How to make a Gingerbread House: recipes and hints and tips for putting it all together.

How To Make A Gingerbread House | Tips & Recipes

How to make a Gingerbread House: recipes, gingerbread house templates, and hints and tips for putting it all together.

How to Make Gingerbread House Templates, Dough, and more!

Planning the house:

Making the dough:

  • Make sure you use a gingerbread house dough recipe, NOT a cookie recipe, as they are often tastier, but softer. You need a strong dough to stand up (see suggested recipe below).
  • Mix dough, wrap, and refrigerate.
  • Roll out, trace patterns, cut out, freeze or chill before baking.
How to make a Gingerbread House: recipes and hints and tips for putting it all together.

Putting it all together:

  • Once baked, trim edges to match gingerbread house templates (straight edges are much easier to “glue”)
  • Determine what material will be the base for your structure (ex. cardboard, cake board, plywood.)
  • For a basic house shape, “glue”, with royal icing (recipe below), a front and side piece, then the other side and back of the structure.  Allow the base to set (let the icing harden for one hour, or up to overnight) before moving on to the roof or upper structures. (Remember to build your house on the base.)

Extras:

  • Easy “stained glass” windows: jolly rancher candies melt easily on the stove top and come in a variety of colors.  Choose one color (i.e. yellow) or mix a few to achieve a stained glass appearance.  Melt candies and pour into a window opening on a baked piece of your gingerbread house. (Ensure that the piece is laying flat on parchment or waxed paper.)
  • Lighting: battery operated tea lights or pillar candles work well inside a gingerbread structure.  Colored or flickering options are available.  A small flashlight propped up would also work.
  • Accessories: scrap dough can be molded into shutters, doors, window boxes, trees, animals, people…
  • Pretzels, pretzel sticks, or candy sticks can make nice fencing materials.  The bulk food stores carry many useful items, even chocolate candy rocks-which look great on a chimney or path!
  • The internet is a wonderful resource for recipes, ideas, and how-to videos.
How to make a Gingerbread House: recipes, gingerbread house templates, and hints and tips for putting it all together.
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Gingerbread House Dough Recipe (for building, NOT eating)

You may need several batches depending on the size of your structure.

  • Author: Crosby Molasses

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 ½ cups Crosby’s fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼½ cup water*

Instructions

  1. Melt shortening in a saucepan on the stove or in a large bowl in the microwave.
  2. Cool slightly and add molasses and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Whisk spices with two cups of flour and add to molasses mixture. Add remaining flour 2 cups at a time, along with ¼ cup of water.
  4. Mix well and add enough remaining water so the dough is not crumbly.
  5. Knead dough until smooth, shape into two discs, bag, and refrigerate overnight (or for a few days.)

*Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, if your dough is crumbly.

 

When ready to bake:

  1. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Roll dough 1/4″ thick and cut according to your template.
  3. Bake at 325 F until firm but not too dark around the edges, about 12-15 minutes.
  4. Cool completely before assembling your house.

It makes a nice dough. I vary the spice/water amounts to what works.  I usually let it sit in the fridge for a few days too. So I started with 3 batches. Then I  make it as needed.

Keywords: gingerbread house template, gingerbread house dough, dough recipe

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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Royal Icing (The glue that holds it together!)

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound (3-3/4 cups) icing sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 to 2 large egg whites, or substitute 4 teaspoons meringue powder (find at Michael’s or Bulk Barn) and 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer, until the icing is smooth and thin enough to be pressed through a pastry bag with a writing tip. Add more lemon juice or water, if necessary.

You may need several batches depending on the size of your structure.

Keywords: icing, gingerbread house icing, royal icing

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Visit King Arthur Flour for another gingerbread recipe.

Comments

  • December 3, 2015
    reply

    Lorraine

    That is amazing; not sure if I’m brave enough to try it though.

    • July 4, 2016
      reply

      Hi Lorraine, I hear you. If you try and fail, at least you still have delicious dough to snack on!

      • December 18, 2016
        reply

        Nancy LeB

        it says for building not eating ?

        • December 23, 2016
          reply

          Hi Nancy, This is a construction gingerbread recipe so it’s more sturdy. It’s edible but not as yummy as so many other gingerbread cookie recipes on the site.

  • December 3, 2015
    reply

    Lorraine

    That is amazing; not sure if I’m brave enough to try it though.

  • October 25, 2016
    reply

    Bonnie Leblanc

    At what temperature and for how long do you bake

    • October 25, 2016
      reply

      Hi Bonnie, I’m so sorry that the information is missing. Thanks for pointing it out. You can bake your gingerbread house pieces at 325 F for 12-15 minutes. (You want them to be firm and golden.)

  • November 17, 2016
    reply

    Rose Gallant

    Hi. when I click on the “Here are some template design ideas:” it won’t open. Any suggestions?

    • November 21, 2016
      reply

      Dear Rose, Thanks for pointing out the broken link. I have updated it with a link to 20 free gingerbread house design templates.

      • November 15, 2017
        reply

        Barbara Berner

        Can you update it again. I’d love to have a good template to work from. Thanks so much!!!!!

        • January 17, 2019
          reply

          Chloe

          I don’t think I would be able to cook and make a ginger bread house like yours

          • January 22, 2019

            Crosby Molasses

            That gingerbread house was made by my neighbour. I wish I had her talent!

  • November 28, 2016
    reply

    Courtney snider

    I just made the dough for a rather large house and the dough it’s self is very very hard is that normal?

    • November 28, 2016
      reply

      Hi Courtney, The dough should be stiffer than cookie dough but still pliable. Did you end up adding the full half cup of water? Also, did you spoon the flour into the measuring cup? Let me know if you were able to work with it.

  • November 15, 2017
    reply

    Barbara Berner

    Can you update it again. I’d love to have a good template to work from. Thanks so much!!!!!

  • November 20, 2017
    reply

    Pam

    HI There,

    I’ve made this dough and I can’t roll it out without cracks etc. I’ve tried different things and this dough is still useless. I’m throwing it away and trying someone else’s recipe.

    • November 30, 2017
      reply

      Crosby Molasses

      Hi Pam, I went back to our gingerbread house expert who supplied the recipe and she said that happens to her from time to time. If the dough is too crumbly she just adds a bit more water, one tablespoon at a time. this is her tried and true recipe that she uses every year and the fact that it gets crumbly sometimes hasn’t deterred her.

  • November 24, 2017
    reply

    Darlene

    What size house would 1 batch of your recipe make?

    • November 30, 2017
      reply

      Crosby Molasses

      Hi Darlene, One batch would make a very small house. The woman who gave me the recipe (and who makes the Crosby Molasses gingerbread house each year) makes at least six batches for a big house. I hope that this helps.

  • December 23, 2017
    reply

    Graeme

    Hi there,
    Any chance we could speed up the waiting process? Rather put the house together tonight? Would having it in the fridge for a few hours work?

    thanks for your time,

    • December 24, 2017
      reply

      Crosby Molasses

      Hi Graeme,
      Yes, definitely. A couple of hours in the fridge should be fine. Enjoy!

  • November 17, 2018
    reply

    Pamela Upshur

    Hi, I’m in Maryland and having a heck of a time finding Crosby molasses any suggestions ,I’m on the Eastern Shore.

  • November 21, 2018
    reply

    Sylvia

    Hi, I’m not sure how many batches to make. My house is going to be much smaller but basically the same design. How much of your house would be one batch worth.

  • November 24, 2018
    reply

    Liz Myers

    It worked for me with just a couple hours in the fridge, and rolled out fine :) The one batch made enough for this (small but not too simple) house: https://www.kitchentrials.com/2012/12/12/victorian-gingerbread-house-template/

  • December 8, 2018
    reply

    MICHELLE DAMRON

    How long from baking to showing will the house last. I have 2 weeks and want to make it now.

    • December 10, 2018
      reply

      Crosby Molasses

      Hi Michelle, Your gingerbread house can last for months as long as it doesn’t get bumped or wet.

  • December 5, 2019
    reply

    Danielle

    This recipe worked beautifully on my very first try! The dough came together beautifully with just 1/4 cup water. I followed the recipe exactly. The cut shapes baked up perfectly. Makes lots of dough! ?

    • April 13, 2021
      reply

      Crosby Molasses

      Thanks Danielle, glad you had great success with the recipe.

  • December 16, 2019
    reply

    Jaime

    Template isn’t working. Would you be able to update it?

    • December 19, 2019
      reply

      Crosby Molasses

      Thanks Jaime, I removed the broken link and added a new link to another construction gingerbread recipe.

  • September 20, 2020
    reply

    Erin

    Hello! Would your neighbor share the template for this house?

  • November 5, 2020
    reply

    Abby

    Hi Bridget,
    Do you have the template for the pictured house?

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