The Easiest Gingerbread House
Some of my most cherished memories of the holiday’s growing up are gathering around with my family as we make, bake, and then construct a fresh and delicious gingerbread house with decadent royal icing decorations. I’m so exited to share my favorite recipe with you here, and don’t forget to download my templates for how to make the house at the end of the instructions!
The Easiest Gingerbread House
Not only is this recipe simple and quick to make, the cozy and warm smells of the spices baking in the cookies are guaranteed to put you in the holiday mood. At the bottom of this instructions are downloadable templates for quick and easy constructing!
- 8.5 tbsp (120 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (220 g) brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1/3 cup (120 g) molasses (not black strap)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour (maybe more or less!)
THICK Royal Icing:
- 2 large egg whites (60-65g)
- 3 ½ - 4 cups (420-500 g) powdered sugar
For The Gingerbread Dough:
Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
Beat the butter and brown sugar until soft and smooth using the paddle attachment. Add in the molasses and beat to combine, followed by the eggs, added one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth. Tip in the spices and baking soda and mix them in.
Add the flour slowly, 1 cup at a time, with the mixer on low speed. Watch the texture of the dough. How much flour you need depends on your climate (a dry climate might need less!). Beat in the flour completely after each addition. After 3.5 cups, touch the dough with a clean/dry finger and see how sticky it feels. Keep adding flour until the dough is barely/no longer sticky (about 4 cups in total).
Cut parchment paper to fit your baking sheets or use Slipat baking mats.
Roll out the dough on the parchment, liberally dusted with flour. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour as well so the templates don’t stick. Place the templates on top and cut with a pizza roller or butter knife. Leave about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in between each piece. Remove the access dough and slide the parchment/dough pieces onto the baking sheets.
Bake two sheets at a time for 10-12 minutes until the pieces are puffed, smell good, and the edges are a slightly darker brown than the inside.
Use any access dough to cut out trees, snowman, or circles to make “tiles”. Bake smaller shapes for 8-9 minutes.
Let cool completely.
For The Royal Icing:
** Depending on how you decorate, you might make two batches of this. Start with one for the construction and then make more as needed.
In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites with the powdered sugar, adding it gradually until very thick like toothpaste.
Transfer to a piping bag with a medium nozzle, or simply cut off the end to apply to the gingerbread pieces and construct.
To decorate, if needed add a little water to thin to make icicles, etc. For more delicate work, transfer to a piping bag with a small tip.
**It’s best to make this dough in an electric stand mixer as it is a firm dough! If making with a hand mixer, once it gets too thick to mix, switch to mixing with clean hands or a spoon.
** This recipe makes enough for 2 small gingerbread houses, or one large. You will have some remaining dough for trees, snowman, etc with either choice.