The ideal gingerbread recipe should be delicious and easy to work with. We've tried MANY and you'd be amazed at
the number and variety of gingerbread house recipes!
Gingerbread can be a cookie, a bread-like product, a simple
gingerbread man, or an entire house! You'll find recipes from simple to more elaborate throughout this website.
Here's our favorite basic gingerbread recipe as well as a few more extravagant recipes that we've found.
Recipes For Gingerbread Houses And Their Parts
There are several key parts to gingerbread houses all of which you need to carefully consider. The gingerbread
recipe itself is a very important ingredient as is the Royal Icing that you use and finally the decorations.
We'll leave those for the next pages and here we'll focus on the overall building of a house using a high quality
If you're not already following along with our Step-by-Step How To instructions for building a gingerbread house,
you can start at the beginning by clicking here.
Basic Gingerbread Recipe: The Dough
- 6 cups of all purpose flour (+ extra for kneading)
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup of dark brown sugar, packed
- 4 teaspoon each of ground ginger and ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 ½ cup of dark unsulfured molasses
- 2 large eggs
Directions - Phase 1 - Making Dough:
- In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder together and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until the mixture is fluffy. Add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt. Beat in molasses and eggs.
- Mix the dry into the wet ingredients just until well-combined.
- Divide the dough into thirds and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least one hour (or overnight works even better!)
Tip:Once you've placed roughly 1/3 of the dough in the center of a large piece of plastic wrap,
wrap tightly and then gently press to form a round, disc-like shape. This disc shape helps immenseley
when you roll out the dough later as it's already in a nice, round, flat shape.
Directions - Phase 2 - Rolling, Cutting, and Baking Dough:
- After at least an hour in the refrigerator, heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out dough on a well-floured surface. You are looking for about ¼ of an inch in thickness.
- NOTE: If your gingerbread is extra sticky, you will likely need to knead in extra flour in small
amounts until the consistency is right (or try refrigerating longer!) That will help with much of the stickiness.
Humidity and room temperature can make a big difference here, so just plan to add flour until it becomes less
sticky. And, of course, flour your hands before kneading or ANY gingerbread will be sticky!
- Use your pattern cut outs to help you to cut out the right sized parts for the gingerbread houses.
- Place gingerbread cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and, ideally, chill for about 15 minutes to firm. (Don't stress if you don't have room in your refrigerator for this step. It just helps the cookies retain their shapes a bit better.)
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F or until slightly firm. Cool completely.
* Tip from reader Sean Ross from Alberta, Canada: If you egg-wash the gingerbread prior to baking, the royal icing will bond stronger. (Thank you Sean!)
These basic gingerbread house recipes are just the start. You can find plenty more if you'd like a different flavor or if you are looking for a more bread-like consistency. Play around with several until you find the one that's right for you.
Next Step... Choose an Icing Recipe
Another Gingerbread House Recipe (using Lemons)
Here's another relatively basic gingerbread recipe for you to build your house with. If you have lemons laying
about the house, this one might be a fun alternative to try. It yields a smaller batch than our #1
gingerbread recipe, so you may need to make it twice (or double it).
- ¾ of a cup of butter, softened
- 7/8 of a cup of packed light brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh is best, but bottle is okay, too!)
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- ½ cup of molasses
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- Make the gingerbread. To start, mix butter and sugar together until they are creamed (will be light,
fluffy and soft to the touch.) Then, add in your lemon juice and zest as well as the molasses. Once combined
add the eggs. Do this all in one large mixing bowl.
- In another mixing bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder and the spices. Sifting lightens the flour
so that it will combine well with the wet ingredients.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Fold it in and don't over stir the mixture. That will
cause it to become hard and completely difficult to work with!
- Chill. Keep the dough refrigerated for at least one hour so that it can firm up. The butter
will gel with the flour enough to create an easy to manage dough.
- From here, you'll be able to roll out the dough on a floured surface without much trouble. You can then use
the cardboard cut outs to help you to roll the dough the right size. A great trick is to use a pizza cutter to
help you to cut out the desired shapes.
Now that you have your house pieces, you need to bake them. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F. Monitor
baking. You want dough to cook through but not to become hardened or too stiff. When the bottom is toasted,
you're done. Place on wire rack for cooling (don't allow the pieces to sit on the trays you backed them on as
they will continue to cook there. Allow at least 6 hours for hardening.
More Great Gingerbread Recipes
Check out our
Gingerbread Cookies Page
for even more gingerbread house recipes. In some ways, the first recipe on that page is even easier. Only 1 bowl
needed (rather than 2) but a few extra ingredients. Remember, gingerbread houses are made up of individual
cookies cut into the shapes of the walls. The same with a gingerbread men recipe. It's just a gingerbread house recipe
cut out in the shape of gingerbread men.
Tell Us Your Favorite Gingerbread Recipe
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