‘Tis (almost) the season to decorate gingerbread houses! To celebrate the most wonderful time of the year I’m sharing with you some of my signature designs, so when it comes to your own, any hopes and dreams of extravagance won’t shatter like a sugar glass window.
I’ve included some ideas for beginners and those who want more of a challenge! Some must-haves: A piping bag for the intricate details, metallic edible paint to give some sparkle, and cutters to layer and add depth.
When it comes to windows, deciding whether to pipe on or cut in is your first creative decision. If you’re comfortable with icing, something really beautiful and intricate can be created in a multitude of different looks!
For an easier design that is just as effective, gelatine sheets are ideal - though not really edible - they’re so effective when you’re wanting a glass effect. They also allow for minimal piping if you’ve got wobbly hands!
Finally, stacking! If you want the option of playing around with different techniques all at the same time, and adding focal points to significant parts of your gingerbread house, layering these elements gives you that freedom.
On to roofs! It’s hard to get it wrong with this bit, if you mess up, just cover in sweets! But here are some ideas to try out before you get to that stage.
For some of these you’ll be fetching the cutters, which are perfect for creating complex-looking elements which aren’t so complex to build, just lots of pieces! I used this technique in both biscuit and icing for a clean finish, which you'll see above.
Alternatively, you can use candy canes, which is no more work for you, but gives you the same 3D appearance.
Make use of all that space; let loose and get creative!
Doors are where you don't want to avoid the icing; it’s a definite focal point and I reckon it needs to be highlighted in order to complete the house.
When icing all you need is an outline so the door looks like, well, a door. Then just go for it with all the colours and patterns you desire!
For a simple design, try icing the doors all one colour or using metallic edible paint and adding piped rectangles for the detailing - a style anyone can pull out the piping bag. Want to add more tiny windows to the house? Melt sweets into the bake - this works great in small spaces where gelatine sheets would look lost.
Not sure where to start on the baking? Yes, I’m aware we missed that crucial step out! Not to worry, I’ve got something very exciting on its way to make that part a lot easier. Stay connected on social media for announcements!