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Steps to Build a Gingerbread House: A Sweet 12-Step Guide

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Below are twelve essential steps to achieve success with your gingerbread house.

1. Obtain a Gingerbread Template

Gingerbread-By-Design provides a variety of gingerbread templates that do not require enlarging - they are ready-to-cut, or create your own well thought-out template. Cut-out all paper template pieces. For large template pieces, as necessary tape any paper template pieces together as directed prior to cutting from gingerbread dough. Review template pieces for cutting/taping lines. If desired, build a mock-up using craft foam-board instead of gingerbread.

2. Choose a sturdy base

Your gingerbread base should be large enough to allow for your gingerbread house and desired landscaping to complete your gingerbread scene. If you plan on moving your gingerbread display upon completion, make sure the base (when lying flat) will fit through all necessary doorways.

  • 1 ½” – 2” Rigid Construction Foam Board (my preference)

  • 5/8” Plywood

  • Craft Foam Board

  • Heavy Cardboard

  • Cardboard Cake Board

  • Mirror

  • Heavy Paper Plate

  • Serving Tray

  • Glass Cake Stand

3. Lighting

If desired, choose a lighting source and attach to your gingerbread base as needed. My preference is using a string of mini-Christmas lights that can be taped to my base, allowing for the lights in the middle of the base to light the gingerbread house, and around the perimeter of the base for lit fence posts.

4. Make gingerbread dough

Gingerbread-By-Design recommends using the GBD Construction Gingerbread Dough recipe. Make enough dough as needed for your project. The gingerbread templates offered by Gingerbread-By-Design will indicate the number of batches of dough required to build the specific gingerbread house.

5. Roll-out gingerbread dough

Place a portion of your gingerbread dough onto a Silpat mat, aluminum foil, or parchment paper, roll-out the dough, and cut-out gingerbread pieces as per your template. If desired, cut-out window areas from gingerbread pieces before baking. To help prevent mis-shaped windows, leave the excess dough in place while baking, removing after baking is complete.

6. Bake gingerbread pieces

I prefer to roll-out all gingerbread pieces and then start the baking process. Bake pieces as directed in the template instructions, or in your gingerbread dough recipe; let all pieces cool lying flat.

7. Windows

If desired, after your gingerbread pieces have baked and cooled, fill window areas using the GBD Poured Sugar recipe.

8. Make Frosting Glue

When you are ready to assemble your gingerbread house, make your Royal Icing (Frosting-Glue) using the GBG Royal Icing recipe, or your own Royal Icing recipe. Do not attempt to assemble your house using canned commercial frosting, decorators frosting, or buttercream frosting. Successful gingerbread house assembly requires the use of Royal Icing that dries rock hard.

9. Decorate wall pieces pre-assembly

If desired, prior to constructing your gingerbread house, decorate portions of your gingerbread house while flat on the work surface. Apply frosting to walls, decorate windows, apply foundation decorations, etc. Let dry overnight prior to assembling your gingerbread house.

10. House Assembly

Assemble your gingerbread house as directed in the template instructions. Let dry overnight prior to adding any decorations.

11. Decorate. Decorate, Decorate!

As desired, decorate your gingerbread house and yard, finishing with a dusting of snow (powdered sugar). Consider adding these design elements:

12. Take pictures

Take pictures and share them with the world by uploading your gingerbread pictures to the Gingerbread-By-Design Shared Gallery or to a Gingerbread Photo Album (specific to a Gingerbread-By-Design template design).

Following these twelve steps to build your gingerbread house, and your gingerbread project is bound to be a success! Don't forget - gingerbread is not about perfection; gingerbread is about having fun!


Gingerbread-By-Design provides The Best Gingerbread Templates! View the entire collection here!


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