This dainty, pretty Swedish-style gingerbread house is so charming you'll want it to last all season long. The sweet details, including the iced chimney, silver pearled walls and scalloped meringue roof, make it a real showstopper.
Follow the recipe for the basic gingerbread dough mix (it’s best to do this the day before). When you’re ready to make your gingerbread house, remove the dough from the fridge. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180ºC, fan 160ºC. Print and cut out the Swedish gingerbread house template. Line two flat baking trays with nonstick baking paper.
Roll out the gingerbread dough between two pieces of nonstick baking paper to the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the top piece of paper and, using the template and a sharp knife, lay out, side-by-side, 2 x the front and back wall pieces (you could also cut out a door and windows if you wish) and cut it out. Keeping the dough on the paper you rolled it out on, carefully transfer the wall to the lined baking trays. Bake for 12 minutes.
Collect any trimmings and re-roll and cut out the 2 x roof panels (bake for 10 minutes), 2 x side walls (bake for 9 minutes), and 4 x chimney pieces (bake for 4 minutes). Leave the gingerbread to cool on wire racks while you make the icing.
To make the icing, whisk 40ml cold water with the royal icing sugar using an electric whisk for 4-5 minutes, until soft peaks form. Spoon into a large piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle, or a clean sandwich bag with a small corner snipped off.
To assemble the house, pipe the icing generously along the wall edges and use to stick them together. Use tins or jars to support the walls while they set. Pipe a little icing on the inside seams for extra support. Leave for 30 minutes to an hour to set.
Meanwhile, assemble the chimneybreast using the icing as before. Make sure both edges slant in the same direction. Leave to set.
If you’ve used tins or jars to support the walls, remove them before you attach the roof panels using the icing as before. Gently hold the roof in place for a few minutes, then leave to set for another 30 minutes.
To decorate, use the remaining icing to pipe on windows and doors. Pipe a scalloped line across the top of the roof and repeat underneath in intervals to look like roof tiles. Add patterns, dots or lines where you wish. Line the edges of the house with silver crisp pearls using the icing to secure them. Pipe a line of icing around the roof edges and lightly press in a line of mini meringues along the top.
Finally, carefully attach the chimney to the roof and gently hold in place for a few minutes until beginning to set. Dust the whole house with icing sugar to create a snowy effect.
Please note: mini meringues used to decorate the the top of the roof are not widely avaiable in Tesco stores. However, you will be able to find them in cake craft shops.
Download the Swedish gingerbread house template here