Gingerbread houses come in all shapes and sizes, but by adding simple horizontal-striped details, you can make yours into a cozy Canadian cabin.
While this cabin looks impressive, the key to making the cute design is to pipe on the details before assembly. In fact, it’s easier to do the icing details before the cabin comes together, saving you from a wobbly icing job once the cabin is built.
Worried about assembly? No need! This gingerbread dough is easy to work with and delivers strong cookies that keep their shape — no crumbling. The royal icing acts as the “glue” that holds it all together and dries super fast and super strong! Plus, we have tons of tips to ensure your cabin is built to last the holiday season.
Don’t forget to get creative! Pipe on details like windows, whimsical roof tiles, and even icicles. The best part? Adding the candy, of course! Grab an assortment of colourful candies and see where your creativity takes you. Try adding brightly coloured gummies to the roofline, use sprinkles to mimic strung-up twinkly lights, and add a green wreath to finish it off.
Gingerbread Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or lemon juice (optional)
Assorted piping tips
1. Place the molasses, corn syrup, brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture together and heat until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in 1/2 the flour until the mixture becomes thick and difficult to mix by hand.
3. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix in the remaining ingredients on low speed. Continue to mix for a few minutes to let some of the heat escape then transfer the bowl (and its contents) to the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. At this point, the dough should be smooth and pliable.
4. In the meantime, draw and cut out templates for the different sides, shapes, and roof of your design.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
6. Working in 2 to 3 batches, gather the dough into a ball with your hands then pat down into a flat disk.
7. Roll the cookie dough to 1/4-inch thick, directly onto the piece of parchment or silicone baking mat that you will be baking the cookies on.
8. Very lightly dust the surface with a touch of flour and arrange a portion of your templates on top, leaving about 1-inch between template. Using a sharp paring knife, neatly trim the dough around the templates. Remove the templates and peal away any excess dough in between the pieces. Brush off any excess flour. Carefully move the parchment paper (with the cookies) to a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
9. Continue with the rest of the dough until all of the shapes have been baked.
1. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl on an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, begin mixing the egg whites on low speed until they begin to foam. Gradually start adding in the powdered sugar while increasing the mixer to medium-low. Once all of the sugar has been incorporated, turn the mixer to medium-high and mix until the icing is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add in the vanilla or lemon juice, if using, and mix again for another 30 to 60 seconds. Using immediately or cover with plastic wrap.
2. When done, the icing should easily pipe out of a piping bag without too much force, but not be runny.
1. Once the cookies have been baked and cooled, fill a piping bag fitted with a piping tip with royal icing. Decorate the larger designs on the cookies before assembling the house.
2. To create the log cabin effect, simply pipe horizontal lines across all of the sides of the house using a round tip. The lines should be about 1-inch apart. Be sure to match up the lines on each side of the house, so that when the house is assembled, the lines will be continuous. Leave spaces for any planned windows or other details.
3. For the roof design, use a small petal tip to pipe swags that mimic tiles.
4. Use a small round tip to outline any small details like windows or the paneling on a door.
5. Allow all of the piping to completely dry before assembling.
6. To assemble the house, place a large cake board or serving plate on your work surface (a large cutting board would do, as well). Pipe a 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide rope of icing the length of your longest side. Carefully place the bottom of the cookie in the icing and hold until secure. The first piece is the hardest to place, but you may use the support of a drinking glass to keep it upright while the icing dries a bit, 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Continue around the house adding each side, one at a time. Pipe icing up each corner to help seal in any gaps and provide support between the sides. Allow the 4 sides to set up before adding on the roof.
8. Pipe icing on the tops of each base cookie before adding on the roof. Pipe icing across the very top to glue the 2 roof pieces together. Add more icing “glue” as needed between any of the sides and/or roof pieces. Lastly, glue on any additional pieces like a door or window shutters.
9. Once the house is assembled, decorate with candy as desired! Pipe on icicles to the roofline and add snowdrifts as you see fit.
10. To complete the look, spread any leftover icing on the cake board or serving dish. Scatter with shredded coconut and/or add a candy-lined walkway to the door!
Tips for Building a Great Gingerbread House:
– Pipe on all of the details before assembling the house. This way, you can pipe when the sides and roof of the house are flat on your work surface instead piping on the walls while they’re standing.
– Always keep royal icing that’s not being used completely covered. It dries very quickly. Any icing left in the mixing bowl should be covered with plastic wrap pressed directly to the surface of the icing, then covered with a damp cloth or paper towel, but do not let any water touch the icing.
– For better, more precise piping, hover the piping tip slightly above the surface of the cookie. Do not place the tip right on top or there will not be any room for the icing to go.
– For minor fixes, use a clean, damp paintbrush to smooth out or “erase” icing. Use the tip of a toothpick to fix little mistakes, as well.
– If all else fails, add more snow! Hide any piping “mistakes” with some icicles or snow flurries.
– If the cookies puff a bit or edges become uneven during baking, quickly and gently press a ruler or straight edge to flatten out the sides right after the cookies come out of the oven.