Top tips for making a gingerbread house anyone would be envious of!

Check out our top tips to build the best gingerbread house this festive season!

A gingerbread house is not only the stuff of fairy tales, but embodies the magical and delicious essence of Christmas. Making a gingerbread house, however, can prove far more difficult and tricky than even the grimmest of fairy tales.

Panic not, though – we at Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft magazine are here to save the day! These are our top gingerbread house tips to prevent a crumbling mess!


Before you even buy any ingredients or gaze at Pinterest for hours for inspiration, the most important thing you have to consider is to make sure you have time. It may sound rather obvious, but the key thing to consider here is to not rush it, otherwise you’ll become more and more frustrated when your walls won’t stick and you run out of time to decorate. After all, it should be a relaxing Christmas activity! Set aside a weekend and bear in mind that it’s probably best to do it in stages.

Preparing gingerbread

Top gingerbread house tip!
It really helps to bake the gingerbread one night, glue together the next day, and then leave a few hours the next day to decorate. 

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Make sure that you have a foolproof gingerbread recipe that's well suited to making a gingerbread house, rather than one used to make gingerbread biscuits. Make sure you have a 'hard' gingerbread recipe, with more sugar in it than what you would use for making your gingerbread men. You can find the recipe for making gingerbread houses that we used right here!

Gingerbread dough

Have your templates cut out and ready, and if you have time, test out different templates for different house styles. You’d be surprised at how many different ones there are out there! Find gingerbread templates in the December 2017 issue of Cake Decoration and Sugarcraft, available to buy here

Gingerbread house template

You may find that you have some leftover dough after cutting out all your pieces. You can either shape the dough into different shapes and bake alongside your house, or cover in plastic wrap and freeze the dough, and defrost overnight in the fridge for when you'd like to use it.  

Extra gingerbread


To prevent your walls being too big after expanding in the oven, we recommend trimming your pieces back to original template size once they come out. Be careful though, as they will be hot! The gingerbread needs to be properly cooled before you stick it together, and likewise the walls need to be completely stuck and solid before you even think about decorating.

Assembling gingerbread house

Top gingerbread house tip!
For less chance of collapse, glue the roof on the day after you’ve assembled the walls, when your house will be sturdier.


This is where you can get really creative and either recreate wonderful decorations from childhood memories, or try out new ones! A few gingerbread house decorating tips we have include...

Sweet treats

Remember to pipe your decorations onto the pieces (once cooled!) before assembling. To achieve a stained glass window effect on your gingerbread house, crush up a mixture of coloured and clear boiled sweets and fill the window gaps before baking in the oven. When hot, the sweets will melt and spread, forming a beautiful edible and transparent glass window!

Boiled sweets

Theme it up

Making a gingerbread house can often involve creating the same design and decorations year on year. So mix it up a bit and set a fun theme for your house! A certain type of sweet or chocolate, or even a fairytale theme, can make it extra special. Try creating Little Red Riding Hood and wolf characters from gingerbread, or perhaps a Hansel and Gretel theme with a witch or even gingerbread children would also be magical! 

Top gingerbread house tip!
Almond slivers make gorgeous rustic roof tiles. If they're hard to find, chocolate buttons make a good substitute!

Get arty

This design uses a clever combination of rose gold cake lace and grey marbled sugar paste to cover the side of the house to achieve a trendy and stylish effect.

Ice cold

White royal icing is the traditional go-to edible for decorating gingerbread houses. Mixed right, a good thick royal icing mixture creates a stunning snowy and dripping icicle effect. A dusting of icing sugar over the roof of your gingerbread will finish it off nicely.

royal icing decorations

The perfect model

Have you been working on your modelling skills? Now's the time to show them off! They don't have to be too complex decorations, but a a super cute snowman like this is just picture perfect.

Cute snowman cake decoration

A family affair

What's better than making one gingerbread house? TWO gingerbread houses! Get the whole family involved and get making, baking and decorating together. There's nothing like a weekend together in the kitchen to get the festive feelings flowing.

Two boys decorating gingerbread

When it comes to making a gingerbread house and then decorating it, you can be rest assured that we at Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft magazine are on hand to give you the best gingerbread house tips out there!

If you found this useful and you're hungry for more, be sure to check out our ultimate guide on how to decorate a Christmas cake!

Last updated one year ago

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