Gingerbread House with Video and Printable

Lebkuchenhaus oder Knusperhaus zu Weihnachten

Guys, it was so, so much fun baking, decorating, assembling, and also filming this gingerbread house (video further down below). You can’t imagine how wonderful this was. Probably because this year is different and so I needed to relax even more than usual. I dare say that I have become a gingerbread expert over the years. You need to know that I always decorate our tree with gingerbread, I also make tiny gingerbread houses you can actually place on your mug every year. I have learned a lot making gingerbread over and over again. And today I am going to share with you how to make this gingerbread house from scratch. You will find a recipe for a sturdy house, lots of helpful hints and tips, a recipe for royal icing and a video showing the entire process. I have traditionally made a gingerbread house for the first of advent for several years. I just love when the entire apartment smells like cinnamon and other spices throughout December. So let’s get started!

Lebkuchenhaus oder Knusperhaus zu Weihnachten

The Gingerbread Dough

  • There are tons of recipes out there. German “Lebkuchen” recipes often use potash (yes, you can find it during the season in common stores), however, I prefer one with regular baking soda. My recipe doesn’t even require eggs, so it is very easy to veganize. Instead of honey, either go with molasses or maple syrup. The recipe yields a very sturdy dough, which is what we need for our gingerbread house.
  • As we are looking for sturdy consistency, go easy on the baking soda. I don’t know why, but when I filmed the recipe, I accidently added way more baking soda than required and the dough started bubbling up (you will see it at some points in the video). But regardless, I decided to upload the video and take pictures of the gingerbread house with too much baking soda to show you that you can still make a beautiful house even if not everything goes according to plan.
  • Chilling the dough is mandatory. Chill for at least an hour or overnight. You do need this resting time for the gluten to develop and for the honey and butter to harden up again. It will be much easier to roll out the dough and the dough is going to be less sticky.
  • Don’t roll out the dough too thin, we don’t want the house crashing down after a few weeks. This actually happened to me some years ago. Gingerbread tends to soften after a while, so keep this in mind. We want nice strong and thick walls.

Baking Tips

  • Please find a printable version of a gingerbread house here.
  • Before you bake, straighten all parts, you may wish to cut off overhang. Also check that the same parts have the same size.
  • Bake your dough one minuter longer than normal. Go for a rather crunchy texture. Otherwise your dough may soften too quickly.
  • Once you take out the dough out of the oven, check immediately if you need to cut off anything. Do it while the dough is still warm as it is going to be much easier. But even if you only notice after the dough has cooled,
  • You can still straigthen crooked walls. I recommend cutting from the top with a sharp movement in order to get a clean cut.
Lebkuchenhaus oder Knusperhaus zu Weihnachten

How to Decorate

  • If you want to decorate your house with royal icing like I did, I strongly recommend decorating BEFORE assembling. It simply is much easier to decorate while holding the piping bag vertically down and you will be able to get much prettier results. Believe me, I have tried decorating after assembling and it is harder. Check my video  and the photos for inspiration.
  • Keep in mind that you may wish to leave a margin for the “mortar”, you don’t want the it to cover your decorations.
  • If you are not planning to decorate with royal icing, but instead want to use sweets, nuts, etc., it is better to first assemble the house and decorate afterwards.

How to Assemble

  • I have heard that there are people who assemble the houses with either melted chocolate or caramel. I have tried both and have to say that chocolate takes too long to harden and caramel is too fast for me. I prefer royal icing for assembling as well. Below you will find an easy recipe. It doesn’t take as long to harden and it also glues together the house nicely. On top of being a wonderful glue, it is white, so your gingerbread house will look like it has snow on it, which is a wonderfull side-effect.
  • Don’t worry if your gable does not perfectly match the rooftop, my house had a huge hole, but just cover it up with royal icing and you will not think anything, but a heavy snowfall was reason for this.
  • Be patient when assembling. Every time you glue together two pieces, use e.g. glasses or similar for extra support and wait at least 15 minutes before glueing on another piece. I recommend starting with the front part of the house and glueing one side first. Then the second side, and then the back. Glue on the rooftop last. For this I recommend glueing both parts at the same time.

Final Set-up

  • Once you have assembled the entire house, use additional royal icing to cover up any mistakes or fill up voids.
  • Use anything you want to make it come to life, you may use Lego figures, gummy bears, fir branches, a wooden table, tea candles, etc. for it to look real.
  • As stated before, you don’t need to use royal icing for marking the door, windows, etc. You may wish to use sweets, nuts, or any other ingredient to make this house look interesting.
  • I usually use cotton for the chimney. I believe you can make it even more realistic if you rub a bit of pencil lead in it.

And on top of everything else, have fun, relax and just keep going. I used too much baking soda in the dough, yet I believe my house looks great regardless. Even if you make mistakes, I am sure it will turn out great. If you encounter any problems, please feel free to comment or email me!

Gingerbread House with Royal Icing

Serves: One gingerbread house, 18cm long, 10cm wide and about 20cm high
Prep Time: 3-4hrs Cooking Time: 15min Total Time: 4hrs 15min

You will find lots of tricks and tips, including a video and gingerbread recipe for a perfect gingerbread house with royal icing.


  • Gingerbread Dough
  • 200 grams of honey
  • 50 grams of water
  • 50 grams of brown sugar
  • 30 grams of butter
  • 150 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 150 grams of rye flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

  • Royal Icing
  • 2 egg whites
  • About 400 grams of icing sugar



Print out the shapes, see this one, on paper and cut out.


For the gingerbread dough, bring honey, water and sugar to a boil, add butter and take off heat, stir and let cool.


Add all other ingredients and mix well until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour in the fridge or overnight. The dough will keep in the fridge for about a week. You will notice that the chilled dough will have a darker color, that's normal.


Roll out dough on a generously floured surface, place your printed and cut "cookie cutters" on it and cut out all pieces for the houses with a sharp knife. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pieces on it. Bake for about 15 minutes or until brown. I recommend baking about one minute longer than normal as you want the gingerbread house to be on the hard side. Let cool.


For the royal icing mix the egg whites with about 350 grams of icing sugar with a mixer for about 5 minutes. The consistency should be of a toothpaste. If it is too thick, add a little bit of water, if it is too runny, add a bit icing sugar.


I recommend first decorating all pieces (door, windwos, etc.) before glueing them together if you want to make your decorations with the royal icing itself. If you are planning on using sweets, etc., you should first assemble the house. Check the photos and video for inspiration of how to make the decorations with the royal icing. I simply used a one-time piping bag and cut off a tiny corner to create the fine lines, let dry for at least half an hour or overnight before continuing.


Then glue pieces together, I recommend starting with the front piece and one side. I usually use a straight glass to keep them holding together, see also video. Then add the second side and back. Be sure to wait at least 15-30 minutes before you continue with the rooftop, you need your house base to be glued together properly before adding anything on top. For the roof I recommend glueing both pieces on at the same time, you may wish to make one side slightly narrower as you can then use it as a point to rest the second half on. Don't worry if you may have some holes, you can cover everything with royal icing later on. Let dry again. Assembly the chimney separately and glue on last.


Place on a nice board and use cotton for the roof to simulate smoke. You may wish to use additional trees, etc.

Lebkuchenhaus oder Knusperhaus zu WeihnachtenPS: If you feel a full entire gingerbread house is too much of a project, how about these tiny cute little houses you can even place on your mug. Much easier to assemble and less chances of screwing up 😉

Die allersüßesten Mini-Lebkuchenhäuschen


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  • Reply
    Monday December 7th, 2020 at 11:35 AM

    Hi, Jenny, I was just wondering if the brown sugar here is the German kind–so just unbleached sugar–or the American/British kind that’s moist and dark?

    • Reply
      Monday December 7th, 2020 at 11:37 AM

      Hi Annushka, I have done it successfully with either.

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