Homemade Gingerbread Houses

Yesterday, I made gingerbread houses with my kids. I have bought the store kits so many times. Each time I do, I think that I should have just made it. I finally tried it, and I am never going back to those yucky old store bought ones. We had so much fun making them ourselves. The smell of gingerbread baking is heavenly. It is really quite simple- such a fun holiday tradition! 

I have a template for you to cut your own out to make your own.  To download it, click here.

We invited cousins over to join in on the fun.  We made our own royal icing to glue it all together, too.  The recipe is below as well.  I didn't buy candy, we just used things that we had at home, and they turned out great! We decorated with sprinkles, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips and Hershey Kisses. All without a trip to the store...not bad, eh?

Gingerbread house recipe

2 2/3 c. Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. ginger
2/3 c. Molasses
1/3 c. Packed brown sugar
1 egg
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 c. Oil

Mix all of the ingredients together. Roll out the dough on a greased piece of foil. Place foil onto a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes. You want it to be very firm. I actually baked mine for 35 minutes, with 2 tray in the oven.

Right out of the oven, cut out the shapes. Lay the pattern pieces right on top of the cooked gingerbread.  Cut it before it cools, because it gets hard. If it is still quite soft, return to oven for 5 or 10 more minutes. I put the cut pieces back into the oven for about 10 more minutes. Then once it cooled, it was very crisp. It needs to be very firm to stand up.

Each recipe should make 1-2 houses depending on how thin you roll it. I did a double batch and got 3 houses out of it. I probably could have gotten 4 if I rolled it a little thinner.

Royal icing recipe

3 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 lb powdered sugar

Beat thoroughly with an electric mixer until the icing stands up in peaks. It takes 5 minutes of beating, or so. Use rig away, because it will harden. When not in use, keep it covered with a damp cloth to retain moisture.

To assemble, use 2 side pieces, 2 roof pieces, 1 front and 1 back piece, and 2 chimney pieces. Spread icing on each section that will be attached to another piece. Hold the pieces together for a minute or so until icing sets a little. Spread or pipe icing on where you would like to add decorations.

Look at those happy sugar-filled faces!


Miz Helen said…
Hi Karyn,
Your little ones are just adorable and they look like they are having so much fun! These will be wonderful memories for all of you. Great recipe! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen
Unknown said…
I just used your recipe today to make our very first gingerbread house. And my very first gingerbread house from scratch. Thanks so much for the easy to follow recipe and template. I did however not follow directions for frosting and guess I should have as we ran into problems right away getting our house to stay together. We will have to try yours when we host our gingerbread party in a couple of weeks with our friends. But this was so much fun...