Your Guide to The Ultimate Gingerbread House

Nov 28th, 2011

Nothing says the holidays quite like a gingerbread house.  It’s a great activity to do with friends or family, and they’re not as difficult to make as you might think.  Just follow Carla’s construction tips.

Tip 1: The Recipes

A gingerbread house should look and taste good.  Click here to get Cara’s gingerbread and icing recipes.

Tip 2: Use a Template
Because all your pieces need to fit together, it’s best to use a template.  You can get Carla’s go-to templates here:

For PDFs:
Template 1
Template 2

For Images:
Template 1
Template 2

Tip 3: Cutting Out the Pieces
The key pieces are the two sides, the front and back, and the roof.  Press as many template pieces as will fit on the rolled out dough and cut around them with a very sharp knife.  Dust the knife with flour before cutting because it helps to prevent the dough from sticking to it.

The extra pieces are great to have one hand in case a piece breaks or you just need a snack.

Tip 4: Get a Strong Foundation
Use a stiff piece of cardboard to use as a foundation for the house, a pastry bag to pipe the royal icing, and some props to hold the pieces in place while the glue is drying. 

Tip 5: Gluing the House
This icing has a tendency to get hard which is great for holding up your house but annoying to work with at times.  To prevent it from getting too hard keep a damp paper towel around tip of bag.

Similarly, if you make the icing ahead of time and plan to store it overnight, wrap the pastry bag with damp paper towel, seal it in plastic bag and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

Before you get started gluing the house put icing in pastry bag.  Snip less than ¼-inch off tip of bag.  Twist large end of bag and apply gentle pressure to dispense icing in the desired quantity.

Using icing as glue, first stand the 4 walls of the house. Let dry two minutes. 

Tip 6: Get Some Support
Use cans or jars to support walls as the icing dries. Attach 2 roof pieces with icing; let dry.

Tip 7: Make it Pretty

Decorate with icing and candies. 

Also, if you want to do any detailed outlines on the walls, it’s often easier to do so before putting the walls up.