Gingerbread Houses

The first time we saw Martha Stewart build a gingerbread house, we knew we wanted to make one just like she did. It was a huge Second Empire mansion, unlike any other gingerbread house. It was nearing Valentine’s Day and we decided to try our hand at our very first gingerbread house and cover it in pink royal icing. We created our own “blueprints” for the structure and located Martha’s gingerbread recipe on the Internet and went to work. The sugar for the windows had crystallized instead of caramelizing which was quite frustrating, but serendipitously ended up looking like “frosted” window panes, which was perfect. The finished house was nearly 30″ tall!The following year we bought Martha’s gingerbread house kit and with some creative embellishment made our second house.The third house is almost exactly like the original Martha made, complete with copper-leafed roof. We went a step further and frosted the sides with sanding sugar.

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4 Responses to Gingerbread Houses

  1. sara dadian says:

    Hi there!
    I have been looking for this issue of Martha Stewart Living, where she makes this exact gingerbread house. Do you happen to know what year it was? Or would you have a website where I could find the instructions? I’d like to make this with my brothers and nephews this year for Christmas.
    Thank you so much! Your house looks fantastic!!!

  2. Tim says:

    Thanks! I never found the issue that particular house came from. It had to be in the mid 90s. I had seen Martha do it on a rerun on Lifetime sometime around 1998 or 1999 which is when I made the pink one. I did the “natural” gingerbread one a couple of years later.

    I was never able to find plans for it, even in a gingerbread kit that Martha had sold. What I did was construct a mock-up using poster board and tape to get the size and proportions right and then used those pieces as templates to cut the gingerbread. The key thing is to find baking sheets that will fit your oven and scale the house proportionately as large as you can.

    To make the Second Empire style house in my pics, you’ll need 10 pieces. It is quite large and will need TONS of dough. I think I had made the dough into about 5 x 8 x 1 to 2″ thick or larger blocks when putting it into plastic wrap to refrigerate so I’d have huge chunks to work with so there would be no seams from piecing dough. I spent a day mixing dough, several days rolling and baking and then several more days assembling and decorating.

    4 walls each 13×16″
    1 platform 15″ square for roof overhang and to build roof on
    1 roof top 11-1/2 ”
    4 side roof pieces 15 x 11-1/2 x 6

    I remember rolling the dough directly on parchment paper so the large pieces of dough didn’t have to be lifted. A lot of the whole project was trial and error and a little bit of good luck. The first house was held together completely with royal icing, however the second time around I had trouble and cheated with the the hot glue gun since it wasn’t going to be eaten!

    Good luck!!!

  3. Susan says:

    It was in her cookbook Entertaining. You can find it there!

  4. lorraine jacobson says:

    I’m trying to find Martha Stewart gingerbread stately house ornaments and the gingerbread house dark brown ornament 2013. Please let me know where I can get these other than Ebay. Thank you. Lorraine

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