Target had the Ready to Build kits on the end cap.  I picked one up and my conscience screamed, don’t even think about it.  Gingerbread houses have been a holiday tradition since my daughters were little.  Like most families, we built them on milk cartons, using graham crackers, and it was fun to see them progress over the years.

It is quieter during the holidays now, and I have more time so I thought why not try a gingerbread build from scratch.

Dough: I found the recipe through the Spruce and even though I claim it was from scratch, there is a shortcut recipe using a spice cake mix and molasses.  It is easy and the house smelled good when it was cooking, so…do that.

Design:  I drew the pieces I would need for the shapes using card stock  as a template. A few worthy recommendations include: rolling the dough on parchment paper, lightly flouring the dough to prevent sticking templates, and using a pizza cutter to make the shapes. The parchment paper can be placed on a cookie sheet in the oven to prevent tearing.  fullsizeoutput_2a91

Decorating:  This is where inspiration, creativity and mess collide.  Success will depend upon having the right icing to hold everything together.

Icing recipe:  Beat the ingredients until soft peaks form.

  • 6 room temperature egg whites
  • 1 tsp. cr. of tartar
  • 2 boxes of powdered sugar

For ease, decorate each piece/side like a cookie and build the house after.

For my first attempt, I thought it would be helpful to have a design to look at and in theory my masterpiece should look like this.

Getty images

In reality…it was still fun.


Wait until next year.