Advent, Candles, Baking Mad and an Enchanted Gingerbread House

Baking Mad 
and an 
Enchanted Gingerbread House

27th November 2011
First Sunday in Advent

Advent ~ the religious countdown to Christmas and a magical time for me as I start to decorate our home, bit by bit, and certainly no Christmas Tree just yet ~ we like to put our tree up as close the Christmas Eve as possible ~ but I do start to bring out old and treasured decorations, day by day. The first item I bring out are my Advent Candles; now I love candles all year around, but I add more and more candles about the house as winter deepens, it’s a elemental call for celebration and light during the lengthening days. During Advent, Christians the word over start to prepare for the arrival of Jesus, a celebration in the midst of winter and a time to plan menus, wrap gifts, post Christmas cards, decorate the house and of course cook for the seasons festivities. 

At the beginning of Advent I also start to forage for holly and mistletoe to decorate the house. I have a holly bush in the back garden that has berries, for the first time this year as it happens, but the mistletoe is a car drive away with a ladder to a nearby lane of old pear trees that are all covered in giant balls of mistletoe………if my daughter is over when we go hunting for the white berried greenery, she is elected the ladder climber! It’s at this time of year that my thoughts turn to decorative baking and there is nothing as decorative as a home-made Gingerbread House, decorated to the hilt with sweeties and dripping with snowy icing. 

I always make a gingerbread house when I have time, and after we have enjoyed it during the first few weeks of Advent, I give it to a neighbour whose grandchildren come to stay over Christmas or, as I did last year, to the local primary school. It was Jude over at A Trifle Rushed that got my gingerbread house baking started this year, she made a fabulous one the other week ~ you can see it on her blog here. Jude has allowed me to feature her gingerbread house as a mini guest blogger feature, so here are a few photos of her gorgeous sweetie encrusted ginger dwelling! 

Look at the little gingerbread men too………

……and I spy those DIVINE little Lindt chocolate Reindeer too! 

Here is what Jude as to say about her wonderful creation…………

……”Well, I have done it.  I have managed to decorate a Gingerbread House successfully for the school fair this weekend.
I just have to transport it safely!  I am taking it over to school on Friday, so if there are any major disasters I can make another on Saturday (the fair is on Sunday!)  Gosh! Am I looking forward to having a rest on Monday! (The parents in my daughter’s class are running Santa’s Grotto!)
So here is The Gingerbread House.
Ta da”……

It’s fabulous Jude and thanks for the inspiration to make my own now that Advent is here!  If you would like to see how Jude made her amazing gingery creation, please visit here here, and tell her I sent you over, she may offer you a chocolate reindeer!

Baking Mad I got the recipe for the the gingerbread for my house from my favourite baking site, Baking Mad Com, they have such inspirational and wonderful recipes over there, and although I decorated mine differently, this is the basic gingerbread recipe that I followed:Gingerbread House

I DIDN’T use their template, as I have my own template, which is almost the same shape, but I DID follow their excellent recipe for the gingerbread and Royal icing…..and it made a SUPERB and easy to manipulate gingerbread, which was easy to assemble ~ I can recommend the recipe 100%. 

Here are a series of step-by-step photos as I baked and decorated my gingerbread house:

The freshly baked gingerbread trees

The whole template, baked and laid out to start assembling. 

The end gables, with the boiled sweet windows I added…….

Starting to build the house with the Royal icing “cement”…..

Starting to decorate the trees with icing and edible coloured sugar…..

Decorating the gingerbread hearts with sweeties, these get stuck on the house as added decoration….

The completed house from all angles…….

I used marshmallows as roofing tiles and lolly pops as trees……

The back of the house and you can see the boiled sweet window better now…….

The front of the house with some candy cane arches and the Christmas trees…….

The recipe for the gingerbread and icing is on the Baking Mad site here:
They say it is easy to make, but it does require a little bit of skill in stamping out the gingerbread templates and assembling the house. I assembled mine and then left it to dry overnight before decorating it next day. It’s fun to make and the children can help decorate it ~ a perfect creative bake for Advent Sunday perhaps? 

As for the Advent Candles, I made the arrangement myself; it was easy peasy ~ just grab a pretty plate, some baubles, some tinsel, a string of tree pearls and 4 Advent candles ~ these are different size candles as the first one burns longer than the others…….arrange them all on the plate and voila, you have a rather rapid but attractive Advent Candle arrangement! 

That’s all for today, see you later and have a wonderful first Sunday in Advent.

I am entering this into the Seasonal Gingerbread House link up – Christmas


I am entering this recipe into Jac’s 



  1. Torviewtoronto says

    beautiful house decoration looks wonderful
    thank you Karen for letting me know about other names for Camelina oil
    regards Akheela

  2. From Beyond My Kitchen Window says

    What a wonderful gingerbread house. I also love your Advent candles in the dish. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  3. homemadebyfleur says

    Lovely gingerbread house! You have inspired me to make one myself with the kids. They would just love to decorate it. How long do they last for? You blog post has got me all excited about Christmas too.

  4. Neesie Natters says

    What a beautiful post Karen…getting us all Christmassy.
    I've got a recipe for a gingerbread house but have never made it but I did plan to for this year.
    I think I'll go with your recipe…what better recommendation than 100%
    I'm sold.
    Like you I love candles all year round but I'm now going to have an Advent display ~ thanks for all the inspiration ;D

  5. Neesie Natters says

    What a beautiful post Karen…getting us all Christmassy.
    I've got a recipe for a gingerbread house but have never made it but I did plan to for this year.
    I think I'll go with your recipe…what better recommendation than 100%
    I'm sold.
    Like you I love candles all year round but I'm now going to have an Advent display ~ thanks for all the inspiration ;D

  6. Marie says

    Very nice Karen. I used to do a Gingerbread creation every year for my children when they were growing up. One year I did a Gingerbread Christmas tree. It was 3 dimensional and took forever to make and decorate, but was quite pretty when done. I had done silver dragee garlands and there were gummy bears sitting on the branch tips. My kids loved it!

  7. Belinda @ Wild Acre says

    My daughter adores baking, but she will want to know if it is edible – do you end up eating yours, or is it just for decoration? Looks too amazing to tuck into! And does it start looking a bit mouldy by Christmas? I have never had this tradition growing up, so am a bit clueless!

    Love the advent candles, and totally chime with the need for fire and light as winter deepens, really makes all the cold and dark not just bearable, but actually pleasurable to me (at least until half way through January!). You have inspired me to do an advent candle decoration, for the flickering candlelight, yes, but also as reminder for what it is all about in the end. Lovely post, thank you.

  8. Priya Sreeram says

    wow -lovely, I have always wanted to make a gingerbread home for my daughter, the recipe sounds a keeper ! nice post

  9. La Table De Nana says

    I think I could live in a gingerbread house..especially the way yours looks..All delightful..each one their own Victorian:) character.Very cute:)

  10. Janice says

    Stunning Gingerbread house. I've never made one and it won't be happening this year due to lack of time. However, maybe next year when my grandson will be able to appreciate it!

  11. Baking Addict says

    Such a lovely post, it's really starting to feel Christmassy. I may the only bah humbug blogger with no xmas bakes this year! Mainly lack of time and work pressures. I love yout gingerbread house. I've only made 1 and would like to make another one. The advent candles are great too. Have a lovely Sunday!

  12. A Trifle Rushed says

    Karen, your gingerbread house is beautiful. I love your decorations. We've just got back from school where they were delighted with my little house. Thank you so much for featuring it on this lovely post.
    And I love your Advent Candles, such a super idea to use different sizes. Happy Christmas decorating!
    Jude x

  13. Kentish Keg-Meg says

    What fun to make a Gingerbread House.
    Seems to have come to Advent Sunday so quickly. I love the lighting of the candles week by week. The countdown has begun.

  14. Inspired by eRecipeCards says

    DELICIOUS… well, maybe the first day.

    But beautiful and festive for the season. Love this post and especially appreciate the Advent Candles. As always, beautiful post!

  15. Blissfully Scrumptious says

    Your Gingerbread house is absolutely beautiful! I haven't attempted one since my son's first birthday – 31 years ago! You have inspired me to try it again for my grandchildren! X

  16. Karen S Booth says

    WOW! Thanks so much for all of your lovely posts ~ came here to reply to you all, but may have to wait as I have so many wonderful comments I will come back later when I have more time!

  17. Dom at Belleau Kitchen says

    I love the way you went rogue with your gingerbread house. I've never made one before but I live the idea. What recipe did you use?

  18. Kate@whatkatebaked says

    I adore this Karen- so fun, and so festive! This is absolutely my favourite time of year and your post has left me feeling very Christmassy and with a big grin on my face!

  19. Karen S Booth says

    Belinda! Many thanks, please reassure your daughter that the house is totally edible! If you want, store the house in cellophane until the feast begins!

  20. Working london mummy says

    beautiful recipe Karen and as always so nicely photographed. and all those yummy marshmallows! Delicious xx

  21. Heather says

    What a beautiful and delicious looking house and your wreath is so gorgeous! Happy first Sunday of Advent :) I love this season!~

  22. says

    Wow! These is sooo lovely & cute! Another adventure that I”m hoping to achieve , making a ginger bread house! LOL Hopefully it will turn out as lovely as yours! :)

  23. Lisa Williams says

    WOW This is beautiful I have always wanted to make my own but I worry to much about gingerbread collapses I don’t think I could take that :)

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