Indeed, fondant icing can also be add other features, you could make a little snowman or a Christmas tree to give your house a more exciting look.
Feature image credit:Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels photos