Vermont holiday gingerbread farmhouse: Sweet and sentimental

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Winter is truly a beautiful time of year here in New England. Soft blankets of snow cover fields and coat mountains. Rooftops, cars and even the mailboxes sport their little domed caps of snow, making everything look a little softer, a little puffier and a little gentler. Driving to work becomes a experience not just for the road conditions, but for seeing your everyday surroundings in a new light and giving new life to rustic scenes, like this Vermont farmhouse. Rich in detail, it is easy to assemble and customize to your style.

 

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This lovely house begins with our basic gingerbread house kit. It included all of the house pieces, the royal icing “mortar” plus oodles of candy and an assembly base.
*I apologize for any earlier confusion. The fondant and food coloring must be purchased separately. The gingerbread kit does not contain fondant or coloring, just the items pictured. ~ MJRhouse-kit-2.JPG

Here are the pieces of pre-baked gingerbread included in the kit. I love how the windows and doors are marked in already. This can really help small bakers with their decorating, as well as those of us who like really straight lines.

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To begin the house, you will need a tub of fondant and some paste or gel food coloring.

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Oh, yes. You will need some food safe plastic or vinyl gloves as well. Food coloring can really do a number on bare hands.

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This is what my hands looked like when I forgot my gloves just for a minute. And that’s AFTER I washed them!

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Remove a large piece of fondant and knead it for several minutes until it is smooth, soft and pliable. Fondant will dry quickly at room temperature, so be sure to cover any unused fondant well with plastic wrap. Use a snipped drinking straw to apply a generous amount of food coloring to the fondant.

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Knead the color into the fondant as you would knead bread dough. Use a touch of cornstarch to keep the fondant from sticking to the counters. For strong colors like red and black, you may want to knead on a kneading mat or parchment paper to avoid staining your counters.

Keep adding red, and just a drop or two of black until you reach your desired roof color.

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Using more cornstarch, roll the fondant out with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 1/8″. You can use the gingerbread roof piece as a rough guideline to be sure your roof shingles will be the right length.

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Using a straight edge and a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice several 1/2″ wide strips.

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Dust excess cornstarch off of the strips with a dry pastry brush. Avoid water, as it will leave shiny spots on your fondant.

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Spread a small section of the roof with icing. If it is too thick to spread easily, thin it with a little water. (If you’d like, feel free to make Royal Icing from scratch.)  Carefully lift a strip and lay it along the bottom edge of the roof. Place a second strip, slightly offsetting it to create a shingled look.

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Using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the fondant strips flush with the edge of the roof. Repeat steps until entire roof side is covered with fondant.

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Don’t forget to occasionally brush excess cornstarch off of your work. Once the roof is complete, set it aside to dry and firm up. Wrap in plastic wrap loosely to avoid cracks in the fondant.

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Cut some extra wide strips of the same red fondant to make the roof cap tiles. You’ll need about a dozen, so make about 18 to cover breakage. If you like a rounded look, dry on a marker or other round object overnight. I had to scavenge 4 highlighters from around the room, so be creative.

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To prepare the icing for covering the walls of the house, you will need to thin it down with water. You are looking for a consistency a tiny bit thicker than white school glue.

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Using a disposable pastry bag with the tip cut off, pipe the outline of the house, and around the doors and windows.

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Snip a bit more off of the bag end, and use the wider tip to flood the piece with icing. Try to sink the tip of the bag into the icing a bit, rather than holding it above the piece. This will give a smoother finish.

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Set aside all of the flooded pieces to dry for several hours or overnight. It’s really best to not try to “push” the timeline. Trust me, it is more frustration than it is worth to put a finger through icing that is still soft.

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When the base icing has dried, you can start piping on your clapboards. Use the outlines you piped before and the impressions on the gingerbread as guides for straight lines. By the way, check out the top left corner of this wall piece. Fingerprint anyone? Be patient and let those pieces DRY!

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Keep adding lines until you have even clapboards down the whole side of the building. You can make them skinny or wide, depending on your ideal siding.

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For the shutters, roll out dark colored fondant and use a sharp knife to cut to fit. You can also add texture lines by pressing into the fondant partway. Be sure to make extras in case of breakage. Dry for 20 minutes or so, and then apply to the house using icing as your “glue”.

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Chocolate rocks from the candy store or online make for a terrific stone foundation.

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For the lace curtains, roll out a thin layer of white fondant and cut small strips. You can leave all edges plain, or try a pastry crimper to add a ruffled edge. A small metal piping tip is used to punch the “lace” holes along the lower edge.

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Apply the curtains as you did the shutters. As you can see, I applied my curtains after assembling the house and needed to use a toothpick to hold them in place until the icing set. In hindsight, you can save yourself the trouble by applying the curtains while the house walls are still unassembled and laying flat on the table.

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What’s more inviting in a holiday house than candles in the window? A small piece of white, plus a touch of yellow and red fondant will form the candles, and our new gold fine sparkling sugar will give them their glow.

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Roll a thin rope of white fondant. It should be about as thick as a cooked piece of spaghetti. Snip off several pieces and use your finger to taper one end. Set aside to dry for a few minutes, or your candles will “melt” when you try to add the flames.

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Blend the red and yellow together lightly, but not completely.

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Roll the blended piece into a thin rope, and twist lightly. As you work with this rope, the colors will become more blended, but you will still see faint variations and striations that will really add to the look of the flame.

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Pinch off a small piece of the rope and flatten and pinch a point into it to resemble the flame on the candle.

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Use a drop of water to attach the flames to the candles. Again, add a few minutes of drying time.

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Once all the candles are assembled and dried (you remembered to make extras, right? ) you can add a bit of sparkle to them. Sprinkle out some fine sparkling sugar. I really liked the look of our new gold sugar. Very warm and inviting.

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Brush the flame with just a small touch of water and dip immediately into the sugar to coat the flame well.

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Aren’t those lovely? These will dry fairly quickly while you assemble the house.

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For those of you who have read the other Gingerbread house blogs, you know my deep dark secret for assembling gingerbread houses. That’s right, I use… a hot glue gun. In my defense, these houses have to do a lot of traveling to photography, etc. so the regular icing just doesn’t hold up. If you don’t plan on eating the house later on, the hot glue is the way to go. It’s also a big help if you are making the houses with young children. Glue the house up the night before and let them decorate away knowing that the house will not fall apart during the fun.

Start by adding 2 side walls to the front panel.

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Add the back piece, and then the roof pieces, one at a time. Notice the chocolate “rock” foundation. You can’t really see it through the snow in the main catalog photo, but that’s just typical of Vermont in the winter.

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Before you ice down the roof capping tiles, lay them out without the icing, to test how many you will need, and to be sure you pick the best of the lot from the several tiles you made earlier.

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When you are happy with the arrangement, set the cap tiles in icing, and let them dry. Having a little icing poking out is fine, it will look like melting snow on the rooftop. Let this dry for at least an hour to avoid losing your lid, as it were.

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While you are waiting for the roof to dry, you can whip up a rustic log pile out of a handful of pretzel sticks. On a piece of parchment, spread a thin layer of icing. Add a row of 5 sticks, then a dab more icing, then another 4 sticks. You are looking to build a rough pyramid shape.

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Continue to stack layers of icing and pretzel sticks until you reach the final “log”.

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To fit the winter scene, drizzle a little icing over the top of the pile to mimic drifts of snow. Set aside to dry, and we can begin to work on the window decorations.

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Attach one candle to the center of each window with a dab of icing. In a separate bowl, tint some icing green and fit a pastry bag with a star shaped tip. I used a size 16 here.

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Pipe a row of green stars along the bottom edge of the window. Don’t worry about perfection here, as you will be adding more decorations, and the star shape will get “squished” a bit.

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Using tweezers, add small colorful decorations to the window boxes. While you can use your fingers, tweezers are a HUGE help here, and prevent a lot of smudges.

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After the decos are in place, you can add more greenery if you like, to fill out the boxes.

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While you have the green icing out, let’s work on making the wreath for over the door. Trace a small round shape onto a piece of parchment. I used our white glitter bottle.

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Pipe a ring of stars, using the round tracing as a guide.

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While the icing is still wet, decorate your wreath with small candy or decos. You can make one ring of stars…

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or two. The most important thing to remember about the wreath is that it MUST dry overnight or you run the risk of breakage. It is a very good idea to make several wreaths just in case. The wreath in the main photo (very top of the page) is decorated with small sugar pearls. Once the wreath is dry, peel from the parchment gently and  attach to the house with several dabs of icing.

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To make the decorated trees for the front yard, begin with a small ball of green fondant. ]

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Use your finger to taper one end.

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Next, press the base down firmly on a flat surface. This will help the tree stand up in your landscape later.

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Beginning at the base of the tree, pipe green stars with your pastry bag. The sides of the stars should just barely touch.

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As each ring around the tree is completed, add small decorations using tweezers. If you wait until the end of the piping to add the decos, your icing may dry on the surface, leaving unattractive cracks when you add the decos.

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There! A lovely tree with bright decorations and a hint of white glitter for sparkle. Make as many as you would like for your scene. Varying the size of the ball of fondant will make different sized trees. Rest easy, the white glitter is edible, so if small ones lick it up, no harm done.

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A final piping of white icing on the roof completes your house, and a drift of our fine silver sugar adds that frosty touch. Have a wonderful time creating your own scene and making this house your home for the holidays!

 

 

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Mike T.

    Wow! Looks great! Makes me want to get one to put together. My only question… does it come in any other flavor than gingerbread??? :-) I think I’ll give it a whirl, who knows, since this is a KAF kit, I may end up liking gingerbread…

    A link to the kit at the top would be nice too…
    And, um, this house is SOOOOO much prettier than the one in the online store, they might want to swap out their photo for this one… :-)
    Hi Mike,
    I suppose you could dip the whole house in chocolate, would that help? :).

    I’ll add another link to the house kit today. The photo with the kit is much more typical of what you can do with the included candies, and very appropriate for kids of all ages who want to make more of a “Candyland” style house. I get one for my crew at home every year.

    Thanks for chiming in, I hope you do give it a try. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  2. CindyD

    Wow! I am simply amazed at all the detail!! How long did all the decorating take?
    Hi Cindy,
    I think the house took about 15-20 hours total, but that’s with lots of photo breaks. There were also some other decorated pieces that didn’t make the final photo, like a gingerbread man and a gingerbread snowman. Happy Decorating! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  3. Christine

    Absolutely darling! Amazing detail!
    Thanks Christine,
    I love little details on houses, cakes and cookies. Good thing my test kitchen buddies were there to keep me in check, or I could have gone overboard. I do regret forgetting Halley’s menorah in the window though. Next year Halley, for sure! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  4. Katie O.

    I’ve been making gingerbread houses every year for 10 years and yet I learned some new tips from your posting. Thanks so much for the great details and instructions!
    Thank you Katie, that’s what every teacher hopes to hear. I’d love to see pics of your work, I’m sure I could learn something new too! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  5. HMB

    I used to enjoy making gingerbread houses when I lived back East. Unfortunately, in Northern California, winter is ant season — if you leave anything sweet out overnight, you’ll find find a trail of ants in the morning. It’s a real challenge for me to find ways to leave cookies/icings out to dry during the holidays. Your Vermont holiday farmhouse is lovely! Thank you for the vicarious pleasure!
    Hi HMB,
    Springtime here in VT used to be horrid for ants at our house until we sprinkled boric acid under the cupboards, behind the fridge etc. What a difference! I haven’t had an ant in the kitchen for more than 2 years, so you might want to give it a try. Also, wiping down the counters with straight white vinegar is a huge help too.
    See, not only baking tips at KAF, but household tips as well! :) ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  6. Kathleen

    Just beautiful! You are an artist and you must have a lot of patience to do the gingerbread houses and the cookies you did last year. speaking of the cookies, do I first put a thin royal icing on them and then do the dots, swirls and whatever other things I can think of on the cookies? I would really like to try making them fancier this year. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you Kathleen. I really enjoy the “zen” of decorating.
    For the cookies, there will be a new blog on fine line decorating posted on 11/9. It will cover how to flood the cookie with icing, how to make a cone for fine line decorating, etc. Be sure to check it out! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  7. Libby

    I don’t even have the Halloween spiderwebs cleaned off the windows yet and already gingerbread houses! ;-)

    Congrats on a great post. Really nice attention to detail that will help alleviate some of the fear beginners have. When you break it down to common sense components as you have done here, it’s really not so bad as people will see.
    Oh Libby, thank you. That is exactly what I hoped for with the blog. A whole decorated house can seem pretty intimidating, but seeing it as a compliation of small steps can make it feel much more do-able. Plus, it can be done over several days, so it can become a pleasure instead of a burden. I do hope you get a chance to give it a try. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  8. Monica H

    This has to be the most beautiful gingerbread house I’ve ever seen. I love it!
    My Goodness Monica, what an amazing compliment. I hope you enjoyed the post, and have plans for your own beautiful creation this year. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  9. baking soda

    So cute! I tried my hand at a Dutch gingerhouse, http://tinyurl.com/yj6m8ln, I loved the creativity. Planning to make another one this year keeping this one bookmarked for inspiration. Thanks!
    Thanks for sharing. I especially admire the white roof, and the people and animals in the yard. Very nice work! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  10. PJ Hamel

    MaryJane, this is truly an amazing post. It makes even me – ME, the non-fussiest baker ever – think I could do this – won’t, but COULD :) And I know, working in our dim test kitchen, how tough it is to get those clear, closeup pics – great job, girl! PJH
    Hurray! I know just what to get you for the holidays now. How ’bout a nice 101 piece decorating set? Tee hee, just kidding.
    Thanks for the compliments. I took over 400 photos total over several days, including the 200+ that my computer lost. Glad they worked out so well. ~ MJ

    Now remember what I said about those little tips and Barbie shoes… let’s not get carried away here! – PJ

    Reply
  11. Madame Samm

    Ohhh this is a delight, I wish I had seen this kit when we were in your store last the other day… We just returned from Vermont, we live in Niagara Wine Country Canada and I must say your store was the highlight of our trip…a few hundred dollars later and every little treasure we picked up will be an asset in my kitchen… Love your blog and all the steps..off to make some round puffy pancakes…

    Much delight and taste…Madame samm
    Merci Madame! I’m sure you can find the components for the kit locally, or we’d be happy to send an order to you. Glad to hear you had a great trip. My parents toured Wine Country a few years ago, and thought it very lovely. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  12. Jill

    What a beautiful gingerbread house! I made one last year and was debating about whether to make one this year. I think you’ve convinced me to give it another go! The candles are just too cute. I didn’t think of using fondant to decorate it; that opens up a world of new things to try!
    Yeah, Jill! Have a great time, and be sure to send me pics! maryjane.robbins@kingarthurflour.com. I’d love to see other houses for my own inspiration. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  13. Lish

    I used to make gingerbread houses much like this when I was in high school and college, and I gave them away every year. Many of my friends actually shellacked them, and still have them! Now that is a compliment. I love all the wonderful tips you gave. I miss making these, and with all your advice I think I will actually be able to find time this year to make one for my kids. I always made the gingerbread from scratch, with my giant gingerbread house cookie cutters and start to finish I always found decorating a fancy gingerbread house so relaxing and satisfying. I remember the last one I made, several years ago now, I gave to a local assisted living/nursing home, and they were so grateful that someone thought of them. That is my favorite part of the holidays! My kids (1 1/2 and 2 1/2 years old) seem to be taking that from me too, as they weren’t very interested in trick or treating, but were so thrilled to pass out candy to others!

    Kudos to you for passing on your habits of kindness to the next generation! Happy Baking – and Gingerbread Decorating! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  14. Amy

    Great house! Maybe some year I’ll try making a gingerbread house. It will be a fun Mommy/daughter project once my two-year-old is big enough to help. Definitely not this year.

    I noticed a typo. The greenery under the windows is made with a Tip #16, a star tip. Tip #6 is a round tip. I have several 16’s so that I can use multiple colors in the same size without having to wash the tips. Good thing too, because I bent one of them beyond repair one day when I dropped a bag full of icing onto the floor tip first.

    Thanks Amy, I’ve corrected the tip size now. As for making a house how, the kit is perfect for all ages. Just assemble the day before, and then let your daughter “finger paint” with the icing and candies. I’m sure her Mommy, Daddy and family will love it more than any other house this year. Have fun! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  15. Debby

    I agree with Monica! What a beautiful gingerbread house! Do you keep them from year to year, or do you actually eat them? I think I would have a hard time eating them after all the work put into making it. I have made gingerbread houses for my kids when they were small, but believe me when I say they looked nothing like yours do! LOL Absolutely gorgeous!
    Hi Debby,
    The houses here at KAF are created in … August! They spend a lot of time in the photography studio, and are saved for later holiday display at our store. Our Beach House and Spring House were then donated to a local kindergarten to inspire their writing project. A good deal all around. Their thank you letters are still in a warm, safe place in my house and in my heart. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  16. Beth @ 990 Square

    What a beautiful house, but I’m scared of all that fondant!
    Let the fondant decorations be a springboard for your favorite medium…..royal icing, snack items, candies, etc. Fondant makes a wonderful smooth surface, so use it as a guide to what can be done, not what must be done! Irene @ KAF
    Beth, Irene is so right. You certainly don’t have to do all the fondant, but I hope you’ll use the ideas to be inspired to create your own dream house. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  17. Rocky-cat

    A number of years back I made a gingerbread bakehouse using a recipe and pattern from Chocolatier magazine. The bakery had a “display window” full of assorted salt dough baked goods, 2 bakers sweeping out the shop, a delivery entrance, a fenced-in yard with various shrubbery, and 2 cats keeping watch on the proceedings.

    Two years back I constructed a gingerbread sukkah from the same recipe.

    My point being, don’t feel bad about forgetting Halley’s menorah. Gingerbread houses aren’t just for Christmas. They’re great vehicles for the imagination and can be even more fun when you break out of the winter holiday mindset.
    Thanks Rocky-cat. I’ve made a few “not traditional” gingerbread houses myself. I still think the beach house is my all time favorite, Parrothead that I am. Have a great decorating season, no matter which season you choose! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  18. Sue

    That’s such a cute gingerbread house! Great instructions too! I’ve always wanted to do this but never manage to set aside the time. This might be a good activity for the college age kids and their friends when they’re home over the holidays.
    Stupid question, but I’ve always wondered……….. Do people actually eat these or do they just make them to look at them?
    Personally, they look too pretty to eat.

    To eat, or not to eat, that is the question. Whether tis….well, you get the idea…. It’s up to the baker or the family preference. Some families set a date for the eating or demolition to begin, others see it as a decorative item, not a snack. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  19. Sandy

    Well…this it totally unrelated but…I am so excited! My Harris Teeter here in NC is now carrying the KAF Unbleached Cake Flour! I was at the store today and saw it. I snagged 2 boxes and there was only 1 box left on the shelf so it is obviously selling really quickly!
    Good for you Sandy. I love the recipes on the box for birthday cakes! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  20. Cathy in MD

    This is adorable. I saw this on the cover of your latest catalog and wondered how it was made. Now I know. I think I’m going to do a gingerbread house with my (three-year old) son this year. I think he’ll enjoy sticking the candy on the house. I KNOW he’ll enjoy eating the candy! Maybe we’ll do two. That we we can both play. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
  21. Denise

    Hi, Does any body know how to save a ginger bread house? My 3 year old neice wants to make one she can keep forever!! Kids are so cute! This page gave “Aunt Denise” a good idea! Email me at tbone_95@ymail.com Thanks!!

    Denise-Yes, you could actually save it almost forever. My son has one that was made from graham crackers. It is going on year 2. Those gum drops last forever. Store it in a cool and dry place. Covering it with a plastic bag may be a good idea also to avoid any dust accumulation and to preserve the colors! Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  22. Angela

    Okay that’s it! I’m definitely making a gingerbread house this Christmas. I Want people to eat it though so I’ll probably set up a little wrecking ball (I’m thinking an orange wrapped in tinfoil) to the side to encourage the demolition. :) BTW your kits are edible, right? I would assume so but best to check!

    Absolutely, Angela! Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  23. MichiganKim

    Gorgeous! Do you have small ginger bread house kits? I am looking for a something for my Sunday School kids could do at our Christmas party.
    Ants wont cross a line of black pepper either, if you knew where they are coming in sprinkle the pepper there.

    Please go to our website and go to Shop. In the search box, type gingerbread houses, enter. You will see a few varieties. Thanks for the black pepper tip, too! Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  24. cristine

    Absolutely adorable! This could become an obsession! Cupid’s House for Valentine’s, The Bunny Hutch for Easter LOL….

    Reply
  25. Lish

    To Denise:
    Spray shellac works for keeping these for several years. Use hot glue for construction, let everything dry really well, and spray shellac, let dry overnight, spray again, and it should keep forever. Just cover it with plastic in a dry place when it is not displayed.
    Thanks for chipping in Lish. Don’t be jealous, but I got my pumpkin whoopie pie on Saturday. Actually, I got 7 of them, I bought all the store had that day! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  26. Angela

    I am the loon that called the day the catalogue came out…yep me!! Before Halloween. This is the CUTEST!! I love it!! All I can say is more houses, more house. Please! I make about 23 each Christmas and love the ideas. You always do such a great job of showing us just how to do it at home THANK YOU!! Got my box in the mail today and guess what I am going to start yes today ~ going to a make it bake it fake it party and take 2 each year and I am a hit!!

    Thanks again !!

    Hi Angela,
    Well, if you’re a loon for calling at Halloween, what does that make me for decorating in August? :). Be sure to check out Christina Banner’s book How to Build a Gingerbread House. She has WONDERFUL ideas. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  27. Joni M

    At least 22 years ago Pampered Chef sold a gingerbread house stoneware mold and I have two of them, and my grown and married daughter and I used to spend hours decorating houses all those years ago…We made Easter springtime houses, halloween houses but loved the Christmas ones the most. Now that she lives far away, I haven’t done a house in several years although my son-in-law has quite an artistic streak and absolutely loves to do them from kits we’ve sent him (I will part with my stones after I get to make the first house with grandkids–someday!). Thanks so much for all the detail–I can’t say we’ve ever done one with detail like this, so now I’ll have new challenges as you’ve given me a wonderful reason to get the molds out again and be creative! And I LOVE the idea of using a hot glue gun to put it together with–we never ate the houses –way to cute to destroy during the season, and way to dusty after the holidays to even want to…You all do such a fantastic job–thank you so much for all your hard work!
    Joni, thanks for touching base. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you and the grandkids for a house making session soon. It would be a lovely way to carry on tradition.
    ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  28. Lish

    Mary Jane-
    I bought something that will make you jealous! Local pumpkin goat cheese! I am going to use it to make filling for homemade pumpkin whoopie pies I think, or a cheesecake. Haven’t decided yet, but it is incredible! Hope the whoopies come out as good as KAF!

    You’re bringing local ingredients to a whole new level! Happy Baking! Irene (for MJ) @ KAF

    Reply
  29. Sara Rath

    I was delighted to see this gingerbread house on the cover of your catalog when it arrived today! I’m the president of our local Friends of the Library here in Spring Green, WI and we’re sponsoring a Gingerbread House Contest as part of our Bake Sale and our town’s “Country Christmas” celebration. But I’m seriously worried that we may not have any Gingerbread entries…and thus I think I’ll have to make a house myself so those who visit our Bake Sale won’t be asking “So where are the Gingerbread Houses, huh?” and not have any to see. It will be a challenge, but your excellent instructions will help tremendously. That and a glue gun. Thanks! Sara

    Good luck, Sara – bet you’ll make a SPECTACULAR “Wisconsin farmhouse”! PJH

    Reply
  30. The Grahn Family

    Thank for sharing your wonderful step-by-step directions. You have inspired us to take our annual Christmas gingerbread houses to a new level! My sons, ages 9 and 6 loved seeing your work. They have enjoyed making a house every year for the past four years, and are looking forward to this year’s creation. Thanks for the glue gun tip!

    Kim, Evan and Ian

    Have fun – MaryJane is Queen of Fancy – AND she used to be an elementary teacher, so her projects are always kid-friendly. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  31. Angela

    Mary Jane,

    I made the houses and they came out soooo good ~ thanks for the advise on the book got on amazon and ordered it!! Thanks wish I could post you a photo ~ Thanks again and make more gingerbread houses please oh please love them!! You are great!! You give great instructions ~ easy to follow even better than the books!!
    thanks,
    Angela

    Reply
  32. Diana

    Wow. That is all I can say. WOW. I just received the current issue of KAF baker’s catalogue and that is the most beautiful cover I have ever seen. That gingerbread house is absolutely beautiful and so inviting. Nothing says New England more than that house. You are truly talented and I just wish I had the time and patience to make such a wonderful piece of art!
    Oh, Diana, thank you. What a lovely compliment, I’m actually blushing. I’m so glad you enjoyed the house. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  33. Debbie

    Thanks for the great instructions. However, the basic kit you show only has a front door and wreath indentations. Then when you are showing the part where you outline the door, two windows magically appear on the piece….which kit did you end up using?
    Hi Debbie,
    WOW! I never noticed that difference, and I spent hours with those pieces. If you read the earlier comment about how many photos I took, you’ll see that I lost over 200 photos to a glitch with my camera and had to re-take them. Some of the lost photos were of the walls, so I had to open another kit and re-ice and re-photo. It must be that the first kit didn’t have the windows, and the second kit did. Looking at the newer kit photos, they should have the window outlines. I hope this helps.
    ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  34. Karla

    I just got this catalog & am ecstatic about the gingerbread house. In the first picture, what was used for all the snow covering the ground?
    Hi Karla,
    The “snow” was provided by our photo studio, it’s just the bagged plastic snow from the craft store. Very pretty, just remember it is not edible. :) ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  35. Beverly

    I have made “gingerbread houses” for 30 years or so, and we give them away (eat them) on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I have a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie base that I use instread of gingerbread because a lot of kids do not care for the ginger. After all that work, I want them to eat it. Thanks for the great ideas. I have not tried fondant, but will this year.
    Hi Beverly,
    I’d love to see a copy of the chocolate chip base if you are willing to share :). maryjane.robbins@kingarthurflour.com. I’m happy to trade recipes for it too! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  36. Arlene

    An absolutely adorable gingerbread house! When our 10 year old daughter saw the cover of the latest KAF Catalog, she became enchanted with the farmhouse, as did the rest of the family!

    Not having done much gingerbread “construction” in the past, I was thrilled to discover your fabulous blog, complete with pictures. I think we are now “brave” enough to try this project.
    Just two questions – how long does a gingerbread house usually remain edible after assembly is complete, and is there a preferred way to store it to keep the finished piece pleasantly edible until Christmas? I am planning on this being a family activity done over several days, but I don’t want to stretch it out so much that the piece can’t be used as a dessert for Christmas.

    Again, thank you for a wonderful “how-to” instructions and the cutest farmhouse I’ve ever seen!

    Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas blessings to you and everyone at KAF!

    Reply
  37. Lisa F

    What an incredible work of art!! I plan on making this with my children. We’ve been making gingerbread houses for years using a kit. The kids love to do it and now they’re old enough to use some more creative juices. I expect this one to be more challenging but satisfying to build. This is the first decoration of the season for us and we’re looking forward to making it. What a great lesson in patience to boot.

    Have a wonderful holiday season.

    Reply
  38. Loren M

    I completely fell in love with the gingerbread farmhouse. I grew up in New Hampshire (but now I live in New Jersey) and it looks just like my grandparents’ house! I immediately ordered the kit–now I just need the fondant and the time! I’m hoping to do this over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration and beautiful vision of my childhood! Oh, and I ordered the Soft White Dinner Rolls which taste just like my grandmother’s recipe! Joyous memories of New England!

    Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  39. Mary Dehoff

    Okay..I’m really smiling at all the photos of “step by step” with your gorgeous farm house. Boy.. did I mess up making the simple gingerbread house; shipped to me in Oklahoma, by my wonderful sister Susan Becker, employed at King Authur. I kept wondering why my house walls were falling in/out!!! Your house and tips inspire me to try it again. (Hint to my sister!!!) My daughter had made a barn from the gingerbread house kit the year before, and her results were really pretty. You honestly are a true artist, and inspire those who do not have the cooking/baking gene!!!! Could you create a barn for all of us horse lovers out there???

    Reply
  40. Pat

    This is what my family is doing for Thanksgiving. I ordered six kits and made one so I’d know how to make it work for everyone on Thanksgiving Day. The children will take them home to decorate their houses for the Holidays. With my experimental house I decided to use more colored fondant for the swags under the windows and the wreaths on the house. Also cut one of the orange gumdrops for the candle flame. Both ideas worked great.
    This is a wonderful kit. I hope it becomes a tradition at our house for Thanksgiving Day. Mary Jane’s directions for the Vermont Farmhouse really make it a project better than any of Martha Stewart’s. So many sweet touches like the log pile.
    Thank you for making me look like an artist.

    Reply
  41. Susan Meinders

    We have a HUGE decorating party every year with houses. I make all the houses and put them together with caramelized sugar – acts just like hot glue. People always decorate the edges with frosting anyhow. I really want to try the fondant this year. I’m also making a show piece for the party – a California bungalow – seeing as we live in So Cal. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  42. clora Johnston

    To Michigan Kim. You can use Graham Crackers for small children as a base with purchsed frosting and decorations, While they are not as sophisticted they work nicely. This comes from my teahing days wiht Elementary Children.

    While the Gingerbread house is beautiful that KAF has made, it is way too complicated for young children. They would be seriously frustrated and crying before they completed this one!! For teanagers or adults it would be ideal.

    Reply
  43. Darcy

    Love your farmhouse!! My daughter and I enter our local gingerbread contest sponsored by our after school program in Warren, VT. It’s a blast and we’re on our 5th year! You should come be a guest judge!! Oh, and I think Chef Roland Mesnier would cringe at the idea of a hot glue gun hehe. Three of us attended his gingerbread class. It was fun just not long enough!
    Thanks for the great pictures and ideas!!

    Reply
  44. PAT CUNNNGHAM

    MUST ORDER THE GINGERBREAD FARMHOUSE KIT. LAST YEAR I PURCHASED A KIT FROM A MASS MERCHANDISER, SAT DOWN TO ASSEMBLE IT , AND BINGO THE WHOLE THING COLLAPSED!! MY PATIENCE, WORN THIN, I THREW IT IN THE TRASH!! IT WAS A TOTALLY FRUSTRATING EXPERIENCE. I NOW KNOW THAT I CAN TRUST KAF TO SEND ME ONE THAT WILL BE A SUCCESS. I VISITED YOUR STORE IN NORWICH THIS PAST OCTOBER, WHAT A DELIGHTFUL DAY, BOUGHT SEVERAL ITEMS THAT I BROUGHT BACK TO ARIZONA! THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP WITH ALL OF MY BAKING NEEDS. PAT CUNNINGHAM

    We aim to please, Pat – thanks for your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed your visit – c’mon back! PJH

    Reply
  45. Karen W

    Hi! My question involves saving this house (or any other gingerbread house) and just how edible the houses are if one were to choose to dismantle and munch on the thing. Can you save them from year to year? Your thoughts on both would be greatly appreciated……..

    This is a common question, with a simple solution. If you use edible ingredients (frosting, candies, etc) you can store in a cool, dry place. If you use non-edible ingredients, like a hot glue gun for assembly and spray shellac for preservations, again the storage place should be cool and dry. In either case, cover with plastic – we can’t guarantee shelf life from year to year as this will be affected by the storage place. As mentioned in another posting, some families set a date for demolition and then can have their gingerbread house and eat it too! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  46. jennifer

    This house is amazing. I’m gonna half to make one this year even if I mess it up. It is simple adorable. Thanks for sharing on how to make this. Can you still make it with the icing instead of the glue?

    There are no mess ups, only opportunities for different decorations! Use the royal icing if you intend to eat the gingerbread house, use the hot glue gun if you have no intention of eating it! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  47. Harriette Ward

    I ,too, love the gingerbread house and may even try to make one.My only question-Where is my KAF catalogue?I did not get one with the picture of the house.please send me one.

    I’ve forwarded this to our customer service folks, Harriette – they’ll help you. Thanks for letting us know- PJH

    Reply
  48. Lisa C.

    This house looks fantastic. I bought these kits last year for my kids, the house and one of the trains. They has so much fun making them. The kits were super easy for a wide age range of kids (mine were aged 10-21) and so much fun to do. We put the houses together with the icing and let them sit for about 4 hours before putting all the extras on, this year we are going to leave them sit overnight.

    This year the kids wanted me to make the gingerbread kits at home, thank you so much for making a kit that already has the gingerbread mix and icing included! We are all super excited to try this out this year. KAF has become our “go to” catalog for everything baking!

    I don’t know which the kids enjoy more, making the houses or the “demolition day” of the houses. They love tearing them apart and eating whatever they want off of it!

    Reply
  49. Laura

    This house is beautiful!! Every year my husband, my self and our two boys have a gingerbread house competition amongst us. My husband and our youngest son against my oldest and I. This year I plan or “trying” to re-create this farmhouse and hoping to win the competition (3 years in a row)!!! Wish me luck!!

    Good luck, Laura! I think MaryJane will be looking over your shoulder (virtually speaking…) – PJH

    Reply
  50. judith haase

    As a former teacher who has been building gingerbread creations since 1984 with King Arthur products, let me say that your directions are great and a tad above ordinary for creating your charming cottage. Great job!

    Reply

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