A Boxing Day Tradition: Gingerbread House (and Mini Cooper!)

"Gingerbread House for Santa"
Santa’s Cottage

Boxing Day is traditionally when the Actually Mummy household break into our gingerbread house. Lovingly crafted sometime during December, it takes pride of place on Mummy’s counter, suffering mini-burglaries, and minor structural damage until Boxing Day, when we are officially allowed to demolish it, and demolish it we do!

"Gingerbread House Template"
Structural Support

Our gingerbread recipe comes from BBC Good Food, complete with template. It makes perfect gingerbread: firm enough to cope with the house structure and onslaught of decorating by young children; not so hard it breaks your teeth when you try to eat it!

Use a template to lay on the rolled-out dough and cut walls and roof panels. We had one from Mummy doesn’t know where, but we have doctored it over the years with doors and windows. Once baked you need to trim the edges to make them straight for ‘glueing’. Daddy found a template for a Mini Cooper, which Mummy felt compelled to try. More on that later….

Next you glue the house together. For this you need icing made of icing sugar and egg whites – use 2 egg whites and beat in icing sugar until you have a stiff, but still pipeable paste. Pipe it around the edges and join the walls together. Use plenty – any excess will double as snow. You will need to prop up walls and roof until the icing dries hard – we used lots of upside-down glasses. More icing can be piped or pasted over the roof and walls so you can decorate.

"Decorations for the Gingerbread house"

Which is really the whole point. Decorating is a matter of personal taste. Mummy’s first house was a masterpiece notable for its lack of child involvement. The following year we were allowed a roof panel each. This year I think she gave up under pester pressure and left it to us to complete at will. I used Tutti Frutti’s as roof tiles and Skittles to make a chain of coloured lights. The Bug’s side was a little more sparse, and a little more ‘random’. Mummy finished it off with chocolate fingers for the log cabin effect, and white chocolate jazzies to make a path to the Aero Christmas tree!

"Chocolate Chimney"
Chocolate Chimney

A Lindt mini-Santa stands by the door with a pile of Cadbury Snowbites, for snowball fun later on! Dip half a chocolate flake in hot water and fix to the roof for a chimney. The other half should be eaten, along with the 17 sneaked skittles that ‘accidentally’ fell onto the floor ๐Ÿ˜‰

Finally, Mummy used a sieve to ‘snow’ icing sugar onto the house:

"Icing Sugar Snow"
It’s snowing!
"light me home"
A welcoming light

This year we’re going to try adding these fantastic edible mini christmas trees too, and I think these little Walnut Whip Swedish gnomes would make a lovely addition to Santa’s crew too.

Last year Mummy decided that Santa needed a welcoming fire, and lit a tea-light in the house. It looked perfect. Until the house melted and collapsed! This year we tried torches instead. We gazed adoringly at our Gingerbread house for days, thieving occasional sweet bites, wiping fingers in the snow, before we were finally allowed to use the wrecking-ball of our appetites to being the demolition process.

"Dinner with wine?"
"eating the house"

We had a great Boxing day tea of beans and toast (not on – that’s just gross), with a glass of wine, just like the grown-ups. Now before you call social services, the Bug’s ‘red wine’ was Ribena, and my rosรฉ ‘prosecco’ was actually Schloer, but we felt very grand. And the icing on the cake (or rather, house) was choosing a piece of roof for pudding!

Oh, and about that Gingerbread Mini Cooper? It was a bit of a car crash, really:

"mini-cooper crash"
Car Crash!


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20 thoughts on “A Boxing Day Tradition: Gingerbread House (and Mini Cooper!)”

  1. Your gingerbread house is amazing. I am very impressed. A lot of my friends make gingerbread houses and I think I might have to follow suit with Ruby-Roo one Christmas.

    • You should! It is such a lovely tradition to get into – we all really look forward to it – of course the perfectionist in me used to love it differently but hey – one day the kids might be perfectionists too and we can all have a competition!

  2. Thanks for the shout out! I attempted a gingerbread Santa’s sleigh and given that it was about a million degrees celsius when we made it, it kind of melted… But it gave the kids a good excuse to eat it straight away! Your gingerbread house is truly spectacular! Well done! xo

  3. Oh that looks amazing. You should see our sorry attempt on the Coombemill facebook page. You win hands down!

  4. What a fab gingerbread house! I love the fence out front and the idea of putting a torch inside to light it up. Thanks heaps for the mention, I’m chuffed that you like my blog :o) Hope you enjoy the rest of the Christmas Holidays, and eating the rest of your gingerbread house xx

  5. Oh shame about the gingerbread mini cooper ๐Ÿ™
    I’ve never made gingerbread houses, but hope to remedy that next year with nephews and nieces around me.

    Happy new year to you.

  6. I’ve noticed a lots of posts about gingerbread houses this year, is it a new tradition? It’s a lovely idea and yours is just gorgeous. I must try and think how I can get my (ageing) children to get excited about making one next year ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Wow that looks amazing- all these Gingerbread Houses have really put me to shame this year, I wouldn’t know where to start! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas. xx

  8. Wow, your gingerbread house is brilliant. Mine was a disaster and toppled to the ground. I might make an Easter one instead! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Its a bit late, but MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  9. I’ve only just seen this post after following from Fi’s home made Christmas post – but I’m totally going to do this this year, I may even let the children help…who am I kidding?!

  10. Love making a Gingerbread house with the kids (although we never seem to get round to eating them!) Love your design – the lights are fab. Thanks for featuring my Swedish Gnome – would love see pics if you decide to make one.

  11. Pingback: How to help your teen feel Christmassy when they're not in the mood

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