The holidays are synonymous with gingerbread houses and nobody does gingerbread better than The Omni Grove Park Inn. This year they will be celebrating the 28th National Gingerbread House competition online with the 12 Days of Gingerbread.
To get you in the spirit, we are sharing the hotel’s gingerbread recipe for making the perfect holiday creation.
How to Make Gingerbread
To make a gingerbread house, you first need to make the gingerbread.
- 4 full sticks of butter
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 2/3 cups molasses
- 12 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 ¼ + 1/8 cups cold water
Step 1: Cream butter, brown sugar, spices and salt until light and fluffy
Step 2: Add and blend molasses to the mixture
Step 3: Add flour and mix to combine
Step 4: Add cold water and blend
Step 5: Refrigerate dough to set. Now it’s time to plan what size and shapes you’ll need for your gingerbread house. This way, you’re ready to go when it is time to cut and assemble your house. Check out our Gingerbread House Blueprint for tips.
Step 6: Roll dough to an even thickness and cut into your desired shape
Step 7: Bake at 350 degrees until done; approximately 15-20 minutes
How to Make Icing for Gingerbread Houses
Royal icing is the best choice for assembling and decorating gingerbread houses. Most other icing contains shortening or butter that will eventually soak into the gingerbread and could cause your house to soften and collapse.
Royal Icing Ingredients
- 1lb powdered sugar (3 ½ cups)
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
Step 1: Add egg whites to sugar and cream of tarter
Step 2: Beat on high for 3-5 minutes until snow white and fluffy
Step 3: Keep covered with a damp towel to retain moisture and avoid hardening
How to Decorate a Gingerbread House
Learn how to make decorating a gingerbread house a snap. A lot of this can be done using ingredients you already have in your pantry, but you may also need to plan ahead to make sure you have all the ingredients and decorating tools. Our ingredients list has everything you’ll need and more. Print this out before your next trip to the grocery store so you won’t forget anything.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Before you start decorating, make sure to practice drawing your designs on a template. You can practice drawing with a pen and paper to start or move right into practicing with icing and tools. Our recommendation: bake some holiday cookies and practice decorating them first. Practicing on other baked goods first will help you figure out what designs you like and don’t like, and avoid mistakes happening when you decorate the gingerbread house. Plus, you can eat the cookies as you go, or set them aside to give to friends and family as holiday gifts. Win, win! Use our piping practice sheet to get started and for decorating ideas.
Baking Spirits Bright – A Gingerbread House Making Class Series
Learn how to design and decorate your gingerbread house with the Baking Spirits Bright, a three-part series featuring All Star Chefs and National Gingerbread House Competition Judges, including celebrity chef, Carla Hall. Proceeds from the series will support the Chef & Child Foundation.