Build amazing holiday traditions with your family by assembling and decorating a gingerbread house together! A fun and festive project to do with the kids, building a gingerbread house is a great activity to do on a snowy, cold winter weekend.

A gingerbread house is only as good as the ‘glue’ that holds it together. While there’s no magic icing that will work for every single person in every single circumstance, this altered royal icing recipe gave us the best results – plus, it’s edible! Don’t forget to check out our helpful hints down below for even more tricks to getting your house ready for Christmas in no time!

Gingerbread House Icing Tips & Tricks:

  • When it comes to building gingerbread houses, patience is a virtue! Give your gingerbread house plenty of time to dry after assembly before adding decorations.
  • Temperature can greatly affect the longevity of your gingerbread house. If your kitchen is warm or the temperature is humid, the icing may melt or fall off your gingerbread house.
  • Be careful not to overwhip your icing. Incorporating too much air may make it difficult for the icing to stick to the cookie.
  • Keep any icing covered when not in use to avoid drying.
  • Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
  • Since this icing is made with Meringue Powder and not raw egg whites, it is safe to eat!
  • Store remaining icing in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Before reusing, re-whip using a paddle attachment on low speed until it’s back to the correct consistency.

Gingerbread Hose Decorating Ideas

Looking for some gingerbread house decorating inspiration? Here are a few of our favorite ideas!

1. Gum Drop Gingerbread House

Add a colorful decoration to your holiday table with this Gum Drop Gingerbread House. Topped with rainbow candies and gum drops, this festive gingerbread house is great for the whole family to do together.

2. Sweet and Petite Gingerbread House

Decorated with candies and fondant, this Sweet and Petite Gingerbread House is great for kids. Using simple piping and decorating techniques, this small gingerbread house is perfect for beginners.

3. Sprinkles of Fun Gingerbread House

Sprinkles make everything more fun, including this gingerbread house. Use rainbow nonpareils to cover your house with a colorful design, then add windows, icicles and other details using royal icing.

4. Season’s Greetings Gingerbread Cottage

Make holiday memories together by building and decorating this Season’s Greetings Gingerbread Cottage with the kids. Decorated with colorful candies, this gingerbread house is a sweet addition to any holiday display.

5. Sprinkle Gingerbread House

Sprinkle on the holiday fun with this Sprinkle Gingerbread House. Use sanding sugars and nonpareils to decorate your house, then use royal icing to add fun borders and designs!

6. Gingerbread House Makeover

Tired of the traditional look? Make a vibrant house with this Gingerbread House Makeover idea. Decorated with green, orange, pink, violet, yellow and white Pouch Icing, this gingerbread house is great for kids and beginners alike.


Decorated Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House Icing

This tasty gingerbread house icing is simple to make and great to work with. This gingerbread icing works well as edible “glue” to construct the house, and it also works beautifully for piping snow and icing decorations.
4.28 from 11 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 4 cups


  • Electric Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • Large Bowl
  • Spatula
  • Small spoon


  • 4 cups powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar) (about 1 lb.)
  • 5 tablespoons Warm Water
  • 3 tablespoons Meringue Powder


  • Beat all ingredients together until icing forms peaks. Beat for about 7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer or 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer.
  • At this point, check the consistency of your royal icing. If icing is too stiff, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. If icing is too thin, add powdered sugar, a little at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Let icing sit for 15 minutes to an hour to let air bubbles rise naturally. Alternately, tap the bowl on the table several times to force the air bubbles up. Gently stir the top surface to release the air.



For stiff consistency: Use 1 tablespoon less water. Stiff royal icing is preferred for making 3-D decorations. With stiffer royal icing, opt for larger piping tips to relieve the pressure on the piping bag.
Medium consistency for icing outlining: Add 1/8 teaspoons of water for every cup of stiff icing. Use a flat utensil like a small angled or straight silicone spatula, to mix icing in a figure-8 motion. Avoid beating or mixing vigorously.
Thin consistency for flooding: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use a grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency. Use a flat utensil, like a small angled or straight silicone spatula, to mix in a figure 8-motion. Avoid beating or mixing vigorously.
10-second test: Take some icing on a spatula and drop it back down into the bowl to check for the correct thin consistency for flooding. If it sinks after a full count of 10, then the consistency is thin enough for flooding.
Use grease-free tools: Keep all icing utensils and bowls completely grease-free for proper icing consistency and to ensure the icing properly sets.
Use Meringue Powder: Meringue Powder is a must for this recipe. Do not substitute with raw egg whites (which can be a food safety issue) or dried egg whites; neither will produce the same results as Meringue Powder.
Don't overbeat: Do not overbeat the royal icing base. This will incorporate too much air, which will create bubbles. Vigorous stirring will also create air bubbles.
Cover with a damp towel: Cover the decorating tip with a warm, damp towel to prevent the royal icing from drying when not using.
To speed up the drying process: Royal icing can take up to 2 hours to dry. Place iced treats in front of a fan to speed up the icing's drying process.
Storage: Store royal icing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. Before reusing, re-whip using a paddle attachment on low speed until it's back to the correct consistency.
Never store royal icing decorations in the freezer. Instead keep decorations in an airtight container in a dry, dark place to prevent fading for up to 6 months.
Tried this recipe?Take a picture and tag us @WiltonCakes on Instagram

Looking for a few more fun gingerbread tips and ideas? Explore our guides for building and decorating gingerbread houses, and be sure to check out our favorite gingerbread house decorating ideas!

What helpful gingerbread house tips can you share with us? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share pictures of your gingerbread houses on Instagram and tag us @wiltoncakes.