Gingerbread Houses

In our family, decorating the Pepparkakshus  (as a Gingerbread house is known in Sweden) is a yearly Christmas tradition that my children and I love doing.  In Stockholm at the Museum of Architecture, they even have a competition for the best decorated Pepparkakshus where there are some seriously stylish efforts.

For the best results at home, our top tips are: putting the house together is best done the night before so it has a chance to dry and do make sure you buy a tube of Dr Oetker’s baking glue which you put in hot water first to soften it up (see below).  It is much easier than dipping the edges in hot sugar which normally ended up in quite a few scalded fingers!  Don’t worry also if you open your DIY kit to find that some of the pieces have broken in transit.  This is fairly common and they are easy to glue back together. And whilst rather a lot of the sweeties don’t make it onto the actual house, they do always look extremely cheerful.  Here is our roundup of the best gingerbread house kits/templates out there.

This sturdy house comes in it’s own keepsake box as well as icing sugar, piping bags and decorations. £35 from Biscuiteers

Ok, you’ll have to make this out of dough rather than a ready made kit but Tesco’s gives you the Gingerbread Towerbridge template and all the instructions. There’s also the Townhouse template too. A Christmas project for the whole family perhaps?

At £2.95, the Ikea Vintersaga Gingerbread house is great value and one that we have used most years.  Ikea also sell the Dr Oetker baking glue too for £2.95 (you’ll use about 1/2 to 1 per house).

This house is another bake-it-yourself house which comes complete with the templates, icing sugar and decorative sweets.  The instructions are straight forward and the results are simple but pleasing. £20 from Not on the High Street

And finally, if you’d like a little guidance, then book in for one of Bread-Ahead’s Gingerbread house 2 hour live workshops from 29th November to 19 December.  Covering everything from how to make  your gingerbread to the decorative icing. £10, book your place here.

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