Fante's Kitchen Shop Logo

John Wright Gingerbread House Molds

Ginger was probably first introduced to European baking by the Crusaders, and used as a flavor and a preservative in cakes, pies and breads. It was traditional to bake gingerbread in shapes of people or elegant objects, and decorated. Gingerbread recipes vary widely, and can be a soft or steamy cake, or a thin hard cookie, depending on the ingredients of tradition. The cakes were usually served in squared. For more on the history of gingerbread, see

The root of a tropical plant, it is generally available in Grey and White; the Grey has a more powerful smell. The freshest ginger is available in the early months of each year. Ground ginger is more pungent than fresh, and should thus not be used as a substitute.

Gingerbread House Recipe and Instructions

John Wright Gingerbread House Cast Iron Mold

John Wright Gingerbread House Cast Iron Mold

Gingerbread House:

½ cup shortening
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark molasses
2 tablespoons cold water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt

Cream together shortening, sugar, molasses and water.

Sift together flour, spices and salt.

Add dry ingredients to shortening mixture and mix well.

Dough will be stiff. Chill at least 1 hour.

Grease or spray mold with vegetable spray, then press dough into the mold.

Bake in pre-heated 350°F oven for 25 minutes.

Let gingerbread cool in the mold for 10 minutes, then carefully remove each piece onto a cooling rack, flat side down.

Assemble and decorate.

John Wright Gingerbread Chateau Cast Iron Mold

John Wright Gingerbread Chateau Cast Iron Mold

Royal Icing "Glue":

3 egg whites at room temperature
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 lb 10X confectioners sugar, sifted

Combine in a mixing bowl and mix on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes.

Beat until very stiff - - you can't over-beat.

Store at room temperature.

Tips on assembling Gingerbread House from Iron Molds:

-It is better to bake gingerbread a day ahead of assembling, to allow for proper stiffening.

-Let gingerbread cool in the mold.

-Before decorating, let everything harden for about 20 minutes or more.

-Use Royal Icing as a glue, waiting a few minutes for the icing to harden after application. When dry, it will have the consistency of hard candy.

-For extra strength, run a thick ribbon of icing along all the joints on the inside of the house.

-Add only gel or paste food coloring to the icing - do not use water-based food color.

-Royal Icing becomes hard and can be used for both gluing and decorating. Buttercream Icing remains soft and should only be used for decorating.

Making a Chocolate Candy House:

1½ lbs confectionary coating

Place ungreased mold in refrigerator one hour or more to chill.

Do not grease or condition the mold in any way.

Break coating chocolate into 1-inch pieces. Place in 1 qt glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl and microwave at 50% power (medium) for 5 to 7 minutes, or until pieces are glossy and can be stirred smooth. Stir after half the time. (Can also melt chocolate over low heat or in double boiler.)

Pour coating into chilled mold and refrigerate until hard, about 15 minutes.

Carefully remove from mold.

If needed, re-melt remaining coating (1 minute at 50% power) and pour into mold, chilling 15 minutes before removing.

Assemble and decorate.

Note: Never add water to confectionary coating; be sure utensils and molds are dry before placing confectionary coating in them.  

Made in USA
Chateau mold instructions
Accessories mold instructions

Making Gingerbread for Construction or Eating

Here's another great tasting recipe also used for constructing Gingerbread Houses. It will yield enough dough for an average (approx. 12" x 12") building.

For a crisper texture in damp weather, omit the salt.

If cutting patterns by hand or with cookie cutters, roll dough onto a cookie sheet first. Leave cut patterns in place and remove extra dough. This prevents stretching of cut patterns that would occur if you were transferring them from one surface to another.

If using a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides), roll dough on the flat upside-down side. Use a dish towel to keep pan from sliding around.

Chill the dough thoroughly before baking, whether you're cutting patterns or placing the dough into a mold. This helps the dough to keep its original shape and size.

5½ cups all purpose flour (approximate)
2 tsp cinnamon
1½ tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup solid vegetable shortening, such as Crisco
1 cup granulated sugar
1¼ cup molasses
2 eggs

1. Mix 5 cups flour, spice, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Cream butter, shortening, and sugar in a large bowl of a sturdy mixer (such as KitchenAid). Add molasses and lightly beaten eggs. Blend well. Gradually add dry ingredients.

3. Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface and knead in remaining flour, if necessary. Dough should be firm and smooth. Allow dough to rest about 1 hour for best rolling results. Dough may be chilled ¼ to ½ hour before rolling, if time is a factor.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Pam or Baker's Joy may be used. Roll out dough directly onto your cookie sheets.

5. Baking time will vary according to the thickness of the rolled dough. For thinly rolled smaller pieces, bake 5-8 minutes. Be sure to watch dough as the baking time nears an end to avoid burning or over-browning.

6. Cool cookies on wire racks. Dry pieces overnight on a flat surface covered with paper towels.

7. Leftover dough may be well-wrapped in plastic and will keep well in the refrigerator for weeks. Bring to room temperature before rolling.