Gingerbread houses are a classic holiday tradition. Many families purchase kits from big-box stores, but did you know they’re just as easy to make by hand? We created a structurally sound dough, a sugar “hot glue” to secure baked pieces and a crusting buttercream that will hold its shape all season long. Not to mention, we’ve designed a cute cottage template you can print.
Gingerbread House Dough
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned + leveled
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup Grandma’s Original molasses
1 tablespoon water
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, molasses and water on high speed until combined.
- On the lowest speed, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined.
- Divide cookie dough in half and flatten into discs. Wrap separately in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours.
Sugar “Hot Glue”
½ cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Shredded coconut flakes
Miniature trees, ornaments, etc.
Gingerbread House Directions
- Prepare dough as directed.
- While the dough chills, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Print gingerbread house template and cut out shapes. Set aside.
- Remove dough from the fridge and place onto a well-floured surface. With a floured rolling pin, flatten each disk until it is ¼-inch thick.
- Place each shape on top of the dough, using a pizza cut or sharp knife to cut around the edges. If dough becomes too soft to handle, simply place in the fridge for 20 minutes before trying again.
- Gently remove shapes from the floured surface and place onto cookie sheets. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
- Once the cookies are completely cool, prepare your sugar “hot glue.” Melt white sugar on the stovetop over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until sugar liquefies completely. Leave on low heat, stirring occasionally, as you construct your gingerbread house.
- Start by laying flat the back of your gingerbread house. Dip the shortest edge of one wall into the sugar hot glue, and press onto the back of the house until the glue hardens. Repeat with the remaining wall.
- Using a spoon, drizzle hot glue onto the short, exposed edges of the wall. Press the front of the gingerbread house on top until the glue hardens. Then, gently turn the house right-side up.
- Next, glue the roof: drizzle glue onto the sides and the top edge of the roof, pressing gently against home. Repeat with the second roof piece.
- Using the sugar hot glue, secure the completed house to a base before decorating.
- Next, prepare the crusting buttercream. With a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat shortening and butter until white and fluffy.
- On low speed, add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Optional: transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice.
- To create snow, smooth or pipe buttercream onto the roof of your house, as well as the base. You can also use it to create doors or windows.
- Sprinkle the roof and base with shredded coconut. Use sprinkles or candy to decorate the house to your content. Finish your creation with miniature trees or other decor to make the yard more life-like.