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Holiday Gingerbread House

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The holidays wouldn’t be complete without the decadent scent of ginger and cinnamon. Creating your own gingerbread house from scratch isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think! Here’s our favorite family recipe with step by step photo directions.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 c. shortening
  • 1 1/2 c. dark molasses
  • 2/3 c. cold water
  • 7 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking Soda
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

In a large bowl combine the first 4 ingredients, mixing well. Add remaining ingredients, stirring well. Dough will be quite heavy. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Various Candies-hard candies, gummies, gumdrops, licorice, etc

Frosting Recipe:

3 c. Powdered Sugar
1/3 c. margarine or butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Cold Milk

Combine margarine and powdered sugar, blending well. Stir in vanilla and milk, beating until smooth.

Divide dough into 1/4’s, roll each quarter section out on a floured surface. Rolled dough should be about 1/4″ thick.


Cut out the dough into several rectangles. (Depending on how large you want your gingerbread house to be. Ours is 6″x8″ walls, With peaks to 11″)(2 pieces for the roof, 2 pieces for walls and 2 end pieces with peaks).


Carefully place each section on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350F

While it’s baking, mix up the frosting!

Remove from Oven, Cool on cooling rack. Before construction your house, it’s helpful to cover a large piece of cardboard with tinfoil to set up the gingerbread house.


Fill a pastry bag with frosting, attaching a thicker sized tip for gluing.

Carefully Pipe the frosting down each edge to “glue” the walls together.

You may need assistance to hold the wall in place while “gluing” them together.

(Haha, joke is on my poor hubby as he waits for me to put the darn camera down and help!)


Continue “Gluing” Each Wall. Let it set 5-10 minutes between walls to let the frosting harden a bit.


Pipe the remaining edges with frosting to attach the roof panels.


If you are constructing a large house, such as this one, it is useful to snap a toothpick in half and carefully work it down through the roof into the sidewall (on the very edge). This helps prevent the roof from slipping while the frosting hardens.

Now comes the Really fun part, Decorating your house! Here I’ve enlisted the help of the entire family.


We each worked on a side for several minutes before “spinning” the base of the gingerbread house and adding to the edible artwork on the house.


Decorate to your heart’s content!


Tips & Notes:
Since we planned to eat our gingerbread house we chose a frosting recipe that did not contain raw eggs. If, when creating your frosting, it appears too soft, add up to 1/3 c. more powdered sugar to thicken it. This recipe does harden fairly well.

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5 thoughts on “Holiday Gingerbread House”

  1. this is so cool!

    i showed it to my husband and he said he’s always wanted to build a gingerbread house. thanks for sharing the how to.:worthy:

  2. thanks for sharing this! i’m inspired to make one for a party – the kids will have fun “eating us out of house and home.”

  3. We are planning to make one but a friend of mine rolls her dough in cinnamon to keep it from getting the white spots from the flour.

  4. awwww! That’s such a great tradition to have in the family. Now, does everyone snack on it afterwards or do you leave it out for a display?


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