How to Make a Chocolate Gingerbread House

From the chocolate kiss trim to the nonpareil-embellished windows, this house is a cocoa-lover's dream.

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Chocolate Chambers

Finally, a gingerbread house you'll actually want to eat. From the shutters to the shingles, this chocolate-covered house was designed with flavor in mind. Learn how to make it with this step-by-step guide from Food Network Kitchen.

 

Photography by Armando Moutela

Make the Gingerbread

A classic gingerbread dough has flour, brown sugar, molasses and plenty of ground ginger. You can use your own, or try our recipe that you can make up to 3 days in advance and refrigerate (or freeze for up to 1 month).

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread for a Gingerbread House

Divide the Dough in Three

Gingerbread can be sticky to work with because of the molasses, so be sure to chill the dough for at least 2 hours and up to overnight before shaping it. Once the dough is chilled, divide it into 3 equal pieces. A pizza wheel makes a handy cutter.

Roll and Cut the Dough

Make templates for the walls and roof out of stiff paper — a manila folder works well. For the wall panels, cut a rectangle that measures 4 by 7 inches. For the front and back panels of the house (with a peaked roof), cut a template that is 6 inches wide at the base, 4 inches to the roofline and 4 1/2 inches slanted to a peak. The template for the roof panels should measure 4 1/2 by 8 inches. 

 

Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll each out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. (Keep the other pieces refrigerated.) Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Using the templates, cut the dough with a pizza wheel so you have 2 side panels, 2 roof panels and 2 front/back panels. (You can reroll the scraps to make cookies.) Chill the dough on the baking sheets for 15 minutes.

Bake and Cool the Gingerbread

Bake the gingerbread at 300 degrees F until crisp almost all the way through (the center should still be a little soft), 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the pans 10 minutes on racks, then transfer the panels to racks to cool completely. Make sure the pieces are completely cool before you begin working with them so they don't crack.

Gather Your Decorating Ingredients

To decorate a 6-by-7-inch gingerbread house, you will need royal icing, mini nonpareils, chocolate-covered mints, chocolate-covered raisins, gummy candy penguins, chocolate puffed rice cereal and more festive, edible accents of your choosing.

Get the Recipe: Royal Icing for a Gingerbread House

Decorate the Side Panels

Holding a piping bag of royal icing fitted with the small tip in one hand and using your other hand to guide it, pipe a window on one of the side panels; press nonpareils around the edges to line the window frame.

Add a Window Frame and Decorations

Pipe icing on the back of 2 gummy candy canes and attach them to the side of the house on either side of the window. Attach a row of chocolate-covered mints along the bottom of the panel by piping pea-size dots of icing on the backs and pressing them on along the base. Repeat this process to pipe a window and decorations the other side panel. Let the panels set, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Decorate the Front Panel

Using the piping bag fitted with the small tip, pipe a double line of icing across the front panel where the roof starts to incline; press on chocolate chips. Pipe a large dot of icing on the back of a chocolate heart and attach it to the front panel just above the line of chips; outline the heart with icing. Pipe icing to draw a door; attach a nonpareil with a dot of icing to make a door knob. 

Add Windows and Penguins

Pipe icing to draw 2 windows on the front panel; line the windows with nonpareils. Pipe icing on the backs of the gummy penguins and attach 2 on either side of the door. Let the panel set, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Decorate the Back Panel

Repeat the decorations for the front panel of the house, making the windows larger and omitting the door and gummy penguins: Using the piping bag fitted with the small tip, pipe a double line of icing across the back panel where the roof starts to incline; press on chocolate chips. Pipe a large dot of icing on the back of the other chocolate heart and attach it to the top of the panel; outline the heart with icing. Pipe icing to draw the windows; line the frames with nonpareils. Let the panel set, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Spackle the Roof Panels

Pour some of the melted chocolate onto one of the roof panels; using an offset spatula, spread it to form a thin, even layer.

Finish the Roof Panels

Sprinkle the chocolate-coated roof panels with the chocolate shavings. Refrigerate the panels for 15 minutes to let the chocolate set. 

Attach the Front Panel to a Side Panel

Using the piping bag fitted with the large tip, pipe a 6-inch line of icing on the foil-wrapped base (this will be for the front of the house). Holding the front panel of the house by the edges, press the bottom of the panel into the icing. Pipe a line of icing along the inside of the panel at the base to reinforce it. Gently position a can in front of the panel to prop it up.

 

To add a side panel, pipe a 7-inch line of icing perpendicular to the front panel. Pipe icing up the edge of one of the side panels. Press the side panel into the icing on the base and against the edge of the front panel, creating a corner. Pipe a line of icing along the inside of the panel on the base to reinforce it. Prop up the side with a can. 

Attach the Second Side Panel and Back

Repeat the gluing process with the second side panel and the back panel, making sure to pipe icing along all edges that come in contact with the other panels and foil-wrapped base. When all 4 panels are up, let the house rest until the icing is firmly set, at least 1 hour.

Attach the Roof

Gently test the house walls to make sure the icing is set and the pieces hold in place. If they give, let the house rest until firm. (If you add the roof too soon the house will collapse.) Using the piping bag fitted with the large tip, pipe icing along the angled roof edges on one side of the house. Hold one of the roof panels in one hand and the piping bag in the other and pipe icing on the unfrosted side of the panel along the 2 short edges (where the roof will attach to the slanted edges of the house). Press the panel onto the house and hold it in place until the icing sets, about 5 minutes. Repeat with the other roof panel. Let the roof set until completely dry, 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Landscape the Yard

Use the piping bag fitted with the large tip to pipe a rectangular icing walkway in front of the house; line the edges with candy-coated chocolates and pave the middle with candy rocks. Attach a row of chocolate-covered raisins along the bottom of the back panel by piping pea-size dots of icing on the backs and pressing them along the base. 

Add Snow to the Yard

Use the piping bag fitted with the large tip to pipe icing snowdrifts around the walkway and the base of the house. Sprinkle the snow with chocolate puffed cereal and snowflake sprinkles while it is still wet, pressing gently as needed to help them adhere. 

Add a Finishing Touch

Use the piping bag fitted with the large tip to pipe icing along the top seam of the house where roof pannels connect; line with a row of chocolate kisses.

Welcome Home!

For more gingerbread house decorating ideas, check out our Peppermint House and Salted Caramel House.

More Step-by-Step Guides: How to Make a Salted-Caramel Gingerbread House

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