A joyful holiday custom that is becoming well-established in many homes is making a gingerbread house. Everyone in the family enjoys participating in this activity, and afterward you get to sit down and talk about how hard you worked. What is the lifespan of gingerbread houses? When properly stored, gingerbread house kits with shelf-stable dried ingredients can last for up to two years. The shelf life of kits with premade gingerbread is shorter. Whether you plan to use your kit for consumption or display purposes will affect how long it lasts after you’ve finished it.
We have all the information you need about how long gingerbread houses last right here, whether you’ve discovered a kit hiding in the back of a cupboard or want to know how far in advance you can make your festive house!
How Long Do Gingerbread House Kits Last?
Once upon a time, only trained pastry chefs could even consider attempting to construct a gingerbread house. The advent of gingerbread house kits, however, has made it possible for any household to attempt building its very own unique version of the seasonal staple. Kits designed specifically for the purpose of constructing a gingerbread house save you the time and money of tracking down each individual ingredient.
More importantly, they include comprehensive directions to guide you through this challenging (yet rewarding) culinary adventure. If baking is not your forte, you can always opt for a kit that includes premade gingerbread pieces and only requires assembly. Kits for making gingerbread houses typically only include ingredients that can be stored for longer, like dry gingerbread cookie mix and icing sugar. Because of this, they can be kept for a very long time.
If you plan on eating the biscuits, those without fresh ginger will keep longer than those with premade gingerbread pieces. Regardless of the type of kit you have, the packaging should have a use-by date. The manufacturers guarantee that the food is in peak condition as long as it is consumed before the “best-before” date.
Perhaps still edible after this date, but quality has likely declined. A gingerbread house kit that includes ingredients for making the dough at home can be stored for up to 2 years. The shelf life of pre-baked gingerbread kits is roughly 6 months.
Do Gingerbread House Kits Go Bad?
A gingerbread kit’s individual components are packaged in a way that keeps them fresh and suitable for eating for a long time. Each ingredient needs to be contained in a moisture-proof sachet to keep it fresh. These components won’t be around forever though! When it comes to eating a packet of gingerbread dough mix safely, there is a time limit. But if a gingerbread house kit has passed its best-before date, is that okay?
It all depends on your personal preferences and the food itself. To determine whether the food has gone bad or if it has degraded to the point where it is no longer edible, you must carefully evaluate. The good news is that foods that won’t be seriously harmful if they start to spoil are those for which best-before dates are used.
The “use by” date, which is for foods like meat and fish that can make you sick, is the other date that is frequently mentioned. Never eat food that has passed its expiration date. The ingredients in a gingerbread house kit are dried and shelf-stable, which is good news for us because it will take a long time for them to spoil.
Your gingerbread house kit will remain fresh in your pantry at least until the best-before date if it is still in the original packaging. The good news is that because producers want you to eat the food at its peak, they usually err on the side of caution when determining the best-before date. As a result, many foods will still be edible even after the best-before date has passed!
How To Tell If Your Gingerbread House Kit Has Gone Bad
You might be wondering if it’s safe to use an old gingerbread house kit you found in the cupboard. Fortunately, even if it has passed its expiration date, it may still be excellent! Another piece of good news is that baking an expired gingerbread house kit is unlikely to result in serious illness. It may not be as successful as you had hoped, but at the very least, you will not become ill — nobody wants that.
Because a gingerbread house kit contains several different components, you must carefully inspect each one to ensure it has not gone bad. Examine the packaging to see if any of the moisture-resistant sachets have been damaged in any way. If this is the case, this component should be discarded because the contents will be in poor condition. Then look over the ingredients. Powdered ingredients must be fine and dry, with no clumping. They should not be eaten if they have become stuck together into lumps due to moisture.
If you notice any black, brown, green, or grey flecks in your cake mix or icing sugar, they may have been contaminated with mold and should be discarded. These ingredients should smell sweet and pleasant, so if you detect an acrid odor, discard them. But what about pre-made gingerbread house parts?
If your kit includes a baked house that is ready to assemble, the biscuits should be sealed in moisture-proof packaging to keep air and dampness out. This can keep them in good condition for several months, but they will eventually go stale and lose texture and flavor. Check the baked gingerbread carefully for discoloration or mold, which is more likely if it has come into contact with water.
Mold has a distinct odor, as opposed to the sweet, ginger scent of delicious gingerbread. If you suspect mold contamination in your gingerbread, it must be discarded. Another issue that can arise with gingerbread that has been stored for an extended period of time is that it may appear fine but has gone stale. This could go one of two ways: it could become soft and crumbly, or it could become hard and brittle. It’s neither pleasant nor suitable for making a gingerbread house!
Unfortunately, the only way to tell if your gingerbread is stale is to taste a piece of it. This presents a problem because it means you’ll have to eat a portion of the house before you build it! In this case, you could build the house anyway and accept that the gingerbread might not be very tasty. But at the very least, you’ll have a beautiful festive gingerbread house to decorate your home for the holidays!
How Long Do Gingerbread Houses Last?
You’ve constructed and decorated your holiday display, and your gingerbread house kit is still valid. How long can you store a gingerbread house before it starts to deteriorate? Everything depends on whether you created it with the intent to eat it or whether you want to keep it as a decoration for as long as possible. The longer gingerbread is exposed to air and moisture, the more stale it will become.
Your gingerbread house will stay edible for two to three weeks if you can limit exposure to these by keeping the house in an airtight container. How can you show off your home and eat it too? It seems shameful to hide your hard work away.
Firstly, you could display it only during special occasions to reduce the amount of time it is exposed to air. Building your gingerbread house on a board that can be easily lifted into and out of a cake tin for easy storage is the key to this. As an alternative, you could accept that your gingerbread house will probably be quickly eaten and leave it out for everyone to see.
Can You Preserve Gingerbread Houses?
When it comes to gingerbread houses, there are two types of creations: those meant to be eaten and those meant to be displayed and admired. If you’ve created a magnificent gingerbread house, it may appear far too good to eat! So, how do bakers and artisan cake shops keep their best creations fresher for longer?
The secret is to spray the completed gingerbread house with a clear varnish or lacquer, which seals the gingerbread and icing and protects it from air and moisture. However, once you’ve done this, your gingerbread house is no longer edible, so make sure no one bites into it! Keep it away from pets and children, who might be tempted to try your lovely holiday creation.