Gingerbread houses are a classic holiday tradition for most American families. There’s just something about getting in the kitchen with the kids and sticking candy onto gingerbread! But what if instead of going with the classic gingerbread-house look, you could make it a little more personal by creating a house that looks just like your mobile home?
The myth of impossibility
You’re probably thinking along these lines: You mean I have to make my own gingerbread and icing? No thanks! That’s just not happening. You may be the person who is tempted to go no futher than picking up a kit at the grocery store. We get that. December is a busy time! But, on the other hand, we need to put our hearts into everything we do. Making homemade gingerbread is going to create lasting memories. And here’s a secret: it’s really not hard.
So let’s treat that myth of impossibility as what it is – a myth. We’re giving you some step-by-step instructions (and a lot of links!) to help you create a mobile home gingerbread house and keep you from those famous gingerbread house frustrations.
#1 Make the templates
Making templates is the most complicated step in the process, and we suggest doing it after the kids go to bed. This is one instance in which they won’t be much of a help!
All you need are six pieces: two gable sides, two rectangle sides, and two pieces for the roof. Cut the templates out of cardboard or poster board. For the sides, cut a rectangle that is 3 inches by 7 inches. Now, for the gable sides, cut a 3-inch by 3-inch square that slants to a peak at the top. And for the roof, cut a rectangle measuring 3 inches by 7 ½ inches. That’s it! You can change the measurements depending on how large or small you’d like your mobile home to be. Just make sure to follow the same proportions for each piece. Cut a door and windows if desired.
#2 Make the gingerbread
There are so many good recipes out there. Some are for eating…and some others are simply structural, meaning they just look pretty. If you want to gobble up your gingerbread mobile home afterward, we recommend Sally’s Baking Addiction’s recipe. If you’re simply doing this for looks try this sturdy gingerbread dough from The Spruce Eats.
After following the instructions for your chosen dough, take the cookies out of the oven and use the templates you’ve created to trim the pieces to their correct sizes. Do this while the cookies are still warm. Now leave the gingerbread to cool for several hours or overnight.
#3 Make the icing
After your cookies are completely cooled and you’re ready to start assembling, whip up some royal icing. Alton Brown’s recipe on Food Network is simple and quick. Or, again, Sally’s Baking Addiction has your back with a royal icing recipe!
#4 Assemble the house
To assemble the house, first find a surface to assemble on. To make things extra pretty, use a cake stand. This way you can stick the cookies directly onto it without worrying about a layer of icing on the bottom weakening the structure. But if you don’t have a cake stand, use a piece of foam core board, covered with icing. It may be less efficient, but it great because it’s cheap!
Now you can start assembling. We suggest using a squeeze bottle for the royal icing. You know those kits that come with icing bags? Remember the messes? A squeeze bottle eliminates a large percent of this headache. Don’t be afraid to slather on the icing. Drips are good! Not only does it look like snow, but it makes your structure that much stronger.
A quick tip: to hold together the pieces while you’re assembling, use clips like these, clamped at the bottom of the cookie to keep it upright. Plus, it’s good to leave the house alone for a few minutes in between adding each piece. A nice, strong structure is the end result!
This is the most subjective step in the entire process. Basically, have fun! You can choose to go big or to go delicate. Jelly candy and M&M’s or edible pearls? It’s up to you. Use up the rest of the royal icing or be extravagant and use buttercream. Or deploy confectioner’s sugar to top it all off, if you like. Your gingerbread mobile home can be covered with sprinkles or smothered in chocolate. Use frosting to make doors and windows if you didn’t cut them into the cookie already. Try marshmallows and coconut to achieve that snowy mobile home look.
A very merry mobile home!
There’s nothing like the smell of gingerbread on a cold winter’s day. And there’s nothing like spending time with the family creating something beautiful. We hope you’re convinced you should make crafting a homemade gingerbread mobile home a tradition. And if your gingerbread building project isn’t enough to keep you busy, here are another five trending DIY Pinterest projects for Christmas.