Hotel Facts #13: The Tale of a World-Famous Gingerbread House


For more than a century, The Fairmont San Francisco, has delighted guests with its world-famous gingerbread house every Christmas.


The tasty festive display measures an impressive  6.7 metres high by 7 metres wide and each year the pastry shop staff take an amazing 520 hours creating the gingerbread house out of 7,750 pieces of gingerbread, 556 kg of royal icing and 306 kg of sweets. Let’s not also forget the engineering department who take a massive 375 hours constructing the framework!


Inspired?  If you want to make your own (smaller!) gingerbread house you will need:

Gingerbread Dough

  • 225g brown sugar
  • 318g granulated sugar
  • 60g honey
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 5g baking soda
  • 5g salt
  • 554g cake flour
  • 180g all purpose flour
  • 3g cinnamon
  • 3g ginger
  • 50g water
  • 50g molasses
  • 2 eggs

Royal Icing

  • 240g egg whites
  • 1,135g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar


  1. Gingerbread Dough
    • Gently cream the sugars, honey and butter in a mixer with the paddle attachment.
    • Turn off mixer and scrape sides and bottom to ensure butter and sugars are mixed.
    • Slowly alternate the dry and wet ingredients until the dough is mixed. Chill dough in fridge until ready to use.
    • Roll out to ½ inch thickness, cut shapes using templates and brush with milk.
    • Bake at 180 C  for approximately 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the gingerbread.
    • Remove from oven and trim immediately using template while still warm. (The dough will spread a little with baking, so this will ensure your piece fits together nicely and gingerbread is much easier to trim while warm.)
    •  Piece together using royal icing and decorate.
  2. Royal icing
    • Mix all ingredients together with a paddle until stiff, wrap well with plastic wrap.
    • Keep well wrapped during use.
    • Use piping bag and decorate.

Sit down, take a slice of gingerbread with a cup of tea … and enjoy!

Contributor:  Alexandra Pinhorn

Fairmont San Francisco is managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts which is a client of Magellan PR.  For more information, please visit, follow them on twitter @FairmontHotels or on Facebook/Fairmont Hotels.  Their community website is Follow Fairmont San Francisco on twitter @FairmontSF and on Facebook/FairmontSF.

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR on YouTube: MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

About magellanstraits

Magellan Straits showcases the observations & musings from Magellan PR, a boutique travel & lifestyle agency founded in 1998. We post items that are of interest from the clients we promote and from the travels and experiences that we independently undertake.
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