Lowcarb Gingerbread Houses
According to PBS, Gingerbread houses originated in Germany during the 16th century. The elaborate cookie-walled houses, decorated with foil in addition to gold leaf, became associated with Christmas tradition. Their popularity rose when the Brothers Grimm wrote the story of Hansel and Gretel, in which the main characters stumble upon a house made entirely of treats deep in the forest. Gingerbread arrived in the New World with English colonists.
The cookies were sometimes used to sway Virginia voters to favor one candidate over another. The original recipe in the first American cookbook, American Cookery by Amelia Simmons had different recipes for gingerbread including a soft gingerbread loaf that was simply flour, eggs, sugar, ginger. We have a modified version of the classic recipe that is type 2 friendly, with all the flavor and festive feeling! Whether you are making cookies or an entire gingerbread city, you are all set with this great recipe and tips.
- 4 cups almond flour
- 1 cup Swerve Brown (or 1 cup granular)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter) melted
- 2 tsp Yacon syrup or molasses (optional, for color and flavor)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
- 1 tbsp egg white powder
- 1/4 cup water, room temperature (more to thin out as necessary)
- Preheat the oven to 275F and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener, coconut flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and cloves.
- Stir in the eggs, coconut oil, Yacon syrup (if using) and vanilla extract until dough comes together.
- Divide the dough in half and turn out first half onto a large piece of parchment paper. Top with another piece of parchment and roll out out about ¼ inch thick.
- Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes and gently loosen and lift with an offset spatula. Place onto prepared baking sheets.
- Gather up scraps and reroll until too little is left to roll out. Repeat with the second half of dough.
- Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and just firm to the touch. Remove and let cool 5 minutes on pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Sugar-Free Royal Icing
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sweetener and egg white powder. Add water and stir until smooth. Add more water 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
- Pipe icing onto cooled cookies and let set 30 minutes or longer.
Note - Makes about 50 cookies when cookie cutters are about 3 inches tall.
If you want to make a gingerbread house, Beth’s Homemade Gingerbread House Recipe suggests breaking it into smaller projects over the week so it isn’t so time consuming. You may enjoy the project with a longer timeline, or combine assembly days 1-3 and then decorating days 4-5.
How to Make Homemade Gingerbread Houses:
If you live in warm, humid climates (like Florida), you need to assemble and decorate the houses within a day or two before the gingerbread starts to get soft.
Day 1: Print off the gingerbread house template, trace it onto cardboard pieces and cut them out.
Day 2: Make the gingerbread dough. Roll it out, cut, bake, and trim the gingerbread pieces.
Day 3: Wrap sturdy cardboard pieces in foil or holiday wrapping paper for gingerbread houses’ base.
Day 4: Assemble the houses using sugar glue. Keep them in a safe place overnight.
Day 5: Make the royal icing and invite friends or family over to decorate the gingerbread houses!