Gingerbread House with Royal Icing

Gingerbread House with Royal Icing

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Share this Recipe!

As a mom of three daughters, and now three grandchildren, I have made my share of homemade gingerbread houses. This Gingerbread House with Royal Icing goes together easily and will make enough for the house as well as a handful of Gingerbread Men.

Another Side of the Finished Gingerbread House

I love making homemade gingerbread. It smells so wonderful with all it’s spices, sugars, and molasses. And of course, children love to help decorate them with all the colorful candies.

Candy Decorations for the Gingerbread House

Start at the beginning of the holiday season to pick out your candies. I like to start shopping for these early to get items that may not last long in stores. Dollar General is a great place to shop for specialty items like marshmallow snowmen, Christmas trees, or Santa on a stick. Some of my favorite candies for decorating are: holiday M&M’s, Skittles, gumdrops, holiday marshmallow shapes, cinnamon candies, chocolate kisses, candy canes, peppermints, Christmas sprinkles, pretzels (not a candy, but great for creating a wood log look), licorice, Necco wafers, and red and green Sixlets.

My Homemade Gingerbread House Pattern

Next, decide whether you want to construct your own house or use a gingerbread house baking kit. In my early years, I did everything from scratch, from planning the pattern, to building the house, and decorating it. Believe me, my pattern was well used.

Gingerbread House Building Kit

These days, I’ve come to appreciate the small building kits you can buy that are inexpensive and that can be used over and over again. See a similar kit to the one I own Here. 

Now that we’ve covered those two items, lets move on to the recipe!

 

Ingredients for Gingerbread House with Royal Icing

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • ground cinnamon
  • ginger
  • ground nutmeg
  • cloves
  • vegetable shortening
  • brown sugar
  • molasses
  • water

Royal Icing

  • powdered sugar
  • cream of tartar
  • egg whites
  • lemon juice

Candies for Decorating

M&M’s, Skittles, gumdrops, holiday marshmallow shapes, cinnamon candies, chocolate kisses, candy canes, peppermints, holiday sprinkles, pretzels (not a candy, but great for creating a wood log look), licorice, Necco wafers, Sixlets, etc.

 

Special Equipment Needed

  • Gingerbread house pattern or kit
  • hot glue gun
  • hot glue sticks

 

Instructions for Making This Gingerbread House

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Prepare the Gingerbread

In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Mix to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegetable shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses to combine.

Gradually add in the dry ingredients, alternately mixing with the water. The dough will become stiff. If necessary, continue kneading by hand until the dough is smooth.

Using parchment paper or a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough between 1/8 – 1/4″ thickness.

Parchment paper can easily be transferred to a baking sheet. Parchment paper or a baking mat will prevent the need for adding more flour, which will produce a more tender dough. If you need to add flour, do so sparingly.

Cutting Out the Gingerbread House

Cut out shapes for the walls, sides, roof, chimney, and any other add-ons, including gingerbread men. Remove excess dough and carefully transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet.

If you aren’t using parchment paper, you can use an off-set spatula to transfer pieces to a baking sheet, but do so carefully, so as not to alter the pattern pieces. 

Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until edges just start to brown. Allow to cool on the pan before removing. Repeat until all the pieces have been baked.

 

Prepare the Royal Icing

In a large mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cream of tartar, egg whites, and lemon juice. Beat on low to medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the icing is glossy and smooth.

Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 more minutes.

Once icing is made, spoon it into a container or plastic pastry bag to prevent it from hardening. If it does begin to harden, you may add drops of water, as needed.

 

Assemble the Gingerbread House

Prepare a heavy piece of cardboard to set the house on by covering it with aluminum foil. You want the cardboard to be large and strong enough to hold the house and courtyard. A baking sheet would also work, if you can spare one.

Building the House

To assemble the house, begin with one side wall and the front of the house. If you want to do this the traditional way, stick it together with strips of Royal Icing. Or use a hot glue gun, which makes building a house very easy!

In my years of assembling gingerbread houses, I learned that using a hot glue gun is a wonderful way to build the house. No waiting for the frosting to dry. No falling walls. It’s quite wonderful. Who eats the house anyway? Kids just want the candy. And by the time the candy is gone, the house is so old, no one wants to eat it.

Finished Building the House

Next, add the other side wall to the front, followed by the back. Add the roof top, attaching along the top of the side walls, front, and back. If desired, you may glue the center of the roof together.

If you’ve opted to include a chimney or other attachments, do this last.

 

Decorate the House

If you’ve used a glue gun, it’s time to decorate. But if you are using the Royal Icing to build the house, you’ll need to give the house time to dry and set up before decorating. FYI, houses can be made 2-4 weeks in advance before decorating.

As you use the Royal Icing, be sure to keep the end of the decorating bag closed, to keep the icing as fresh as possible, without it hardening.

Begin Decorating with the Roof

I like to begin decorating the house with the roof, using candies as desired.

It helps to divide the candies in little bowls so you know how much candy is available to decorate the parts of the house. 

Decorating Walls of Gingerbread House

Use the Royal Icing to decorate the roof, doors, windows, and lots of “snow.” Our daughters always liked to add a courtyard for the house, with sidewalks, bushes, trees, or even a mailbox. Use your imagination.

One Side of Finished Gingerbread House

It might also help your inspiration by browsing the Internet to see how other people have decorated houses.

Through the years, I’ve collected many pages of gingerbread houses that I’ve gathered from cooking magazines to help with ideas. I still have them and keep them with my gingerbread pattern kit. 

Decorating the Gingerbread Girl

Don’t forget to decorate your gingerbread men, so you can enjoy munching on him (or her) while you decorate!

Gingerbread with Twinings Holiday Tea

And in case you were wondering, Gingerbread is wonderful with a cup of hot tea or a glass of cold milk!

The Back of the Gingerbread House

This recipe will make one medium-sized gingerbread house and 4-8 gingerbread men, depending on their size.

See more Christmas Cookie Recipes Here. Browse Holiday Baking Ideas Here.  View all Cookie Recipes Here. 

 

Recipe for Gingerbread House with Royal Icing

Gingerbread House with Royal Icing

I love making homemade gingerbread. It smells so wonderful with all it’s spices, sugars, and molasses. And of course, children love to help put them together and decorate them with all the colorful candies. This Gingerbread House with Royal Icing goes together easily and will make enough for the house as well as a handful of Gingerbread Men.
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Rate
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Cooking with Kids, Gingerbread, Holiday Baking, Molasses
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Decorating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 49 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

Rolling Pin
Gingerbread House Frame
Offset Spatula
Hot Glue Gun

Ingredients

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup water

Royal Icing

  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Candies for Decorating

  • M&M’s, Skittles, gumdrops, holiday marshmallow shapes, cinnamon candies, chocolate kisses, candy canes, peppermints, holiday sprinkles, licorice, Necco wafers, Sixlets, etc.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the Gingerbread Dough

  • In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Mix to combine.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegetable shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses to combine.
  • Gradually add in the dry ingredients, alternately mixing with the water.
    The dough may become stiff. If necessary, continue kneading by hand until the dough is smooth.
  • Using parchment paper or a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough between 1/8 – 1/4″ thickness.
  • I like to use parchment paper, which can easily be transferred to a baking sheet. Parchment paper or a baking mat will prevent the need for adding more flour, which will produce a more tender dough. If you need to add flour, do so sparingly.
  • Cut out shapes for the walls, sides, roof, chimney, and any other add-ons, including gingerbread men. Remove excess dough and carefully transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet.
    If you aren’t using parchment paper, you can use an off-set spatula to transfer pieces to a baking sheet, but do so carefully, so as not to alter the pattern pieces.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until edges just start to brown. Allow to cool on the pan before removing. Repeat until all the pieces have been baked.

Prepare the Royal Icing

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cream of tartar, egg whites, and lemon juice. Beat on low to medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the icing is glossy and smooth.
  • Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 more minutes.
  • Once icing is made, spoon it into a container or plastic pastry bag to prevent it from hardening. If it does begin to harden, you may add drops of water, as needed.

Assemble the Gingerbread House

  • To assemble the house, begin with one side wall and the front of the house. If you want to do this the traditional way, stick it together with strips of Royal Icing. Or use a hot glue gun, which makes building a house very easy!
  • Next, add the other side wall to the front, followed by the back. Add the roof top, attaching along the top of the side walls, front, and back. If desired, you may glue the center of the roof together.
  • If you’ve opted to include a chimney or other attachments, do this last.

Decorate the House

  • If you’ve used a glue gun, it’s time to decorate. But if you are using the Royal Icing to build the house, you’ll need to give the house time to dry and set up before decorating.
    FYI, houses can be made 2-4 weeks in advance before decorating.
  • As you use the Royal Icing, be sure to keep the end of the decorating bag closed, to keep the icing as fresh as possible, without it hardening.
  • Place the house on a heavy piece of cardboard or even a baking sheet, which will be temporarily turned into a gingerbread courtyard.
  • I like to begin decorating the house with the roof, using candies as desired.
  • It helps to divide the candies in little bowls so you know how much candy is available to decorate the parts of the house.
  • Use the Royal Icing to decorate the roof, doors, windows, and lots of “snow.” Our daughters always liked to add a courtyard for the house, with sidewalks, bushes, trees, or even a mailbox.
    Use your imagination. It might also help your inspiration by browsing the Internet to see how other people have decorated houses.
  • Don’t forget to decorate your gingerbread men, so you can enjoy munching on him while you decorate!
  • This recipe will make one medium-sized gingerbread house and 4-8 gingerbread men, depending on their size.

Nutrition

Calories: 1029kcal | Carbohydrates: 188g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 3g | Sodium: 614mg | Potassium: 853mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 114g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 7mg
Like This Recipe?Share on Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram - Please mention @countryatheartrecipes or tag #countryatheartrecipes

Share this Recipe!



6 thoughts on “Gingerbread House with Royal Icing”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating