Old Town Bakery's Geoff Cram started building this gingerbread house during the lead up to the Festival of Lights.

Old Town Bakery’s tips for the perfect gingerbread house

The Old Town Bakery's Geoff Cram shares his tips for making the perfect gingerbread house.

What are the key ingredients ?

It’s pretty simple ingredients: butter, egg, molasses, flour, sugar and then cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and cracked black pepper if you’d like.  Just don’t mix the dough too hard because it takes a lot of flour when you’re rolling it out.

What are your tips for building the house?

The one tip I tell people when they’re making the houses themselves is to decorate the pieces flat and then build the house afterwards.

I use pins to hold it all together. Let all the pieces dry before you try to build is pretty important as well.

How do you decide to on the shape of the house?

I make all my templates out of parchment paper. I don’t really measure them, just eye-ball it.

I use a pizza-cutting wheel as I’m cutting the pieces out because a knife tends to pull the dough and stretch it.

I do all the pieces on the baking sheet itself so you can put the sheet straight on a pan and into the oven without picking it up and moving it.

What are your baking tips once it’s in the oven ?

You can normally go by smell when it’s gingerbread. Once you smell it it’s usually done. If you go too long the molasses will burn.

Some people don’t eat the houses themselves, they just eat the candies.

Any tips for decorating ?

Some people use fruit, I use all candy and have a drawer full. Leftover Halloween candy works too.

I use a traditional royal icing with the egg whites and some sugar.

I do use a meringue powder here too so that it’s safe for pregnant woman and kids.

I half decorate it all when it’s flat, build it and finish decorating it once it’s all together

 

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