Gingerbread House

The Wonders of Gingerbread!

Bon Appétit!

The Wonders of Gingerbread!

By Steve Walker-Duncan, M.Ed.,
CCC Department Chair,
Culinary Arts Camosun College

Gingerbread Cookie
By Steve Walker-Duncan, M.Ed., CCC Department Chair, Culinary Arts Camosun College

Gingerbread is one of those seasonal treats that we rarely see outside of the holidays; yet it can be utilized for so many entertaining, engaging and creative activities for all ages all year round. The beauty of this tasty building material is in the infinite number of shapes and engineering marvels you can construct with it.

No matter how many of these enormously gratifying projects I undertake, I always get halfway through and realize my intent far surpasses my abilities or time. My advice to you is to start small and work your way up. As with so many things in life, planning is the key to success.

If you want to build the house structure, as shown on page 18, then first, cut a set of cardboard templates of your own design, using cereal boxes. Not that adventurous? There are any number of wonderful gingerbread templates online. Use tape to secure the template pieces together to ensure all the pieces fit correctly. Another tip is to use a Microplane® grater to file the edges of the pieces to create tight-fitting corners. Avoid large expansive areas for structures such as roofs or even larger wall sections. These structures may require additional ‘engineering’ to support them—without which you may find yourself waking up to a representation of what life might look like after the ‘Big One.’

Whatever you decide to build with your sustainable and delicious new building materials, it will provide hours of fun for you and your family and friends. Encourage kids to design, measure and decorate original designs for their own building project. The only limits are those set by their imagination and vision.

Find all of Steven’s contact info on the Camosun Culinary Arts portal listing page here on GoWestShore.

Gingerbread Cookie tree
Gingerbread Cookie snowflake


Yield: 1.5kg

300g 11/3 cups Margarine
200g 1 cup Brown sugar
2 Eggs
350g 1 cup Molasses
700g 51/2 cups Flour, all-purpose
5g 1 tsp Salt
15g 1 tbsp Ginger ground
5g 1 tsp Cinnamon


1. Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating after each. Then, blend in molasses.
3. Sift all dry ingredients together and work into a wet mix to form a smooth doughy.
4. Wrap and rest dough for at least 1 hour. It will keep up to 24 at room temperature or a week, if refrigerated. If chilled, leave out for 2 hours to soften before rolling.
5. Roll out on a lightly floured board 8-10mm thick. Then, cut into required shapes. (For construction, make cardboard templates of walls, roof panels, windows, etc.)
6. Bake at 190°C/375°F until dry looking on the surface. Cool completely and build away!

Royal Icing

Yield: 1.5kg


Use as ‘glue’ to secure and decorate
gingerbread structure.

500g 1 lb Icing sugar
3 Egg whites
15ml 1 tbsp Lemon juice

Beat all ingredients together until smooth. Add a few
drops of water, if it feels too thick.

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