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Healthy Gingerbread House Recipe

Following is a real foods, wholesome ingredient version of a healthy gingerbread house. This is the recipe that I use every year. It will produce a house approximately the size of a toaster, plus several dozen gingerbread cookies of various shapes and sizes.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 2 Tbs ground ginger
  • 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp mace can also use cardamom but I find it’s a tad too bitter
  • 1 Tbs sea salt
  • 1 Tbs baking soda
  • 2 ¼ cups fresh butter
  • 2 ¼ cups raw sugar or coconut, rapadura, whatever
  • 6 fresh eggs room temperature
  • 2 cups rich dark molasses (blackstrap is awesome; I sometimes mix in a little sorghum molasses when I have it)

Instructions

Instructions for Gingerbread Dough

  1. Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl (flours, spices, salt). Please note: if your mixer can’t do this much flour at one time, you halve this recipe easily. You can also split the ingredients in half and process them on half at a time. That seems like a lot of work to me, but maybe you’re not as big a wuss as I am.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add eggs one at time until fluffy and thoroughly mixed.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet in two cup increments. Mix thoroughly between additions.
  4. Wrap the dough securely in bees wax wrap, dehydrator liners, parchment paper or plastic wrap. Chill for at least four hours, or overnight. I usually complete my gingerbread house making over a whole week and just chill mine overnight to deal with the next day.
  5. When ready, remove chilled dough to counter and let sit for around 30 minutes.

Instructions for Gingerbread House Baking

  1. You’ll need a large work area for rolling house pieces so prepare your space.  Pick your favorite template - see the Notes section for a link.

  2. Cut the dough into manageable chunks and check wetness.  If it's too wet to roll out without sticking, work a little flour into the dough ball.  Dust your rolling pin and rolling surface with flour.  Roll each piece to a consistent width – I like between 1/8 and ¼ of an inch. The pieces will about double in thickness once baked. Place your template on top of the section of rolled and cut out each piece with your sharpest knife.  Be sure to note which template pieces need to be doubled.

  3. Transfer each piece carefully to baking sheet and bake at 350F/176C for about 12 minutes. The edges should be starting to brown and the middle should be pretty firm when you gently press on it.
  4. Remove and let cool completely before moving the pieces to a cooling rack. Do NOT reuse a hot baking sheet. If you have to, you can cool your baking sheets under running water or in the snow. I have five baking sheets and I use them all for this process, FYI. However, my civil engineer husband designs our house every year and he’s super creative. If your house is smaller, you’ll be fine with just a few baking sheets.
  5. The gingerbread house pieces MUST be completely cool before you can construct the house. I usually leave them overnight and recover from the process of cutting out and baking with my five kids.

Recipe Notes

Be aware that because of cooling and assembling time needed, you’ll want to start your gingerbread house AT LEAST three days before you need it. I usually give myself an entire week. Dude, it’s December – I’m lucky if I have time to pee all month. This homemade, healthy gingerbread house is a labor of love and a blessed tradition, but it takes TIME. Be prepared to give yourself the time it requires to keep it fun. Stressed out mom=stressed out Christmas.

 

Substitutions Note: Feel free to mix things up a little bit with this recipe. I like spicy gingerbread and so I include a lot of spices. If you don’t like it so jiggy in your mouth, omit a few or reduce the amounts. You can even fiddle with the flours a bit in this recipe. Gingerbread is a very forgiving dough, in my experience. For example, if you don’t have or like rye flour, use whatever you have. You can even swap out the almond flour. Just watch the wetness of your end dough. If it ends up a little too wet, mix in a bit of flour as you roll it out. Don’t let you dough get too dry or the finished pieces will end up cracked and falling apart. Weak gingerbread pieces do not a strong house make. Ask me how I know.

 

My friend Karen at Teach Beside Me has a sweet, simple template for cutting out your pieces – just click here .