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Gingerbread House Recipe

This is how to make a Gingerbread House from scratch, including the gingerbread house recipe, gingerbread house icing, and a free printable gingerbread house template!

Gingerbread House

Homemade Gingerbread House

Christmas is the best time of year and one of my favourite Christmas traditions is making a gingerbread house from scratch.

I know they can seem intimidating and overwhelming but if you take it step by step it doesn’t seem so daunting. I might go as far as to say this is a gingerbread house recipe for beginners as much as it’s for more advance skills.

It’s a fun activity that you can get everyone involved in! Put on a Christmas movie or some Christmas tunes and get started! 

This is a fun recipe leading up to Christmas which you can eat at the end or use as a Christmas Decoration.

What this Homemade Gingerbread House Recipe Includes

Gingerbread Recipe

Gingerbread for a house is very different than gingerbread to make gingerbread men, so don’t try and use your favourite gingerbread recipe. It needs to be strong to hold the weight of the house while also not changing shape while it’s baking in the oven.

Simple Gingerbread House Template

I’ve made a free printable gingerbread template to make your gingerbread house. All you need is a printer and A4 paper. If you don’t have a printer I have also included the measurements so you can draw it yourself on your own paper with a pen and ruler.

Gingerbread House Icing

The icing is used to decorate the gingerbread house while also glueing it together. Royal icing is best to use here as it will harden like concrete so there is no chance of your gingerbread house falling apart once it has dried.

Gingerbread House Decorating ideas

There are so many different way to decorate your gingerbread house whether you go for the white snow look or cover it in candy! I’ll take you step by step through how I decorated this gingerbread house.

How to Put a Gingerbread House Together

I’ve got all the tips and tricks for putting together a gingerbread house without it falling apart halfway through! It may take some time but its definitely worth it.

How do you keep a gingerbread house from falling apart?

  • Decorate the gingerbread house panels before you put the house together. This makes it much easier to decorate as the panels are flat as well as stops any accidents happening by applying pressure to the house. 
  • Use the right type of icing. Gingerbread houses need royal icing to glue them together as it will set like concrete. One your icing has dried there is no chance your house will fall apart.
  • Put the house together in stages. Start with the four walls and let them completely dry before trying to add the weight of the roof.
  • Use supports as much ass possible. Anything works here – glasses, mugs or tins of food. Support the house completely until the royal icing dries.

Gingerbread House Ideas

Here are a few more gingerbread house ideas to get you started

Gingerbread House Ingredients

Gingerbread House Ingredients

Gingerbread Dough

1 Stick / 113g Butter – This can be room temperature or cold from the fridge.

¾ Cup | 250g Syrup – You can use corn syrup, dark corn syrup, golden syrup or molasses. The darker syrups will add more color to the gingerbread.

4 tsp Ground Ginger

4 tsp Cinnamon

1¼ Cups / 250g Brown Sugar – Brown sugar adds more color and flavor to the gingerbread but if you don’t have it on hand white sugar can be substituted.

6½ Cups / 810g Flour – Use plain all purpose flour here, not self raising flour. This is a large amount of flour but we need a large amount of gingerbread to make the house. 

1¼ Cups / 310ml Milk – Whole milk works best in this recipe but skim milk or milk alternatives can be used. 

Royal Icing for Gingerbread House

2 Egg Whites – Find recipes here to use the egg yolks. 

4 Cups / 500g Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar, icing sugar and confectioners sugar are all the same ingredient just different names in different parts of the world. 

Gingerbread House Decorations

Powdered Sugar – This is great at making ‘snow’ on the gingerbread house.

Cinnamon Sticks – These look like logs out the front of the gingerbread house.

Candy / Lollies – Whichever colors and styles you like!

How to Make a Gingerbread House from Scratch

Gingerbread House Dough

In small saucepan add the butter and syrup (golden syrup / corn syrup / molasses).

Measure out the ground ginger and ground cinnamon. Ginger and cinnamon are as much for flavor as they are for color and aroma. There’s nothing quite like the smell of gingerbread straight out of the oven!

Measure out the brown sugar and place the saucepan over medium heat and let the ingredients melt together, stirring occasionally.

In a large mixing bowl measure out the flour.

Flour is the only dry ingredient for this gingerbread house recipe as we don’t want any baking powder or baking soda as they will cause the gingerbread to puff up in the oven and change shape.

When the butter has fully melted, take the saucepan off the heat. Pour the butter mixture and the milk into the mixing bowl with the flour.

Using a wooden spoon, or alternatively you can use a stand mixer for this, fold the gingerbread dough together.

It will be very stiff but have a sticky consistency. Cover the bowl and place the gingerbread dough into the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight to firm up.

Baking the Gingerbread House

When you are ready to bake the gingerbread house pieces take the bowl out of the fridge.

Scoop about a cups worth of the gingerbread dough onto a piece of non stick paper and cover with another piece. This stops the gingerbread from sticking to the rolling pin.

Roll the gingerbread dough to about 1 –1 1/2 cm or 1/2 – 1/4″ thick.

Print out the Gingerbread House template and cut out the pieces with scissors.

Using a knife cut the gingerbread to shape. Continue this process until you have all the gingerbread pieces. 

Place the gingerbread house pieces into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. This will stop them spreading and changing shape in the oven.

Place the gingerbread pieces into a 180C /350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the gingerbread just start to brown. All the pieces may not fit in the oven at once so this may need to be done in multiple steps. 

Frosting for Gingerbread House

While the gingerbread bakes in the oven and cools make the royal icing which will be used to decorate the gingerbread house and stick it together.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium sized bowl if you are using a hand mixer add the egg whites and powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed for about 5-8 minutes until it is thick and bright white.

Transfer it to a small bowl and cover to stop it drying out. 

Decorating the Gingerbread House

Fill a piping bag with a small round nozzle with the royal icing. Decorate all the gingerbread house pieces. This is much easier to do now while the pieces are flat instead of building the gingerbread house first.

There are many different decorating designs for gingerbread houses so you can copy what I’ve done or have a quick search on google for some ideas.

Leave the decorated gingerbread pieces for about 6 hours to completely harden before building the house. This allows the icing to harden completely so it wont get smudged.

Building the Gingerbread House

To build you gingerbread house start with the four walls. Pipe lines of royal icing down each side and stick the pieces together using cups / mugs / cans or whatever you can find to support the house until the icing dries.

Leave for about four hours for the icing to harden and dry before attaching the roof. The full video here will show you in much more detail. 

Finish off with the chimney, piping each of the sides with royal icing and sticking them together on the roof.

Be as careful as you can assembling the house as there is nothing more devastating than it falling apart. This is why it’s so important to let the walls dry before adding the weight of the roof.

Decorate the Gingerbread House

Finish the gingerbread house off with adding the remaining royal icing as snow to base of the house and adding a few more decorations like cinnamon sticks as logs of wood.

This is where you can get super creative and put your own spin on it. I always finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar to give the look of fresh snow. 

Common Questions about Homemade Gingerbread Houses

Are Gingerbread Houses meant to be eaten?

Gingerbread houses are made from edible materials so there is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to eat them!

One important thing to note though is gingerbread house recipes are usually made out of different gingerbread than what you would use to make gingerbread men. The gingerbread is firmer and harder to support the weight of the house.

The simple answer is yes but I wouldn’t make a gingerbread house just to eat it, I would make one for the enjoyment of creating it and to display as a Christmas decoration.

How long do Gingerbread Houses last?

You can keep gingerbread houses for all of November and December depending on how you store it, but if you are making it to eat I would say within a few days is best.

If you are planning on eating your Gingerbread House just keep in mind it is collecting dust from the air so the sooner you eat it the better. If like me you’re just using it as Christmas Decor it will easily last for the later part of the year and even into January.

How to preserve a gingerbread house

You can preserve a gingerbread house to last many years. If you would like to do this get some craft varnish or polyurethane. Let the Gingerbread House fully dry out for a number of days before spraying the inside and outside with multiple coats.

What do you do with a gingerbread house after you make it?

Find a spot in your home to display all your hard work! The spices used in the gingerbread will fill your home with wonderful Christmas scent!

Why did my gingerbread house fall over?

This is most likely because the royal icing hasn’t dried and it wasn’t supported enough. Make sure to support the house with glasses or mugs or really anything you can find until the royal icing dries. Putting too much weight on the house before this can make it fall apart. 

Free Printable Gingerbread House Template

Click the picture below to either print the gingerbread house template or use the measurements to draw it up yourself.

Gingerbread House Template

More Christmas Recipes

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Yield: 1 House
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 15 hours 20 minutes

This is how to make a Gingerbread House from scratch, including the gingerbread house recipe, gingerbread house icing, and a free printable gingerbread house template!

Ingredients

Gingerbread House Dough

  • 1 Stick / 1/2 Cup / 113g Butter
  • 3/4 Cup / 190 ml Syrup (golden syrup, glucose syrup, molasses, corn syrup)
  • 4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 Cups / 250g Brown Sugar
  • 6 1/2 Cups / 810g Flour
  • 1 1/4 Cups / 310ml Milk

Royal Icing

  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 4 Cups / 500g Powdered Sugar / Icing Sugar

Gingerbread House Decorations

  • Powdered Sugar / Icing Sugar
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Candy / Lollies

Instructions

Gingerbread House Dough

  1. In small saucepan add the butter, syrup (golden syrup / corn syrup / molasses), ground ginger, ground cinnamon and brown sugar.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and let the ingredients melt together, stirring occasionally.
  3. When the butter has fully melted, take the saucepan off the heat. 
  4. In a large mixing bowl add in the flour, the butter mixture and the milk.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, or alternatively you can use a stand mixer for this, fold the gingerbread dough together. It will be very stiff but have a sticky consistency.
  6. Cover the bowl and place the gingerbread dough into the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight to firm up.

Baking the Gingerbread House

  1. When you are ready to bake the gingerbread house pieces take the bowl out of the fridge.
  2. Scoop about a cups worth of the gingerbread dough onto a piece of non stick paper and cover with another piece. This stops the gingerbread from sticking to the rolling pin.
  3. Roll the gingerbread dough to about 1 –1 1/2 cm or 1/2 – 1/4″ thick.
  4. Print out the Gingerbread House template and cut out the pieces with scissors.
  5. Using a knife cut the gingerbread to shape. Continue this process until you have all the gingerbread pieces.
  6. Place the gingerbread house pieces into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. This will stop them spreading and changing shape in the oven.
  7. Place the gingerbread pieces into a 180C / 350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the gingerbread just start to brown. All the pieces may not fit in the oven at once so this may need to be done in multiple steps.

Gingerbread House Frosting

  1. While the gingerbread bakes in the oven and cools make the royal icing which will be used to decorate the gingerbread house and stick it together.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium sized bowl if you are using a hand mixer add the egg whites and powdered sugar.
  3. Beat on medium speed for about 5-8 minutes until it is thick and bright white.
  4. Transfer it to a small bowl and cover to stop it drying out. 

Decorating the Gingerbread House

  1. Fill a piping bag with a small round nozzle with the royal icing.
  2. Decorate all the gingerbread house pieces. This is much easier to do now while the pieces are flat instead of building the gingerbread house first. There are many different decorating designs for gingerbread houses so you can copy what I’ve done or have a quick search on google for some ideas.
  3. Leave the decorated gingerbread pieces for about 6 hours to completely harden before building the house. This allows the icing to harden completely so it wont get smudged.

Building the Gingerbread House

  1. To build you gingerbread house start with the four walls. Pipe lines of royal icing down each side and stick the pieces together using cups / mugs / tins or whatever you can find to support the house until the icing dries.
  2. Leave for about four hours for the icing to harden and dry before attaching the roof. The full video here will show you in much more detail.
  3. Finish off with the chimney, piping each of the sides with royal icing and sticking them together on the roof. Be as careful as you can assembling the house as there is nothing more devastating than it falling apart. This is why it’s so important to let the walls dry before adding the weight of the roof.

Finishing Off the Gingerbread House

  1. Finish the gingerbread house off with adding the remaining royal icing as snow to the base of the house and adding a few more decorations like cinnamon sticks as logs of wood. This is where you can get super creative and put your own spin on it.
  2. I always finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar to give the look of fresh snow. 

Notes

Click here for the free printable gingerbread house template

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