Facebook image for gingerbread houses.

DIY Gingerbread House Recipe

  • Author: Mindee
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Gingerbread Houses 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Looking for a new holiday tradition you’re kids will love? Get your pattern and instructions for how to make kid friendly gingerbread houses here! The sturdy walls and roof pieces make these the perfect gingerbread houses for kids!



  • 1 Cup Shortening (don’t sub butter)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Molasses
  • 2 Tbs. Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 5 Cups Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Warm Water

You will need royal icing for the “glue” to build these houses.  Get my No Fail Royal Icing recipe here!


  1. Create your gingerbread house templates as shown in my post.  I use cardstock paper.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar.  Add the molasses, vinegar and vanilla.
  4. Mix in the baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cloves.
  5. Mix in 3 cups of the flour.  Add the 1/3 cup of warm water.  Add the remaining two cups of flour and mix well.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll out to 1/4 thick.  Lay the templates on the dough and use a sharp knife to cut around them. You will need to two of each for each house. One batch of dough will make 2 houses.
  7. If you want a door, cut one out of one of front or back pieces.
  8. Lift each cut out onto a prepared baking sheet with a large spatula.  Leave an inch space between pieces.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.  Yes the edges will look a little overdone.  That’s the way you want them, hard and sturdy.  Cool completely before constructing.
  10. When you are ready to build your houses prepare my No Fail Royal Icing.  Don’t be shy about royal icing.  It is easy to make and is necessary to keep your house together.  Also, I build mine on cake boards or cardboard covered with tin foil.
  11. Start by making a line of icing for the back of the house and then one for a side. Place the pieces in the appropriate spots and add icing to the corners.  I do that on the inside and outside of the corners.  Add the other side and then the front piece.  Let stand 3-5 minutes  before adding the roof pieces.
  12. Put icing along the edges the roof pieces will sit on.  Place the pieces and hold them in place a few seconds.  Add icing to any areas that have gaps.  Add the final roof piece and the door.  Let the house stand for at least 5 minutes.  Decorate as desired with whatever you can think of!


For visual instructions on how to assemble your house please refer to the post above.

Keywords: gingerbread house, for kids, diy