Gingerbread houses are the be-all and end-all of the crafty Christmas bake. They’re spectacular, tasty and magical, bringing Hansel and Gretel’s fairytale to life in an enchanting Christmas tradition. From crunchy gingerbread and alluring festive aromas to intricate design, gingerbread houses turn the act of baking into impressive art making, producing the ultimate Christmassy creation your customers can enjoy – one feature at a time.
What makes a gingerbread house stand out more than any other bake associated with the festive season is its simple technique yet all-encompassing appearance. Depending on the time you have at your disposal, you can make your house as grand as you like, building on its basic structure, adding colours, iced decorations and little design traits that will give it the wow factor.
Whether you’ve created countless gingerbread houses before or not, there are several tips and tricks we’ve found which will make the whole process much easier, creating a striking edible home ready to serve.
1. Craft your gingerbread when it’s warm
Its crunchy texture is what makes gingerbread so delicious, but it isn’t ideal when trimming your designs. Being organised and ready to trim your gingerbread fresh from the oven (and warm) will give you the perfect outlines you need.
2. Decorate your house before it’s built!
Instead of building your house first, begin to decorate its exterior. It’s significantly easier to pipe decorations on flat walls. You can add more of the finishing touches afterwards when you can see it in all its glory.
3. Add food colouring to the royal icing
Royal icing is strong, and will do just the job for sticking together parts of your house. But, if you want to give your gingerbread house a neater look, you could add food colouring to the icing mix. Experiment with various shades to create a similar colour to the gingerbread, offering a striking, seamless build.
4. Use gelatin sweets for transparent windows
Making your gingerbread house as realistic as possible is how your bake will truly stand out. For the advanced baker, one way to do this is to cut out window frames, and stick gelatin sheets inside. This creates transparent windows which you can decorate – that are, of course, edible! Doesn’t it look great?
5. Experiment with various sweets and confectionery!
Why not add colour, taste and texture to your gingerbread house by experimenting with a variety of confectionery? Just some of the options include chocolate roof slates, candy cane pillars, licorice straw wreaths and mini marshmallow snow piles. Simply stick down using royal icing!
6. Sprinkle with icing sugar
To finish off your gingerbread house, why not create a magical snowy scene? Sprinkle icing sugar onto your finished house, and add glitter for extra sparkle!
7. Add lights!
With its bare interior and gelatin windows comes a fantastic opportunity to make your creation really spectacular. Place battery powered fairy lights into the house before fitting your decorated roof. You’ll then have a picturesque gingerbread house! Amazing!
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