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A DIY Festive Gingerbread House

This Gingerbread House will add the perfect amount of whimsy and fun to your Christmas decorations.
Prep Time1 hr 45 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Chilling Time3 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 25 mins
Course: Candy
Cuisine: American
Keyword: A DIY Festive Gingerbread House
Servings: 1 house
Author: Anna



  • 2 ¾ cups flour, plus additional for rolling the dough
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • cup molasses

Royal Icing with egg

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 pound powdered sugar, see note

Special Equipment

  • 1 flat baking sheet, with no sides, either 16"x14" or 18"x13", see Gr8 Notes below
  • 1 board or flat tray to put the house on
  • Piping bags and decorating tips
  • Assorted Candy



  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Add the brown sugar.
  • Stir in the egg, molasses, and vegetable oil. (I used my stand mixer on low.)
  • Mix this thoroughly, then wrap in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. 
  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Prepare your flat cookie sheet by wrapping with foil; then spread a thin layer of oil on the foil.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator, it will still be fairly soft.
  • Lay the dough in the middle of your baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with flour. (If you put the baking sheet on top of a dish towel, it should help to keep it stable while rolling out the dough.)
  • Starting from the middle, roll the dough to each edge of the baking sheet. Add light amounts of flour as necessary to keep from sticking to the rolling pin. Try to get the dough as evenly thick as possible and as close to straight edges as possible.
  • Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Watch it carefully, because ovens do differ and you don't want the edges to burn, but you do want the gingerbread to be totally baked. 
  • Place the pattern on the hot bread and immediately cut the pieces out, then place on a rack to cool. The pieces should be very hard. If they do not cool hard, then you can put them back in the oven for a few minutes to harden.

Royal Icing

  • Put the 3 egg whites and cream of tartar into a mixing and beat at high speed until stiff. (Alternatively, use Wilton's Meringue Powder and follow the package directions for Royal Icing.)
  • Then beat in the powdered sugar. The frosting needs to be stiff to hold the house together. If it is too soft, add more powdered sugar. If it is too stiff, add water one teaspoon at a time. 
  • Assemble the gingerbread house using the royal icing as your "cement." 
  • Let the house dry before proceeding to the decorating phase, otherwise, the weight of the candies will collapse the house.
  • As you are working with the icing, keep the unused portion covered with a wet towel to keep it fresh.

Decorating the House

  • Once the house is strong and dry, spoon the remaining icing into a decorating bag and attach the candies and decorate as desired!


Some Gr8 Tips:
  • Make sure the gingerbread is totally baked and hard when cooled. If it's still soft after cooling, put the house pieces back on a cookie sheet in the 300° oven to harden for a few minutes. If the gingerbread is not strong and hard, the candies will collapse the house.
  • I used a pre-covered ½" thick cake board from Wilton to support my house. A regular piece of cardboard tends to warp.
Tried this recipe?Mention @Great8Friends or tag #gr8food!