I just can’t believe I am back again in the kitchen making gingerbread houses. This time last year I was building a gingerbread village as a centerpiece for an afternoon tea party at my church that took me almost a week to make from start to finish. It was so worthwhile, and I was so happy with the results. It was also my first time ever building a village from scratch. For years I have been buying those cute gingerbread houses sets we get from the stores, but for this event I knew I wanted to make something special.
For the past few years tables at the afternoon tea are decorated beautifully, and creativity is at its peak. All of that is to welcome hundreds of beautifully dressed ladies as they enjoy fun fellowship, eat amazing food, and admire the tables that are incredibly decorated.
My inspiration came after I watched the movie Elf and realized how much I relate to the character. I know it can sound really strange, but I seriously feel like an elf this time of year. I want to bake every Christmas recipe I can get a hold of, I plan wrapping my gifts with coordinated paper, there are four Christmas trees in my house, I love making paper snowflakes, candy canes and maple syrup become part of our meals, and Christmas music is played all day long.
The village turned out really nice but it was a lot of work. Since it was a tea party, every place had a 3D mini gingerbread house inserted into a tea cup. In this post, I am going to show you how to make these adorable little houses for you to share with your family or simply give as a host’s gift. This can also be a great project for you to make together with your kids, replacing the tea with some delicious hot chocolate and mini marshmallows.
I have made a pattern and attached in a PDF document for you to download here. This pattern is a guide for you. I recommend you to measure with a ruler before cutting the pattern to make sure the dimensions written on paper are true to the picture.
There is one thing I must tell you before we start this project. Please cut the “house door” properly otherwise the houses will not fit into the mugs. That happened with me last year with a few of them, and I realized the dough expands a little bit during the baking process. I turned the houses that didn’t fit in the mugs into party favors and gave them as gifts. You can also turn them into ornaments and give them to family and friends.
Shall we start the fun? In case you can’t find any store bought gingerbread dough, I sharing a recipe from the The Joy of Cooking cookbook that I used in this recipe.
Merry Christmas everyone!
- 3D Mini Gingerbread House Recipe:
- 6 cups all-purpose flour (plus more)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon water
- Easy Royal Icing Recipe:
- 2 ¾ cups of powdered sugar
- 1 large egg white
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in the middle of the oven and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk the first six ingredients on the list together in a bowl. Set aside.
- Beat on medium speed until well combined the butter and light brown sugar until fluffy.
- Add in the eggs, dark molasses, and water and beat until well combined.
- Add half of the flour mixture into the batter and beat until smooth.
- Stir in the remain flour, then knead the mixture until well blended.
- If the dough is soft, add more flour. I added almost another cup of flour when making my recipe.
- Refrigerate the dough for about 2 to 6 hours.
- Meanwhile, cut out the pattern pieces, double checking the measurements making sure they are correct (this step is very important). Use the PDF pattern above.
- Roll dough between two sheets of parchment paper until about ¼ inch thick.
- If you have any trouble cutting the patterns, place the dough in the freezer for a few minutes until it is firm enough for you to cut your pattern, and then place them on the baking sheets.
- If the shape is a little compromised, use your knife or spatula to form the house, wall, and roof shapes again, making sure the house doors are shaped properly.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the edges are getting brown.
- Let the house pieces cool down completely before you put them together.
- To prepare the royal icing, mix and microwave ¾ cup of powdered sugar with one large egg white for about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the other ¾ cup of powder sugar and mix on medium to high speed until fluffy.
- Place royal icing into pastry bag with a writing tip and glue sides, front and back of house together.
- After the house is firm enough, glue both sides of the roof.
- Use your creativity and many different kinds of candies to decorate the house, I used a writing tip and crushed candy canes.