Gingerbread House recipe

A gingerbread house is the perfect activity before Christmas.  For Cindy and Richard from The Kennedy Team at McGrath, a favourite activity in the lead up to Christmas is to make a gingerbread house with their girls Isobel and Sophia.

Richard said, “We absolutely love creating our own little house, it’s so much fun and such a good Christmas activity to do together.” Darling asks, what’s the best part? “The decorating of course!.” They love it so much they wanted to share the recipe with the Darling community.

Don't forget to enter your creation in to the competition to win a Glamping trip to Cockatoo island, for more information and to enter, click here


3 cups all-purpose flour
85g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Royal icing
Assorted lollies (use your imagination!)

Crusting buttercream
1/2 cup shortening or copha, at room temperature – this helps the icing set
115g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Visit and print out the gingerbread house template and cut out the shapes.
  2. To make the cookie dough whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, molasses, and water on high speed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Cookie dough will be very thick.
  4. Divide cookie dough in half, flatten into discs (about 10-12cm diameter), and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  6. Remove each disc from the refrigerator and roll each out in between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll out to about 0.5cm thick. Lightly flour the underside of gingerbread house template shapes. Using a pizza cutter or small knife, carefully cut the dough into the gingerbread house template shapes. You will need two of each shape. Re-roll dough scraps so you have enough dough for the whole house. Use any extra dough to create fun shapes using cookie cutters.
  7. Carefully arrange gingerbread house shapes onto prepared baking sheets, about 6cm apart.
  8. Bake house pieces for about 18-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Bake chimney pieces for about 12-13 minutes.
  9. Select a base for your gingerbread house and build up the walls. Using a squeeze bottle, run a thick line of royal icing on one long edge and one short edge of the side of the house piece. Stick it to your base. Use whatever you have around the house to help it stand up. Repeat with the 2nd side of the house piece and back of the house piece. Allow it to set at room temperature for at least 1 hour before adding the roof pieces.
  10. The roof pieces will be placed on top of the house base. Run a thick line of royal icing on the inside edges of one of the roof pieces and adhere it to the base. Hold in place for a few minutes. Repeat with 2nd roof piece. Run a thick line of royal icing where the two roof pieces meet at the top of the house. Hold in place for a few minutes.
  11. Before decorating make sure the icing on the entire house is set. Allow the entire house to set at room temperature for at least 3 hours or even overnight before decorating. Cover and store leftover royal icing at room temperature or in the refrigerator during this time. It will be the glue for adhering candies to the house.
  12. Using a electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the shortening/copha and butter together on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add icing sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Frosting will be very thick.
  13. Use buttercream, leftover royal icing, and lollies for decorating. Have fun!
    Gingerbread 2
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