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Tips on building a gingerbread house

These helpful gingerbread house tips will lead any home baker to create nothing short of a masterpiece.


No matter your skill level when it comes to Christmas desserts, these helpful gingerbread house tips will lead any home baker to creating nothing short of a masterpiece.

What dough do I use for a gingerbread house?

When looking for a dough recipe, make sure it isn't for soft, chewy gingerbread cookies! Food blogs like Sally's Baking Addiction and Sugar & Charm both have great recipes for making dough that's great to build with. Don't be afraid when it comes out of the oven soft—just give it some time to harden up.

How do you keep a gingerbread house from falling apart?

Your handy dandy tool for cementing your walls and roof together is royal icing—and lots of it. Make extra so you can really lay it on thick. One other trick to keeping your house from crumbling is to make sure that the gingerbread cookies have cooled and hardened before you start building. And once you've assembled the house, wait for the icing to completely dry before you build.

How do you cut out gingerbread house pieces?

You'll want to find a gingerbread house template to make sure your walls and roof are perfectly even. Once you've found one you like, simply print it out, cut out the pieces, and measure them along your dough.

Use a paring knife or X-ACTO blade to (carefully!) cut clean lines. Once they've baked, re-cut the shapes so that the sides are nice and sharp.

How long does it take a gingerbread house to dry?

Wilton suggests letting your gingerbread house dry for an hour in between putting up the walls and roof, and another 2-3 hours before decorating. All that patience will pay off once you have the sturdiest house ever!

What's the best way to glue a gingerbread house together?

The classic method of sticking a gingerbread house together is by using tons of royal icing (pro tip: beat the egg whites until they're super stiff!). You can always buy a big tub of it if you'd rather avoid making it yourself.

Another way of getting the walls and roof nice and sturdy is to make "sugar glue," just like the blog Houseful of Handmade recommends. You can stick the house right onto a tin foil-covered board with it and then glue the roof on.

How do you decorate a gingerbread house?

While you're probably familiar with sticking on red and green M&Ms and gumdrops to your cookie house, you should also think beyond candy. Try shingling the roof with cereal squares or use pretzel sticks to make a thatched roof. Sticks of gum can look just like siding, and rectangular cookies make great doors. Use shredded coconut to create a snowy scene and maybe add a sugar cube igloo or a marshmallow snowman. Or, create a gingerbread beach house and use finely crushed graham crackers to look like sand. Don't be afraid to raid your pantry for ideas!

Are gingerbread houses edible?

Gingerbread houses may look tasty, but they’re really not meant to be eaten (even if everything you used is edible!). Keep your house for decoration and then bake some gingerbread cookies separately for eating.

How long does a gingerbread house last?

Your gingerbread house can last several weeks if stored properly. At night, cover it with plastic wrap to prevent any moisture or bugs getting to it. During the day, keep it in a cool, dry place.

How do I make a gingerbread house with graham crackers?

Creating little graham cracker gingerbread houses is a great option for a quick, easy afternoon activity with your kids. You pretty much follow the same steps as a normal gingerbread house—minus the baking!

Happiness Is Homemade has a great tutorial, including tips on how to cut graham cracker pieces.

How do I make a gingerbread house from a kit?

Step 1: Get organized.

Check out what comes with your kit. You should have panels for the house and icing or icing mix, plus most kits include candies for decorating. Grab a rimmed baking sheet to contain everything, then put your candies in little bowls.

Step 2: Assemble the house.

Follow the directions on the package for building the house. You can construct it on the baking sheet, but you may want to use a piece of cardboard as the base so you can move your house once it's complete. Don't skimp on the icing—the packaged stuff is like cement and it will really hold your house together!

Step 3: Let the icing dry.

Don’t start decorating right away—your house needs time to dry. Follow the directions on the package, but chances are you'll need at least 30 minutes drying time if you want your house to stay standing.

Step 4: Decorate!

In addition to the candies the kit provides, check out your own pantry supply and see what you can use!

In good health,

Your friends at 360 Insurance Company

Source: Tips on building a gingerbread house

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