Easy Gingerbread House Recipe To Make With The Kids

IMG_3061How To – Gingerbread House

An excellent recipe for gingerbread, and a simple sweet house. Make christmas a little more special – the kids will love it!


550 grams Honey
250 grams Sugar
125 grams Butter
3 Eggs
1000 grams Bakers (or bread) Flour
25 grams Mixed Spice
50 ml Water
16 grams Bicarbonate of Soda

Royal Icing
200 grams Egg White
1350 grams Icing Sugar
3 Drops Lemon Juice

Sweets to decorate
Icing sugar to shake over for snow effect.


This recipe makes enough dough for 2 houses. I usually make 1 house and cut gingerbread cookies out of the second piece of dough. My 4y/o loves decorating the biscuits with icing and sweets while I decorate the house!

1. Heat the honey and sugar to 65 degrees Celsius. (Don’t worry if you haven’t got a thermometer. Just heat until the mix is melted and hot but not near boiling).
2. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix until 35 degrees Celsius. (or is neither hot nor cold when you touch it!)
3. Add flour, eggs and spice and work into a smooth dough.
At this point you can store the dough to mature – or keep going with the recipe.
4. Dissolve bicarb into the water and add to the dough. Mix thoroughly.
5. Roll out the dough to 4mm for base and walls and 2.5 – 3mm for roof.
6. If you wish you can now glaze the dough with a sugar syrup (1 part sugar to 1 part water) and dock well (prick), both to prevent bubbles rising. I have done this in the past and the result is just as good. In my example here I haven’t.

In this example I have rolled all the dough to 4mm and baked the dough in sheets then cut it when cooked as this gives a cleaner edge. The roof pieces will be too thick so I carefully cut them in half (width ways) to make them lighter.

7. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for approx. 15-20 minutes.

To Assemble

1. If you have not already, cut out the pieces. Do this while the dough is warm. Don’t forget to cut a round window and a door. (See pictures) Cut the circle in half to form shutters.
2. Make up the royal icing. (Royal icing dries hard so keep in covered with plastic wrap.)
3. Put the icing into a piping bag with a medium plain nozzle.
4. Assemble in the following order:

Back wall.
Two Side walls.
Front wall.
Now, let icing harden for an hour, then

Front door.
Now, pipe on more royal icing to decorate. Decorate with sweets before the royal icing hardens.
Finally, dust with icing sugar for fresh snow effect.

Another hint is to leave the dough to dry overnight. Cover with a clean tea towel and let sit. Cook the next morning. This gives the cooked dough a nice dry crust with a moist interior.

One last note, I once made a gingerbread house twice this size and you can see my hand written measurements on the diagram photo. If you are making this for the first time, please use the typed measurements in the diagram as reference.



Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

Top 10 Snowman Treats To Make with Your Kids This Christmas

melting chocolate snowmenMelting Snowman treats – how cute are they!  Recipe here.

choc snowmanSnowmen cake pops.  Of course!  Recipe here.


egg cup snowman to make for the kidsEgg-cup snowmen.  Yeah!  Recipe here.

snowmen with scarves to make with the kidsFrosty glass of milk snowman.  How cool is that?  Recipe here.

snowmen cupcakes to make with the kidsSomething a little different…… Recipe here.

snowman eggnog to make with the kidsEggnog snowman (adult or kids version!) Recipe here.

marshmallow snowmenWhat’s not to like with marshmallow snowmen!  Recipe here.

1205_kids_cheeseman_lCheesey snowman anyone?  Recipe here.

snowmen-melting-cookies-1Helllllllllllllpppppppp!  Great.  Recipe here.

The Snowman Ok, not edible.  But after the mayhem of the kitchen fun you will need to relax with your little ones.  and what better way than with this classic tale?  Buy at Amazon here.


Christmas Stollen Recipe – So Easy To Make With The Kids

Buttered, sugared dredged and sliced

Christmas Cake?  Don’t forget the Stollen Recipe!!!!

Stollen is a fruit bread/cake, delicious and moorish and something a bit different to have on christmas.  I’ve been making it now for quite a few years and it’s one of the christmas treats I look forward to each year.

During the festive season Stollen was traditionally given as gifts and quite often had to travel for weeks to reach its destination.  The fruit means life and the white enclosing sugarcrust represents the linen cloth.

The ingredients in the stollen should be of the best quality.
This recipe makes two Stollen ‘loaves’.



The Fruit Mix
110 grams     Arancini (or any candied orange peel)
110 grams     Citron candied (or candied lemon peel)
260 grams     Sultanas
35 grams       Roasted Hazelnuts, ground
25 grams       Glace or Sugared Ginger

Fermentation Dough
180 grams     Bakers (or Bread) Flour
30 grams       Yeast Powdered (or fresh)
170 grams     Warm Water
1 Teaspoon   Sugar (any type will do)
40 grams       Bakers Flour for dusting on top

320 grams     Bakers Flour
280 grams     Clarified Butter (Ghee) or unsalted butter.
(If the Stollen is being made well in advance then do use clarified as it does not dry out the Stollen as whole butter has a tendency to do.)

Remaining Ingredients
1/2             Egg yolk (sorry about that but do your best!!)
50 grams     Sugar (any sort will do)
Pinch           Salt
10 grams     Sorbex (Sorbitol USP) a simple sugar.  *See note below.
6 drops        Lemon Essence (I have used lemon juice on occasion)
2 teaspoon   Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon   Cinnamon ground
1/2 teaspoon Cardamon ground
10 ml           Rum
100 grams   Milk powder (if you dont have, just substitute milk for the water above.)

Marzipan Filling
200 grams   Marzipan
100 grams   Candied fruit (traditionally Arancini)
1 & 1/2        Egg yolks
Marzipan will become bitter when cooked if not combined with other ingredients.

100 grams   Clarified Butter
Dredge        Vanilla Caster Sugar (or plain sugar)


  1. Wash sultanas thoroughly.
  2. Dice candied fruits
  3. Combine all fruit mix items together.
  4. Combine the fermentation dough items together except for the 40g Bakers Flour which you dust on top.  This feeds the dough and acts as a blanket!)
  5. Cover with a cloth and leave to prove for 30 mins in a warm place.
  6. Mix the butter and flour together.  Don’t overwork.
  7. Combine the fermentation dough, dough and remaining ingredients.
  8. Add the fruit mix and combine.  Do this by hand or the fruit will break up.
  9. Keep in a warm place to prove for an hour.
  10. Divide dough in half and roll out as per photo.
  11. Roll the marzipan into two ‘sausage’ lengths.
  12. Place on dough.
  13. Fold/Roll dough into traditional shape  (See photo.)
  14. Place on a baking tray that has been lined with 10 layers of newspaper and a layer of baking parchment.  This stops the bottom from getting too dark.
  15. Cook at 170 Celsius for 40 -45 mins.
  16. When cool, brush with clarified (or not!) butter and dredge with lots of vanilla caster sugar.
  17. Before serving dust heavily with sugar.
Note – My gas oven is not fan forced and only has heat from the bottom.  Consequently items brown very quickly on the bottom.  Therefore I often put quite a few layers of newspaper as added insulation under items to stop browning.


Sorbex – This acts as a simple preserver to stop moulds if your keeping the Stollen for any length of time.  If you can’t get hold of it use glycerine instead (available from most supermarkets in the baking section or from the chemist).  Honey can be a substitute.


How To Make The Best Playdough for Kids – Playdough Recipe

Playdough RecipeThis is a lovely Playdough recipe with the real Playdough feel!  If you keep it in a sealed container it will last for ages in the fridge.


Ingredients for Playdough

1/2 cup of salt

1 cup of plain flour

1 tablespoon of cream of Tartar (a natural raising agent)

1 tablespoon of oil

1 cup of boiling water mixed with food colouring.

Method for Playdough

Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then mix vigorously with hot water.

To make it extra special, add.a few drops of essential oil like peppermint or lavender for a lovely smelling Playdough.

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And the last cake post this year….?

How to make a fire truck cakeOne more cake post….. Awww, come on!  I’ve only posted two others so far this year….!

I just had to share the wonderful Firetruck Cake that 7YearOld made for his school fete competition.

Judging is tomorrow – he has all his fingers crossed he wins!

Please leave a comment and let him know what you think.  He will be chuffed to get some feedback from you.

And yes he did it all himself.  He had some guidance from me but he followed this fantastic tutorial from Ann Reardon of How To Cook That.  Her site is terrific.  Check it out if you need a WOW cake that even a 7 year old can follow.

My post on our tragedy of Ann’s Lightning McQueen cake is here.  And BabyGirl’s Birdy Cake post is here.

Mamasimx About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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And BabyGirl’s Cake Is A Success (Thank Goodness!)

As you will remember LittleBoy was soooooo not impressed with me cutting his precious Lightning McQueen cake.  (Read about the drama here!)

LittleGirl loved hers thank goodness.  The cake is based on one from the brilliant site by Ann Reardon’s How To Cook That.

How to make a birdie birthday cake


Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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I Killed Lightning McQueen – A Tale Of Heartbreak And Tears

On my son’s third birthday I broke his heart.

I did not do it purposely.  But I did it nonetheless.

It started innocently and with lots of good intentions and well, actually, a lot of excitement on my part.  You see, my son absolutely, 100% adores Lightning McQueen. From the movie Cars.  You know him?  He’s the lead character that Owen Wilson voices.

My son has the pyjamas, the t-shirt, a hoodie, the toys, toys and more toys from the movies.  He is devoted. And anytime you ask him what DVD he wants to watch, he ALWAYS replies “…nighning Queeeeeen pease”.  (That’s just so adorable, just like him!)

So what better cake could a loving mother prepare for her son on his 3rd birthday than a replica of Lightning MQueen himself?  None.  Damn right!

The day before his birthday I trawled the internet looking for inspiration and came across the most amazingly perfect cake at How To Cook That.  Reading the method I noted that it specifically said do not attempt to make this cake the night before.  The decorations etc. are best started a week or so in advance……

Now I am a fully trained and qualified chef and pastry chef.  Bah!!!! I said, I will be able to whip that up in no time.  So planned to start after the kids had gone to bed.  Which is just what I did.  I started at 8pm.  I thought I would be Lightning McQueen Cakefinished about 1am.  At 1am I realised I probably wasn’t going to finish until 5am.  I finished at 4.32am.

Man, talk about a labour of love.  The last few hours are a haze of coffee induced blur.  How I managed to stay awake the whole next day is a true feat of endurance.  What with Babygirl, Birthdayboy and Eldestboy all vying for my attention as I slogged my way through.

Anyway, it was all going to be worth it to see the look on Birthdayboy’s face.  And it was.  His little face lit up like the proverbial christmas tree.  He was soooooooooooooooooooooo excited.  He could not believe this cake was for him.  Wow Mamma, you really pulled one out of the bag there I thought to myself.  Beaming with happiness.

We sang happy birthday, we blew out the candles and then, with gusto I plunged the knife into the car to start serving it up.

The tears and wails were as if I had taken the knife and plunged it into little birthdayboy’s teddy bear.  “Nooooooooooooo! Mamma broke my car!!!!!!  MAMMA BROKE MY CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!  Sob, wail, tears, tears and more tears.  It took hours to calm him down.

And he wouldn’t eat it.  Not a single piece.

I can absolutely recommend How To Cook That.  The tutorials are brilliant.

Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

How To Make The Best Playdough for Kids – Playdough Recipe

How To Make A Volcano Cake For A Birthday

How To Make A Volcano Cake For A Birthday

How to make a volcano cake

The best Birthday Volcano Cake is so easy!  Just follow these simple steps.How to make a Volcano Cake

Bake two sponges using your favourite recipe. Also use a little of the mix to bake 6 cup cakes.
How to make a Volcano Cake

Spread your favourite Jam/Jelly on each cake. Whip cream and spread on 1 cake

How to make a Volcano Cake

Put the second cake on top of the first (jam/jelly side to cream). Then spread a crumb coat (or thin layer of cream) all over the cake to stop crumbs messing up your icing layer.

How to make a Volcano Cake

Whip together butter and icing to make a butter cream. Add orange food colour. Put a small bowl of the icing to one side and then add chocolate powder to the remaining orange icing. Mix to make a lovely dark chocolate icing. (I’ve used a natural orange colour so it is not very bright).

How to make a Volcano Cake

Pile 4 cup cakes onto the cake to make a mountain and cut 2 cup cakes into 1/4’s then arrange till fill in the gaps.

How to make a Volcano Cake

The finished volcano/mountain shape.

How to make a Volcano Cake

Cover the entire cake with the chocolate icing. Cut out a depression in the top of the mountain from the icing.

How to make a volcano cake

Smooth ‘rivers’ of the orange icing down the cake to form the flowing lava.

How to make a volcano cake

Decorate as you wish. I have used neon coloured sugar and jelly dinosours. Let your create side explode! Tip – Use sparklers as candles to create a great fiery explosion. Also popping candy down the lava is great fun too!

How to make a volcano cake.

Where to buy

Natural Food Colours
Neon Sugar
Dinosaur Sweets
Popping Candy


Sponge Cake Recipe
Butter Cream Recipe

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Mamasimx     About Me
Don’t forget to enjoy your day