Thursday, 17 December 2009

Gingerbread bird house

Gingerbread bird house
Gingerbread bird house
Gingerbread bird house
Gingerbread bird house
Gingerbread bird house back
Gingerbread bird house
Gingerbread bird house
This year for the "Secret Santa" group I was in, we had to hand make our gift. I decided to make a gingerbread bird house as the lady whose name I picked out of a hat loves bird houses and gingerbread! It took hours to decorate but I enjoyed every second of it and love the result! I will be sad to see it go today but she is a wonderful lady and I hope she loves it as much as I do.

I used the Gingerbread House Cookie Cutter set from Cox & Cox but cut the roof and the sides of the house in half and used a small circular cutter at the front.

The bird cutters are part of a "12 days of Christmas" cookie cutter set that was given to me and my sisters when we were young children from a dear family friend who lives in Oregon.

Gingerbread bird house & Birds

250g unsalted butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
600g plain flour
7 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp ground ginger

Cooking instructions
  1. Heat oven to 180 deg C
  2. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan.
  3. Mix the flour, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.
  4. Slowly add the melted butter mix to the flour mix to form a dough.
  5. Roll dough out to about 8mm thick on to baking paper.
  6. Cut out front, then cut small circle out of front.
  7. Cut out back.
  8. Cut out one roof and then cut in half with a sharp knife.
  9. Cut out two sides, cutting in half where the door starts, reuse the halves with doors.
  10. Cut out two birds.
  11. Slide cut pieces still on the baking paper on to baking trays.
  12. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until firm to the touch.
  13. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then re-cut round edges to neaten.
  14. Leave to completely cool.

Decorating the Bird House

Roll on icing
Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Royal icing
M&M's in pale pink, red & brown
Food colouring

To decorate
  1. Dust icing sugar onto a hard clean surface and roll out icing to 3mm thick.
  2. Cut out house components in icing.
  3. Brush water onto back of cut out icing component and place on top of corresponding gingerbread piece. Repeat until all gingerbread pieces are iced.
  4. Make up royal icing as per instructions on packet, and spoon into piping bag with a small nozzle at the end.
  5. To build the base, hold the front and one of the sides of the house upright together in one hand to form a corner and with the other hand pipe icing down the inside of the corner and hold together till icing starts to set. Repeat until you have formed a box. Leave to set.
  6. On the back of one iced roof, pipe icing in a small line round the outside edge. Place on top of gingerbread iced box and hold until icing starts to set. Repeat with second roof piece. Leave to dry.
  7. For the chimney, build in the same way as the base of the house. Once it is dry, ice the bottom and place in position on top of roof. Leave to dry.
  8. Place house onto a cake board and using a star nozzle on the end of your piping bag, pipe small star shapes around the bottom of the house between the cake board and the house.
  9. Lightly push green M&M's into the center of the icing all the way round.
  10. Continue piping star shapes along all of the outside joins of the house, leaving the top of the roof until last so you can push M&M's into the icing along the top.
  11. Place a small dob of icing on the back of an M&M and place on the roof, pressing lightly down. Repeat until desired pattern is achieved. Continue for chimney.
  12. Using liquid food colouring, hand paint the iced birds and leave to dry.
  13. Pipe a generous amount of icing on back of birds and place on house in desired position, holding bird in place or propping it up until icing is nearly set. Fill chimney with brown M&M's.

Cake board
I covered an old cake board in a circle of polka dot paper using double sided tape to secure. I then covered the paper in a circular layer of cellophane, placing the double sided tape in the centre and along the outside edges where it would not be seen. I then stuck the ribbon in place using double sided tape, folding the top edge onto the top of the cake board.

Polka dot wrapping paper from Tesco
Cellophane from Paperchase

Have a sweet day!


  1. OMG, this is AMAZING, you are a genius!! It's absolutely gorgeous, well done!

    I am sure she will be thrilled :)

  2. Hello Torie

    I absolutely love it! Thank you for the recipe. I love the pink and red smarties. It goes very well with the CK tablecloth and dotty background.

    Warm wishes
    Isabelle x

  3. This is the sweetest thing I have seen in a long time my friend...your creativity and talent always amazes me.

  4. How wonderful! I used to own a chocolate shop. We were too busy during Christmas to make gingerbread houses, so to get my fix, I would make gingerbread bird houses in the spring.
    I'm sure the recipient will love her beautiful and thoughtful gift.
    Kind regards, Lynea (usually a lurker ;0)

  5. so pretty

  6. Wow, adorable....sings out christmas!xxx

  7. i love it.

    The love she must have felt when she received it, too!! What a special gift from the heart.


  8. Oh, what a special present. I am sure the lady will love it! It is really special - I may well attempt one next year and keep your recipe.
    Thanks for sharing xx

  9. This is so darling and magical!


  10. how beautiful it is! it looks so comlicated to make! i admire your work!
    have a very sweet evening,

  11. Oh my goodness just too cute!

  12. You did such a gorgeous job. I'm thoroughly impressed. I hope she just died when she saw it.

  13. Oh I wish I was in your secret santa group. This is lovely and look so sweet!
    Happy Thursday Sweetness!

  14. Absolutely amazing.... you are one talented lady

    Victoria xx

  15. oh wow... I am speechless... you are really talented, darling! I can imagine how happy she'll be. gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

  16. Between your Christmas posts and Halloween posts, I'm just in awe of how happy your holiday decorating looks!

  17. Wow... that is absolutely amazing!!! Good job.

    Fabulous Finds Gal

  18. O.M.G.... Are you seriously going to eat these??? They are so beautiful. .I can keep them for next Christmas.. and the next.

    Happy Holiday~

  19. I've yet to make a gingerbread house. I heard that they are a bit more complicated than they look! :) Nicely done!

  20. What a gorgeous gingerbread birdhouse! I bet your partner was thrilled. I'm still in hopes of getting one made this year...we'll see. But you definitely provided some wonderful inspiration.

  21. Lovely! I am so inspired!

    - Ophelia

  22. My gosh Torie Jayne this is amazing...what can you not do!!

  23. Well, that is just the cutest little thing ever! What a fun gift to give away.

    Your blog is delightful and I'm so glad you visited mine so I could "meet" you!! I'll be back soon,

    Blessings, and Merry Christmas

  24. That is absolutely amazing, Torie Jayne. It is so beautifully made. You are so clever.
    Next year, could you be my secret Santa ? !!!!
    She is going to be so plesed when she sees it. XXXX

  25. wow wow wow this is a work of art! Hoe did your swap partner react?!

  26. That is perfectly marvelous!

  27. Perfect...amazing and such great photos of it for memories after it gets eaten! I've already made mine, and yours puts mine to such shame...:(

  28. Thanks for all your lovely comments, she loved it! She is saving it for Christmas day so she can share it with her family, x


Thank you for your sweet comments. I love reading them all.