Our Gingerbread Farm – The Basics

Our family has watched plenty of the gingerbread building and decorating contests on the food shows. I should not be surprised that editing makes gingerbread house building look easy, right? Personally, making my first gingerbread this year required more forethought than I initially expected. Determining sizes, materials and theme was my starting point. Many of our ideas came from searching the internet. We adapted what we found to fit our scale and plan.

Let’s explore the basic recipes and templates used for constructing the gingerbread farmhouse and barn. I encourage you to check out my previous post: My First Gingerbread House. 

The Base

As a base we used a bulletin board that was laying around. An alternative option would be the thick foam board that you can buy from a local craft store. I would not recommend this option if you plan on lifting and moving your project. We covered the board with a thick brown craft paper to protect it from getting ruined.

Gingerbread Dough Recipe

Structural Gingerbread House Dough Recipe (thespruceeats.com)

This recipe was used for both the barn and the house. We opted for the “blonde” dough for the barn because we knew that we would be using the food coloring on it and we really wanted the red to stand out. The dough for house was made with the more traditional molasses syrup and therefore came out the darker, stereotypical gingerbread color. 

gingerbread farm basics

Royal Icing “Glue”

Royal Icing Recipe for a Gingerbread House (thespruceeats.com)

I changed the recipe to make a tinted “glue” to put the structures together. I used the hot cocoa mix because it is what was here in our house. I saw recipes that called for food coloring to make the royal icing brown. If (or when) I build gingerbread again, I may try baking cocoa. It may work better at getting a darker color if I had used straight cocoa powder. The recipe with the changes that I made:

1 pound confectioners’ sugar (sifted, more as needed)

4 large pasteurized egg whites (room temperature)

1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Added 4 packs of dark chocolate hot cocoa mix

 

Gingerbread Dough Recipe

Structural Gingerbread House Dough Recipe (thespruceeats.com)

This recipe was used for both the barn and the house. We opted for the “blonde” dough for the barn because we knew that we would be using the food coloring on it and we really wanted the red to stand out. The dough for house was made with the more traditional molasses syrup and therefore came out the darker, stereotypical gingerbread color. 

 

 

Gingerbread Farm - E. Jean Homestead

 

Barn Template

A City Chicken Farm: Let’s Have a Ginger Barn Raising!

Adjustments that I made to the template included adding length to make the barn taller. I also changed the windows on one side of the barn. The front doors were adhered to the from with the royal icing glue and the back doors were left in place. As a result of the gingerbread dough spreading, it was necessary for us to clean up the edges of most of the pieces after baking. 

FOR MORE ABOUT HOW AND WHY WE SHAVED THE WALLS, READ: Our Gingerbread Farm – The Best Tips and Tools

 

Gingerbread Farm - E. Jean Homestead

 

House Template

The Thud Gingerbread House template – The Thud (the-thud.com)

The basic design came from this template. However, I made several changes. We added a smaller addition as a garage as well as making the side walls a little larger. Making the side walls larger caused a different pitch in the roof. Which also made that chimney  Luckily it worked out because I definitely did not think that through before making that change.

 

Read more about our build!

My First Gingerbread House

First time building a gingerbread house from scratch

The Decorations

Details on the decorations to make our farm festive

The Best Tools and Tips

Compilation of the best tools and the tips that helped us the most

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more photos!

 

baking, From Scratch, gingerbread

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