How to Make a Gingerbread House With Royal Icing

gingerbread house
Leah Maroney
  • 01 of 09

    Gather the Equipment You Will Need to Make a Gingerbread House

    gingerbread house
    Leah Maroney

    Here's what you'll need to make a gingerbread house:

    • A 12- to 14-inch cardboard cake circle or any size cardboard Styrofoam or craft foam to build your house on
    • A #10 plain round pastry tip and a #2 plain round pastry tip, and a 12-inch disposable or reusable pastry bag
    • Prepared royal icing
    • Baked gingerbread house pieces
    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Fill the Pastry Bag to Make the Gingerbread House With Royal Icing

    gingerbread house
    Leah Maroney

    Follow these step-by-step instructions for filling a pastry bag. Keep the pastry bag tip covered with a damp (but not wringing wet) paper towel at all times when not in use, otherwise the icing will harden like cement.

    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    Lay Down an L-Shaped Bead of Royal Icing

    gingerbread house
    Leah Maroney
    • Using the #10 tip on the pastry bag, lay down a thick L-shaped bead of royal icing on the platform you're building on.
    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Put up Two Gingerbread House Walls

    gingerbread house
    Leah Maroney

    *Keep your fingers clean and free of icing at all times otherwise your house will have unsightly smears all over it.*

    *The edges of both sides of the pieces of gingerbread should have a strip of icing.  That way the icing touches the icing instead of the bare gingerbread.  This creates a stronger seal.*

    • Place a strip of icing on the edge of the gable that you will be setting down first.  
    • Set the gingerbread house gable side in the bead of royal icing.
    • Place a long gingerbread house side in the...MORE other bead of royal icing. While holding the pieces with one hand, run a bead of royal icing up the seam, making sure all gaps are covered. Hold for a few seconds and release. If you have trouble with slippage, you can prop the walls up with whatever is handy.
    • If the project you're working on isn't an intricate pattern, dependent on exactly matching pieces, don't worry if there are gaps between pieces. Just fill them with royal icing. The decorations will cover a multitude of sins.

    Wait until these two sides are completely dry before moving onto the next walls!

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Put up the Third and Fourth Gingerbread House Walls

    gingerbread house
    Leah Maroney
    • This time lay down only one bead of royal icing on your building platform opposite the long gingerbread house side. Place the gingerbread house gable side in the royal icing and run a bead of royal icing up this second seam. Hold for a few seconds and release.
    • Repeat with the fourth wall. It will be a tight squeeze running a bead of royal icing up this fourth seam, but you can do it!

    Wait until these two sides are dry before moving onto the roof!

    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Getting Ready to Attach the Roof

    Gingerbread House
    Leah Maroney

    Run a bead of royal icing on all edges the roof will touch.

     

    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    Attach the Roof to the Gingerbread House

    Then, while still holding the first roof side, add the second roof side and hold a few minutes. While still holding both roof sides, run a thick bead of royal icing down the seam where the roofs meet at the top. Hold a few minutes more and release. If your royal icing was made correctly, it should adhere with no problem.
    Leah Maroney

     First, place one roof side on the gingerbread house, making sure it lines up with the gable peak. Hold a few minutes. 

    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Finish the Roof

    gingerbread house
    Leah Maroney

    Then, while still holding the first roof side, add the second roof side and hold a few minutes. 

    While still holding both roof sides, run a thick bead of royal icing down the seam where the roofs meet at the top. Hold a few minutes more and release. If your royal icing was made correctly, it should adhere with no problem.

    It's not a bad idea to let the royal icing "mortar" on the assembled gingerbread houses harden for an hour or so before you begin decorating.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Decorating!

    gingerbread house
    Leah Maroney

    Cover the base of the gingerbread house with the leftover royal icing and then coat with shredded coconut to cover up any of the mess you left on the board.  It also looks like beautiful snow!

    Cover the roof with icing and add decorations. You can also pipe icicles onto the edges of the roof using a piping bag.