This amazing, super-detailed gingerbread house was created easily using a silicone gingerbread house mould!
Using a silicone mould is a wonderfully simple way of making a charming gingerbread house.
It looks and tastes spectacular and it's so much fun.
The kids love it and seven years later, we're still using it, so it's totally worth the cash investment.
We have even used the same mould to make a chocolate house at Easter.
If you'd like to try it for yourself, I've taken shots of the whole process, including really clear step-by-step instructions of how to make, bake, construct and decorate your super-detailed gingerbread house.
Follow the recipe below to make your own gingerbread house.
For the gingerbread
- 180 g 6 oz butter
- 150 g 5 oz golden syrup
- 150 g 5 oz black treacle
- 125 g 4.5 oz brown sugar
- 500 g 18 oz plain flour
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the icing
- 170g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 egg whites
- 50 g chocolate beans, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 170C/340F (150C/300F fan).
Put the butter, golden syrup, black treacle and brown sugar in a pan
Melt over a low heat until liquid, then leave to cool.
In a bowl, combine the flour, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Pour the cooled syrup into the bowl.
Mix well until you have a loose dough.
Press the dough into the moulds, dividing evenly between them.
Bake the gingerbread for 25-35 minutes until just firm. Don't worry if they don't feel hard enough to build with when they first come out of the oven, they harden up as they cool.
Allow the gingerbread to cool before carefully peeling from the moulds.
Once the gingerbread is cooled and crisp make the royal icing by placing the icing sugar, cream of tartar and egg whites in a bowl and whisking until well combined. Transfer to a piping bag and snip 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) off the end of the bag.
To construct your house, you'll need a board at least a few inches larger that your house.
Start by laying the front of the house (the piece with the door) in the centre on your board then piping two generous lines of royal icing.
Stand the piece on top of the icing and use a couple of cans of food to hold the piece in place.
Pipe a new icing line at 90 degrees from your first piece of gingerbread house. You can use on the side walls as a guide to tell you where to pipe.
Pipe along the wall where the two pieces will meet, then push the next piece into place.
Repeat until all four walls are in place, using extra tins to support your walls if necessary. At this stage, it's a good idea to wait 5-10 minutes for the icing to firm up and hold your walls in place before you move on.
Pipe icing along the top edges of your house.
Remove any cans that are inside the house, then place the two roof pieces in position. Pipe a line of icing along the top and hold in place for a minute or so until the roof feels secure and doesn't slide if released.
Pipe a little icing on the board to position your door slightly ajar.
You can now add your little extras - the people and Christmas tree. It's easiest to decorate these before you stand them up on the board. Use tiny dabs of royal icing to hold the chocolate beans in place.
Now you can be as creative as you like, using your royal icing to apply your sweets/candy however you wish.
To make the icicles and snow-covered sills on my house, drop your piping bag into a second bag with only a tiny hole cut in the end. This allows you to add finer details.
I promise you'll be so proud of the results, and this super-detailed gingerbread house will definitely wow friends and family!
Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for the perfect easy, super-detailed gingerbread house
Is an easy, super-detailed gingerbread house simple to make?
For this gingerbread house, we’re using the magic of modern baking to help us create the base for this gingerbread house.
Using a silicone mould really takes the hassle out of making a gingerbread house and turns this into a simple bake that the kids can help with every step of the way.
This is a really fun bake to fill an afternoon once the kids have broken up from school. Get into the festive spirit, it can be snowing on your gingerbread house, even if we don’t get a white Christmas outside!
Will I need any special equipment for this recipe?
The main bit of kit you’ll need is a silicon mould similar to mine, which you should be able to find easily online or from specialist cooking stores. It’s a bit of an investment but creates a lovely tradition if you dust it off every year, read on for some other ideas for how to use your mould again.
You will also need a few classic baking things like weighing scales, measuring spoons, a bowl and spoon, and a cake board to build the house on. The full list of equipment can be found in the recipe card below.
Where can I buy black treacle?
Black treacle can be easily found in the baking section of the supermarket, it usually comes in a little tin and is a perfect companion to many gingery bakes bringing a lovely rich treacle caramel flavour.
How can I tell if butter has gone off?
Butter usually has quite a long shelf life, and if you follow a few simple steps you can ensure your butter keeps well.
But firstly to tell if it's gone off, check the Best Before Date to give you an indication of whether or not the butter is still ok to use. Then check to see if it smells, or tastes rancid, if it does discard the butter.
To keep your butter at its best for longer, it's a good idea to keep it in the wrapper as this protects the butter from contact with air and light, both of which speed up the spoiling process.
I like to keep butter in a container in the fridge too, as it can sometimes have a tendency to absorb odors from the fridge.
Is this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house suitable for vegetarians?
Yes, this recipe is vegetarian as it contains no meat or fish. Make sure to check any decorative elements you plan to use are suitable for vegetarians too.
Is this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house suitable for vegans?
As it is, no this recipe is not suitable for vegans as the gingerbread contains butter, and I’ve made the royal icing with egg whites. I haven’t tested this recipe using vegan alternatives yet, but you could give these options a try.
For the butter, find a plant-based alternative that behaves similarly to butter, one with a high-fat content that melts well.
The egg whites in the royal icing can be replaced with aqaufarba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas, or the water they’ve been cooked in if you cook your own from dried chickpeas. You’ll need 3 tablespoons of aquafaba to replace 1 egg white so increase accordingly if you need to.
It’s important to also check any decorative elements and chocolates or sweets you wish to use are suitable for vegans too.
Is this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house gluten-free?
I’ve used wheat-based plain flour to make my gingerbread house so this would not be suitable for someone who needs to avoid gluten in their diet.
I haven’t tried this recipe using gluten-free flour yet, but give it a go if you want to make this recipe gluten-free.
I always recommend using a good quality brand, which will usually be made from a blend of different flours such as rice flour, and oat flour, and usually a binding agent such as xanthan gum.
Remember to check the decorative elements you might be using are gluten-free too.
Is this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house safe to eat while pregnant?
For this recipe, I’m using royal icing made with raw egg white to hold the gingerbread house together and decorate it. In the UK eggs made to the Red Lion code are produced to a very high food standard, and the risk of salmonella is very low.
At the time of writing guidance from the NHS states, it's ok to eat raw eggs when pregnant as long as they are produced to the Red Lion Code, which you’ll be able to recognise with a red lion stamp on the eggs.
Advise regarding egg safety is different in other countries as egg production methods and handling differ so please check information local to you. If you have any questions or concerns please speak to a health professional, A Mummy Too does not give medical advice.
There isn’t anything else in this recipe that would usually be a problem for a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, as long as all the ingredients are in good condition and proper food hygiene is followed when baking the construction of the house.
Can I make this recipe without royal icing, or make this recipe egg-free?
The royal icing sets harder than icing just made with water and icing sugar, because of the egg whites and cream of tartar.
That said, if you need to avoid egg, or want to make this egg-free you can use aquafaba instead of egg white to create your icing as it behaves in a similar way to egg whites when mixed with cream of tartar. Use 3 tablespoons of aquafaba to replace 1 egg white, so multiply if you want to make more.
I haven’t got brown sugar, can I use caster sugar?
Ginger goes well with a molasses rich combination of black treacle and brown sugar, if you don’t have brown sugar you can use caster sugar instead, just keep in mind the texture and flavour of the gingerbread will be slightly different.
Can I add extra ginger to this recipe?
This recipe has a tablespoon of ground ginger which is ample to make a rich gingery flavour. If you find the mix is bland it might be because you’ve used old or out of date ground ginger.
Over time ground spices lose their flavour so if you’re ginger has been lingering in the cupboard for a while it might be worth getting a fresh batch to ensure you get that lovely warming ginger flavour coming through.
How should I store this super-detailed gingerbread house?
As we’ve made our gingerbread house on a cake board it can make storing it a little ticky.
Ideally, you’ll want to cover the gingerbread house with something, a large plastic container or bowl might work. Try turning it upside down next to your house to see if the house will fit inside.
If you don’t have a container that will fit over, you could use clingfilm to wrap over the house. Find a cool spot in the kitchen away from direct sunlight to keep your gingerbread house, if you have space in the pantry or a cupboard that would be ideal.
How long does this super-detailed gingerbread house keep?
This gingerbread house will keep for up to 5 days, make sure to cover your gingerbread house, with an upturned container or food wrap. It’s important to cover the house to stop the biscuits from going stale.
Can I leave this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house out on the counter?
Yes, and no. Obviously, because of the size of the gingerbread house, it might be a bit big to fit in the cupboard or pantry, so may need to be kept on the side. That said, it's important to cover the gingerbread house as best you can to stop the biscuits from going stale.
Can I make this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house ahead?
Yes, as this gingerbread house needs a little time to set it's a great one to make ahead.
If you like you can make the gingerbread the day before and once cooled keep it in a sealed container until you’re ready to build and decorate the house.
When making and constructing the house ahead, once the decorations have set make sure to cover the gingerbread house as best you can to keep it fresh and ready for serving the next day.
Can I keep this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house in the refrigerator?
There’s no need to keep this gingerbread house in the fridge, in fact the biscuits might go stale quicker if kept in the fridge.
Can I freeze this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house?
I haven’t tried freezing this gingerbread house, but baked goods like this usually freeze well.
If you want to get ahead you could make the gingerbread house and freeze the pieces flat, keeping them in the freezer for up to a month before thawing and constructing the house.
Perhaps you're some leftover house, I would recommend breaking it up into more manageable portions before popping them into freezer bags or a container.
If you made the house ahead and froze it, you won't be able to freeze any leftovers. Once thawed consume within 48 hours.
What is the best way to defrost this recipe?
As we’re not reheating this once it's been defrosted it's important to defrost slowly at a low temperature. Find a cool spot in the kitchen to leave the gingerbread house to thaw out, this should take a few hours.
Can I make this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house in a different quantity?
Want to make two houses, or use smaller moulds?
To change the quantities of the ingredients head down to the recipe card below where you’ll see the servings is set to 12.
Click or hover this number and a handy slider will appear that you can move up or down to adjust the recipe to the amount you wish to make.
Can I make this recipe in a different tin/tray?
You can use any silicon mould you like, there are a lot of different options available with slightly different characters and shapes so go ahead and use your favourite.
You can of course use this recipe to make other shape biscuits too if you don’t want to make a house.
This recipe makes quite a wet biscuit mix perfect to use in silicone moulds, but you won't be able to roll it out and use cookie cutters to make your biscuits.
Make sure to check any manufacturer's guidelines for your particular moulds to get the best results.
Can I make this recipe in a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid or Kenwood Mixer?
If you find it easier you can by all means use a stand mixer to bring the gingerbread biscuit ingredients together.
Use the paddle attachment and run the mixer on low to medium until everything is combined. You might need to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go to make sure everything is incorporated well.
Give the mix one final stir by hand before filling the moulds incase the mixer missed a bit at the bottom.
How can I make sure this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house is perfectly cooked?
Whenever you’re baking its a good idea to preheat the oven, this helps make sure your bakes are cooked at the right temperature all the way through cooking and should come out perfect every time.
When you put the biscuit mixture into the moulds, do so slowly and give them a gentle tap or wobble to help reduce the number of air bubbles trapped at the bottom.
I find it helpful to pop my silicon moulds onto a baking sheet, this makes it a bit easier to get them in and out of the oven as the silicon tends to be a bit floppy.
Allow the biscuits plenty of time to cool in the moulds, before you attempt to get them out.
Why did my gingerbread house fall apart?
Its key to use royal icing rather than regular icing to help stick everything together because royal icing sets much harder, forming a strong bond and giving your gingerbread house the best chance of staying together.
If some of the biscuits break as you take them out of the moulds, you might be able to rescue them by using a little icing to stick them back together. And then cover the crack with a bit of artful snowfall or some sweets.
It's a really good idea to use something like tins of food to support the sides of the house as you put it together. Don’t forget to take them out of the middle before you put the lid on!
A bit of time should be taken between each additional side, support them in place, and allow to set for a few minutes before you attempt to add more. Hold the roof whilst the icing sets so you know it's securely in place.
Why did my gingerbread house stick to the mould?
When using silicon moulds there's no need to grease them, this can actually make the biscuits more likely to stick.
Make sure the biscuits are cooled fully before trying to remove them from the mould, this will make sure the biscuits are hard, and less likely to stick.
How can I add/change the flavours in this dish?
If you like you could use a different spice combination trying using a teaspoon of mixed spice to add to the festivities.
The decoration is all down to your tastes too, I’ve kept our gingerbread house quite low key this year with just a few bright and bold chocolate drops. But you can go to town if you like and make a real Hansel and Gretel house.
Keep in mind the more elements you add will increase the calorie count so you might want to serve smaller portions if the house is fully loaded with extra treats too.
What else can I use the mould for?
Silicone moulds are great to have for baking as you can create some excellent shapes without the hassle of templates. Silicone is also great because you can use it for setting things like chocolate as well as baking with.
Create an Easter bunny house by filling the mould with melted chocolate, why not use white for the walls and milk for the roof! Set in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until the chocolate is solid. Pop-out carefully, and construct your house with a bit more melted chocolate.
You could also make a fairy cottage as an alternative birthday cake using this recipe for the house, and create some fairy cookies to decorate instead of the christmassy bits.
What is the origin of gingerbread houses at Christmas?
Shaping gingerbread has been popular for centuries, with specialist bakers creating elaborate scenes and characters sometimes intricately decorated with icing. This was popular all year round.
Gingerbread houses grew in popularity after the publication of Grimm's fairy tale ‘Hansel and Gretal’. Creating gingerbread houses at Christmas developed into a bit of a tradition in Germany, and as with a lot of our modern Christmas costumes is also now popular in the UK and North America.
Print this easy, super-detailed gingerbread house
Planning on making this gingerbread house later on? Why not hit PRINT on the recipe card below to save it for later.
Easy, super-detailed gingerbread house
For the gingerbread
- 180 g slightly salted butter
- 150 g golden syrup
- 150 g black treacle
- 125 g brown sugar
- 500 g plain flour
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the decoration
- 170 g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 egg whites
- 50 g chocolate beans
- Preheat the oven to 170C/340F (150C/300F fan).
- Put the butter, golden syrup, black treacle and brown sugar in a pan
- Melt over a low heat until liquid, then leave to cool.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- Mix well.
- Pour the cooled syrup into the bowl.
- Mix well until you have a loose dough.
- Press the dough into the moulds, dividing evenly between them.
- Bake the gingerbread for 25-35 minutes until just firm. Don’t worry if they don’t feel hard enough to build with when they first come out of the oven, they harden up as they cool.
- Allow the gingerbread to cool before carefully peeling from the moulds.
- Once the gingerbread is cooled and crisp make the royal icing by placing the icing sugar, cream of tartar and egg whites in a bowl and whisking until well combined. Transfer to a piping bag and snip 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) off the end of the bag.
- To construct your house, you’ll need a board at least a few inches larger that your house.
- Start by laying the front of the house (the piece with the door) in the centre on your board then piping two generous lines of royal icing.
- Stand the piece on top of the icing and use a couple of cans of food to hold the piece in place.
- Pipe a new icing line at 90 degrees from your first piece of gingerbread house. You can use on the side walls as a guide to tell you where to pipe.
- Pipe along the wall where the two pieces will meet, then push the next piece into place.
- Repeat until all four walls are in place, using extra tins to support your walls if necessary. At this stage, it’s a good idea to wait 5-10 minutes for the icing to firm up and hold your walls in place before you move on.
- Pipe icing along the top edges of your house.
- Remove any cans that are inside the house, then place the two roof pieces in position. Pipe a line of icing along the top and hold in place for a minute or so until the roof feels secure and doesn’t slide if released.
- Pipe a little icing on the board to position your door slightly ajar.
- You can now add your little extras – the people and Christmas tree. It’s easiest to decorate these before you stand them up on the board. Use tiny dabs of royal icing to hold the chocolate beans in place.
- Now you can be as creative as you like, using your royal icing to apply your sweets/candy however you wish.
- To make the icicles and snow-covered sills on my house, drop your piping bag into a second bag with only a tiny hole cut in the end. This allows you to add finer details.