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Gingerbread House

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  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Molasses
  • 1/3 Cup, Melted Shortening
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 Pound Powdered Sugar

Gingerbread House and Royal Icing

An easy to make holiday tradition that's fun ... for kids from 1 to 92.

30 minutes


A classic gingerbread recipe that makes a sturdy building material and just about the most perfect icing to glue it all together!

Gingerbread House Ingredients

Gingerbread House Recipe Card

This recipe for a gingerbread house and royal icing is a classic and a ton of fun! When I was very little, Grandma Jackie would make a gingerbread house each Christmas and have it up on the mantel the whole holiday season. She even had a little mirror put down as an icy lake and little figurines of ice skaters to place on top. It was magical and I can remember being so excited to see it each year as a little boy.

When I found Grandma’s recipe for gingerbread in her recipe tin I was so excited! And with SO MUCH time at home this year, I figured it was now or never to give it a try. I had never really made a gingerbread house before or royal icing, but my husband, Scott, had. So he was enlisted. We were both super impressed with both the gingerbread recipe and the royal icing recipe. The gingerbread tastes good, but boy does it create very strong walls, roofs, etc. And the royal icing is like a very thick paste. It’s like a perfect glue to holds things together.

Both of these recipes are definitely for construction not consumption – and for that purpose they are a dream! If you’re looking for a gingerbread to bake and eat, I’d suggest looking for a different one and royal icing that really work for building, is never great to eat. However, if you’re looking to build a magical gingerbread house this year – this is the recipe to use for sure!!

I hope you give this a try. Grab your family and spend a few hours building a masterpiece and letting your creativity shine. I DEFINITELY want to see pictures of anything you build so please post them in the comments below or tag me in them on Instagram (@bdhbakes).

Gingerbread House Icing Ingredients

Gingerbread House Icing Recipe Card


  • Preheat Oven to 375º 
  • Mix Dry Ingredients 

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Whisk to fully incorporate.

    Gingerbread House Dry Ingredients
    Gingerbread House Dry Ingredients Mixed
  • Combine the Eggs and Sugar 

    In a separate bowl (the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one), mix together the eggs and the sugar with the paddle attachment for about a minute or two to fully combine.

    Gingerbread House Mix Eggs and Sugar
  • Add the Molasses and Melted Shortening 

    Microwave the shortening just until it's melted. You don't want it hot so zap it for about 20 seconds first and then stir. Continue heating and stirring in 10 second increments until it is just melted. Add it and the molasses into the eggs and sugar mixture and mix for about one minute.

    Gingerbread House Wet Ingredients Mixed
  • Add the Dry Ingredients 

    Now, add the dry ingredients a cup or so at a time mixing between each addition. Be sure that each cup of dry ingredients is fully incorporated and there is no longer any dry bits before adding the next. Continue until all the dry ingredients have been added to the wet.

    Gingerbread House Add Flour
    Gingerbread House Mix In Flour
    Gingerbread House All Combined
  • Kneed and Roll 

    Once all the ingredients have been combined, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured workspace. Kneed it lightly until the dough is one big ball. Next, you'll want to roll it out. If you're planning on building a house or similar construction, it is important for your cutouts to hold their shape. The easiest way to achieve that is to roll the dough out onto parchment paper that has been cut to the size of your cooking trays. This makes it easier to transfer later. This recipe created enough dough for two cooking trays. Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.

    Gingerbread House Dough
    Gingerbread House Rolled Out
  • Cut Out Your Shapes 

    Now for the fun! Cut out the shapes you want. If rolled out on parchment, cut out the shapes and pull away the unwanted dough. The dough will spread slightly in the oven so be sure to leave some room around each piece. The extra dough can be rerolled and use to cut more shapes.

    Gingerbread House Cut Out Shapes
    Gingerbread House Cut Outs
  • Bake For 10-12 minutes 

    Bake the cutout shapes in the preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. You want to see just the start of some darkening around the edges. Allow to cool completely!

    Gingerbread House Baked
  • Make the Royal Icing: 
  • Combine the Egg Whites and Cream of Tartar 

    In a VERY, SUPER CLEAN bowl, add the egg whites and the cream of tartar. It is imperative that there is no grease, oil or fat (especially any egg yolk) in the bowl or the mixture. Mix on low until frothy and then slowly increase the speed until you start to have soft peaks.

    Gingerbread House Icing Egg Whites
    Gingerbread House Icing Soft Peaks
  • Add the Powdered Sugar 

    Once you have soft peaks, begin to add the sugar about a tablespoon at a time. Continue until all of the sugar has been added.

    Gingerbread House Icing Add Sugar
  • Mix Until Glossy 

    Continue mixing until you have a glossy, thick frosting. It should be the consistency of thick paste. Use immediately, keeping a damp paper towel on top of the bowl whenever you're not actively taking some out to use.

    Gingerbread House Royal Icing
  • Assemble! 

    Now, you can use the frosting to assemble your house and decorate it or any cookies. Piping bags will certainly be a big help here. This icing is like glue and will really cement pieces together. If you're using the frosting just as a decoration or to decorate cookies, you can water it down a bit with small (SMALL) amounts of water. HAVE FUN!!!

    Gingerbread House Assembly
    Gingerbread House Building



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