Gingerbread House

There’s a week until Christmas and I have yet to post any real holiday recipes. My last recipe, a Cranberry Mimosa Bundt Cake, is super delicious and seasonal but it isn’t the fun and festive treat you’re really looking for.

Life has been crazy and busy and great but sometimes you just need a break. This past week was full of some much needed relaxation to get my life in order and re-energize myself before the holidays. Thanks to my procrastination, you’ll get hit with two jolly and exciting recipes back-to-back; starting with a fail-proof gingerbread house.

I honestly don’t even know if I had built a gingerbread house before this one. I mean, isn’t it something everyone does as a child and it usually ends up looking like a mess so you just eat all the candy and throw the rest away? Well me, of all people, has no memory of any of this happening.

This meant it was time to build a cute little house myself with some assistance from my favorite helper. This is the perfect opportunity to get your significant other do a cute holiday activity with you (and because having an extra set of hands makes the job 100x easier). Clearly I chose not to make a typical gingerbread house. To appeal more to my audience, A.K.A. my let-me-eat-everything-boyfriend, I decided upon a surf shack gingerbread house. I must say, it turned out pretty cute.

You’re probably still thinking about the fact that I called this recipe fail-proof. Crumbling gingerbread houses are sadly starting to become a staple of the season. Yes, it’s my job to know be successful at this, but I promise you this recipe will build you the perfect house. I stumbled upon this cookie dough recipe and it is amazing for building a house… but I wouldn’t exactly suggest eating any afterward. The dough gets harder to roll out the longer it sits, but it bakes flat and is perfectly sturdy.  It’s easy to cut and trip down when need be.

The icing or “glue” for this house is a basic royal icing recipe. I’ve been using this recipe for about 6 years now and I wouldn’t change a thing. This icing will dry fast enough that you can build and decorate your house in one night.  I suggest that you make your dough and bake it the night before to make sure it has had time to cool and dry out a little. The dough recipe is a little different than a normal recipe but works like a charm. Be sure to bake on a sheet of parchment paper or a silicon pat to be sure that it doesn’t stick to the pan. If you’re looking for some silpats to add to your home, Amazon has cheap ones that work really well.

There are tons of templates online for houses of all shapes and sizes. If you’re intimidated by creating your own, take a look and print one out for easy construction.

This recipe is meant to be fun and festive and the least bit frustrating. Give it a shot and make an adorable house.

Remember – Stay Hungry

Print Recipe
Prep Time 1 hour
Royal Icing
Prep Time 1 hour
Royal Icing
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt all ingredients except the flour until all of the sugar has dissolved. Dump in the flour and begin to stir mixture until it is able to be worked by hand.
  3. Refridgerate dough for 15 minutes or until cool.
  4. Roll dough out on a floured surface until ¼ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes using a pizza cutter and a straight edge.
  5. Bake on a silpat or parchment paper lined tray for about 15 minutes. Let cool overnight before use.
Royal Icing
  1. Whisk together warm water and meringue powder until foamy.
  2. Add in corn syrup and mix until combined.
  3. Mix in powdered sugar and whisk until icing is lump-free and add water until desired consistency is reached.
  1. Using a grater or a serrated knife, straight out any bumpy or uneven edges.
  2. Place your royal icing into a piping bag or plastic sandwich bag, cutting off a very small area of the tip. Pipe a ling along the edge of one of the sides of your house. Match up the corners and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the structure can stand on its own. Carefully repeat the process until all four sides are together.
  3. Let your house stand for at least five minutes before attaching the roof. Pipe along all surfaces that the roof will touch, including the peak. Hold the roof on until it will stay by itself.
  4. Once the house seems sturdy, decorate to your liking. Thin icing out with water or add food coloring to achieve different looks.
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