I made my very first gingerbread house – I can’t believe it has taken me this long to make one.
Okay, so I semi-cheated on this one and actually purchased a a kit from Ikea to help me achieve my first first gingerbread house project. But it still required a lot of work to put the house together.
Of course, it took a while for me to figure out the whole icing situation. I did follow a recipe I found online, as no icing comes with the gingerbread kit from IKEA. But the recipe wasn’t strong enough to hold the house and didn’t set fast enough – too funny.
Here is the recipe I sourced online:
- 3 cups of icing sugar
- 3 teaspoons of vanilla essence
- 2 egg whites
Put the lot into a bowl and stir until all ingredients are mixed well. Then you place the icing into a piping bag which you can get these from your local supermarket most of the time. A lot cheaper than a cake making supplies store.
This is a recipe for royal icing. And you can purchase premixed Royal Icing mixture where all you have to do is add water. I actually used this for my gingerbread men I made last year in Christmas 2019 and it worked really well.
This year though, I wanted to try something different and make my own.
3 cups of icing sugar however, was NO WAY near strong enough to hold a house together. It was very very runny and didn’t work at all. So, I added a further 3 cups of icing sugar. This did the trick and gave me the right formulation to build my gingerbread house.
After testing it out on one part of the gingerbread house, I could see it was taking no time at all to set and secure the house. Though, I still required the use of a few props to help hold different parts together whilst it set in place, so I wasn’t sitting there with my hands holding the house together for too long a time period.
It was a little difficult to take photos off my throughout the process of making the gingerbread house, as my partner was a little tied up with home maintenance jobs, which were super urgent to get done.
I opted to video myself in time-lapse instead so you could see me put the house together. Which has already been shared on my instagram IGTV, but here is the video below also for anyone who isn’t following me on Instagram.
I did have a lot of fun making this gingerbread, though you can tell from the concentration on my face, it was a little challenging to piece it together. And as I had changed the royal icing recipe by adding in more icing sugar. It was begin to set way too fast in the piping back, and when I applied it to the gingerbread house for application also.
So, I did have to act fast, which was a little stressful, as the roof of the house is a tad uneven. Where one side overhangs a lot more than the other side.
Next year, I will attempt to make a DIY gingerbread house from scratch with my own gingerbread recipe. A cousin of mine has already told me she has the cookie cutters for a gingerbread house which I can borrow, which is handy to know.
And of course, this gingerbread house I made from IKEA is not vegan or gluten-free, so I probably not be able to eat it at all. I’m hoping the family can enjoy it when I have them around on Christmas Even for an evening of festive games, dinner, mulled wine and deserts YUM!