Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gingerbread Houses

Here is one of our family's favorite holiday traditions- gingerbread houses!  The houses have been constructed for a couple of weeks now, but I wanted to wait until I could add the reindeer to the roof. Let's just say I kicked it up a notch from gingerbread houses of our past:
I think I'd be really good at gingerbread house flipping.
 I loved decorating the gingerbread houses this year
 They came together just as I had imagined.
 The houses each measure 8.5" x 10.75" using the John Wright cast iron chateau mold.
The step-by-step baking process can be found on this post from last year.  My baking was a little uneven this year.  Could be that I turned the oven off after baking the first side of the mold instead of just turning the timer off the oven.  After 40 of the 45 baking minutes, I decided it wasn't baking and then realized it is tough to bake something with the oven turned off.
I ended up with not very pretty exterior walls, so I came up with the plan to cover the walls.  First, I wanted to brighten the windows, so I piped royal icing in the squares and sprinkles with yellow sanding sugar.
Next, I piped horizontal lines with white royal icing to construct a brick wall.
Then I piped the vertical lines of the brick.  Notice, I piped a straight line down the side of the lower windows and decided it didn't look right.  Once the icing was hardened, I just cut the icing with an Exacto knife to continue the icing all the way to the window's edge.  Much better.
Fill the bricks with red royal icing- careful not to go over the white royal icing mortar.
The side of the gingerbread house was piped with white royal icing around the bricks and stone and the inner bricks were filled with red royal icing:
The roof shingles were outlined with royal icing and sprinkles with sanding sugar.  Then add the small details:  garland, door hardware, a Christmas tree in the widow (using Christmas tree sprinkles).
Now for the other side:  I wanted to try another look for the other side.
On this side, the stones were filled with white royal icing- purposefully leaving a bit of space between the piping and the filling for more depth to the stone.
Then, I used gray buttercream frosting and piped horizontal siding across the facade.
You can clean up all of the edges with the blade of an Exacto knife.
Pipe around the windows and door and add the small details:
For a different look, I piped over the scroll balcony of the mold for the second facade.
I also filled the door with royal icing and sprinkled with pale blue sanding sugar:
Off to bed!  The rest of gray house decorations would have to wait until the following evening.  All of this gingerbread makes the house smell like Christmas!
For the wreath above the front door, I used Christmas tree sprinkles with a dab of royal icing on the back and placed them in a circular pattern.
For a more layered look, place a second row of tree sprinkles:
Finally, I added some garland, lights, a Christmas tree in one window and gingerbread garland and presents in the opposite window:
Here are the side-by-side houses with all 9 reindeer on the roof!
I'll show you how to make the reindeer & sleigh cookies in the next post.  Or click here.
The kids made their versions of gingerbread houses with pretzels this year.  You can see our Pretzel Cabins here.  Now on the blog, my 2013 Gingerbread House.


  1. Hello, visiting from Foodie Friends Friday Daily Dish Gingerbread Competition. Just wanted to say your house is just beautiful. Thanks for linking it up! I don't think I have the patience to do this, lol!

  2. I am one of the host from Foodie Friends Friday Daily Dish... your gingerbread house is beautiful. I made up a house for first time in many years... and I thought mine was ok until I saw yours. Thanks for linking up.

  3. Beautiful! I'm very impressed. :)

  4. holy cow! SOOOO much work put into this but the results are way worth it. I would have to frame these! LOL

  5. These are amazing! Beautiful work.



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