Christmas is coming and one thing we associate with Christmas is a gingerbread house. I have only ever made a gingerbread house once before, to go on my son’s birthday cake. It was a challenge, but I really enjoyed getting creative with it, so when I was contacted by the charity Shelter and asked if I’d like to enter a competition they are running to raise awareness of the charity, by making a gingerbread house, I was very excited!
Shelter have the competition running up until 24th December, so there’s plenty of time to enter. All you have to do is make your gingerbread house and upload a photo to their site, then sell it to help raise funds. Shelter campaigns for housing rights and the fight against homelessness. Every 11 minutes, a family in Britain loses their home. Shelter provides advice and support which includes a free helpline that’s open 365 days a year! It is a great charity that offers help to so many people who need it. If you would like to offer your support, why not visit the donation page here to give whatever you can. Alternatively, you could make your own gingerbread house and enter the competition.
This is how we got creative and had a lot of family fun together making our gingerbread house…
Making the gingerbread
First up, we all got baking the gingerbread. This was very easy, as you basically just throw all the ingredients in together and mix. The children helped with the measuring and mixing. There are recipes to choose from on Shelters site.
Next came the fun part, rolling it and cutting out the shapes from the template we got from Shelter. BB chose the most difficult gingerbread house design (typical, I knew it was a mistake to ask BB to choose), but hey, I’m always up for a challenge, so daddy and BB set to work drawing the templates together.
We all rolled out some gingerbread on grease-proof paper and cut out the pieces of the house. The kids loved this part as it was just like playing with play dough. The pieces were then easily transferred to a baking sheet and baked in the oven. It took a while to bake all the pieces, but that didn’t matter.
Once all the pieces were cut, baked and cooled, we were ready for the tricky part…..building it!
We made the ‘glue’ from egg white and icing sugar, put it in an icing bag and got to work. BB did some gluing, but it was very stiff mixture, so I had to take over after a bit. We built the sides first, let that dry, then added the roof, followed by the porch. We had to be quite patient to let each part dry properly before moving onto the next part, especially as BB chose the design with walls at an angle, not straight down! We used tins to support the pieces whilst they were drying.
We let the house dry fully before attempting my children’s favourite part….the decorating! I bought a large variety of sweets and candy canes to use to decorate. We all had a chat together before we got started, discussing what sweets we could use for the door, windows, roof etc. I loved hearing how creative the children were, using their imaginations and creativity to work out what sweets looked like a door or window etc.
Once we had decided on our basic creation, we got to work. The children told me where they wanted the glue, I piped it on and the kids added their sweets. It really was the whole family’s team work!
I cannot tell you just how much fun my children had decorating this gingerbread house, they were absolutely in their element! It was paradise for them, surrounded by sweets, creating the best, most fun, edible house ever! And if I am honest daddy and I had a fantastic time helping too. It took us literally the whole day to complete, but it was well worth it, as we all had a wonderful day working on a creative project together, at the same time as raising awareness for a great charity Shelter!