How To Make a Gingerbread House: A Step-By-Step Guide to Sweet Holiday Creativity

Crafting Delicious Memories for the Festive Season

Building a gingerbread house is a cherished holiday tradition that brings families and friends together to create sweet and whimsical architectural marvels. With the aroma of ginger and spices in the air, it’s a delightful way to infuse your home with the spirit of the season. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to make a gingerbread house that’s not only structurally sound but also a true work of edible art. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s embark on a delicious journey of creativity!

Supplies and Equipment Needed:

  • Gingerbread house templates (or create your own)
  • Gingerbread dough (homemade or store-bought)
  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Knife or gingerbread house cutter
  • Royal icing (homemade or pre-made)
  • Pastry bags and tips
  • Assorted candies and decorations (gumdrops, candy canes, sprinkles, etc.)
  • Food coloring (gel or liquid)
  • Small paintbrushes (for applying icing)
  • Cake board or platter
  • Holiday spirit and creativity

Ingredients: Gingerbread Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg

Royal Icing:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup water


Preparing the Gingerbread Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, beat the softened butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add molasses and egg to the butter mixture, beating until well combined.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.
  5. Divide the dough into two portions, wrap them in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Building the Gingerbread House:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Roll out the chilled gingerbread dough on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thickness.
  3. Use gingerbread house templates or your own designs to cut out house shapes (front, back, sides, and roof).
  4. Place the cutout pieces on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
  6. Allow the gingerbread pieces to cool completely before assembling.

Making Royal Icing:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar and meringue powder.
  2. Gradually add water while mixing until the icing forms stiff peaks.
  3. Divide the icing into smaller bowls and add food coloring as desired for decorating.

Assembling and Decorating:

  1. Begin by assembling the walls and roof of your gingerbread house using royal icing as “glue.”
  2. Hold the pieces together for a few minutes to allow the icing to set.
  3. Once the structure is stable, let it dry for several hours or overnight.
  4. Now, the fun part! Decorate your gingerbread house with royal icing and assorted candies.
  5. Use your creativity to bring your gingerbread house to life.

Creating a gingerbread house is not just a holiday activity; it’s a labor of love that results in a delightful centerpiece for your festive celebrations. Whether you’re crafting with family or tackling this project solo, the end result will be a unique and delicious work of art that captures the magic of the season.