Tried & tested: Gingerbread house kits
Fun to make, beautiful to look at, delicious to eat… Gingerbread houses make for a great festive centrepiece, and more brands than ever are retailing kits to help you create one at home.
The delicious. team put eleven to the test – looking for clear instructions, hardworking icing, a variety of decorations and tasty gingerbread – to uncover the best bake-your-own and assembly gingerbread houses on the market.
The delicious. team put 11 gingerbread house kits to the test – looking for clear instructions, hardworking icing, a variety of decorations and tasty gingerbread – to uncover the best bake-your-own and assembly gingerbread houses on the market.
CATEGORY 1: BAKE YOUR OWN
1st place (total score: 61/70)
BakedIn Gingerbread House Baking Kit, £9.99. Tested by food editor Jen Bedloe and her two children Jack, 8, and Romilly, 6.
Ingredient sachets were clearly numbered to match instructions and there was extra dough for (tasty) gingerbread biscuits. Simple enough for a child to assemble, with a generous selection of sweets for decorating. Would make a great gift.
Bonus kids’ review: “I like the variety of sweets and could pipe and assemble the house myself (with some help).”
2nd place (total score: 60/70)
Marks & Spencer Make & Bake Gingerbread House Kit, £3.50. Tested by Lucy Davey, Eye to Eye Media managing editor, and her children Max, 8, and Isla, 6.
This bargain kit delivers nicely spiced gingerbread, easily assembled into a basic house with gingerbread men, too. Icing is on the runny side, but piping bag is included, along with colourful dolly mixtures and mini chocolate beans.
Bonus kids’ review: “10 out of 10. It looks great and tastes great too!”
3rd place (total score: 55/70)
Waitrose Gingerbread House Kit, £6.25. Tested by test kitchen assistant (and professional pastry chef) Holly Holmes.
This kit produces firm, flavourful gingerbread that doesn’t spread while baking. Icing has good texture, piping bags are included and the red jelly beans are festive. Suitable for older children.
Sainsbury’s Gingerbread House Kit, £3 (total score: 50/70). Tested by Emma Hartfield, Eye to Eye Media managing editor, and her children Maya, 9, and Mabli, 5.
Clear instructions and helpful template on the box, but the gingerbread spread in the oven, making it tricky to fit together. Decent decoration provision with hundreds and thousands and jelly beans and the gingerbread itself is very tasty, with a nice bite. Bargain price, and well-sized for children.
Bonus kids’ review: “7½ out of 10. I found cutting out the templates a bit tricky.”
CATEGORY 2: ASSEMBLY ONLY
DIY Hansel & Gretel Gingerbread House Kit, £35. Tested by editorial & features assistant Phoebe Stone.
The most expensive of the bunch, but beautifully packaged and thought through, with extra piping bags and resealable sweets. Brilliantly pipeable royal icing and bright decorations let you create a true showstopper.
Total score: 55/60
National Trust Gingerbread House Kit, £16. Tested by freelance sub editor Stephanie Thomson.
Handy slot-together sides ensure a robust house and there’s a silver cardboard base included too. Charming folk-art feel to design and decorations (includes marshmallow snowman head with biscuit bird perched on top).
Total score: 47/60
Lidl Favorina Gingerbread House, £4.99. Tested by marketing director Julia Rich and her son George, 9.
Instructions are basic, and no piping bag included, but the house is easy to assemble. Creamy icing for decorating and a good selection of decorations, including little figures and a Christmas tree. Sizeable for the under-£5 price tag, and the Lebkuchen-style biscuit is moreish.
Bonus kids’ review: “7/10, because it doesn’t give you all the equipment needed, but it was tasty to eat, and the icing was good.”
Total score: 39/60