This gingerbread house recipe with template is easy to make, fun to decorate, and delicious — soft and chewy, yet crunchy and sturdy with crisp edges.
For the Gingerbread House:
- 2 + 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon water
- 7 jolly ranchers
For the royal icing:
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 + 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional for flavor)
- assorted candies
- confectioners' sugar
- shredded coconut
- Print out our Gingerbread House Template and cut out the gingerbread shapes. Set aside.
Bake the Gingerbread House:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, all spice, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add egg, melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, and water. Use a hand mixer to beat on medium speed until combined, about a minute.
- Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until just combined, and there are no dry flour particles.
- Use your hands to form the ball into a dough and divide into two balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap tightly with plastic cling wrap. Chill overnight (or at least for 2 hours).
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two large half sheet baking pans with a silicone baking mat.
- On a large piece of parchment paper, roll out one dough disc at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. If the parchment paper is slipping around too much, place it on a silpat baking mat to keep it in place while you roll.
- Cut out the shapes from the Gingerbread House Template and use it to trace and cut out the Gingerbread House components. Use a pizza cutter for the edges and a knife for finer details like the windows.
- For the front of the house, cut out the circular window. Trace the shape for the door but don't completely cut it. You will cut it after baking to better hold its shape.
- For the back of the house, just cut the outline. You do not need to cut out a window or door.
- For the chimney piece that you need to make 2 cuts for, cut once, then flip the stencil over and cut it that way.
- Carefully transfer the cut pieces onto the silpat lined baking sheets. Place a whole jolly rancher into each of the windows. For the circular window in the center, use just half of a jolly rancher. These hard candies will melt to give a stained glass window effect.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges have set. Within the first couple of minutes, use a knife to cut out the door and set it aside on the baking sheet.
- Allow the gingerbread to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. Then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Make Royal Icing:
- Beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer (or stand mixer) for 10 seconds. Add cream of tartar and beat in. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time. Beat at high speed for 5 minutes until the icing is very stiff.
- If the icing is too wet, add a little more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a teaspoon of water at a time until desired consistency is reached. You want icing that will easily come out of the piping bag but that will keep it’s shape (not runny).
- Keep the bowl covered with a wet towel when not using as the icing dries up very quickly.
Assemble the Gingerbread House:
- Make a base for the gingerbread house. I cut out a piece of cardboard and wrapped it with aluminum tin foil. I then placed it on a wooden serving platter that I have.
- Attach one corner of the house. Use a piping bag with the no. 5 round tip secured to pipe a thick line along the side of the front piece of the house. Take a side piece and attached it together. Hold it upright onto the base. Then, run thick line of royal icing along the bottom of the two pieces of the house on the inside to help attach it to the base. Hold the two pieces together for a minute or two while the icing sets partially.
- Attach the other corner of the house. Run a thick line of royal icing along the exposed side edge of the side piece and attach the back of the house. Run a thick line of royal icing along the exposed side edges of the back of the house and front of the house and attach the other side piece. Run a thick line of royal icing along the bottom of these two pieces on the inside of the house. Run a thick line of royal icing along all corners of the house from the inside. Hold together for a minute or two while the icing sets partially. You can use a glass or cans to help prop it up if needed. Let it set for one hour before adding the roof.
- Add the roof. Run a thick line of royal icing along the left top side edges of the front and back, and left side piece. Place one of the roof pieces on top and hold it in place for a couple minutes. Run a thick line of royal icing along the right side, and along the center of the attached roof and add the other roof. Run a thick line of royal icing along the center where the two roof pieces meet, if necessary. Hold it in place for a couple of minutes.
- Make the chimney. Use royal icing to attach the chimney pieces together. Then run a thick line of royal icing along the bottom of the chimney (where the slanted pieces are) and adhere them to the roof. Hold in place until slightly set, a couple minutes.
- Attach the door. Run a thick line of royal icing along the left side of the door piece and attach it to the house slightly ajar. Hold it in place until slightly set.
- Seal it together. You can pipe an extra layer of royal icing along the roof and along the edges in a dripping pattern to make it look like snow. Allow everything to set before decorating, about one hour.
- Add patterns. Secure a no. 1 round tip to the piping bag. Pipe a scalloped pattern on the roof to resemble shingles. Outline the windows and add decorative dots and squiggles.
- Add snow. Take some confectioners' sugar and use a fine mesh strainer to add "snow" on the top of the roof. You can also sprinkle some shredded coconut on the base to resemble snow on the ground.
- Decorate with candy. Pipe a thick layer of royal icing along the edges or wherever you want to stick candies on. Then stick the candies on top.
- Add lights (optional). Place a little battery operated light inside and watch your gingerbread house glow up.
- Prep Time: 4 hours
- Chill Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: gingerbread house, how to make a gingerbread house, homemade gingerbread house, how to decorate a gingerbread house, gingerbread house with royal icing