The gingerbread house is an iconic edible decoration. As one of the most popular holiday cookie flavors, gingerbread's rich spices and warmth are a beloved choice for the season. As a holiday display, the gingerbread house is a cornerstone of festive traditions around the world.
This delightful structure made from gingerbread cookie dough and adorned with candies, icing, and other sweets is a treat to the taste buds and presents an opportunity for family bonding. However, it helps to have a gingerbread house template to make things easier. A gingerbread house template will provide the necessary dimensions and shapes to ensure your work comes together perfectly, helping you avoid uneven roofs and wobbly walls.
Keep reading for a step-by-step guide and learn how to build a gingerbread house. We'll cover tips and provide a tried-and-true gingerbread house template to make construction seamless and fun.
- 1. Gather the Necessary Ingredients and Tools
- 2. Print Your Free Gingerbread House Template
- 3. Cut the Gingerbread House Pattern
- 4. Make Your Gingerbread Dough
- 5. Trace the Template on Your Dough
- 6. Bake Your Cookies and Assemble
- Tips for Making a Gingerbread House
- Celebrate the Holidays with Gingerbread Cookies
1. Gather the Necessary Ingredients and Tools
Before you print your gingerbread house template, it's essential to ensure you have all the necessary ingredients and tools ready to go. While the gingerbread cookie is one of the most popular types of cookies during the holiday season, a successful gingerbread house requires skill and the appropriate materials.
Here's a list of everything you need for the dough, decorations, and construction.
- Ground ginger
- Ground cinnamon
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- Brown sugar
- Large egg
- Royal icing
- Candies like gumdrops, peppermints, and chocolate chips
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Rolling pin
- Sharp knife
- Gingerbread house template (printable)
- Mixing bowls
- Butter knife
- Piping bags
- Cooling racks
- Measuring cups and spoons
If you don't have the time to make your own dough, you can purchase gingerbread cookie dough at the grocery store and skip to the next step.
2. Print Your Free Gingerbread House Template
Before making your cookie dough, having a clear vision of your gingerbread house is essential. A gingerbread house template that's printable will act as your guide. Our gingerbread house printable template allows you to print it to size on sturdy paper to make cutting and tracing easier.
Make sure you print the gingerbread house template to scale to ensure the measurements match your intended design.
3. Cut the Gingerbread House Pattern
Cut out each piece of your printed pattern with sharp scissors. This includes the walls, roof panels, doors, windows, and any other elements you'd like to include.
Then, lay out the pieces to provide a clear view of each and help you visualize the assembly process once you've rolled out your dough.
4. Make Your Gingerbread Dough
Before you can do anything else, you must have gingerbread dough. Again, you can purchase your dough at the store or make it from scratch. If you plan to make your own gingerbread cookie dough, you can follow the simple recipe below using these ingredients:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat softened butter until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is creamy and fluffy.
- Add in the molasses and egg to the butter mixture.
- Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. The final dough should be thick and slightly sticky.
- Divide the dough in half and pat each piece into a thick rectangle before wrapping it in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours to make the dough easier to roll and shape.
5. Trace the Template on Your Dough
After your gingerbread dough has chilled and firmed up, you can roll it out and trace the gingerbread house template onto it. But before you do anything, preheat your oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat to prevent sticking.
Once your dough is rolled out to a thickness of about ¼ inch, you can place the template. Lay your cut-out paper pieces on your dough, spacing them to ensure you can cut as many pieces as possible.
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trace around the printed gingerbread house template and cut through the dough. Remove the excess dough around the shapes and set aside.
When your pieces are all cut out, carefully lift them with a spatula and place them onto your prepared baking sheet. Ensure they're spaced at least an inch apart since they'll expand during baking.
6. Bake Your Cookies and Assemble
The dough only needs to bake for about 12-15 minutes. You'll know it's ready when the edges are slightly browned, and the centers are set.
Once baked, remove the gingerbread pieces from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a cooling rack to cool. Your cookies must be thoroughly cooled before you begin assembly.
To assemble your gingerbread house, prepare your royal icing and transfer it to a piping bag or ziplock bag with a small corner snipped off. Like decorating frosted cookies, the royal icing will act as a delicious embellishment and a functional glue for your gingerbread house. You can start by laying down the base of your house on a sturdy board or plate. Then, pipe the royal icing along the bottom edges of the walls and place it on the base.
If your design includes doors, windows, and chimneys, you'll attach these last with royal icing before decorating. When your house structure is secure, you can decorate it with more royal icing, candies, and other adornments.
Tips for Making a Gingerbread House
Creating a gingerbread house allows you to blend creativity and culinary skills. To ensure your gingerbread house-making project is smooth and enjoyable, use these expert tips:
- Be patient: Take your time with each step, especially the cooling process, to ensure your gingerbread house comes together perfectly.
- Let the pieces harden: It can be tempting to build your gingerbread house as quickly as possible. However, the royal icing must harden before adding another wall or piece to ensure stability.
- Use a sharp knife: When cutting your gingerbread pieces from the dough, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to ensure precise cuts and a snug fit for the walls and roof.
- Use thick royal icing: Choose thick royal icing that can act as a strong glue for your gingerbread pieces.
- Store in a cool, dry place: If you're not eating your gingerbread house right away, store it in a cool, dry place to preserve its structure and keep the candy fresh.
Celebrate the Holidays with Gingerbread Cookies
Delightful gingerbread houses blend tradition, creativity, and culinary joy. Our gingerbread house template (find below) simplifies the process and ensures your gingerbread creations are as sturdy as they are delicious. And if you think gingerbread is just for Christmas, think again. With a bit of creativity, you can transform your gingerbread into spooky Halloween cookies, haunted houses, and more.
If you're looking for more flavors to elevate your festivities, browse our holiday offerings. We have delectable holiday cookies and treats to encapsulate the warm, comforting essence of the season. Plus, they're perfect for sharing with loved ones or giving to family and friends. Shop our collection of original cookies today.