How to

Build a Gingerbread house

Want to Build a Gingerbread house?

Making a gingerbread house is a fun activity for the whole family and can be the start of a wonderful Christmas tradition! Let us show you how to make the perfect house, starting with our spicy gingerbread recipe followed by our helpful instructions on how to create a sturdy house. Once it has had time to set, it is then ready to decorate. 

Before you get started, here are some expert tips: 
  1. Make your template. Our template below is a guide for you and will make the perfect-sized gingerbread house for the gingerbread recipe provided.  
    • Important note: This template is NOT to scale. Follow dimensions provided to measure out the correct sized house pieces.  
    • Using template below, draw and cut gingerbread house pattern pieces out of thick paper or cardboard according to the dimensions and shapes in first two diagrams. Cut one pattern piece only for end wall, side wall, roof half and chimney pieces. Each pattern piece will be used two times, except for the chimney pieces, which are used one time. 
    • If you prefer to make your own template, build it first with cardboard to ensure it will work before cutting out the gingerbread pieces.  
  2. Roll and cut dough directly onto parchment paper for easy transfer to baking sheets. 
  3. Work quickly to trim baked pieces. As they cool they become harder to trim.  
  4. Royal frosting is key! It will harden like glue and hold your house together. Have patience with this as it takes a while to harden fully.  
    • Let your house SET completely before adding decorations. 
    • There are endless decorating ideas! Gather a wide assortment of candies to give time  
  • Gingerbread House Recipe

    4 cups all-purpose flour 

    1 tbsp cinnamon 

    2 tsp baking powder 

    2 tsp ground cloves 

    2 tsp ground ginger 

    1 tsp nutmeg 

    1 tsp baking soda 

    1 tsp salt 

    1 cup shortening 

    1 cup fancy molasses 

    1 cup granulated sugar 

    2 large egg yolks 

    Royal Frosting 

    Assorted candy 

    1. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a bowl; set aside.  
    2. Using low speed of an electric mixer, beat shortening, molasses and sugar together until fluffy. 
    3. Add egg yolks and continue beating until blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture just until blended.  
    4. Gather dough into a ball; divide in half. Flatten each half into a rectangular shape. Wrap each rectangle with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before rolling out. 
    5. Preheat oven to 350°F.  
    6. Meanwhile, remove rectangles of dough from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling out.  
    7. On parchment paper, roll out each rectangle of dough 1/4 inch thick. Using pattern pieces and a sharp knife, cut out 2 end walls, 2 side walls, 2 roof halves and 1 of each chimney piece leaving 1/2 inch space between pieces. On 1 end wall, cut out a door and a window with a sharp knife. This end wall becomes the front end wall. 
    8. Transfer parchment paper onto baking sheets. Leftover dough may be re-rolled and cut into shapes for cookies. 
    9. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 – 18 minutes for larger pieces or 10 – 13 minutes for smaller.  
    10. Working with one gingerbread piece at a time, immediately transfer hot pieces to a cutting board. Hold pattern pieces on top using an oven mitt or pot holder and trim gingerbread pieces using a sharp knife to match pattern pieces. Cool trimmed pieces completely on racks. 
    11. Use a cake board or tray as the base for the gingerbread house. Attach end walls to side walls and to cake board using some of the Royal Frosting and referring to assembly diagram as a guide. Placing two cans inside walls will help stabilize walls as they set.  
    12. Place remaining frosting in an airtight container in refrigerator. Let attached walls stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours or overnight. 
    13. Using frosting, ice top edges of both end walls on right side. Position 1 roof half on iced edges of end walls. Hold roof half in place while putting an object, such as a shorter can or jar, under bottom edge of roof half, allowing it to rest on object. This helps keep the roof half in place as frosting sets. Repeat procedure on left side of end walls using frosting and remaining roof half. Fill ridge between roof halves with frosting. Using frosting, assemble chimney; set aside. Place remaining frosting in an airtight container in refrigerator. Let gingerbread house and chimney stand at room temperature for 1 hour. 
    14. Using frosting, attach chimney on one side of roof at back, resting chimney inside side piece on ridge, holding it in place until set. 
    15. Carefully decorate gingerbread house using frosting and assorted candy.  

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