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Christmas Gingerbread House

Total Time

Prep: 2 hours + chilling Bake: 10 min.


1 house and twenty 2-inch people

Making a gingerbread house is a favorite tradition for my family during the holidays. We look forward to it every year. —A. Ruth Witmer, Stevens, Pennsylvania
Christmas Gingerbread House Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ICING:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. In a bowl, cream the shortening and brown sugar. Add eggs, corn syrup, cinnamon and ginger; mix well. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to egg mixture and beat until combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Trace patterns without foldlines onto waxed paper and cut out. Trace patterns with foldlines onto folded waxed paper. Cut out and unfold for complete patterns. Cut out the windows and doors as directed on patterns and discard.
  3. From waxed paper, also cut an 8-1/2 x 6-in. rectangle for the roof, a 1-7/8 x 1-1/4-in. rectangle for doors, a 1-3/8 x 2-3/8-in. rectangle for back of chimney and a 1-3/8- x 7/8-in. rectangle for front of chimney.
  4. Roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Position patterns on dough and cut out as directed. Using a sharp knife, score outlines to mark doors and windows where indicated on patterns, being careful not to cut all the way through dough.
  5. Using remaining waxed paper patterns, cut out two 8-1/2- x 6-in. rectangles for the roof, two 1-7/8- x 1-1/4-in. rectangles for doors, one 1-3/8-x 2-3/8-in. rectangle for back of chimney and one 1-3/8- x 7/8-in. rectangle for front of chimney.
  6. If desired, also cut out 20 gingerbread people with cookie cutter. Remove dough scraps. Transfer all cutouts to greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-13 minutes or until browned. Immediately replace patterns on cutouts and cut around edges to trim excess. Cool for 2 minutes before carefully removing cutouts to wire racks to cool completely.
  7. Making icing: Place egg whites in a bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  8. Add confectioners' sugar and cream of tartar; beat on low speed for 1 minute. Beat on high for 8-10 minutes or until a knife cut through icing leaves a line.
  9. Cover icing when not being used.
Editor’s Note: This icing is for decorative purposes only. If the gingerbread house will be eaten, substitute a royal icing recipe using meringue powder.
Download Patterns (PDF)>

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