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Old Fashioned Gingerbread House Recipe and Instructions

Old Fashioned Gingerbread with small girl decorating

A fun DIY activity the whole family can enjoy!

Now that holiday time is upon us, and family and friends are gathering, there's time to spend on fun group projects. Building a traditional gingerbread house is a great way to involve the whole team. The end result is a tasty and decadent mixture of cookies, icing, and all the sweets to be imagined.

We are sharing two family recipes below. One for a DIY gingerbread house and one for the icing that bonds the components and decorates the final project. Use this old fashioned gingerbread recipe for gingerbread houses, gingerbread men, or delicious cookies.

This basic but delicious recipe will not only taste amazing, but fill your home with a warm and wonderful aroma.

The Gingerbread...


  • 1 cup shortening/butter (un-salted)
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dark molasses
  • 1/2 cup eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp powdered ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 6 cups all purpose flour (un-sifted)


  1. Cream the butter, sugar and molasses together.
  2. Add eggs slowly to the mix.
  3. Slowly add the milk. Sift in the remaining dry ingredients. Mix only until dough is formed. Let dough cool before rolling out for houses, gingerbread men, or Christmas cookies.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.

    For Gingerbread Houses:

    When pieces are cold they should be crisp. If pieces bend, they are not baked enough. Simply put them back in the oven and bake them for an additional five to ten minutes.

    For the Icing


    • 3 tbsp meringue powder
    • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • 4 1/2 cups icing sugar
    • 4 tbsp glucose/white corn syrup
    • 3 drops peppermint oil (or substitute lemon extract)
    1. Mix meringue powder, cream of tartar, and warm water until dissolved.
    2. Beat with electric mixer until foamy. Add icing sugar.
    3. Beat at medium speed for five minutes, and then add glucose or corn syrup.
    4. Beat for another three minutes and put in an air-tight container. 
      *Just add a little water to thin icing down.

    If you're having a hard time tracking down any of the ingredients, visit McCall's, a Toronto-based baking supply company.

    For metric and Imperial measures, download the original recipe here.

      Ships for free

      Ships for free

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