Every holiday season, we look forward to making gingerbread houses and while you can always get gingerbread house kits, it’s so much more fun to make one from scratch. If you’re looking to start a new holiday tradition of making homemade gingerbread houses, follow this step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Prepare the Gingerbread
There are a ton of gingerbread dough recipes out there, but look for one that’s meant for building houses. While you can eat a gingerbread house, sturdiness trumps flavor. After your dough is made, use a rolling pin to roll it out into a thick rectangle and cut out your shapes with a sharp knife before baking. Then, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper before placing it into the oven.
Step 2: Bake
In this case, overbaking isn’t a bad thing. After the gingerbread is baked, let it cool completely at room temperature. You can leave the baking sheet out on the counter for up to two days.
Step 3: Make Your Glue
Most gingerbread house DIYs use royal icing to keep it together. You want your icing to be somewhat sticky and not too thin. You can use melted-sugar caramel instead of royal icing.
Step 4: Assemble the House
Fill the glue of your choice in a piping bag and with a small piping tip and pipe the gingerbread house pieces together at the edges and hold them together gently until the glue dries up. Start with the side walls and let the glue dry before adding on the roof.
Step 5: Decorate
Add the finishing touches like windows, snow, and shingles with icing, nuts, powdered sugar, gumdrops, candy canes, M&Ms, peppermints, sprinkles, pretzels, marshmallows, etc.