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Ultimate Gingerbread House Recipe: Easy and Sturdy Construction Dough

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

After what feels like a lifetime of looking for the perfect gingerbread house recipe and trying different gingerbread doughs, I think I may have found the perfect gingerbread house recipe.

I rolled and baked two large rectangles and let them sit on my kitchen counter-top in the rainy damp Pacific Northwest... and low and behold... they are still hard as rock!

We have a construction grade gingerbread house recipe winner!

This dough does not require a mixer. It's simple to make with a sauce pan, large mixing bowl, and a little bit of muscle.

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GBD Construction Gingerbread House Dough Recipe

  • 1 cup (328 g) Corn Syrup (light or dark)

  • 3/4 cup (165 g) brown Sugar

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (128 g) Shortening

  • 4 1/2 cups (576 g) All-Purpose flour

  • 2 tsp (4.6 g) ground Cinnamon

  • 2 tsp (3.6 g) ground Ginger

  • 1 tsp (2.1 g) ground Cloves

  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) Salt

Note: This gingerbread house recipe makes enough dough to roll-out approx. 242 square inches @ 1/4” thick

In a medium saucepan, heat corn syrup, brown sugar, and shortening.

Stir mixture over medium heat until shortening is melted.

Continue to cook until full boil. Remove from heat and let sit until cool enough to handle (approx. 15-30 min).

In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

Make a well in the middle of dry ingredients, and add warm wet mixture.

Mix dough with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula.

Continue to mix until well incorporated.

Kneed dough by hand until combined and dough is smooth (about 10 rotations)

Kneed dough until a smooth ball is achieved.

Divide dough in half and flatten, placing each half in a sandwich ziplock bag to keep from drying out.

Repeat recipe until enough batches of dough have been made as per template instructions.

If your dough does not come together, and looks like sand, try warming your dough in the microwave for a few seconds to warm the corn syrup, and then mix with your hands.

Rolling, Cutting, and Baking instructions

Template/Base Preparation

Cut-out all paper template pieces - To create a larger template piece, 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.

Choose a sturdy base for your gingerbread house. The base should be large enough to allow for the gingerbread house and desired landscaping to complete the scene.

If moving the gingerbread display upon completion, make sure the base (lying flat) will fit through all necessary doorways.

Suggested material for a STURDY base

  • 1 ½” – 2” Rigid Construction Foam Board

  • Plywood

  • Heavy Cardboard

  • Cardboard Cake Board

  • Craft Foam Board

Rolling-Cutting-Baking Gingerbread Dough

The appropriate number of batches of dough should now have been made, and the dough is resting in sandwich ziplock bags to prevent from drying out.

Remove dough from one ziplock bag at a time. Heat dough in microwave for approx. 15-30 seconds to soften the dough, which will make rolling easier.

Cut parchment paper or aluminum foil to fit your baking pan. If using Silpat mats, they should lay flat in your baking pan.

With a rolling pin, roll dough onto parchment paper, aluminum foil, or silpat mat.

Use the least amount of flour as possible in order to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.

To obtain a uniform rolling thickness, lay a matching-pair of Pastry Rulers on your work surface with your dough placed between the strips. Using your rolling pin, roll-out the dough until the rolling pin glides across the surface of both strips. The desired thickness has now been achieved. If you cannot locate Pastry Rulers, two narrow slats of wood 1/4” thick can also be utilized. Support pieces should all be rolled to at least 1/4" thick. Non-structural support pieces may be rolled thinner.

Lightly dust rolled dough with flour and place template pieces on the rolled dough. Fit as many pieces as possible without crowding, leaving 1” between pieces.

Use a pizza cutter for easy quick straight cuts; Use a non-serrated knife for smaller cuts.

Cut windows and doors and remove dough as desired.

Remove and reserve excess dough that is between pieces. This scrap dough can be re-rolled as needed for additional pieces. Reheat dough in microwave for approx. 15-30 seconds to soften.

Lift parchment paper, aluminum foil, or silpat mat by the edges and transfer to baking pan, being careful to not to disturb cut pieces.

Bake gingerbread pieces at 350 F (176 C), for 15-30 minutes or until pieces are firm and light brown around the edges.

Watch for bubbles during baking. If possible, poke any bubbles with a toothpick during baking and the bubble will fall. If not possible to poke during baking, poke bubble as soon as removed from oven and then place a heavy baking pan on top of hot piece to help flatten the bubble.

The GBD Construction Gingerbread Dough does not contain any leavening or eggs, therefore there should not be much distortion during baking, but there may still be a little especially on larger prices. While piece is hot, place template pieces on top of baked gingerbread to check for distortion. Carefully trim any pieces as necessary.

Cool on baking pans prior to removing.

Carefully remove each piece from parchment paper, aluminum foil, or Silpat mat.

Optional - Fill window areas using the GBD Poured Sugar recipe or use your preferred method for windows. Place Gingerbread piece on aluminum foil and pour candy into the window area until desired window thickness. Let cool completely, then remove aluminum.

Decorate any wall pieces prior to assembly – while still flat on the work surface. Apply frosting to walls, decorate windows, and apply foundation decorations, etc.

Let dry overnight prior to assembling.

Assemble the gingerbread house as per your templates instructions, or as desired

Download - Gingerbread-By-Design Recipes
Download • 538KB


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


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