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diy gingerbread house

DIY Gingerbread House

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4 from 1 review

  • Author: Katherine
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 house 1x


Forget the store-bought house in a cardboard box. Use this super simple recipe and template to craft your very own made-from-scratch gingerbread house!



Gingerbread Dough

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup fancy molasses
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp all-spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water

Caramel Syrup

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Royal Icing

  • 1 tbsp egg-white substitute
  • 3 1/24 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp water

Assorted candy, for decorating


  1. Prepare the dough. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until soft and fluffy. Add the brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the spices and baking soda. Slowly add the flour and water and mix just until a stiff dough forms.  Place the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.
  2. While the dough chills, print and cut out the templates for the house (found at the end of this recipe). You will need two of each, other than the chimney.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat*. Divide the chilled dough into two, and using a lightly floured surface, roll each section out into a large rectangle, about 1/4″ thick.  Place the cut-outs on top of the dough and using a sharp knife, outline around the cut-outs, keeping the outlined pieces in place. Remove the paper, and bake the dough for 13-15 minutes or until the dough feels firm to the touch. Allow to cool 5 minutes.
  4. Place the cut-out patterns on top of the outlines again and trim to ensure the pieces are the correct size. You will want to make sure the sides are shorter than the roof, at least by 1/2″. Sometimes the pieces spread in the oven, so trim the sides as necessary. Place them on top of the roof pieces to see. Remove the cut-out pieces and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Once the shapes have cooled, prepare the surface for the gingerbread house. I used a small cookie sheet wrapped in foil.
  6. Prepare the caramel syrup*** Stir together the sugar and water until combined, in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until a caramel syrup is formed, about 15 minutes. It will look thick and syrupy. Once the syrup forms, turn off the heat and remove the saucepan, or the syrup will crystalize. Using a pastry brush, use the caramel immediately to glue the house together. Starting with the sides of the house, apply the caramel to one end and hold it against the front or back of the house, holding in place for a few minutes until hardened. You can also use chip clips or any other props you have around to keep the pieces propped up while drying. Work quickly to assemble the rest of the house. If you’re using royal icing instead of the syrup, wait 30 minutes before adding the roof to the house. I glued the chimney last. If you’ve chosen to place the chimney on the side vs the back of the house, it may be too tall. Trim 1-2 inches off the end.
  7. Prepare the royal icing. Allow the house to rest for at least a couple of hours to really set before preparing the icing to decorate. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the egg whites and water with the powdered sugar. Add more water or more powdered sugar to achieve the right consistency. It should be thick enough to hold candy in place, but thin enough to pipe through a piping bag.
  8. Use a piping bag to decorate the house, holding candy in place for a few seconds until it sticks. Leave the house in place until everything has hardened, about 15 minutes. Display, then enjoy immediately!

Gingerbread house will keep at room temperature for 3-4 weeks, but will be much less edible after 1 week.


  1. If you own rimless baking sheets, roll the dough right onto the baking sheet.
  2. Use gum drops, M&M’s, licorice, marshmallows, gum drops and lifesavers to decorate.
  3. If you’d prefer not to use syrup to glue the house together, you can also just make extra royal icing and use that instead!

Caramel syrup adapted from Martha Stewart.

  • Prep Time: 1 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: sweet tooth
  • Method: DIY
  • Cuisine: Christmas Baking
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