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Simple Gingerbread House

My Simple Gingerbread House is easy to make and super delicious to eat. In this diy gingerbread house tutorial I will show you how to make it from scratch. And to make this Christmas blog post sweeter I teamed up with Amber from SweetAmbs in a 3D Christmas Cookie Collaboration.

Assembled gingerbread house displayed on a black plate.

HOW TO MAKE A SIMPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSE FOR CHRISTMAS

I know making a homemade gingerbread house can seem like an impossible task. Let’s break it up into steps and I promise you’ll have fun building and decorating this tasty gingerbread house.

Back of assembled gingerbread house showing Christmas tree cookie.

EDIBLE GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Step 1 involves making the cookie dough and baking individual cookies and house panels. I covered this step in my Edible Gingerbread House step by step tutorial.

What’s great is that you can bake house panels and built the house ahead of time. So hop over to my detailed step by step tutorial on how to make super tasty Honey Gingerbread Cookie Dough. Learn how to cut out and bake house panels and how to glue it all together into a 3D Gingerbread House. (video included)

Gingerbread house cookie panels on a cooling rack.

If you plan on building a house with a chimney then I recommend to glue the chimney panels first. Let it dry and then glue the chimney onto the roof once the house is build. Depending on the design you can glue it on before you decorate the roof, after or mid process.

Gluing chimney cookies with royal icing.

HOW TO DECORATE SIMPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSE FOR CHRISTMAS

Step 2 is when you take out the candy, cookies and sprinkles and decorate the house.

ROYAL ICING, CONSISTENCY AND EDIBLE DECORATIONS :

  • Royal Icing – use thick white royal icing to glue decorations onto the house. And also, use it to frost the house roof. Here is my recipe for Fresh Lemon Royal Icing. Be sure to use thick consistency icing not flood consistency. You can learn more about Royal Icing Consistency.
  • Candy Decorations – small Nonpareils Chocolates, M&M’s Candies, Sprinkles (Yellow Stars, Snowflakes and Hearts), White Sanding Sugar.

DECORATING STEPS :

Fill the piping bag with thick royal icing. Cut the tip of the piping bag with scissors. 

You can decorate already built house standing up or turn on the side like I did. Start by making the door using small chocolate nonpareils. Use thick royal icing for the glue.

Then make candy wreath. Pipe a circle with white royal icing and attach regular green and red mini M&M’s candies. Finish wreath design by adding white snowflake sprinkles and a yellow star.

Decorating front door with chocolate nonpareils and making a candy wreath with red and green chocolate candies.

Continue decorating sides of the house. Make the windows with chocolate nonpareils. And decorate top with a pretty border alternating green M&M’s candies and red heart sprinkles. Repeat on the other side.

Decorating side of the house with candies.

To decorate the back panel. I piped simple white stars all over. Immediately dust icing with white sanding sugar. Then add white snowflakes and gray/silver pearls.

Piping star onto a back house panel and dusting them with sanding sugar.

DECORATE SMALL COOKIES

Decorate 2 small hearts cookies. Pipe white outline on each heart and then dip it into white sanding sugar.

Piping white outline on a heart cookie and dipping it in white sanding sugar.

To decorate the tree make a pretty garland using mini red M&M’s and small chocolate nonpareils.

Decorating Christmas tree cookie with chocolate nonpareils and red candies.

Decorate small gingerbread cookies (2.5inch) with white thick royal icing.

Decorating gingerbread man cookie with white icing.

Pipe white royal icing on the chimney and then dip it into the white sanding sugar.

Decorating chimney cookie with white icing and sanding sugar.

ICING THE ROOF

Spread a thick royal icing on each roof panel, working with one panel at a time. Use back of the spoon and circular motion to create texture. Immediately attach heart cookie. Then dust icing with white sanding sugar and decorate with some white snowflakes. Repeat on the other side.

Spreading icing onto the roof, attaching a heart cookie into the iced roof.

Now you can glue the chimney onto the roof. Pipe icing on the bottom edges and attach chimney onto a freshly iced roof. Then decorated top of the roof with chocolate nonpareils and red mini M&M”s candies.

Attaching chimney onto a gingerbread house.

Attach Christmas tree cookie onto the back wall. And decorate front and back roof edge with chocolate nonpareils and red mini M&M”s candies.

Gluing tree cookie on a back panel with royal icing.
Candy decorated gingerbread house on a black plate.

CAN I EAT MY GINGERBREAD HOUSE ?

Yes, you can eat this gingerbread house. Unless of course you decorate it with items that are not meant for eating. If so remove inedible decorations before you consume cookies.

HOW LONG DOES THIS EDIBLE GINGERBREAD HOUSE LAST?

I’d recommend that it eaten within 3-4 weeks max.

COLLABORATION WITH SWEETAMBS

I love keeping up with traditions and Christmas Collaborations with Amber of Sweet Ambs are slowly becoming a tradition, too. Last year we teamed for a Christmas in Wonderland Themed Collaboration. I made a pretty Snowflake Cookie Wreath and Amber whipped up dreamy Winter Wonderland Cookie Scene.

This year we decided to create 3D Christmas Cookies. I’ve been meaning to make a tutorial on diy easy gingerbread house for ages. This collaboration was a perfect excuse to have a go at Simple Gingerbread House.

And Amber made gorgeous Christmas Cookie Box decorated with her gorgeous signature style piping. Be sure to visit SweetAmbs blog for a detailed tutorial.

3D Christmas cookie box and gingerbread house displayed on a table.

TO MAKE EDIBLE SIMPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSE YOU NEED

MORE CHRISTMAS TREATS :

Honey Cookies
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Chill
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 18 mins
 

Makes about 24 medium size cookies. Popular for holidays and year round. 

Makes 1 large gingerbread house.

This recipe can be also used to make delicious edible gingerbread houses. Check notes.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Slovak
Keyword: edible dough for gingerbread houses, gingerbread, honey cookies, medovnicky
Servings: 12
Hanielas.com: Hani Bacova
Ingredients
  • 70 grams room temperature butter / 5tbsp butter
  • 160 grams powdered sugar / 1 cup and 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 400 grams all purpose flour /2 cups and 3/4 cup to 3 cups
  • 1 tsp baking soda (use only 1/8 to 1/4tsp when using for gingerbread house)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon Saigon
  • 1/2 tsp ground star anise
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 whole eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (optional, recommended to use for gingerbread houses)
Egg Wash
  • 1 egg (optional)
Instructions
Honey Cookie Dough
  1. In a medium bowl, sift flour (2 cups and 3/4cup to 3 cups), baking soda (1tsp), ground cinnamon (1tsp and 1/2tsp), ground star anise (1/2tsp), ginger (1/4tsp), cloves (1/4tsp), salt (pinch).

    Use 1/8tsp to 1/4tsp baking soda when making an edible gingerbread house.

    TIP : My 1 cup of flour is 140-143grams flour

  2. Cream room temperature butter (5tbsp) and powdered sugar (1cup and 1/2cup). Beat till fluffy. Then beat in eggs (2 whole eggs), one at a time. Scrapping bowl few times. Then gradually pour it honey (3 tbsp), vanilla extract (1tsp) and lemon zest (optional). Scrape the bowl with a spatula and beat for a minute or so.

  3. Then on low speed and gradually add flour sifted with spices and baking soda. Beat till combined. Invert dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute. If dough appears too sticky add little more flour. Wrap in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

  4. Preheat oven to 350F – 360F

  5. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 2/16 (3mm). If needed very lightly flour your bottom parchment paper. Roll the dough into approximately 3-4 mm thick. Cookies puff up in the oven. For even thickness use rolling guides.

  7. Cut out cookies and transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  8. Bake cookies of 6-8 minutes until puffy and golden.

    Larger cookies may take little longer to bake

    Try to bake smaller shapes and larger shapes separately, smaller shapes will be baked before larger ones.
    Remove from the oven, let cool for couple minuter on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack

Egg Wash (optional, use for shiny cookies)
  1. Whisk the the egg well, and then strain the egg wash to remove any egg bits.
Applying Egg Wash
  1. To create shiny finish on cookies, brush the cookie right after you take them of the oven while they are still hot. Be sure not to add too much egg wash as it can drip down the sides and under the cookies.

Gingerbread House
  1. This recipe can be use to make tasty gingerbread houses. When using to make gingerbread house use only 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp baking powder.

Bake Gingerbread House Panels
  1. Roll the cookie dough for gingerbread houses to 1/8 inch (3mm) to 4mm. Bake large gingerbread house panels for 10-14 minutes, or until golden and light brown. Smaller cookies take shorter time to bake. Let panels cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes
DO I HAVE TO USE STAR ANISE, I DON’T HAVE IT?

I love using star anise but if you don’t have it or can’t find it’s okay to skip it. Flavor of finished cookies will be slightly different but still very tasty because of other spices used.

HOW DO YOU GROUND SPICE?

I use a small coffee grinder. Then I sift them thru a fine mesh sieve. 

HOW LONG DO HONEY GINGERBREAD COOKIES LAST?

Stored in an airtight container they last for up to 4 weeks.

HOW WOULD YOU DECORATE THESE WITHOUT ICING?

Decorate cookies before baking with walnuts, pecans, almond or dried fruit. Brush either little bit of egg wash on the cookies before they are baked and then attach nuts or fruit. Or brush cookies with little bit of water instead.

I WANT TO DECORATE THESE COOKIES BUT THEY ARE SLIGHTLY DOMED, WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DECORATE THESE WITH ROYAL ICING?

Yes, cookies bake slightly domed. They are known for its rounded edges. If you plan to decorate these with simple piped designs having the dough still exposed decorate the rounded top. Especially if you brushed it with an egg wash it looks very pretty. However when decorating a whole cookie with icing you have to careful not to add too much icing onto the cookie or it overflow. Best course of action is to decorate the underside as it’s flat. I used this method to make my Easter Gingerbread House. Or use slightly thicker icing to outline and then flood with thinner icing.

WHAT ICING FLAVORS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
Lemon, Vanilla, Almond, Chocolate 
CAN I USE THIS RECIPE TO MAKE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE ?

You you can use this recipe to make a gingerbread house. Use 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp baking soda instead of 1tsp. Here is Step by Step tutorial on how to build a Simple Edible Gingerbread House using this recipe. 

 

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4 Comments

    1. Hi Claudia,
      my bad, recipe card wasn’t loading. I fixed it should be at the bottom of the post. THanks for letting me know.

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