Anna Polyviou's Gingerbread House
“This is a simple construction that’s especially delicious – a fun activity for everyone to make at Christmas time. The framework is there, now it's time to showcase your creative flair to decorate it anyway you like!” - Anna Polyviou
- 80g unsalted butter
- 160g honey
- 150g brown sugar
- 1 tbs vanilla bean paste
- 650g plain flour
- 50g baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 4 eggs
- 100ml milk
- 2 egg whites
- 500g icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 bag chocolate freckles
- 1 bag liquorice all sorts
- Star sprinkles
Before you start, you will need to create some cardboard templates and cookie cutters:
1 x 24cm square
2 x 15cm x 20cm rectangles
2 x 20cm triangles
5cm gingerbread men cookie cutters
4cm star cookie cutters
7cm tree cookie cutters
- Melt butter, honey, vanilla paste and brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool.
- Sift flour, baking powder, spices and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the lemon zest and beat on low speed until combined, then add the cooled liquids. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated into a dough. Divide dough into 4 even pieces, enclose in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Line 4 large baking trays with baking paper.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, place on a floured surface and roll out to 5mm thick.
- Place cardboard templates on the dough and to use as a guide to cut out all of the shapes. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes from remaining dough. Place cookies on prepared trays, arranging larger and smaller pieces separately, and brush the tops with milk.
- Bake larger gingerbread pieces for 10-12 minutes, and smaller pieces for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on wire racks.
- To make the royal icing, place egg whites in the small bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on low speed until broken up. Slowly add the sifted icing sugar, then the lemon juice. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent the icing from drying out, until ready to use.
- To assemble the house, transfer royal icing to a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Place the square gingerbread piece on a cake base or serving platter and secure with a small amount of icing to make the floor.
- For the roof, pipe royal icing along both of the short sides of the two rectangles, then position short edges directly on opposite sides of the square base, so the roof meets at an apex. Hold in place for a few minutes to stabilise.
- For the walls, pipe icing around the border of both triangles. Press triangles against opposite open sides of the roof and hold in place for a few minutes to stabilise. Pipe icing along all joins to secure. Leave the house for 30 minutes or until the icing has completely set.
- Meanwhile, decorate the gingerbread men, tree and stars with icing.
- Once the gingerbread house has set, use your imagination to decorate with the remaining icing, freckles, all sorts, sprinkles and extra gingerbread shapes.
Click here to download all of our gingerbread house cut-out templates.
This recipe is part of a collection of delicious recipes we've curated with some of our favourite chefs to help you make a Meal to Remember with your family or friends at home. To see the whole collection click here.