Gingerbread House Kit Instructions
NOTE to parents: The candy provided in this kit has been checked for any gluten or wheat but we cannot guarantee its ultimate safety for children with gluten issues. Please use at your own discretion. We will post photos of the candy bags or cartons.
All gingerbread cookies and icing is gluten free.
- Allow a weekend or a few nights to complete the house.
- Read all instructions before you begin.
- Add your own candy, sprinkles and cereal to the kit.
- Adjust the consistency of the icing by adding more water if the icing is too dry or more powdered sugar if it is too wet. It should be thick and stiff.
- Have small cans or cartons on hand to help support the house as it dries.
Mix the icing powder in your kit with ¼ cup lukewarm water and whisk until smooth. It gets quite thick. Add a few drops of water if it is too thick or a teaspoon of icing sugar if it is too thin.
Store icing in the refrigerator after mixing.
Always keep the icing covered as it dries quickly to rock hard consistency.
If you want extra icing, mix up two cups of icing sugar, ½ tsp. lemon juice and lukewarm water until it is thick or thin enough adding more icing sugar or water as you go. This isn’t as stable as the mix icing but it is great for spreading on the board or making icicles.
Put some of the icing into the icing bag or a very strong freezer bag and squish down to the tip. Twist the top and secure with an elastic band. Snip the point of the bag off about 1/8” with a sharp pair of scissors. Make sure you make a very small hole. Use to pipe icing to put the house together and to decorate the house.
If you want a coloured icing, squeeze a bit of the icing into a small bowl. Stir in a few drops of food colouring of your choice. Gel colours work best. Please be aware that Wilton’s food colouring sometimes comes with a wheat warning!
Building the House
Visualize the “yard.” Will you have a walkway? Trees? A fence? You might like to set the house at an angle instead of straight on.
- You may want to start by decorating the house pieces before you construct your house. Allow the decorations to dry before you assemble the house in step 2.
- Start by laying the panels down on the base with the four corners touching, as though the house was flattened from the inside out. That forms an empty rectangle where the house will stand when the panels are put together. Trace the rectangle with a thick line of royal icing. Line the two sides of each side panel. This helps the panels meet at right angles when you “glue” them together, and provides extra stability. Make sure the side panels come forward and overlap the front and back to be glued to the outer sides of the front and back pieces. This will ensure that the roof panels fit properly.
- Stand up the back panel in the line of royal icing you traced along its base, so the back panel and and the side panel meet and are held together by icing. Hold in place until the icing firms up. Use cans and cartons to support the panels while they dry. Apply extra icing to the vertical seam that will touch the back panel.
- Attach the second side panel to the back panel as in step 2, and support it until it firms up. Attach the front panel. Use cans and cartons to support the panels until they dry completely; overnight is ideal, but depending on temperature and humidity, your royal icing might dry faster.
- When the royal icing has dried rock-hard, you can attach the roof, one piece at a time. (Remove any cans/cartons from inside the house before attaching the roof.) Let the house dry completely before decorating—a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Have a plan for decorating. Think about how you want your house to look and what candy should go where.
- Save time and make accessory items ahead of time: snowmen, trees, carts, candles, and fences can be made while you’re waiting for the house to dry.
- To make icicles, touch the tip of the bag to the underside of the roof and gently squeeze the bag as you pull it down. Stop when you have the icing long enough and gently pull down and away from the house. It takes a bit of practice but is a nice decoration.
- Apply candy decorations by putting a small dab of icing to the underside of the candy and hold it in place until set.
- Get some cereal out of your cupboard to use as roof panels or a sidewalk/path.
- Keep the tip of your icing bag covered with a damp cloth in between decorating to prevent hardening.
- Use tweezers to adhere small items to the house.
Icing is too stiff: Add a bit of water, one teaspoon at a time, mixing thoroughly until the icing loosens up a bit. You don’t want it too loose, though, otherwise it takes a very long time to dry.
Icing is too runny: Add a bit of icing sugar 1 teaspoon at a time.
House doesn’t look picture-perfect. Don’t worry. You’ll be able to fill gaps and cover errors later with more icing and decorations. Perfection is overrated!
- Moisture is a decorated cookie’s worst enemy: display the house in a cool dry place. The cookies should harden over time, not soften.
- Cover at night or even better, all day, to seal out moisture and dust; lightly drape a clean plastic bag over the house and base.
- Gingerbread houses can last up to a year, if you choose not to eat them but must be coated with a permanent spray and stored in Styrofoam peanuts.
We hope you have a lot of fun with this kit. Please email us at email@example.com if you have any questions!