Gingerbread is so fun and delicious for the holidays. This gingerbread house recipe is super simple, but it has all the warm feels and flavors you’d expect in this traditional Christmas cookie.
It’s also soft and easy to eat, which is a huge bonus! Most cookies should be soft if you ask me, so most of my recipes are quite soft and delicious!
What’s in Gingerbread Cookies?
Gingerbread cookies consist of butter, shortening (sometimes), brown sugar, eggs, molasses, flour, salt, and a few spices. Of course, each recipe varies. There are some gingerbread cookies with no molasses, some with no eggs, and some that are vegan or gluten free.
But in all honesty, there’s nothing like a classic gingerbread cookie with all of the traditional ingredients.
For this gingerbread house recipe, I wanted to create a gingerbread cookie that could be super soft or slightly crisp, and it’s the perfect recipe.
If you want to build a big gingerbread house that needs extra strong walls, slightly more crisp cookies work best. For most normal sized houses, however, the soft cookies work great. They are sturdy and won’t break easily because of the ingredient structure.
As you’ll notice, I didn’t actually make my gingerbread house recipe into full houses. Instead, I replicated (loosely) a street of Amsterdam. Don’t mind that the canal water isn’t running in front of the street as you would see in Amsterdam…I’ll save that for next year. That seemed a little too ambitious for my first gingerbread street!
3 Reasons This is the Best Gingerbread House Recipe
The most important part of any gingerbread house is the taste! I know some people might disagree, especially if they are just making a gingerbread house for decoration.
However, I don’t believe in going through the effort of making food that tastes bland or boring. If I’m going to give you a recipe, it’s going to taste good.
The flavor of these gingerbread cookies is really nicely balanced. There isn’t an overwhelming flavor of molasses. Instead, it blends nicely with the spices and brown sugar.
The texture of these cookies is wonderful. Not only are they soft, but they have a wonderful texture that is really pleasing eat. You might say there is just the slightest chew, but it’s mostly soft.
Of course, if you want to make this really crisp, it’s possible. You simply need to roll the cookies thinner before baking them. This will ensure that nice crisp snap.
For thick and soft gingerbread, roll them to 1/4 inch thick. For thin cookies, roll them to 1/8 inch thick. When they are thin, they remind me just slightly of these speculoos cookies. Don’t use speculoos for a gingerbread house though because there really is a difference.
Hold Their Shape
Lastly, they hold their shape really well. You might see some slight bowing, but nothing major. Because I still wanted to eat and enjoy these cookies, I didn’t go overboard on the flour. Too much flour would dry them out.
Overall, I found this recipe to be very easy to work with, and the flavor is second to none.
How to Make a Gingerbread House Template
There are a lot of gingerbread house templates available online, but try creating your own so it’s more custom to what you want to make.
To make your own template, you need printer paper or card stock paper, a ruler, and a pencil. The easiest way to get started is by finding a village, house, or scene you want to recreate. You can then decide on the scale. For these gingerbread houses, they range from 3 inches to 8 inches tall.
Of course, you can also just use gingerbread house cookie cutters, but that won’t allow you as much freedom if you want to create more interesting structures and houses.
Ideas for Decorating Gingerbread with Royal Icing
For starters, make sure you are using a great royal icing recipe. Good royal icing not only tastes good, but it acts as the glue if you are making full houses.
For decorating, the consistency should be more like toothpaste. If the royal icing is too thick, it will be difficult to work with and to make pretty designs. Thin it out with water until it looks like Crest toothpaste, and it will work beautifully.
Now for the ideas! Look at gingerbread house clipart online. That’s a great place to start, and you can get a lot of really creative and fun ideas.
Look at other gingerbread houses on Pinterest and Instagram. Or if you are like me, pick your favorite city street or buildings from somewhere you’ve visited.Print
Gingerbread House Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Chill Time: 60 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 20 cookies 1x
- Category: Cookies
- 198 g unsalted butter, soft but cool
- 28 g shortening
- 200 g brown sugar
- 25 g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 yolk
- 60 g Tbs molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 370 g all purpose flour (3 cups + 1 1/2 Tbs)
- 1/2 recipe royal icing (use vanilla flavor only, omit other flavorings)
To Make the Gingerbread Cookies
- Cream butter and shortening until smooth on medium low speed. Add both sugars and mix on medium low until combined.
- Add egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and molasses, and mix.
- Add all dry ingredients and mix until dough comes together. The dough should not be sticky to the touch. If it seems sticky, add 10 grams of flour at a time until it’s not longer sticky.
- Roll dough out between two pieces of wax paper. For gingerbread men, roll to 1/4 inch. For gingerbread houses like the one’s I made, roll between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.
- Refrigerate dough for 1-2 hours,
- Preheat oven to 360 degrees, and then cut out cold gingerbread cookies. Place them on a silpat or perforated air mat for the results. Parchment doesn’t prevent spreading as well as the other two options.
- Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes, or until lightly gold brown around the edges. If you want really crisp cookies, bake for about 14 minutes.
- Let cool, and decorate with royal icing or eat plain. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Cookies can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.