The BEST recipe for gingerbread house cookie. My family has been using it for years! Easy to make, comes with Royal Icing Recipe & Template
Building a Classic Gingerbread House is a holiday tradition in our home. I have to admit that I have in the past purchased a store-bought kit due to lack of time. The kit was awful. Sure the kids had fun making their own houses, but in reality, it tasted like cardboard and the icing was incredibly difficult to handle.
Over the years I have acquired many old recipe books from my grandmother. Sometimes those old-time recipes are actually really good. As I was flipping through a cookbook called “Cookies” I stumbled upon the following recipe. There is no way to give full disclosure or link to the original recipe.
Can you believe that? The published date was 1989. YEP!!! So I was 11 years old when this book came out.
Please note: As you scroll through this post you will notice not one, but two recipes. The first is for the gingerbread house cookie and the second is for a classic royal icing.
Gingerbread House Printable Template
I created this FUN template to help you create this exact Classic Gingerbread House. You can Print that template Here!
This Classic Gingerbread House Cookie Mix will make 4 smaller houses with little to none of the dough leftover. Just keep that in mind as you are creating and cutting out your shapes.
Classic Gingerbread House Cookie Mix Recipe
First, in a large bowl, combine together flour, baking soda, and spices. Then in a medium bowl cream butter and sugar together, then add egg, molasses, salt, and orange rind. Mix well.
Then combine both the dry ingredient into the wet ingredient mixture. Adding in one cup of the dry mixture at a time to the wet ingredients.
Next, roll out dough ¼ inch thick on a floured surface.
Once, your dough is rolled out nicely, cut out shapes using a sharp knife, pizza cutter or fondant knife (which is what I used). I then used a fork to lift up the edge before placing the cookies on my ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 8 – 11 minutes at 350 degrees or until edges of Gingerbread House Cookie shapes are browned. At this point, your house should smell just amazing.
As you are baking your cookies you can now start on the next recipe… Royal Icing.
Classic Gingerbread House Cookie Mix Recipe
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp ginger
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp coriander
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup Maple Syrup or Molasses
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp grated orange rind
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a large bowl, combine together flour, baking soda, and spices.
- Then in a medium bowl cream butter and sugar together, then add egg, molasses, salt, and orange rind. Mix well. Stir in dry ingredients.
- Roll out into ¼ inch thick on a floured surface.
- Cut out in desired shapes. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8-11 minutes until lightly brown around edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To begin first using a large bowl with attached mixing stand add confectioners sugar and meringue powder. Mix on low speed until combined. Add water. Just a quick note here; it is very important to make sure that you have no grease on any of your mixing tools or bowls. The residual grease will cause this royal icing not to fluff up.
Place a moist towel over the stand mixer to prevent icing from drying out. Pictured above.
Mix on low speed for 7 – 10 minutes. The icing is finished when icing loses it sheen and is stiff. Use immediately or place in an airtight container for use later. It can be stored for up to two weeks.
How to use Royal Icing
To apply your royal icing “glue” you can simply use a food storage bag, fill with icing and cut the tip off or use a piping bag. For the below Gingerbread house, I used Wilton tip #21 with Wilton piping bag.
The royal icing and gingerbread house parts will need a gentle hand when placing together. Once set, you can move your house around with ease.
Decorating your Gingerbread House
Now is when the creative fun begins. I pulled out my kids leftover Halloween candy, because “HEY” we still have lots of candy. I wrote a great post; Ways to Use Your Leftover Halloween Candy, you may want to check it out.
Don’t you just love the skulls and bones? HA!
Simple Royal Icing for Gingerbread House Cookie Recipe
- 3 tsp Meringue Powder
- 16 oz Confectioners Sugar
- 5 - 6 tsp of Lukewarm Water
- In a large bowl with attached mixing stand add confectioners sugar and meringue powder.
- Mix on low speed until combined.
- Add water. Place a moist towel over stand mixer to prevent icing from drying out.
- Mix on low speed for 7 - 10 minutes.
- The icing is finished when icing loses it sheen and is stiff.
- Use immediately or place in airtight container for use later. Can be stored up to two weeks.