I’m sharing with you how to make a Gingerbread House from scratch, from the gingerbread house recipe, a free printable gingerbread house template and finally how to decorate.
This is a fun recipe leading up to Christmas which you can eat at the end or use as Christmas Decoration.
Follow the video tutorial below to make your own Gingerbread House
How to Make a Gingerbread House
Christmas is my favorite time of year and one of my favorite Christmas traditions is making a gingerbread house.
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!
Homemade Gingerbread House
I’m sharing with you:
Gingerbread Dough Recipe
Gingerbread House Decoration Tips and Tricks
How to Put a Gingerbread House Together
Gingerbread House Recipe Ingredients
Gingerbread Dough Ingredients
1 Stick / 113g Butter – The butter needs to be melted so don’t worry about it being room temperature.
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.
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 Ingredients
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.
How to Make a Gingerbread House from Scratch
In small saucepan add the butter and golden syrup.
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 leaven like baking powder or baking soda. This stops the gingerbread from changing shape in the oven.
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.
It’ll be stiff but have a wet consistency, this is correct. Cover the bowl and place the gingerbread dough into the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight to firm up.
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 – 1/2 a 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 cut outs into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm back 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.
While the gingerbread bakes in the oven and cools make the icing which will be used to decorate the gingerbread house and stick it together.
Leave covered to stop it hardening.
Filling 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 powdery snow.
Common Questions about this Gingerbread House Recipe
Do I have to use Royal Icing?
Royal Icing works the best for gluing the house together. It dries rock hard meaning it’s not the best for eating like buttercream but it’s so much more functional in this recipe.
How long will this Gingerbread House last for?
I would recommend eating it within a few days of making it but I usually don’t make gingerbread houses for eating just decoration. I make it at the start of December and it stays out until after Christmas. Of course it’s not okay to eat after that long though!
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 to much weight on the house before this can make it fall apart.
For More Christmas Recipes check out:
Gingerbread House Recipe
Gingerbread House Dough
- 1 Stick Butter
- 3/4 Cup Syrup golden syrup, glucose syrup, molasses, corn syrup
- 4 tsp Ground Ginger
- 4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 1/4 Cups Brown Sugar
- 6 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1 1/4 Cups Milk or milk alternative
- 2 Egg Whites leftover egg yolk recipes
- 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- In a saucepan add the butter, syrup, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and brown sugar. Place over medium heat until the butter has melted and the ingredients are combined.
- In a large bowl add the flour, the melted butter mixture and the milk. Fold the ingredients together using a wooden spoon. Cover and place in the fridge for at least four hours to rest and firm up.
- After four hours remove the gingerbread dough from the fridge. Place about a cup of gingerbread dough between two sheets of non stick paper and roll out to about 1/2 cm / 1/4" thick.
- Using the printable templates cut out the gingerbread pieces using a sharp knife. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm back up.
- Place the gingerbread pieces into a 180C / 350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the royal icing place the egg whites and powdered sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer or a medium sized bowl if you are using a hand mixer.
- Beat on medium speed for 5-8 minutes until thick and bright white.
- Fill a piping bag with a small round tip with the royal icing. Cover the remaining icing to stop it drying out.
- Decorate the gingerbread house pieces with the royal icing. Leave to set for about 6 hours. This is much easier doing it now while the pieces are flat rather than when the house is assembled.
- To assemble the house start with the four walls. Pipe lines of royal icing on each side and stick the walls together. Use cups or mugs to support the walls while the icing dries and hardens, this will take about 4 hours.
- Pipe the royal icing over the top of the walls where the roof will meet. Pipe the edges of the roof and stick it to the house. Again use cups or mugs to support the weight of the roof until the icing has completely dried.
- Pipe the bottom of the chimney pieces and stick them to the top of the house, followed by the side pieces. Pipe the bottom and side of the door to stick down, leaving it as opened or closed as you want. Leave the house to completely dry overnight.
- Decorate the outside of the house using gingerbread men or trees or cinnamon sticks to look like wood. For a snow appearance use any leftover royal icing and spread it over the base outside the house. Once dry dust the whole house with powdered sugar.