A surefire way to get into the holiday spirit is to make a gingerbread house! It’s always fun to buy those kits from the store and build and decorate a gingerbread house with your friends or family. However, with those kits, you end up with one giant gingerbread house that is to be shared among a group of people. The other downside is that store-bought gingerbread houses are often dry and fairly tasteless.
Why not change things up this year and make your own gingerbread houses from scratch? Want an even better idea? Follow this guide for how to make mini gingerbread houses. This way you can make and decorate gingerbread houses with your friends, and each have your very own house to personalize. Kids especially love this, because they are able to have a gingerbread house of their own that they can decorate exactly the way they want to.
Mini gingerbread houses are quite simple and fun to make, and they taste delicious too! Although, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to keep your mini gingerbread houses as Christmas decorations and you won’t even bear the thought of taking one bite.
The recipe for the cookie pieces of the mini gingerbread houses is the same as the one used in my Gingerbread Cookies recipe, as well as my Christmas Sandwich Cookie recipe. I like to make a big batch of gingerbread dough, and use some for making gingerbread houses, and some for regular gingerbread cookies and sandwich cookies. It’s like having three recipes in one! Be sure to download a copy of the mini gingerbread house recipe for complete assembly and decoration instructions. You can download and print the recipe by clicking here: Mini Gingerbread House Recipe.
It’s helpful to have a gingerbread house template so that you know exactly what size to make your cookie pieces. I’ve created a downloadable template file that you can print to make your own houses. Instructions are provided on the template, but I like to cut out my template on wax paper so that it’s easier to remove from the cookie dough (just be sure to print it on regular paper first!).
After your cookies are baked, you might end up with some slightly curved edges, like in the picture below. Edges like these will make assembly of your gingerbread houses a little difficult, and they won’t balance properly on your work surface. This problem can easily be fixed, however. Simply use a knife to trim away any curved or crooked edges and make them smooth. Then you can begin your assembly!
Each mini gingerbread house will require 6 cookie pieces, as seen above. You will need 2 each of the pentagons (the front and back of the house), the small rectangles (the sides of the house), and the large rectangles (the roof pieces).
I recommend working with the front (or back) of your gingerbread house and one side piece at a time. Use royal icing along one edge of the side piece and attach it to the front of the house. Once you have two pieces assembled this way, you can attach both of them together to form the entire base of your house. After that you can attach the roof, and once it has dried, you can decorate!
I love getting creative with gingerbread house decoration. This year I used a candy cane for the door, and Smarties for the shingles on the roof. It’s also fun to use royal icing to pipe windows onto the houses, as an alternative to using candy.
I documented the entire baking and decorating process in a YouTube video, which you can watch below. Be sure to check out all the other Christmas videos I have on my channel!
I hope you had a wonderful time making and decorating your own mini gingerbread houses! Send me pictures of your finished gingerbread houses on Twitter (@_shnugglebunny) or Facebook (facebook.com/the.shnugglebunny)
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!