How to Build a Great Gingerbread House
We would love for you to be a part of the Gingerbread House Extravaganza! With YouTube instructional videos and detailed builder information sites at your fingertips, it’s never been easier to discover the secret to building an awesome gingerbread house. First, we’ve got a few time-tested tips we want to share with you:
- Fill out our Gingerbread “Builder’s Permit.” You can complete this online now, or download the 2016 Gingerbread “Builders Permit” and submit it later.
- Download our time-tested Gingerbread Long-Lasting House Recipe and Icing (pdf format).
- Start our with a firm plan for what you want to build, but be open to where your imagination takes you!
Once you’re ready to start constructing your house, we have the following suggestions:
First, begin with a good foundation. We recommend a piece of plywood covered with aluminum foil. A foundation like this will allow you to move your house without risking it falling apart.
After preparing the dough, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or until it is no longer sticky. Then with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to 3/16” or 1/8” thickness. To cut the dough, it is best to use templates made of heavy cardboard and a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Make sure you cut all the details into the pieces of dough now as this will be difficult after baking.
Once the pieces have baked, let them cool completely before assembling your house. Apply a generous amount of glue icing using a pastry bag to one of the edges of the joints and let sit for 30 minutes. After the icing has set, press one of the un‐iced pieces to the iced edge. They will need to be held together until the icing sets completely. A good way to hold them in place is to stack canned goods around the pieces. A good order to work is to first glue your walls to each other and then onto the base, then add the roof after the walls have completely set.
The decoration of your house is limited only by your imagination and how much candy you have. Here are some decorating ideas:
- Shingle roof with cereal wheat squares, wafer cookies, sliced almonds or small pieces of chewing gum.
- Use colored candies to make a cobblestone walkway.
- Make shutters with sections of graham crackers.
- Sprinkle shredded coconut around house to create snow.
- Mirrors and aluminum foil make excellent streams and skating ponds.
- Fashion chocolate licorice into fences.
- Stack large marshmallows to make snowmen.
- Top a candy cane with a gumdrop to make a street lamp.
- Melt crushed candy for windows.
Take a look at our 2015 Extravaganza Winners:
Over 50 builders participated in our 2015 Gingerbread House Extravaganza, and we were thrilled and amazed by the unique creations they produced. Each year, we ask visitors to select their favorite gingerbread creation so that we can present a special People’s Choice winner at the end of the show. You can view the 2015 winners here.
You can view the 2014 winners here.