How to make a gingerbread house

How to Make a Gingerbread House

Whisk off to a snow-covered chalet this holiday season with a homemade gingerbread house fresh from your oven. Carve some time out of your busy holiday season, gather your family members, and create this one-of-a-kind Christmas table decoration that’s too pretty to eat—well, maybe. Download my gingerbread house patterns and step-by-step instructions, my favorite gingerbread recipe and Royal Icing now…and get ready to bake up some Christmas cheer! Whether you make a single chalet or an entire Christmas village, it’s sure to be a holiday activity the whole family will love. Happy baking!

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  • Roll out the gingerbread dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Place the templates on the dough, and cut out the panels with a pastry cutter, pizza cutter or sharp knife. Baking tip: Use cookie cutters to make cookies from the leftover dough for the kids to decorate. Frosted cookies make great embellishments.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: roll out the dough
  • Transfer the parchment paper to the baking sheets. Place small pieces of leftover dough on the corners of the parchment paper to keep it from curling up during baking (optional). Bake dough and let cool.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: prepare for baking
  • Pipe a thick line of royal icing along the bottom and side of the front panel and along the bottom edge of one side panel.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: add icing to front and side panels
  • Press the front and side panels together down on the base. Hold in place for a few minutes until the icing is partially set.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: press panels together
  • Repeat with the other side panel and back piece. If you need an extra set of hands, grab some cans from your pantry to help hold the gingerbread panels in place.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: add remaining panels
  • For the roof, pipe icing all along the top edges of front, back and two sides.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: pipe icing for roof
  • Place both roof panels on the structure at the same time, making sure the top edges of the roof panels are touching. Hold in place a few minutes to set. Let structure sit for 1 hour before adding candy decorations.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: place roof panels
  • Here are some candy ideas for decorating your Christmas gingerbread house: foil-wrapped chocolates, gumdrops, peppermints, mini candy canes, jelly beans, Necco Wafers, chocolate-covered red and green candies, and gumballs.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: candy decoration ideas
  • Begin with the front of the house by adding the front door and shutters. Decorate the fronts of the door and shutters with icing and let set. Carefully add a line of icing to the edge of the door “hinge” and add it to the house, slightly open.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: add candy decorations
  • Add icing to the back of the shutters and attach the shutters to the front of the house on either side of the window.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: add shutters
  • Add candies to the front of the house, using the icing as your glue, working carefully around the shutters and door.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: decorate the front
  • Add more candies to the sides and back of the house.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: decorate sides and back
  • Make a path to your front door with a layer of icing. Then, add some small jelly beans for the paving.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: make a path
  • The roof is easy: Just add large spoonfuls of icing and spread with a spatula to create mounded heaps of “snow.”
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: top roof with icing
  • Add candy canes and peppermints while icing is setting for additional decoration.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: decorate roof with candies
  • Top the house with a row of colorful gumballs along the roof seam.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: top with gumdrops
  • Make cookies from any leftover dough in Christmas shapes, such as Christmas trees and gingerbread men. Add your frosted cookies around the house for a festive touch.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: add cookie decorations
  • Surround your house with icing snow, gumdrops and larger candies.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: add final touches
  • Now let your creativity snowball! From simple and sweet to winter wonderland, which Christmas chalet will you make?
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: 3 decorating ideas
  • Easy: We outlined the steps for this candy-covered (and kid-friendly) chalet in the gingerbread house patterns and instructions pdf (click on the link above to download).
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: easy version
  • Intermediate: Just a few additions, such as a piped frosting roof with a star tip 17 and some tall frosted trees, give this gingerbread house a fancier look without a whole lot of extra work.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: intermediate version
  • Advanced: Necco Wafers, mint malted milk balls, candy-covered almonds, piped greenery and tall frosted trees adorn this winter wonderland. See the next few slides for making the trees.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: advanced version
  • When you’re all done with your house, create some pretty Christmas trees with your leftover dough. Roll out your remaining dough and cut out a free-form tree shape with a sharp knife. (Asymmetrical is okay—that’s how everyone will know it’s homemade!)
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: make Christmas trees with leftover dough
  • Bake the trees as you did the gingerbread house panels, but bake them an additional 5–10 minutes to make them “extra firm” for standing. Let them completely cool before decorating. Once each decorated tree is dry to the touch, add a generous amount of icing to its base and attach the tree to the base and side of the house.
    How to make a homemade gingerbread house: make Christmas tree cookies with leftover dough

By day Bernard helps to run Hallmark's Photo, Video, and Sound studios - by night (and many weekends) he is a passionate hobby baker. He creates cookies inspired by his favorite greeting cards on the Hallmark & Community series "Cookies & Cards."