Monday, December 25, 2023

The Very Best Gingerbread House

Gingerbread house decorating is a great opportunity to encourage kids' creativity and can engage them during a busy time of year. Most gingerbread houses taste terrible, or require painstaking baking, cutting, and assembly. Thanks to a friend a few years ago, I discovered the very best way to make a gingerbread house. 

decorated gingerbread houseThis cake recipe is absolutely delicious, and could be eaten all by itself. It's dark, dense and loaded with spices. And when baked in a Gingerbread House Bundt Pan, it’s the perfect base for decorating. This recipe makes just the right amount of batter to fill the pan and make one house at a time. 

Older kids will take part too because access to candy in volume virtually guarantees an audience. I usually bake 1 cake per kid participating but depending upon the group, I've found that two kids can usually share one house and work together. However many you make, plan the right amount of cooling time for each cake.  

With a couple of these cakes, some frosting and supplies, and you will have the start of a great new Christmas tradition. 


No-stick baking spray with flour

3/4 cup of water

9 tablespoons of butter, cut into cubes

1 heaping cup of dark brown sugar

1 heaping cup of unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap) (each jar makes enough for 1 and 1/2 cakes)

3 eggs

2 and 2/3 cups of flour

1 and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

6 teaspoons ground ginger

2 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Candy for decorating is up to you but here are some of my favorites: Vanilla frosting, Andes mints, Dots, Frosty Nerds, Hershey Kisses, Twizzlers, and M&Ms.


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the interior of the pan well with baking spray. 

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan, then stir in the butter until melted. Beat in the brown sugar and molasses until smooth, allow to cool a bit. Add in beaten eggs.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Once combined, pour the liquid mixture into the big bowl and fold together. Do not overmix; it's okay if the batter is not perfectly smooth. 

frosting-heavy gingerbread housePour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan and flip it directly onto a large plate. I recommend cutting strips of parchment paper and putting them under the cake edges so they can be pulled away after decorating is complete. Use that frosting as glue and get decorating!

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