Gingerbread Houses {Pattern and Recipe}

Are you shocked?!  Here I am--sharing a bonafide tutorial.  Besides my craft room, the garage, and the basement, our house is looking surprisingly "together."  I feel justified in spoiling myself with a little blogging time today.  I have missed it!
One of my favorite holiday traditions is making gingerbread houses.  My Mom and Dad actually started this tradition while they were dating and have carried it on year after year for 32 years!  We save our stale candy all year long so we can bust it out to make gingerbread houses!  We are so anxious to display our houses that we usually make them the day after Thanksgiving so we can show them off as long as possible.
Now I have made gingerbread houses in many, many ways.  But if you want a house that looks better than the $20 gingerbread house kits you can buy, you are going to love this tutorial!  And no, I am not tooting my own horn--this is all my Mom's ingenious idea!  I am going to share her recipe and her pattern today.
Start out by mixing up the gingerbread according to the directions in the recipe.  Cut out according to the pattern, making sure that the edges are straight.  After baking, give these plenty of time to cool off and "glue" the pieces together using burnt sugar.  We hold each piece in place for about 1 minute to secure it and then let the whole house sit for 24 hours.  Trust me when I say--it will be rock solid.  (You can find all of the pattern and recipe downloads at the end of this tutorial.)
Using the frosting recipe provided, we fill up pastry bags and get to work!  We also water down the same frosting and use brushes to glaze our houses for a frosted, snow-covered look.  We lay out bowls of unwrapped candy for easy access.
This year we got together and made four houses.  Yes, that's right--four houses!  Each one of  the kids in my family decorated their own gingerbread house.  We like to joke that we are all perfectionists and we all have minor cases of OCD.  Even though we rushed ourselves to finish in just 1 hour, I think we have lots of beautiful results to show off! Here is some more "eye candy":
I love a good roof!
Yes, we even decorate the back.
This was our family's gingerbread house last year--I think it's my favorite one yet.  We created a chimney (Oreo's), a surrounding fence (stale granola bars), a snowman (marshmallows), and Teddy Gram cars.
The Twix in the back are supposed to be firewood.
We display our houses on a cardboard circle covered in aluminum foil.   You can also put your house on top of a lazy susan so it rotates.
Although every ingredient is edible, we only attempted to eat our gingerbread houses when we were quite young.  They get a bit...tough.  Plus it's too painful to eat such works of art!  Now let me share some more of my Mother's genius with you...
You can download your own gingerbread house pattern here.
You can download the gingerbread, frosting, and burnt sugar recipes and directions here.
Happy gingerbread-house making!
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  1. wow! I have never made a gingerbread house before but it looks kind of fun! although maybe my first attempt would be a bit smaller… but thanks for the inspiration! definitely bookmarking 😉

  2. How cute! I want to make gingerbread making a tradition in our family when we have children! We tried it this year with a six year old friend, and had such a fun time!! Thanks for the patterns and recipes! 🙂

  3. Kelly, Carrie, Kylie and Zachary says

    This is so fun! I am a school teacher and we have a tradition where all of the 3rd graders get together and have a ginger bread house decorating day.

  4. Ooh, my husband and I make a gingerbread house every year around Christmastime and I would LOVE to use fresh gingerbread instead of the flavored cardboard that comes in the kits… Not that we end up eating it, either, but it's still nicer 🙂

  5. I haven't ever made one either – I am certainly going to try it out and make a new tradition with my family 🙂 Thanks so much!!!!!

  6. Great pictures of the houses. They are so fun to make.

  7. So cute! We love doing gingerbread activities at our house.

  8. Beverly @ says

    These are so cute!! I love the little Oreo chimney! 🙂

  9. Elle Belles Bows says

    Absolutely adorable!!! Kerri

  10. Farah Muzaffar says

    I never do this but its adorable and how much effort you put in very nice hmm and yummmyyyyyy
    Can you please spare a little bit of your time for my new post, its something different I hope you enjoyed

  11. POOTLE FLUMP says

    That looks brilliant!! x

  12. I just want to say thank you for sharing all of your fun ideas. I just finished putting together your ABC Sunday Book for my 10 month old as a Christmas gift… and it is beautiful! I have always wanted something like that – but lacked the skills necessary. So thank you, sincerely, for sharing. You inspire me as a mother to reach a little higher, with a little more creativity, and create a better learning environment for my 2 small kids. Thanks…. and keep blogging. 🙂

  13. We have the tradition to make gingerbread houses every year too…but I always do graham cracker…maybe this year I will get brave…and maybe NOT! =)
    It looks awesome!

  14. mylittlegems says

    way too cute! Thanks for all your nice comments- you are the sweetest! Hope the new house is fun 🙂

  15. super cute idea…thanks so much for sharing…just a thought…for the firewood you could use Pirouette® cookies, but then again Twix are just as tasty

  16. Elizabeth @ Ucreate with Kids says

    Amazing! We've always used little milk containers as the base and then added graham crackers and frosting to it, but we'll have to try your recipe this year! Just featured this as well!

  17. MaryBerry Boutique says

    SO cute and fun! my family does the same thing every year. I always look forward to it:)

  18. Deb Chitwood says

    My now-grown daughter loved getting together with friends to make gingerbread houses when she was younger! Thanks for sharing your helpful pattern and recipe! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at

  19. How fun! I’m definitely doing this! I just have one question… does the Royal Icing recipe work good enough to hold the house together? Or do you always do that burnt sugar thing? (that part seems VERY intmidating! 🙂

  20. Hi, I have a question. How many houses does one recipe of dough make?



  21. Wow – love your gingerbread house! I linked to it on my blog:

  22. thats cool,
    good job

  23. Good morning, Alison! I’m stopping by to let you know that I featured your Gingerbread Houses post on my blog today:
    Thanks so much for sharing! I hope all is well with you and your beautiful family. I sure do miss your posts!
    Have a lovely start to November! 🙂
    Brenda @ Chatting Over Chocolate recently posted..Making the Season Bright with Leftover Candy from Halloween Night!My Profile


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