You’ll find plenty of sweet ideas for making gingerbread houses in this collection that includes decorating tips, free templates to download and even a few recipes.
Before you start building, you’ll need some gingerbread to work with. Here’s a vintage recipe from Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie series)…
1 cup brown sugar blended with
1/2 cup lard or other shortening.
1 cup molasses mixed well with this.
2 teaspoons baking soda in 1 cup boiling water
(Be sure cup is full of water after foam is run off into cake mixture).
Mix all well.
To 3 cups of flour have added one teaspoon each of the following spices: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves; and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sift all into cake mixture and mix well.
Add lastly 2 well-beaten eggs.
The mixture should be quite thin.
Bake in a moderate oven for thirty minutes.
Raisins and, or, candied fruit may be added and a chocolate frosting adds to the goodness.
Ready to start creating your masterpiece? Here’s a bunch of tutorials to help you out, enjoy!
With Dormers: Nice design with two dormers along the side.
Perfect: All you need is here, recipes for dough and icing, templates (pdf), assembly and decorating instructions.
Simple Template: This makes a small version and available via pdf.
Charming & Simple: Decorations include flaked almonds, mini-chocolate fingers, assorted sweets and edible silver balls.
How-To Slideshow: Picture slideshow detailing how to put one together and basic decorating instructions, pdf file available.
These don’t include pattern pieces but they offer plenty of good tips, techniques and ideas for decorating.
Making A Village: A nice tutorial and great suggestions for decorations:
- Snow: melted white chocolate sprinkled with sparkling sugar and lined with silver dragees.
- Wreaths & Window Boxes: licorice whips & green peppercorns.
- Shutters & Lintels: sticks of chewing gum.
- Red Chimney & Door: dough tinted with food coloring (outline them and house joints with royal icing).
- Pathway: sunflower seeds, puffed millet, and dragees.
- Thatched Roof: All-Bran cereal lined with sticks of red gum.
- Eaves & Masonry: jelly beans.
- Window Frames: sticks of gum.
- Doorknobs: dragees.
- Windows: To create a warm glow, place hard candies on a lightly oiled nonstick sheet pan at 350°F until melted, 5 or 6 minutes. Do not let the candy bubble; remove it from the oven as soon as it has melted.
- Mortar: Royal icing is the “glue” that holds the pieces together and the embellishments in place.
Lessons Learned, Tips & Recipe: Offers a variety of tips when first getting started including…
- Plan on needing at least a couple days to make one (for baking, assembling and decorating).
- Save an old pizza box and use the cardboard for template pieces.
- When first “gluing” the pieces together with royal icing, use heavy objects like canned goods and bottles of oil to hold the pieces tight together until the icing dries.
Much more available (plus another good article referenced with more tips here).
Some nice tips offered along with quick instructions for how to make lovely trees (the picture here is an unfinished version, see the link for completed trees with snow-capped branches).
More suggestions: a fondant snowman, flood icing to make icicles (with #2 piping tip) and lots of glittery goodies made with disco dust.
Another goody to check out: Scandinavian Pepparkakstuga.