Construction Gingerbread House Recipe

Gingerbread House Village made with Construction Gingerbread.


This year we went all out and made a Gingerbread House village. Below is our recipe that we used. It is a combination of a couple recipes that has worked well to make a Construction Gingerbread House that is strong. It isn't the best for snacking on but it does hold up well and doesn't spread while baking. We baked pieces a month in advance and they were still strong and smelled wonderful. We wrapped the house panels in saran wrap and stored the small pieces in a tin until we were ready to build. We went to the Dollar Tree and bought a wide variety of candies to build with and found some cute sprinkles at Michaels and Walmart.

Construction Gingerbread Recipe

  • 5 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 ginger
  • 1/2 nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 Large Egg

Icing Recipe

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 Box of Confectioner's Sugar (Powdered Sugar)


  • Sift your dry ingredients together, set aside
  • Microwave vegetable shortening (or melt on stovetop in pot)until liquid but not hot
  • Using mixer whisk shortening, sugar and molasses together. Add the egg and mix until combined. Mix on medium/low until a smooth ball starts to form. Do not over mix.
  • Roll out dough onto parchment paper or a baking mat to 1/4" thick. Roll until it is as even as possible.
  • Refrigerate dough for a couple hours of freeze dough for20 minutes.
  • We worked on parchment lightly sprinkled with flour. Sprinkle flour onto your rolling pin as well. We used this paper to bake on if the pieces were cut with a cookie cutter. This will help keep the shapes of your pieces. Transferring to another piece of parchment can change the shape slightly and will especially affect interlocking pieces like the sleigh and reindeer.
  • For the silicone molds we cut the dough using a paper pattern matching the size of the mold. Cut with a butter knife or an adult can cut with a regular knife. Lay the piece of cut gingerbread into the mold and press down firmly to make sure you get the imprints from the mold.
  • For cookie cutters, press the cutter into the dough and peel away the excess, then lift the cutter. Do not move the pieces.
  • Bake in an oven to 300 degrees for 30-45 minutes depending on the thickness of the piece. This may vary with different ovens as well so test a few pieces first. My oven runs on the hot side so we found that baking it at 275 for 45 minutes and then turning off the oven and let it cool in the oven for another 30 minutes worked best for us. Watch closely as gingerbread can burn pretty easily.
  • Cool entirely on baking sheet before moving.

Icing Directions

  • Add the ingredients together and beat until smooth. Sifting the confectioners sugar will make it smoother. We added more sugar until we reached the consistency we desired. We liked it a little thicker so we added about an extra cup. For a house this recipe should be sufficient. We used 3 batches to finish our scene.
  • Fill pastry bags with small tips. We used the round tips and prefer the Wilton brand bag which was a little thicker and easier to manage than another less expensive brand.

Building Your Ginger Bread House

  • Lay out your pieces on the surface you want to build on.
  • Fill pastry bags with tips with your icing. To fill fold down the top so the icing fills the bottom of the bag. Unfold after filling and twist so that the icing doesn't come out the top of the pastry bag.
  • Glue the walls of the house first with a thick line of icing. Let the walls "dry" and harden before putting on the roof.
  • Let the house set for a few minutes before decorating.
  • Use candies and sprinkles to decorate. See our list below for more ideas.


  • Make sure that your pieces are baked all the way through or it will soften and break.
  • If you are using silicone molds, do not fill all the way to the top to allow for some expansion.
  • Depending of the thickness of your pieces, you will need to adjust your baking time.
  • When constructing the houses, working in pairs works best.
  • Add more powdered sugar to your icing to make it stiffer.
Gingerbread house decorated with yellow candies and and interlocking gingerbread Christmas tree.
This is the medium sized house using one of the silicone molds and the tree using the Reindeer Cookie Cutter Kit.
Gingerbread sleigh and reindeers.
The reindeer are decorated with scarves made of airheads and the sleigh with roses also made from air head candies.
Using wooden molds to make gingerbread decorations for houses.
We used wood molds to create this decorate piece. We pressed dough into the mold, pulled the dough out gently and baked on parchment paper.
The Dollar Tree, Walmart and Michaels have a great selection of candies and small decor.
The Dollar Tree, Walmart and Michaels have a great selection of candies and small decor.

Silicone Molds to Make Gingerbread Houses

gingerbread house from a silicone mold
In our village the large and the medium sized houses are made using silicone molds similar to the ones shown below on Amazon. It seems to be a seasonal item and popular so it is sometimes out of stock. It makes a great Christmas tradition too! We also bought the Sweet Creations Cookie cutter that makes an entire mini house with just one cookie cutter. These can be seen in our village above. This cookie cutter also runs out during the holidays so plan ahead and buy early. We used all three of these molds to get a variety of house sizes. We also tried this reindeer set. For best results you need a stiff dough like our recipe we shared. Some dough recipes we tried spread or puffed up too much and it is difficult to put pieces together without breaking them. The construction dough recipe worked well but you do have to be very careful in making sure you don't move the pieces once cut.
Baking the sides of a Gingerbread House.
This is our first try at using silicone molds. We filled it to the top so the pieces are a little thick. It works better filling about 3/4ths of the mold.
Gluing the sides of a gingerbread house with icing.
For younger children, using a bigger frosting tip helped to make sure they put enough icing to hold the pieces together easier. It still works best if you can work in pairs.

Candies Used to Decorate our Gingerbread Houses and Scene

  • Gun Drops
  • Wrapped Peppermints
  • Small Candy Canes
  • Air Heads
  • Twizzlers, Long and cut pieces
  • White Cotton Candy to make snow
  • Nerds
  • Spree
  • Gummy Tubes, strings
  • Sprinkles

Non Edible Decorations

  • Gold foil stars
  • Mini Ornaments and Mini Bells
  • Candles

Silicone Molds and Cutters

These are molds look identical to the ones we bought but a different brand. We bought ours on Amazon and Ali Express.

Easy Graham Gingerbread House


Gingerbread Houses are an all time favorite holiday activity! Make with your child or tailor the recipe for a group of children. It was an annual school wide activity and with the help of staff, parents and teachers it was a fun filled afternoon. Photo is of a gingerbread house the girls made when they were two years of age at a play date without the milk carton.
Gingerbread House for young children made with graham crackers.
  • 1 Milk Carton (1/2 pint size) Rinsed, dried and stapled shut on top. It is easier for young children to build with the milk carton giving it shape and structure.
  • Sturdy Paper Plate, Meat Tray or Cardboard Piece.

  • Small paper cups/containers for frosting and popsicle sticks, wooden ice scram spoons for younger children. Plastic Knife for older toddlers. Spoon to scoop frosting into cups.

  • Sheet of Wax Paper or parchment paper.

  • 5 Squares of Graham Crackers (Honey Maid Brand)

  • Icing: See Recipe Below

  • Assortment of Decorating Items: Small M and M's, Fruit Loops, Trix, Miniature Marshmallows, Raisins, Dried Cranberries, Pretzels, Small Candies like Gum Drops, Candy Corn and Red Hots. You can also use crushed candy canes and sprinkle.


  • Newspaper, plastic table cloth or shower curtain liner to cover tables
  • Plastic bag with tie to hold completed house
  • Small freezer ziplocks to make icing bags
  • Paper towels or wet wipes for clean up

Icing Recipe

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 Box of Confectioner's Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
  • Beat Egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy.
  • Add sugar and beat 5-7 minutes more (until peak consistency).
  • Store in an air-tight container. Refrigerate if not using right away.


  • Place a dab of frosting under the milk carton and secure to the paper plate, meat tray of cardboard piece.
  • Spread icing on four squares of graham crackers and stick to sides of the milk carton for walls.
  • Break the last graham square in half. Spread on icing on the cracker and put on top of the slopes of the milk carton for the roof.
  • Fill a ziplock bag and snip corner. Squeeze icing out to fill in all spaces where milk carton is visible.

  • Decorate!

  • Use extra crackers or broken pieces for windows, doors, chimney, etc.
  • Put two mini marshmallows together with frosting to make a snowman next to the house.
  • Make a fence around the house by using gumdrops and a pathway to house using M and M's.

Tips and Suggestions

  • Have pictures of gingerbread houses available for children to see.
  • Small Containers to put icing in while decorating. (Take out only small amount at a time because icing will harden.
  • Glue the milk carton to plate ahead of time.
  • This is great activity for a kid play date or Christmas party.