Haunted Gingerbread House Template

Create your own haunted gingerbread house with this template.

I’ve been making gingerbread houses for Christmas since I was six years old, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I got into the haunted gingerbread house game.  It was only natural, given my love for all things Halloween.  When we decided that we were going to do our Halloween photo shoot at the historic and allegedly haunted Lemp Mansion here in St. Louis, I knew I had to venture into haunted gingerbread house territory once again. My challenge this time around was to make a miniature gingerbread replica of this famous St. Louis landmark and create a haunted gingerbread house template so all you Smarties can make your own!

The thought of making a gingerbread house can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.  There’s a few tips you can employ that will ensure you have a successful endeavor:

  • Precision: Make sure your pattern is accurate, and that when you bake each piece, you trim it back down to size when you bring it out of the oven because the baking process will inevitably cause some expansion.  The easiest way to minimize that is to add more flower to your dough.
  • Trimming the gingerbread pieces as soon as they come out of the oven while they’re still soft will be easier than after they’ve cooled. If they’ve already cooled, be sure to use a serrated knife and a sawing action to avoid accidental breakage. Don’t attempt to remove any of the freshly baked pieces until they’ve completely cooled.
  •  When creating your cutouts (before baking), it can be easier to roll out the dough on the cookie sheet your planning to bake them on, and removing the trimmings rather than rolling it out on another surface and attempting to transfer them to the cookie sheet.  My favorite tool is a silicon baking mat.  I can roll out the dough on it, make my cuts, remove the trimmings, and then pick the whole thing up and place it on the cookie sheet.   You can probably achieve the same effect with wax paper.
  • Do not use regular pre-prepared icing to decorate your gingerbread house. The bread can absorb the moisture from the icing and become unstable. Instead, opt for a more solid royal icing that dries quickly. It’s easy to make and I’ll give you a recipe below.

Mixing up a traditional gingerbread dough recipe is also time consuming in that the dough must be refrigerated for a couple of hours if not overnight, so here’s faster, easier gingerbread dough recipe you can use when you don’t have that kind of time.

What You Need:

For the dough:

  • 3 rolls of pre-made sugar cookie dough
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses

For the Royal Icing:

  • 3 ounces eggwhites*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar

*If you’re decorating cookies for children, pregnant women, or anyone with compromised immune systems, use meringue powder, found in the baking aisle of most markets, instead of raw egg whites.

Directions:

Let the 3 rolls of cookie dough warm up to room temperature, then break them apart in a large bowl.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the molasses and start kneading the dough.  Gradually add flower as you knead until all of the flower has been evenly incorporated into the dough, it’s somewhat solid and the color is evenly brown.  Roll out the dough to approximately 1/8 of an inch thickness before cutting out your pattern. Bake smaller pieces for approximately 6-8 minutes, larger pieces for 8-12 minutes.  If you like the look of our miniature Lemp Mansion gingerbread house, you can download the template and instructions here.

For the royal icing, mix the egg whites and vanilla thoroughly.  Gradually add in the confectioners sugar and continue beating until the mixture is shiny. Turn the speed up to high and beat until there are stiff, glossy peaks. Use the thicker consistency to outline. When the outlines are dry, use a thinner consistency (less peaks, more runny) to “flood” for smooth, solid look such as we used for the windows below. You can use water to thin the icing if it gets too thick for this purpose.

Create your own haunted gingerbread house with this template.

Create your own haunted gingerbread house with this template.

Create your own haunted gingerbread house with this template.

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Complimentary  Smarty Products: 

 

splendor-silver-rim-black-dessert-plates Black-Satin-Dinner-napkins black-linen-polyester-tablecloth-60-102 black-grandeur-dinner-napkin-or-guest-towel
Splendor Silver Rim Black Dessert Plates Black Satin dinner Napkins 60″ x 102″ Black Linen Polyester Tablecloth Black Grandeur Dinner Napkin or Guest Towel

 

If you’re raving over this party theme, get more ideas here: 

 

 lemp-mansion-haunted-house-halloween-party-theme-poe-thumbnail DIY Paper Pomanders The Raven Cocktail recipe
Edgar Allan Poe Theme Halloween Dinner Party DIY Party Poms “The Raven” Cocktail Recipe

 
Party on, Smarties!

Ashley

Styling: Ashley Riley & Ashley Dolan