A fun and festive baking project, perfect for entertaining kids. I’ve kept the decorating simple, but you could add sweets and sprinkles to add vibrance.
400 grams plain flour
2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
95 grams butter, softened
170 grams caster sugar
130 grams golden syrup
1 large egg
finely grated zest 1 orange
2 large egg whites
750 grams icing sugar
4-5 tablespoons lemon juice
EQUIPMENT: Grease and line two oven trays. To construct the house, wrap a piece of cardboard with tinfoil or use a cake board.
GINGERBREAD: Draw up the template on baking paper and cut out the pieces, don’t worry about cutting out the shape for the round window.
Preheat the oven to 180°C regular bake.
Sift together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the golden syrup, egg and orange zest and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
Divide the dough into three equal pieces and place on three separate sheets of baking paper. Place a sheet of baking paper on top of the dough and roll out to roughly 4mm thick.
Place the template pieces on top of the dough and use a sharp knife to trace around them. Remove the excess dough from around the traced shapes but leave them in place, they can be quite delicate and hard to move. Leave the front door and window in place, these will be cut out once baked.
Cut any extra dough into fun shapes using cookie cutters.
Trim the baking paper to fit onto the oven trays and bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly golden. If you’re putting multiple trays in the oven at once, switch them over half way through baking. While the dough is still warm and soft, cut out the door with a small sharp knife and use a small round cookie cutter to cut out a window. Leave on the trays to cool and harden before transferring to a wire rack.
Icing: Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until foaming. Add the icing sugar and lemon juice and mix until smooth.
Fill a piping bag with icing and use a small piping tip to decorate the pieces and any extra shapes you’ve made, then put them aside to set.
If your icing has dried out while waiting, add a little water or lemon juice to loosen it.
Plan out the size of the house then pipe a rectangle on the cake board and position the pieces in place. Pipe icing along any pieces that meet and hold in place for 5 or so minutes as the icing sets.
Pipe icing along the top of the house and rest the roof pieces on top. Hold in place for 5-10 minutes as the icing dries, this may require some patience.
COOK’S NOTE: This will yield a lot of icing but it’s better to add more to the structure to keep it sturdy than not having enough. I like to use a slightly thicker icing for the main structure and then a thinner icing for the decorations and fixing sweets to the exterior.