How To Make A Gingerbread House

How To Make A Gingerbread House

Here you will find everything you need to know about making a Gingerbread House including how to bake, construct and decorate with royal icing and candy. PLUS, learn this “hot glue” sugar tip for holding your Gingerbread House together. When making a Gingerbread House, the most important thing to remember is to have fun!

This recipe makes one Gingerbread House with a little bit extra dough for making decorations. Make a double recipe of the dough if you want to make more than one house. I used this cookie cutter kit that I found on Amazon to make my house. It measures about 7″ tall when it’s assembled. As I write this post, it is on sale for only $7!

Putting Gingerbread Houses together with icing can be a pain. Especially when you don’t have the recipe just right and it won’t harden. So, to assemble the Gingerbread House, I used a sugar “hot glue”. This allows for the Gingerbread House to be decorated right after assembling, and is a lot stronger than using frosting to hold it together. This trick helps make the Gingerbread House stay together perfectly, even with little hands pushing candy on it a little too hard.

Remember to plan ahead! You’ll want to bake your Gingerbread House pieces a couple days ahead of time to let them harden.

Gingerbread House

How To Make A Gingerbread House

Create Your Action Plan

Planning ahead really helps when making a Gingerbread House. To make the process overwhelming, make your Gingerbread House over the course of a couple days.

3 Days Before Decorating: Prepare Dough
2 Days Before Decorating: Bake Gingerbread House
1 Day Before Decorating: Make sure that you have all of the decorating supplies you need.
Day Of: Assemble Gingerbread House and Decorate!

We left our house out 3 days to harden before we we decorated and assembled.

Prepare & Bake Gingerbread

Follow recipe directions below for preparing Gingerbread dough. This recipe makes enough dough to make one house using this cookie cutter kit. New York Times has a pretty good template if you’d rather print one out and cut your dough with a knife. The house looks pretty big though, so I would consider doubling the recipe to make this house.

Be sure to leave time to chill this dough. It is extremely important in this recipe. If you don’t have the dough time to chill in the fridge, the house pieces will lose shape and building your house will be almost impossible. Because of the molasses, the dough will be sticky.

Gather Tools & Equipment

Gather Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 tbsp water

Prepare Dough

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth – about 3 minutes.

Add in egg, molasses and water and beat on high speed.

Lower speed to low and add flour mixture. Beat until just combined. It will be very thick.

Gingerbread House

Divide dough in half and gently press into a disc. Wrap tightly in saran wrap and place in the fridge 2 hours to overnight.

Gingerbread House

Cut & Bake Gingerbread House Pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Roll out each disc of dough between two pieces of parchment about ¼” thick. The pieces should be a little bit thicker than you would normally make for cookies to ensure that they are stable enough for the house.

Gingerbread House

Gently press cookie cutters into flour, and cut out two of each shape; roof, sides and front/back. Place on prepared baking sheets.

Gingerbread House

Cut out doors and windows from pieces using the included cookie cutters.

Gingerbread House

Re-roll scraps so that you have enough for the whole house. Use any extra dough to create decorations for the house. If the dough starts getting a little soft and tacky, place it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to cool down a little.

Bake house pieces for 18-20 minutes.

Gingerbread House

Remove from oven and let pieces cool completely on baking sheets. Let harden for 1-2 days before assembling house.

Gingerbread House

How To Assemble Gingerbread House

When you are ready to assemble, create a base for your Gingerbread House. To make the base, wrap foil around a sturdy piece of cardboard. Give yourself a little bit of extra room for decorating the ground around your Gingerbread House.

To assemble and stick the Gingerbread House, I use a hot sugar “glue”. I like this better than using icing because it really does make it stick together, and it doesn’t go anywhere. Even if you tip it upside down, the house sticks to your foil lined piece of cardboard. It’s really a beautiful thing.

Make Sugar Glue

Before making the sugar glue, be sure to have your Gingerbread House pieces nearby and your base ready to go.

Gingerbread House

All you need to make the sugar glue is sugar and a heavy-bottomed pan.

Add one cup of granulated sugar to a small pan and turn it on medium heat. Let the sugar melt, swirling the pan. When the sugar gets a little tricky to swirl, stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up any clumps. Keep the sugar moving so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once the sugar is completely melted, turn heat on burner to the lowest setting, and keep it on low so that the sugar doesn’t set.

The sugar glue will hard up after you’re done with it. Just let the pan and spoon soak in some hot soapy water for 20-30 minutes and it will melt and wash out easy.

Gingerbread House

Assemble Gingerbread House

Start with the front of the house and dip the bottom of the house piece into melted sugar. Gently press the house piece onto the base.

Working around the house, dip the bottom and sides of a side house piece (the ones with windows) into hot sugar and press onto the base.

Next, add the back of the house by dipping the bottoms of the back into the sugar and gently pressing to the base and against the side of the house with the sugar glue that’s showing.

Attach the last side piece of the house by dipping the bottom and both sides of the side piece in the sugar glue and gently pressing between the front and back of the house.

To attach the roof, use a spoon and add sugar to the bottom of each roof piece like a border, and attach to the house. Repeat with other side.

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Let the house sit 5 minutes to ensure that the sugar is completely dry.

Gingerbread House

Decorate Gingerbread House

Decorating your Gingerbread House is the best part! Don’t worry about trying to make your Gingerbread House look “Pinterest perfect”, just have fun and eat as much candy as you put on your house!

I use a Royal Icing to decorate our Gingerbread House, but a Buttercream will work just as well, since you’re not using it to hold your house together.

Gingerbread House

Royal Icing Recipe

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp meringue powder (optional – if leaving out, add 1 tsp cream of tartar)
  • ½ cup egg whites

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low for 2 minutes. Increase speed to high, and beat on high speed for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Transfer Royal Icing to a piping bag, or a bowl to use for decorating.

Gingerbread House

Candy For Decorating Gingerbread House

Use your favorite candies to decorate your Gingerbread House. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • gumdrops
  • M&M
  • candy canes
  • peppermint candies
  • peppermint sticks (the ones for hot chocolate)
  • pretzel sticks or rods
  • dots
  • christmas light gummies
  • sixlets
  • shredded coconut (to use as snow)
  • mini marshmallows
  • sprinkles

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

How To Make a Gingerbread House. Gingerbread Dough, Royal Icing & Sugar Glue Recipes.

  • Gingerbread House Cookie Cutters

Gingerbread Dough

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tbsp water

Royal Icing

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp meringue powder (Substitute 1 tsp cream of tartar)
  • 3 egg whites

Sugar Glue

  • 1 cup sugar

Gingerbread Dough

  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth – about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in egg, molasses and water and beat on high speed.
  4. Lower speed to low and add flour mixture. Beat until just combined. It will be very thick.
  5. Divide dough in half and gently press into a disc. Wrap tightly in saran wrap and place in the fridge 2 hours to overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  7. Roll out each disc of dough between two pieces of parchment about ¼” thick. The pieces should be a little bit thicker than you would normally make for cookies to ensure that they are stable enough for the house.
  8. Gently press cookie cutters into flour, and cut out two of each shape; roof, sides and front/back. Place on prepared baking sheets.
  9. Cut out doors and windows from pieces using the included cookie cutters.
  10. Re-roll scraps so that you have enough for the whole house. Use any extra dough to create decorations for the house. If the dough starts getting a little soft and tacky, place it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to cool down a little.
  11. Bake house pieces for 18-20 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and let pieces cool completely on baking sheets. Let harden for 1-2 days before assembling house.

Royal Icing

  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low for 2 minutes. Increase speed to high, and beat on high speed for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

    Transfer Royal Icing to a piping bag, or a bowl to use for decorating.

Sugar Glue

  1. Add one cup of granulated sugar to a small pan and turn it on medium heat. Let the sugar melt, swirling the pan. When the sugar gets a little tricky to swirl, stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up any clumps. Keep the sugar moving so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once the sugar is completely melted, turn heat on burner to the lowest setting, and keep it on low so that the sugar doesn’t set.
  2. The sugar glue will hard up after you’re done with it. Just let the pan and spoon soak in some hot soapy water for 20-30 minutes and it will melt and wash out easy.

Assemble Gingerbread House

  1. Start with the front of the house and dip the bottom of the house piece into melted sugar. Gently press the house piece onto the base.
  2. Working around the house, dip the bottom and sides of a side house piece (the ones with windows) into hot sugar and press onto the base.
  3. Next, add the back of the house by dipping the bottoms of the back into the sugar and gently pressing to the base and against the side of the house with the sugar glue that’s showing.
  4. Attach the last side piece of the house by dipping the bottom and both sides of the side piece in the sugar glue and gently pressing between the front and back of the house.
  5. To attach the roof, use a spoon and add sugar to the bottom of each roof piece like a border, and attach to the house. Repeat with other side.
  6. Let the house sit 5 minutes to ensure that the sugar is completely dry.

Decorate House

  1. Use royal icing and your favorite candy to decorate!
Christmas Cookies, Dessert
Christmas Cookies
Christmas Cookies, Gingerbread, Gingerbread House, Royal Icing

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