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How to Make a Hansel and Gretel Cake

Difficulty Advanced
Budget £30+
Time 1/2 day +

Play with colours, shapes and all things sweet with this fun Hansel and Gretel inspired cake! Featuring a full size gingerbread house on the top and studded with sweets, the more the merrier when it comes to this colourful cake – and it’s surprisingly easy to make!

You will need

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How to make

For the Gingerbread

3 tbsp warm water

100g caster sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 tbsp treacle

3 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp each of cinnamon and mixed spice

125g butter, cold and chopped into small chunks

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda »

260g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

Step 1 

Put the water, sugar, spices, treacle and golden syrup into a saucepan and bring slowly to a simmer, stirring regularly. Do not let it boil furiously or stick to the sides of the pan.

Step 2 

Once it’s all combined, take it off the heat and add in your chopped butter, stirring continuously until it has all melted in. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda into the bottom of a large bowl and pour the warm mixture on top. Use a wooden spoon to thoroughly mix in the bicarb and then stir in the flour. You will end up with a nice ball of gingerbread dough, but if it feels too wet, add in a little bit more flour but don’t let it get too dry or crumbly.

Step 3

Place the ball of dough on top of a piece of cling film and shape into a rough rectangular slab. Wrap in completely in cling film and chill the slab of dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

Step 4 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line one or two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

Top Tip!

You can also use up leftover dough to make little gingerbread men for decorating other cakes such as my Butter Pecan Cake.

Step 5


Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a well-floured surface to the thickness of 2 £1 coins (approx. 6mm). Cut out the house template pieces from paper and use a pizza wheel to cut out the 2 sides, 2 ends and 2 roof panels. Use leftover dough to make a chimney.

Step 6 

Use a circle cutter or the wide end of a large piping nozzle to remove round windows, and cut square windows with a sharp knife. Put the gingerbread pieces on the trays into the freezer for 10 minutes. After the time is up remove the trays from the freezer and fill the window cavities with crushed up boiled sweets. Immediately put the cold trays straight in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges of the biscuits are just starting to go dark brown.

Step 7

Use your paper template pieces to check that the gingerbread parts haven’t spread too much in the oven. If they have then trim them to size with a sharp knife whilst they are still warm from the oven. Let the pieces cool slightly on the trays before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Step 8

Roll out a small amount of pastel green icing and use the tree bark impression mat to emboss a woodgrain pattern into it. Cut out a heart shaped door.

Top Tip!

It is easier to decorate the house panels whilst they are flat, rather than after the house has been constructed. Leave all of the pieces to dry for half an hour before constructing the house.

Step 9 

Mix up 150g of Royal icing sugar with a little water to make a stiff consistency icing. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a no.4 or 5 piping nozzle. Stick the door to the front panel of the house with a little icing and decorate both ends and side panels of the house as you wish with icing details and small sweets or sprinkles.

Step 10 

Stick the 2 side panels behind the front panel of the house with the royal icing. Prop the sides up to hold them in place whilst the icing dries and affix the back panel of the house in position. When the 4 sides have dried in position, then stick the 2 roof panels in place and add a stripe of icing along the top pitch of the roof to add strength to the structure.

Step 11

Decorate the roof by piping on roof tiles and sticking on the chimney. Decorate your gingerbread house as desired with lots of different sweets.

Step 12 

To decorate the base cake, divide the buttercream between 2 bowls and colour one half pink and the other yellow. Have your sprinkles mix ready to go in a bowl.

Step 13

Set the cake on its cake board on a cake turntable or lazy susan. Cover the entire cake with random blobs of pink and yellow buttercream and then use a large palette knife or cake scraper to smooth the sides of the cake and blend the 2 colours together.

Step 14

Use your hand to press the sprinkle mix into the buttercream around the base of the cake and add icing gingerbread men decorations. Chill the cake in the fridge for at least an hour.

Top Tip!

Make sure the Candy Melts are not too hot before dripping it down the cake or it may melt the buttercream! Decorate with sprinkles.

Step 15

Melt 170g of blue Candy Melts and add vegetable oil, a teaspoon at a time, until the Candy Melts reach a runny consistency. Use a spoon to drip the Candy Melts down the sides of the cake, working your way all around the top edge before filling in the centre.

Top Tip!

You can put a battery powered tealight inside the house so it glows through the windows for extra WOW factor!

Step 16

When the Candy Melts have set you can top your cake with the sweet-covered house.

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