We're Making Our Gingerbread House Flat This Year — Here's Why You Should Too

Because there's nothing worse than a caved-in cookie dwelling!

November 28, 2022

Photo by: Yunhee Kim

Yunhee Kim

Though I consider myself to be a pretty good baker, gingerbread houses have always been a thorn in my side. No matter what I do, I can’t get the 3D cookie creations to stand upright without collapsing in on themselves, and every year without fail, I’m left with an icing-and-gumdrop-covered heap of cookie walls and roof panels. Truth be told, I’ve pretty much given up all hope of ever successfully making a gingerbread house. That is, until I came across this ingenious holiday baking hack from Food Network Magazine.

Instead of making a traditional gingerbread house this Christmas, the publication suggests making a batch of flat, gingerbread house-shaped cookies instead. Though simple, the idea is completely mind-blowing too! Not only will you still get to decorate your miniature gingerbread house cookies to the nines (which, let’s face it, is the real appeal of making a gingerbread house anyways), but you’ll save yourself a ton of time, energy, stress and aggravation. It's a true Christmas miracle indeed!

Keep reading to see how you can make and decorate your very own gingerbread house cookies this holiday season.

Bake Them!

Before you begin putting together your very own tray of edible ginger dwellings, be sure to purchase a 3- to 4-inch house-shaped cookie cutter. The tool is essential in giving these seasonal treats their unmistakable shape.

Ready to bake?! Check out our brand-new Gingerbread House Cookies recipe to see what ingredients you'll need to make both the cookie dough and the royal icing.

Decorate Them!

Once your house-shaped cookies have adequately cooled and you've made your royal icing, it's time to decorate them in whatever way you'd like. Food stylist Karen Tack put together the following suggestions, in case you need some delicious inspiration to get you going.

Peppermint Palace

Roof: Attach peppermint candies and Skittles. Pipe icicles and the chimney.

Door: Attach green Chiclets, a red jumbo nonpareil for the doorknob and a small piece of candy cane for the landing.

Snowman: Attach mini marshmallows; add an orange sprinkle nose. Draw eyes and buttons with an edible marker.

Pretzel Paradise

Roof: Attach mini pretzel twists, then attach trimmed pretzel sticks for the chimney and pipe some snow.

Door: Attach a full pretzel stick for the landing and trimmed pretzel sticks for the door, then pipe the garland, doorknob and trim.

Tree: Pipe dots of icing, then attach one trimmed pretzel stick for the tree trunk.

Sour Suite

Roof: Attach green sour belts and pipe some snow. Use a black mini Chuckle for the chimney.

Lights: Pipe a light strand and attach candy-coated sunflower seeds.

Door: Attach trimmed red Fruit by the Foot and a green jumbo nonpareil doorknob. Pipe the door trim and snowbank, then sprinkle with white nonpareils.

Frosted Fort

Roof: Attach Frosted Mini Wheats and pull-and-peel licorice. Use Mike and Ikes for the chimney.

Window: Attach a trimmed green sour belt and pipe the frame.

Door: Attach an upside-down trimmed Kit Kat; add a red jumbo nonpareil for the doorknob. Pipe the trim.

Tree: Attach a spearmint leaf; add red jumbo nonpareils.

Candy Cottage

Roof: Attach red banana candy. Pipe the roof trim, then attach a red Sixlet for the peak and a trimmed Kit Kat for the chimney.

Window: Attach a mini Charleston Chew and 4 mini yellow Starbursts. Pipe the frame; add sprinkles for snow.

Shrubs: Pipe shrubs and cover with green nonpareils and snowflake sprinkles.

Chocolate Château

Roof: Attach red mini Chuckles and a mini marshmallow at the peak. Use a chocolate bar piece for the chimney.

Gable: Attach trimmed pretzel sticks and pipe icicles.

Stone Wall: Pipe a snowbank, then attach Raisinets.

Marshmallow Manor

Roof: Attach mini marshmallows snipped on the diagonal and silver sugar pearls, then add a red Sixlet for the peak. Attach silver nonpareils for the chimney.

Window: Attach a white Necco wafer and pipe the frame; add small silver and white sugar pearls.

Door: Pipe the trellis and door, then attach a large heart sprinkle and more silver sugar pearls.

Cereal Chalet

Roof: Attach Froot Loops; pipe the trim. Use trimmed pretzel sticks for the chimney.

Wreath: Attach a green gummy Life Saver and trimmed red pull-and-peel licorice for the bow.

Door: Attach a trimmed green sour belt and a red jumbo nonpareil. Pipe the frame.

Trees: Pipe the trees, then top with red star sprinkles.

Story Credits:

All photographs by Yunhee Kim for Food Network Magazine.

Related Content:

15 Gingerbread House Kits Everyone Will Want to Decorate

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