Why not skip the boxed gingerbread house kit this year and opt for a beautiful, delicious homemade gingerbread instead? It’s incredibly easy and worth the extra effort – and if you have kids, they’ll enjoy the extra baking fun!
Now, how about some professional tips from your friendly local homebuilder on making a structurally sound gingerbread house?
Tip #1 – Design your Home
It might sound cheesy, but to build the perfect house, one must begin with a design, right? Let the kids have fun with playing architect for the day and have them “design” the perfect gingerbread house. Having a basic idea of how you want your house to look will determine what shapes of gingerbread you will have to bake (perhaps some cutouts for windows?) Take a look at pictures on Pinterest for inspiration.
Tip #2 – Recipe is Key
Do some research and find a gingerbread recipe that has been developed specifically for building gingerbread houses, as gingerbread cookie recipes are generally softer and won’t harden properly for your foundation. Recipes for building gingerbread houses are less for eating and more for decorating. We love this recipe from Craftsy.
We can’t stress how important it is to cool your gingerbread down before using it as the building blocks for your gingerbread house. You may want to consider baking your gingerbread a day or two ahead of time so it has time to harden. If your gingerbread is soft, the house won’t be stable.
Put your house together and let it dry before letting kids help you decorate. This part of the homebuilding process can be frustrating and a little bit tricky, so we recommend the kids sit this step out until it’s time to decorate.
Tip #5 – Lighten Up Your Load
Just like a real house, too much on top will cause your roof to cave in. When decorating your roof, stick to lighter candies and toppings like shredded coconut, cocoa powder, etc.