• Gingerbread ute (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel

Make friends with anyone who owns a ute or truck. Our gingerbread truck celebrates our native ingredients - it's made from roasted wattleseed, which adds a coffee note to the biscuit. 

Makes
1

Preparation

3hr

Cooking

45min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 3.6 (7 votes)
Yum

Download your free gingerbread outback template here.

Ingredients

Gingerbread dough

  • 550 g (3¾ cups) plain flour
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 tsp ground roasted wattleseed
  • 185 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 165 g (¾ cup) brown sugar
  • 180 ml (⅔ cup) golden syrup
  • 2 egg yolks

 

Royal icing

  • 1 eggwhite
  • 225 g (1½ cups) pure icing sugar (about), sifted

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Chilling time 15 minutes
Freezing time 35 minutes
Resting time 6 hours (for icing to set)

Gingerbread dough

  1. Cut out the ute template (above).
  2. Sift the flour, cinnamon, cloves, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the wattle seed.
  3. Place butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until light and creamy, about 4 minutes. Add golden syrup and egg yolks and beat until well combined.
  4. Add flour mixture and beat until mixture forms soft dough.
  5. Turn onto a floured surface and knead to smooth dough. Divide dough into 2, flatten each into a disc shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

 

To make the gingerbread ute body

  1. Working in batches. Roll a disc of dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to 3 mm thickness. (It is VERY important not to roll the dough too thick or the sections of the ute will not fit together properly). Transfer dough and paper to a tray and freeze for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from freezer and slide the dough with the paper onto a workbench. Place templates onto dough and cut around using a sharp knife (image 1).
  3. Return to freezer for 10 minutes or until dough is firm.
  4. Remove from freezer, remove the dough trimmings from edges, reserve and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  5. Repeat with remaining dough, combining with the reserved trimmings. When it comes to cutting out the second ute side section, make sure you flip the template, so it is printed colour-side down onto the dough – this will ensure that the outer sides of the ute a the best presentation side of the baked gingerbread. Repeat rolling and trimming until you have 8 pieces in total (1 base, 2 sides, 1 centre, 1 bonnet, 1 front, 1 back and 1 roof).
  6. Return cut gingerbread pieces to freezer until ready to bake.

 

To make the gingerbread ute wheels

  1. Reroll leftover dough to make the 4 wheels. Roll dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to 5 mm thickness (wheels are thicker than ute sections).
  2. Cut out 4 wheels using the wheel template or a 6 cm-round cookie cutter (image 2). Place onto a tray lined with baking paper and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

 

Baking the gingerbread ute body

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 4 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place cut gingerbread pieces onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, allowing a little room for spreading. It’s best to place similar-sized pieces of dough onto the same tray as these will bake at about the same time. You will probably need to bake in batches, depending on the size of your oven. (Working with one at a time makes it easy to be able to trim each piece successfully after it’s baked).
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. (Smaller pieces of dough will take less cooking time).
  4. Working quickly, and with one tray at a time, transfer the cooked gingerbread and its baking paper to a wooden board, place the matching paper template onto cooked gingerbread; and using a small, sharp serrated knife, trim around template (image 3). Remove or eat cooked trimmings. If gingerbread becomes too hard while you are trimming, simply return to oven for 1 minute.
  5. Return gingerbread onto the hot baking tray and allow it to cool completely on the tray. Repeat until you have baked and trimmed all gingerbread sections (except for the wheels).

 

Baking the gingerbread wheels

  1. Now bake the wheels for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on trays. Note - the ute wheels are not trimmed after baking.

 

To decorate the ute

  1. To make the royal icing, place eggwhites into a medium mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until foamy. Gradually beat in icing sugar until you have a very stiff paste.
  2. To decorate, spoon a little icing into a small piping bag fitted with a 2 mm plain nozzle. Cover remaining icing with plastic wrap and a damp tea towel (see Note).
  3. Pipe icing around the edges of the ute sections, leaving a space where wheels will be fitted (image 4).
  4. Pipe ute doors, and front and rear lights.
  5. Pipe tyres on wheels. Allow icing to set for 30 minutes.

 

To assemble the ute

  1. Think of the icing as glue or mortar (i.e. use plenty). Spoon some icing into a medium piping bag fitted with a 4 mm plain nozzle (see Note).
  2. Place the ute base onto a baking paper-lined board. Pipe plenty of icing along the base inside edge of one of the ute sides, attach to the base, then use cans or whatever you have in your pantry to secure the side so it stays upright. Do the same with the other side section (image 5).
  3. For the ute centre section, pipe icing along the 2 short edges and 1 long edge. Carefully place the centre in place (it forms the other end of the ute tray), using cans to support it in place.
  4. Do the same with the front, back and roof sections of the ute.
  5. Allow all icing to set firm, about 2 hours. 
  6. Carefully pipe icing around the top edges of the where the bonnet will attach to, then carefully place the bonnet on the ute. Allow all icing to set firm, about 2 hours. 

 

To add the wheels

  1. Carefully elevate the ute by placing it on a group of stacked matchboxes. Pipe icing onto the back of each wheel and fix to the ute (image 6). Allow icing to set 2 hours before removing the supporting matchboxes.

 

We decorated the ute with a piece of fresh pine tree, matchboxes wrapped in brown paper and string (as presents) and plastic horses. The bush dirt is made from crushed chocolate biscuits and the country road from brown sugar.

 

Baker’s note

• Between assembling of the ute, return the royal icing to a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap and a damp tea towel or place in a tightly sealed plastic container to prevent icing from drying out. Rinse piping nozzle and bag (or use disposable piping bags). 

 

Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel. Illustrated template by Sarah Hankinson from The Ilustration Room. Creative concept by Belinda So.

 

Ground roasted wattleseed from Herbies.

 

This ute is part of our Gingerbread Houses of the World collection. View the other houses here.