Knowing how to make a gingerbread house is essential Christmas stuff. And it’s surprisingly easier than you could ever imagine. Here’s all you need to know, including a recipe, template, and decorating ideas.
Knowing how to make a gingerbread house entirely from scratch may not have been on your bucket list, but it’s not nearly as complicated as you would imagine. With a little patience and a lot of sugar, you can construct a gingerbread creation that would make the Brothers Grimm proud—and everyone with a sweet tooth in your vicinity quite, quite happy. Here’s everything you need, including recipe, template, and decorating ideas. Originally published December 16, 2016.–Angie Zoobkoff
How To Make A Gingerbread House
- Quick Glance
- 2 H
- 4 H
- Makes 1 Gorgeous House
Special Equipment: Instant-read candy thermometer; sturdy paper or card stock for printing the templates
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
- For the gingerbread house
- For the caramel glue
- For the decorations
Recipe Testers Reviews
Perfect recipe and directions for learning how to make a very merry gingerbread house! This was so much fun to make! The caramel glue works like a charm and almost instantly bonds the pieces together. Royal icing and candy are the crown jewels and fantastically fun to put together. Your house will smell wonderful, too! Freezing the gingerbread cookie dough for 10 minutes is the secret to keeping the pieces from spreading while baking. The larger pieces baked for 22 minutes and even the smaller ones baked for 15 to 20 minutes. Every piece came out perfectly. The caramel glue was very fast to set. Almost instant. After 30 minutes, the house was solid. I held the roof pieces in place for a few minutes to make sure they didn't slide off. The royal icing was a little too soft. I added another 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar. The larger the tip you use, the more "peaks and drifts and drips" you will get. If you miss any spots, let it harden up and go back with a smaller tip and fill in. Most importantly was the final note in the directions: "Never throw away scraps of gingerbread." This is good advice. My dog ate the front door and luckily I had saved a little golf ball-size piece of dough and was able to roll out another door. Whew! The caramel "glue" is very effective, even for large pieces of gingerbread. I used the royal icing from the web site - a total of 2 batches. I used meringue powder and then white coloring to bring it back to a bright white. The recipe is easily changed by adding more sugar or water depending on the consistency desired. Amounts in the recipe are accurate to reach a medium consistency, which I used for the snow and soft peaks.
Phew! I've never done a gingerbread house all the way through from scratch. This was a lot of work but so much fun! I didn't do it all in one day, either. I baked it one day and decorated it another day. I would highly recommend this unless you have a full day to devote to it. When you’re rolling out your gingerbread dough, I found it easier to find something that was 1/4" thick (cutting boards) and roll the dough out in between two until it is flesh with them. This made it so everything was exactly the same height and baked wonderfully even! I only made the dark molasses dough and it turned out well. I used the extra dough to make some trees and it was fun! The caramel glue was easy to make and everything was right, but it was difficult to melt down again. It just didn't seem to get as thin as it did before. It was useable, but not as good. It made plenty enough caramel to make the house. I had a hard time melting down the caramel again, but it's so easy to make that I would just it up again to do the roof. It dried pretty quickly. Overall, very fun.