Gingerbread Bus recipe

Next sweet treat!
Here's everything you'll need to make your very own TTC Gingerbread Bus.

View a printable PDF version of this recipe including the template

Gingerbus Recipe


  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3 cups flour


  1. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, or large bowl with a whisk, cream together the molasses, brown sugar and vegetable shortening.
  2. Mix in the ginger and all spice until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a separate small bowl place the cream of tartar and baking soda together, slowly add the hot water and stir gently until all of the powder is dissolved. Immediately add the bubbling water to the molasses/sugar/shortening mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, until thoroughly combined and well mixed. The dough should hold together well but not stick to the side of the bowl. If the dough is sticking to the bowl add a bit of flour and continue to mix until dough forms a ball.
  5. Place dough between two pieces of parchment or wax paper and roll to desired thickness. Place dough on a baking sheet in the fridge or freezer for at least 3 hours.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Remove dough from refrigerator or freezer, cut into desired shapes and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Royal Icing Recipe


  • 1kg icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons prepared meringue powder (eg. Wilton)
  • 3 tablespoons clear corn syrup (optional)
  • 165ml water


  1. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or large bowl with electric hand-mixer) pour in the icing sugar, meringue powder and corn syrup.
  2. Mix ingredients together with a spoon gently to distribute the meringue powder thoroughly.
  3. Pour in the water and mix slowly until a glue like paste is formed and all of the icing sugar is mixed in.
  4. Turn your stand mixer up to high and allow the icing to beat for 8 minutes. If using an electric hand-mixer turn it up to medium-high and whip the icing for 5-6 minutes. Icing will be very stiff when finished.
  5. Store icing in an airtight container until ready to use.

Directions for using Royal Icing to build a gingerbread structure.

You will need two consistencies of icing in order to build your gingerbread structure; a firm icing for holding the gingerbread pieces together and a more flowing icing for detail work and attaching candies.

How to make firm royal icing

Place approximately a ½ cup to 1 cup of your royal icing into a small mixing bowl, add 1 tsp of water and mix until the icing is smooth and very thick. Scoop your icing into a piping bag with a #13 tip attached (optional).

How to make decorating royal icing

Place approximately ½ cup to 1 cup of royal icing into a small mixing bowl, gradually add 1 tsp of water at a time until it reaches a consistency where it can run off of your spatula but still piles up in the bowl (doesn’t settle into a pool in the bowl). When your icing has reached the desired consistency add colouring one drop at a time and mix. Pour icing into piping bags.


Making the Template

Use the template in the recipe PDF to create your TTC Gingerbread Bus. Print out the template, glue it onto a heavier cardstock (cereal box cardboard, thick construction paper, etc.) and cut the shapes out – cutting along on the black edge. Once cut, these shapes will be the patterns for your gingerbread pieces.


Using the Template

  1. Cut two pieces of parchment paper the size of your cookie sheet. Lay one sheet of parchment paper on a flat work surface.
  2. Transfer your gingerbread dough onto the parchment paper. Place the other sheet of parchment on top of the dough and roll flat and even – 1/8 to 1/4 inch (3.175 to 6.35mm) thick. If the dough goes past the edges of your parchment paper, cut the excess away.
  3. Remove the top layer of parchment paper, and voila! A smooth, even sheet of gingerbread dough, ready for cutting shapes!
  4. Lightly place your template directly onto your rolled out gingerbread dough. Holding a paring knife at a 45-degree angle, cut around the template. Remove the template and cut the additional shapes as needed, leaving at least 1/2 inch (12.7 cm) between them.
  5. When all your shapes are cut, use a knife to pick up the excess dough and lift it off the baking sheet.
  6. Holding the edge of each side of the parchment paper, lift and place it directly onto the cookie sheet. Pop in the oven and bake.
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