Christmas is fast approaching, which means people will be enjoying their favourite traditions such as watching a holiday movie, decorating the tree or maybe making a gingerbread house.

Making a gingerbread house is a fun festive activity, whether you are making one with family or wish to impress some guests with a centrepiece for your Christmas party.

Britain’s ultimate baker Mary Berry has shared the best way to make a gingerbread house, and this fun recipe only takes between 10 to 30 minutes to prepare.

On her website, Mary shared it is easy to “create your own winter wonderland.” She wrote: “It makes a wonderful centrepiece for parties, and children will love it.”

To make a gingerbread house, you will need to gingerbread template, which you can search for online if you wish but on the BBC website, Mary has a template you can click on to use.

How to make a Christmas gingerbread house

Ingredients

To make the gingerbread house

  • 375g/13oz unsalted butter
  • 300g/10½oz dark muscovado sugar
  • 150g/5½oz golden syrup
  • 900g/2lb plain flour
  • One tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Two tablespoons of ground ginger

To make the icing

  • Three egg whites
  • 675g/1½lb of sifted icing sugar
  • Three tablespoons of lemon juice

To decorate:

  • 15 yellow or orange boiled sweets
  • 200g/7oz giant milk chocolate buttons
  • Equipment you will need:
  • Gingerbread temperate (see above)
  • Piping bag with medium plan and small nozzle
  • Six cocktail sticks
  • Two night light candles (optional)

Method

To bake the gingerbread house

Preheat the oven to 200C (fan 180C)/400F/Gas Mark 6.

Place a large pan on the stove to melt the butter, sugar and syrup together to make a buttered mixture

In a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger. Pour in the buttered mixture into the mixing bowl once melted and mix.

Once the mixture has cooled, knead it to make a stiff dough. Divide the mixture into five equal-sized pieces. When you have your measured pieces, cut one of the pieces in half so you now have six in total.

Roll each piece onto a sheet of grease-poof baking paper, making sure each piece is around 3/4cm (1/4 inch) thick. Use the temperate to cut the dough into a gingerbread roof, house sides, plus the back and front of the house. Slide each piece onto three baking trays lined with baking paper.

Using the temperate as a guide, and cut out the rim of a cup, and arched windows on the front house and side house pieces. Cut out two doors for the front and back of the house and then place on two separate baking traits.

Use any dough trimmings to cut out the chimney pieces and three Christmas trees for the gingerbread house, as well as three triangles to use as supports for the trees.

Now it is time to bake all the gingerbread pieces for around eight to seven minutes in the oven.

While the gingerbread is cooking, crush your boiled sweets until you have a crumbly mixture. Spread the crushed sweets onto your cooked gingerbread windows in order to make stained glass windows. Place the gingerbread windows back into the oven and cook for an additional four minutes or until the sweets have melted.

Remove the gingerbread pieces from the oven and leave to cool completely.

To make the icing

Mix your egg whites together in a large bowl until they become frothy. Continue to mix slowly while adding icing sugar one tablespoon at a time. Then, stir in the lemon juice until the icing has stiffened.

To build the gingerbread house

Spoon a little of the icing into your piping bag with a medium plain nozzle. Pipe a small blob of icing onto each chocolate button and cocktail stick, which will overlap onto the two roof sections to make a tile effect.

Transfer your icing into a piping bag with a small plain nozzle, and pipe an outline fram out windows, doors and stars. Spoon six tablespoons of icing sugar onto your cake board to make a snow effect.

Pipe some icing on the edges of the wall to join the house together. Leave the gingerbread icing to harden for a minimum of four hours but for best results leave it overnight. Then, attach the roof with icing to the home

To attach the gingerbread roof, cut the cocktail sticks in half, so you have 12 small pointed pieces. Push each cocktail stick into the sloping section of the front and back of the gingerbread house. Leave the pointed eggs sticking out to act as a peg support to attach the room.

Pipe icing between the cocktail twicks and fix the two roof sections onto the house, then pip around the base of edges to attach.

To decorate the gingerbread house: Pipe icing across the apex and edges of the roof to make it look like its snowing. Stick the front door in its place with icing.

Cut the backdoor into three pieces to use as a propping stick to keep the gingerbread trees upright. Decorate the trees with icing if you wish then stick onto the cake board with icing.

Dust the roof with icing sugar, and your magical gingerbread house is ready for the holidays.