Monday, 25 November 2013

Gingerbread Houses . . . Not just for Christmas!

This has been a most exciting week!  I have had requests for all kinds of makes and bakes to be made.  Hannah's custom projects :) ... Loving that people are asking me to get creative for them, getting me to design and make specific things for their family, friends and businesses!
First up was one of my hand-sewn name and date of birth onesies that I first made in May... I made a 2nd for a friend's baby, and through Instagram somebody else made a request for one!  Yey!  I have been thinking about putting them on Etsy for a while now so it was a great feeling to have somebody ask for one ahead of this.  I guess it is time to put them on now!!  
2nd on the books this week was an incredibly cool request that I'll be talking about today...
And then thirdly, you'll get to read about some festive mini cupcakes I got to bake for a great cause :)  Stay tuned for that one!  And follow me on Instagram for some sneak peeks!
So the full reveal of..............
Gingerbread houses... Not just for Christmas!  No way.  This particular request came from a genius little boy's brain, who had asked for not just any old regular cake for his 6th birthday party, but a gingerbread house!
What an amazing idea!  So earlier in the week I got an email from a friend, whose boss was the Mom of the birthday boy asking me, as the person she thought might be able to do this if I would be up for creating this!
I of course said yes and my brain started whirring with ideas...  I asked the Mom what her son liked, the kinds of candy he enjoyed and his name and age.  I hoped to incorporate as many things as I could. 
Mainly, when she told me her son liked Lego and Star Wars my brain totally tuned in to the Lego idea.  So many colours to choose from, the Lego candy bricks I had always seen but never used and just a lot of fun to be had with this idea.... So that's what I went with :)
I had been told that the birthday boy was a big candy fan, not so much about the chocolate but definitely loved any kind of candy.  This worked for me!  I started with these supplies (way too many in the end but I didn't know, and hate being stuck without something I need at the last minute)... I didn't use all of these for the final product, but they were available for me to choose from! 
With it being the week of the party already, and a full week at work going on as well I offered two options to choose from... The family chose for me to customise and decorate a pre-baked gingerbread house.  I used a Wilton house from Michaels because it was a plain house, without the pre-etched windows and doors.  I was really happy with this kit, all the pieces were great and it even came with bonus candy, fondant and icing (which I personally didn't use, but can see it would be useful for a fun holiday activity!). 
I actually chose to use my own royal icing using a recipe I have used in the past, and knew that it would set up nice and hard, meaning the house would stay built... The wise man built his house upon the rocks after all!  Royal icing is like a baker's glue and this one sure did keep everything rock solid!
2 egg whites whisked together with a teaspoon lemon juice and 3 cups icing sugar did the trick and I used almost all of it, with a little left for the emergency repair kit I gave along with the house!  I hope they didn't have to use it!!
So the building began.. Saturday morning I spent at work, so after lunch I got right to building so the structure would have time to set before decorating.  I also chose not to use the cardboard square that came with the kit, instead sticking the house to a square silver cake board with room around the edges for more design and decoration.

I added a secret message on the inside of the house hehe!

So once the house was built I gave it a couple of hours to dry up.  Meanwhile, I started laying bricks!
One stretch across the top of the roof... and then walls around the side of the house.  This was SUPER fun to build!  Using a palette knife (a cake version not an actual bricklayers tool!) and royal icing, I stuck the edges and the bottoms of each brick to one another, and made a Lego brick wall of varying heights.   

I love how this came together, and I think it definitely made the gingerbread house identifiable as a Lego house :) 
Next up was all the piping... I chose to write 'Foster' (the birthday boy's name) and a 6 on each side of the roof.   
I used lots of colourful round sprinkles in the 6 to make it really bright and fun, and had chosen these particular sprinkles as they totally reminded me of the small circle dots on the top of every Lego piece.  But I chose to leave the name totally white, I thought it contrasted really well with the brown of the gingerbread and really 'popped' :)

So you can see I also chose these mini M+Ms for the outline of the roof.  Again, I loved the bright colours of these and the round dots again reminiscent of Lego piece circles.   Using a thick layer of royal icing I did each length of the roof at a time and then followed a pattern of the M+Ms.  I don't know how it happened, but the order of colours fit perfectly!  Yey colour patterns!!

I also chose the M+Ms for the outline of the door, and piped the window and door handle with the same white royal icing.
Once the brick walls were stuck against the house walls I put in the candy standing in each corner.  Mini sour gummies standing on top of each other like a column.  Who doesn't want more candy?!  This was for a 6 year old's birthday party after all =)

Now to tell you about the final touch I added to the house. Chocolate Lego men!!  I actually bought a Lego ice cube tray for my husband's stocking (oh wait, I mean "Santa" brought him this!!) a couple of years ago... and whilst it hasn't been used a tonne for actual ice cubes I thought this would be a perfect chance to try it more of a silicone mold and melting some chocolate wafers and letting them set up in the Lego man shape! 
They worked pretty well, and I'd definitely try this again, probably with different colours next time too!
And here's where I give my genius husband lots of credit for this particular idea... He suggested, what if I chop off a Lego man's legs and then reattach them to make them sitting down!  I loved it, and it worked pretty well, so I stuck a couple of sitting down guys on top of each side of the house, just hiding out, chilling on the wall, and a few standing on the back wall :)
So, Lego brick walls done... Candy columns done... Roof decorations and all the piping work done... I just doubled up on some of the piping, making things a little neater and, although it was hard to believe, I think it was done!!!
Photo time of course... sadly it was evening by then and the photos aren't as bright as I would have liked, but I couldn't magic the daylight back, and it was going to be an early delivery Sunday morning and I wanted it all packed up and safe by then!


So don't get me wrong, I love the traditional Winter gingerbread house designs, but big respect and credit to the birthday boy's imagination here to have a gingerbread house for a birthday cake!

Happy Birthday to Foster, hope you and your friends had a great party and enjoyed the Lego gingerbread house :-D


  1. You are ridiculously talented! Thanks Hannah!

  2. Hannah, these are sooooo cute and professional. You are a true artiste! Just shared it on FB, G+ and Twitter.....moving on to Pinterest now. Thanks for sharing it on Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop. ♥

  3. I love this. So cute. I'm featuring this, thanks for sharing with GIT 33


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