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Wednesday 20 November 2013

How to make your own Gingerbread TARDIS

This ACTUALLY happened last night.
Luckily I had my camera to capture the moment. 
I've got past form in the gingerbread buildings stakes, so when our extremely fun brainstorm for this week's Doctor Who Food Takeover took place, I jumped (literally) at the chance to try a gingerbread TARDIS. And the good news is, it's easy! I've done the hard part for you - making the template - so download one, along with my homemade TARDIS door sign (I even used the correct fonts, Who fans! There are three!). You don't need me to tell you to print at ACTUAL SIZE (uncheck the 'fit picture to frame' or 'scale to fit' box), but I'm telling you anyway. Otherwise you'll be left with a very teeny tiny TARDIS.

Download this architectural plan!
I've used my tried-and-tested gingerbread recipe here - it's sturdy and foolproof. Cutting out all the bits requires some degree of patience, but it's rather therapeutic. And the TARDIS assembly is a doddle. I wanted mine to light up - OF COURSE I DID - so I used battery-operated fairy lights (get them for a couple of quid in the supermarket). A battery-operated tealight candle would work so just cut as much as space as you need. You don't have to go for lights at all - a Midget Gem atop the roof will look cute, too.

Gingerbread TARDIS (makes one TARDIS)
You will need:
For the dough
  • 545g plain flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 168g golden syrup
  • 95g golden caster sugar
  • 95g dark muscovado sugar
  • A white or yellow Midget Gem for the light (optional - you may prefer to do what I did and use fairy lights and parchment to recreate the THRILL of LIGHT)
For the royal icing
  • 250g royal icing sugar
  • 40ml cold water
Other important equipment
  • White parchment paper or sugar paper (Asda's own brand parchment is white - I opened it in the shop to bring you this information.)
  • A black felt-tip pen, permanent for preference
  • A ruler
  • Fairy lights, a battery-operated tealight candle, or a big battery-operated candle (optional - to make the TARDIS light up!)
  • Piping bag and small writing nozzle
  • Your templates and TARDIS signage
Make it! 
  1. Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.
  2. Heat the butter, golden syrup, caster sugar and muscovado sugar in a saucepan until the ingredients have melted and mixed. 
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour, and stir together until you have a firm dough. Knead it, then cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
  4. Spend the chilling time cutting out your templates and sign, and preheating the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Also gather together some baking trays and cut parchment to fit the bottom of each (I needed four, but you could do the baking in batches if you want!).
  5. When the dough has chilled, flour a clean surface and roll it out to about 3mm thick. I prefer to half my ball of dough and do two separate roll-outs, because of limited work surface space! If the dough is crumbly, add a tiny bit of cold water and knead well. 
  6. Take a piece of your pre-cut parchment and lay some rolled-out dough on top of it. Now start cutting your TARDIS pieces! I used a scalpel, but a sharp paring knife would work just as well. Once one piece of parchment is full, swap in another. Leave the decorative wall panels until last, and do them on any random bit of parchment you have - they aren't going to bake alone, but be transferred to the walls before baking. Here's what you should end up with:
    * 4 walls
    * 4 wall panels
    * 1 base
    * 2 roof pieces (one slightly smaller than the other, both with holes cut out of the centre)
    * 8 corner posts
    * 4 'Police Box' sign pieces for across the top
  7. If you want, you can fashion a little hat for the top of the roof light. Freestyle it! Look at the top photo for reference.
  8. Put everything in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill. Just before baking, position the panel sections on top of the walls, and press down lightly to make sure they've adhered. On one of these panels, draw a straight line down the centre to look like the door - just use a toothpick or light pressure with a knife. 
  9. Bake your pieces for 15-20 minutes until golden. They'll harden once they're out of the oven. 
  10. Transfer everything to a wire rack and leave to cool. 
  11. ASSEMBLY BEGINS. First, make your royal icing by mixing the royal icing sugar and water in a large bowl.
  12. Make windows using parchment - cut pieces slightly bigger than your window openings, and draw black lines to look like lead - two down and one across. Attach these to the back of your wall pieces using a dab of royal icing in each corner. 
  13. Now get your base. Glue two walls together using icing along one of the long sides, and position on the base using more icing. Repeat for the other walls until you have a high, four-sided structure. Hold in place until the icing starts to set - it won't need long.
  14. At this stage, I added more icing up the inside and base edges of the TARDIS, for extra support. I used a chopstick - highly technical. 
  15. Add the corner posts, again using icing to glue them in place. 
  16. It's time to try writing on the Police Box signs. I couldn't get the words 'PUBLIC CALL' in the centre to look right - the lettering is tiny - so if you're the same, go for a vague squiggle there. I used a piping bag and fine nozzle, but just a small snip off the corner of a piping bag would work too. Go for it with conviction - and have a go on a spare piece of parchment first!
  17. Leave the lettering to dry for a few minutes, then position the signs at the top of the walls and secure with icing.
  18. If you're using a light source of any kind, switch it on and place it inside the TARDIS. The roof doesn't really need to be stuck on - I left mine loose so I could get in and switch my lights off. If you want to stick it in place, feel free. The larger piece goes on first, with the smaller square on top for a tiered effect. Remember to thread through the fairy lights if you're using them - I used a little unbaked dough to secure the top one, but icing would work too. If you're using a votive, cement it into the bottom roof hole using icing, before assembling the roof.
  19. If you're using lights, cut a small strip of parchment to make the exterior casing for the light. I added panes with a felt pen, as per the windows. Position this over the hole at the top, and add your biscuit hat-thing to the very top. If you're using a sweetie, bead or whatever else you might have lying around the house, add this now.
  20. Finally, stick on your door sign using blobs of icing. It goes on the left-hand panel under the door window. AS WELL YOU KNOW. 
  21. TA-DA! You made a gingerbread TARDIS! It's bigger on the inside! Actually, it's not, because that would have caused all sorts of baking problems and made a mess of your oven.

Galactic background image taken from Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons License.



  2. I feel like 'gingerbread skills' needs to go on your professional CV.

  3. This looks amazing. Amazing work.

    On a related note, and for bigger-on-the-inside genius, I saw a tweet once recommending that for children's birthdays, you make a perfect little cupcake-sized TARDIS out of cake, blue icing and whatever, and also a big sheet cake with the same colour icing. Get the birthday kid to blow out the candle on the perfect little cake, carry it into the kitchen to cut and emerge with slices for everyone. Explain that you managed it because it's bigger on the inside; blow their tiny minds.

    1. Aww, that's such a lovely idea! I think that would blow my tiny mind too.

    2. Ah, so cute! I must try this trick!

  4. hi there, i work for the Daily Mirror Online-a publication based in the UK. i was seeking permission to use pictures you took of your Gingerbread Tardis?
    thank you!

    1. Hello Daily Mirror!

      I'm happy for you to use the photos - please publish a credit, a link back to the original article, and don't replicate the recipe in full or include the template. Happy to contact you directly if you require any further info!



  5. thanks Laura, i have passed your comments onto the writer. as for credit of the picture, Laura B? thanks again!

    1. A slightly less enigmatic Laura Brown for the credit, please! Thanks!

    2. Do send us an email if you have any more questions - our contact address can be found on our about page. Thanks!

    3. Yep, please email to discuss further: [email protected]. Thanks!

  6. I love anything with ginger in, and looking for loads of recipes...This looks lovely, thanks for sharing...


  7. Hey Laura, me and my friend want to do this for our classmate's birthday :D Unfortunately we are noobs and won't make the dough from scratch. Do you have any estimates of how much store bought dough we would need for the tardis?

  8. Thank you for posting this recipe as well as the templates, it was incredibly handy when I built my own tardis.


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