It’s that time of year again! Give your home (and the home of your favorite cookie man) a holiday makeover by making a delicious vegan gingerbread house. Besides looking great and making the entire place smell like fresh cookies (yum!), it will be a ton of fun to make. So, grab some childlike wonder (or an actual child if you have one), check out the instructions below, and get baking!
Vegan Gingerbread House
1/3 cup vegan margarine (try Earth Balance brand)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup unsulphured molasses
1 cup water
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice
- Mix the vegan margarine, brown sugar, molasses, and 1/2 cup of the water together in a large bowl until creamy.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix well, adding enough water to produce a sticky dough (about 1/2 cup).
- Divide the dough into four equal balls.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line some baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Flatten one of the dough balls between two pieces of parchment paper with a rolling pin until about 1/2-inch thick.
- Cut the dough into 4 squares with a knife (these will be the walls of your gingerbread house). Using a spatula, transfer to a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the surface is firm.
- Roll out the remaining dough until it is 1/4-inch thick and cut out your roof pieces (the thinner dough will make the roof pieces easier to hold up). Cut out any other decorations you may want. (For our house, we cut out a big tree and a bear. You can also cut out a porch roof like we did in the example. Be creative!) Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 to 10 minutes, until the surface is firm. (If your shapes don’t turn out the way that you wanted them to after baking, you can just eat them.)
- When each batch of gingerbread is finished baking, transfer the pieces from the cookie sheet to the counter to cool down. Don’t start decorating until the pieces are completely cooled off because the candy and icing will melt.
For the Icing:
1 box confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup powdered soy milk
5 Tbsp. soy milk
6 Tbsp. corn syrup
Strong plastic sandwich bags
- Mix the sugar, powdered soy milk, and most of the soy milk together in a large bowl.
- Add the corn syrup and stir until just combined.
- If needed, slowly add the remaining soy milk until the mixture is smooth. But be careful: The icing needs to be really thick, or your house will fall apart!
- Cover a cookie sheet with tin foil. This is going to be your base.
- Take a sandwich bag and cut off one of the bottom corners so that there is a hole smaller than a pencil eraser. Fill the bag with some of the icing. When you are ready to decorate, you can squeeze the bag so that the icing comes out of the hole.
- Take a wall piece and place a thick line of icing along the bottom edge. Place on the baking sheet and hold until the icing hardens and the wall can stand up by itself.
- Take another wall piece and place a thick line of icing along the bottom edge as well on one of its sides so that it will stick to the other wall. Place on the baking sheet and hold until the icing hardens.
- Continue building like this until your roof is securely in place. It will take a while for each piece to set, but it’s worth the wait! Nothing is worse than having your gingerbread house collapse.
- Once the house is built, add more icing in all the corners and other places where your pieces come together. This will make your house sturdier and make it look nicer on the outside because all the holes and joints will be covered.
- Let all the icing harden completely.
- The only rule about decorating is that there are no rules! Get your icing and candy out and place the candy wherever you want. If you don’t like the way one of your decorations turns out, just pull the candy off, eat it, and try again.
Here are instructions for how to decorate your house like ours:
- Make a line of icing where the roof and side walls attach to the front wall and stick on red licorice as an outline.
- Use DOTS to make a walking path from the front door out into the yard.
- Use candy canes as columns to help support the porch roof.
- Create a “river” of icing alongside the house and cover with blue sprinkles to mimic water. Add a dollop of icing to the tails of the Swedish fish and place on the river so that the fish appear to be jumping out of the water.
- Spread a layer of icing over the surface of the tree cutout, then cover with green sprinkles. Add icing along the bottom edge and place next to the house.
- Add icing to the bottom edge of the bear cutout—or any other animal cutout that you decide to make—and place next to the tree. Add some candy eyes or a candy nose.
- Make a wreath for the front of the house using icing and green sprinkles.
- Cover the top of the house and the yard with dried coconut to mimic snow.