Gingerbread House

I like to build a gingerbread house for our Christmas decor at home. Its a fun project for when I’m not photographing a wedding.  This year I was especially proud of my creation and decided to do a gingerbread house photo shoot. Next year I’ll photograph the house in front of our Christmas tree for that extra special holiday feeling.

I started the process just after Thanksgiving by scouring the internet for old home floor plans. I found one I liked and set out to make a template out of posterboard. Since I had never done cylinders before I wanted to make sure I could create the pieces. Once the template was done I made roughly 10 lbs of gingerbread and cut out all of the walls and roof. The final dimensions is just under 2.25 ft wide and 2 ft tall.

Once the pieces were baked I began decorating them. It’s easier to decorate them flat. On my first attempt, I wasn’t happy with the way the piping was going and tried a few different techniques to change the look, but I got flustered. This is when I accidentally dropped a good portion of the house while moving it from my counter to the table. I thought about giving up but instead decided to sleep on it.

Trial and Error

At 6 am the next day I started over and rebaked all of the walls except for the large rotunda and the roof. My next attempt at decorating worked out much better. Wednesday evening after two straight days of baking and decorating I convinced my two oldest children to hold the walls as I put them together and they dried.  At the same time, I inserted gelatin sheets I had spray painted with food coloring into the window cut outs. I went to bed that evening and prayed the gingerbread house walls wouldn’t collapse overnight.

The next morning I added the roof and covered it with fondant to shortcut adding individual tiles. Then trees and an evil snowman were added along with a lot of white frosting for snow. Everything except for the front porch is 100% edible but I wouldn’t recommend it since my gingerbread recipe is pretty hard. (In case you were wondering the stairs are made of cardboard covered in fondant. I ran out of gingerbread and wasn’t going to make more just for a few steps.)

Make it Your Own

The original house plan had a porch but I opted for none because I liked the floral decor above the doors and the stonework. Next year maybe I’ll do a wrap around porch. The original plan also had a hexagonal alcove in the dining room. I opted for a round one since it was easier and more visually interesting.

Here are some resources I found helpful: