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Monday, December 18, 2006

Making a Gingerbread House

gingerbread houses

A three-day project and a childhood dream come true. My very own gingerbread house, made from scratch of course.

Veruca Salt had hatched this plan way back in October--diaries had been dutifully consulted and an entire Saturday was blocked out for the task specifically. We agreed we'd bake our houses separately, glue them together and then congregate for the all-in fun of decorating.

Wednesday night was gingerbread baking at my place, the delicious scent of spices wafting its tendrils throughout every room. Baking the walls was not without its trials, and me in my enthusiasm had deliberately made a triple batch to make Christmas gingerbread. It was a relief to roll out the last bit of dough.

my gingerbread house unadorned

Thursday night was construction night and the cementing powers of egg white and icing sugar was an impressive sight indeed. Whilst a structure that vaguely resembled a house dried in the corner, I was icing and decorating gingerbread.

Saturday and the fun could finally begin. Veruca Salt had used a different recipe and house template to myself, and I was very impressed with her immaculate unadorned house. She and AN had made two. We ripped open lolly bags with glee.

veruca's gingerbread house unadorned

Where to begin decorating was almost as stressful as constructing the house, but after a while we got into it, and realised that thought this was fun we would never make a living from cake decorating.

After several hours of glueing and icicle teasing (with a brief intermission to watch Iron Chef America) our works of art were finally complete.

Veruca's Gingerbread House
veruca's gingerbread house decorated front

veruca's gingerbread house left-side

veruca's gingerbread house right-side

veruca's gingerbread house top and back

AN's Gingerbread House
a's gingerbread house front

a's gingerbread house left-side

a's gingerbread house back

a's gingerbread house right-side

My Gingerbread House
my gingerbread house front and right

my gingerbread house rear and left

my gingerbread house front door

my gingerbread house roof

Lots of fun, and yes, definitely worth the effort!

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Christmas gingerbread 2006
Christmas gingerbread 2004
A shark birthday cake for children
17 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 12/18/2006 11:52:00 pm


  • At 12/19/2006 6:26 am, Blogger Yvo Sin said…

    WOW oh holy crap WOW WOW WOW. Pardon my ignorance but do you wind up eating that in the end? I've never had nor made a Gingerbread House, think my brother did once in school but it was cardboard with food glued onto it. Yes, glue, real glue. Oh wow I am so impressed. Hehe and if YOU GUYS can't make a living decorating cakes... I am so screwed :)

    PS Do you like Iron Chef America as much as the original? I really don't =T

  • At 12/19/2006 7:32 am, Blogger Reb said…

    Awwww! So cute :) Nice door and icicle detail Helen. I wouldn't be too harsh about the income you could raise from decorating - looks pretty professional to me!

  • At 12/19/2006 7:50 am, Blogger Vintage Wine said…

    They`re amazing!

    I`ve tried (and failed) making my own Gingerbread House... Haven`t tried it for a couple of years now, but maybe I should :-) I think I`ll put it on my "to do"-list for next Christmas ;-)

  • At 12/19/2006 8:04 am, Blogger M-H said…

    These are lovely! What a great idea. I once made one for a child's birthday cake; it was a spicey gingery slab cake, cut into a house shape. It looked great but the kids didn't like the taste! :)

  • At 12/19/2006 10:20 am, Blogger Kelly said…


  • At 12/19/2006 10:21 am, Blogger Food Hog said…

    That does look blardy good to eat!!
    I wish i was talented to make things like that!

    Did it take long to make?
    Are you willing to sell yours hehehehe

  • At 12/19/2006 11:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    these look fantastic! We made them at a friend's Xmas party a couple of years ago and it was a lot of fun (tho we all had mega sugar headaches afterwards!)

  • At 12/19/2006 9:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    highly impressed, Helen! I made a gingerbread house too but didn't do the house from scratch like you guys.

    look out for my christmas trees in the next few days though!

  • At 12/19/2006 10:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yummy looking houses! I tried making a house once, when I was more a hungry child and less a gingerbread architect. Needless to say, it collapsed half way and in my impatience, I chose to eat the rubble, rather than attempt to reconstruct it again :)

  • At 12/19/2006 10:55 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi yvo - I've covered the gingerbread in cellophane so technically yes, we could eat it. I'll see how it tastes on Christmas day, although I'm sure the littlies would be more than happy to scoff it down!

    And I agree, the original is infinitely better. So much more entertaining, better edited and so much more atmosphere!

    Hi Reb - Thanks. Don't think I'll leave my day job just yet. Too exhausting and painstaking!

    Hi Vintage Wine - You should definitely give it another go next year. My house wasn't the most perfect structure, but it's brilliant how much you can hide with icing sugar and sweets!

    Hi m-h - I love it when the kids don't like cake :)

    Hi Kelly - Thanks. It was fun (albeit tiring). You should make one next year! :)

    Hi food hog - It did take some time, yes. And no, I'm not selling it. It's my baby!

    Hi Nicole - It was lots of fun decorating with friends. And yes, I was constantly munching on sweets all night.

    Hi Cin - I hope you'll be posting photos of your gingerbread house! Can't wait to see your Christmas trees too...

  • At 12/20/2006 12:43 am, Blogger thekillereater said…

    brilliant! make a gingerbread family to go with the house next year!

  • At 12/20/2006 4:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    heh its so... colourful! a jolly well done!

  • At 12/20/2006 8:07 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi thekillereater - Well I did make a batch of gingerbread men :)

    Hi chocolatesuze - And sugar-laden too! Mmm... sugar...anghrhrraaaaaaahhhh

  • At 12/26/2006 9:18 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    All that baking was so stressful for this little red hen.

    The caramel jersey back wall smells so good.

    I am thinking of lacquering house for next year. Nah, might just use an ice pick to remove all the lollies to enjoy.

    Special thanks to Val for designing my chimney.

  • At 12/27/2006 11:49 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Veruca Salt - Caramel jersey wall... yum... :)

    I don't think a lacquer would be necessary. Besides, all that reflection would be a nightmare for photos! :)

    I'm already thinking about ideal lollies we should buy for next year (mini licorice allsorts definitely!).

  • At 12/29/2006 2:08 pm, Blogger Valarie said…

    Hey there, love your house! You can see mine at www.valariespics.shutterfly.com the password is gingie Your pictures are so clear and colorful!

  • At 1/13/2007 11:35 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Valarie - It was so much making the gingerbread, altho' decorating was definitely the highlight :)


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