Mini Gingerbread Houses

December 4, 2013

It’s the holidays — and time to get crafty! One of my favorite holiday traditions is making gingerbread houses with friends and family. These cute miniature houses are easy to make and so adorable. They rest perfectly on t he edge of a cup or mug. I used this template from Not Martha, which worked great but the decorations are only limited by your imagination! I topped these with crushed candy canes and red and white sugar and topped one of them off with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing another gingerbread DIY using the same simple dough recipe I’ve used here. It’s versatile and sturdy enough to be handled even by clumsy hands like mine.

Gingerbread houses

Photography shot with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 digital SLR camera. Small in size, enormous in performance.

Gingerbread Ingredients:

  • 3 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup of margarine

*Note: if you like the look of a darker gingerbread house, use dark brown sugar and dark corn syrup.

Royal Icing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar


To make the gingerbread stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine corn syrup, brown sugar and margarine in a saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until margarine is melted. Stir liquid into flour mixture. Mix well using hands to mix as dough becomes stiff.  Chill dough for half an hour.

Gingerbread 1

Roll dough into 1/8 inch thickness onto parchment paper. Using this template cut into shapes.

Gingerbread 2

Remove the scraps and re roll into more dough to cut into shapes.

Gingerbread 3

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown at 350 degrees. Cool completely on a rack.

Gingerbread 7

To make the royal icing, sift the sugar into a bowl. Place egg whites into the bowl of a mixer. Add sugar and cream of tartar to whites while mixing. When all sugar is incorporated, turn mixer on high and beat until thick and very white, about 5-7 minutes. Cover the icing with a damp cloth until you use it because it dries very quickly.

Gingerbread 6

Pipe icing into a piping bag with a small tip (or into a ziplock bag and snip a tiny bit off the corner if you don’t have a piping bag). Ice one side to the front piece and let it dry completely before assembling the rest of the house.

Gingerbread 8

To make the roof ice the top and them cover in sprinkles or crushed candy canes and allow to dry completely.

Gingerbread 9

Attach the roof to the house. Decorate the fronts of the houses with patters and dust them lightly with powdered sugar.

Gingerbread 11

Make a cup of hot chocolate with a nice large charred marshmallow and perch the mini gingerbread on the edge of a cup.


Enjoy these as decorations or gift them away and spread some holiday joy!


(images by HonestlyYUM)


I can’t wait to make these cute little gingerbread houses for mugs. I noticed a few people commented about the size of the houses being too large for mugs. When sending the template to print, be sure the “Fit to Page” option is NOT selected as it will enlarge the drawings to fill up the page (I know–I did it, too!). Once that is deselected, the templates print to their correct sizes. I double checked it and saw that the doorways are 3/8″ for one and 1/2″ for the other.

please tell me what I make my template out of so it becomes a cookie cutter for the miniature gingerbread houses! Elinda Maggie

I just printed them on paper and used that to trace around scoring the dough. You can then go back with a knife to cut the pieces!

I am wanting to make these for Christmas gifts … this might be a really dumb question … but how long will they last .. christmas time is really busy for us .. my daughter b-day is on the 23 and I spend all month planning her little party so she feels special. I want to make things now when I have the time and then send them off in the mail to all the family. I see they have egg whites in the icing .. so I am cautious about how long they will safely last for human consumption???

These aren’t really made to eat as much as they are for decoration. They’re certainly edible but decorative gingerbreads are typically made to be sturdy and last versus for taste. You could make everything ahead of time and then save the icing part for last! Hope you have fun with this!

amazing!! …. I tried to make these but used a different icing recipe … gonna try this one & will hopefully work out heaps better… they look delicious, well done!

Brilliant! We are going to play with this amazing idea to make cookies for our daughter’s wedding. Thanks, very much!

One of my sisters girlfriend told me about this. So i quickly googled up mini gingerbread houses. Your cute website popped up. 🙂 than I followed your recipe for the cookie dough. I doubled mine up. The dough came out perfectly. Hard to roll out at first. Some muscle grease helped. 🙂 baked. Assembled and decorated all the mini gingerbread houses (mine wasn’t as tiny as yours. I guess it was the template. It’s almost a size of my fist. Than I decided to attempt to put one of the mini gingerbread house on my mug…. Ugh… It didn’t fit!!!! 🙁 wasn’t true to size lol i don’t know what to do. I guess it depends what cup to use. But it’s still very pretty. And awesome idea.

I’m just now finding out about these darling houses and am looking forward to making this recipe.

The problem some people have had with the dough being too hard and dry is most likely due to the differences in flours, and whether or not the area the people live is arid. Low humidity can suck the moisture from flour. Different flours also have different moisture content depending on where it was grown, how, when, where it was milled, the type of wheat it came from, etc. Lots of variables.

My suggestion would be to mix only 3 C’s of the flour in initially then after adding the liquid into the flour, add in the last 1/3 C of flour until the dough is stiff but not too dry.

wow these mini gingerbread houses are so cute! I think im going to try and make them this holiday season. aprox. how many mini gingerbread houses does this recipe make?

can these be frozen to be made ahead ? If can be made ahead how long before use, if not frozen? can you use the gingerbread cookie dough already made up or not?

I love the cute little gingerbread boy sitting on the marshmallow in the cup. Is it a purchased gingerbread cookie? is it a cookie cutter you purchased? I love the way it’s detailed outlined, face and buttons with the shallow embossing. If I was really in a hurry, I could cut out the cookies using the cutter and not worry about the frosting. I think the ribbon would pull off the look (If there wasn’t a frosted gingerbread to compare :).

Amazing recipe! Gonna try it soon. I have never made a gingerbread house before, how do I make the parts stick together? With the icing?

So cute! Going to try these with pre-made sugar cookie dough to save some time!

This recipe did not turn out so well for me. Originally, the dough turned out extremely hard and dry, I simply cannot push all the dough together, it keeps falling apart no matter the amount of melted margarine added… Really disappointing, I was so excited about this recipe. Too good to be true, I suppose 🙁

I’m so sorry it didn’t work out! I can’t figure out why– I keep double checking the recipe and it worked for me. Still investigating why it’s not working for some!

I was wondering the same thing as Iris, if there was a liquid missing or a larger quantity? The dough is crumbling when I tried to roll it. Smells great, but completely unworkable right now 🙁

I double checked the recipe and it is correct. If its too dry to work with I would try adding more melted margarine until the dough comes together. Hope that helps!

You did a really nice job with decorating these houses; they look beautiful. However, it did leave a bad taste in my mouth to see that you didn’t credit NotMartha for inspiring your project. I remember this project from her site and when I saw your template, I realized you did indeed find inspiration from her, or at least you used her template. It would be nice to see creatives give credit where credit is due.

Oops, it wasn’t an intentional omission. Added the source in the post!

These are so so cute that I had to try….but major fail. I am wondering if your recipe here is missing something. The dough dried out and was too hard to roll out 🙁 Did you add egg?? I looked up several gingerbread recipes and all use egg. I guess I can try again. These are too good not to give them another go 🙂

Oh no I’m sorry to hear that! I double checked the recipe just to make sure I didn’t make a typo and it is correct. The dough is pretty hard as it’s more for crafting than eating purposes. Wonder what happened?! Hope you give it another go and it turns out! 🙂

these are amazing! i can’t believe that the template is so easy to use (AND FREE<3!!!). i'm going to try and make these asap!

AH these are too stinking cute. Did you have a house cookie cutter, or did you just slice the shapes with a knife?

These are lovely! Amazing how the simplest things can make such a difference. I had never seen this miniature version and they are just adorable!!! Thank you for sharing!

The gingerbread houses we made as children were absolutely horrible. They came from boxes and tasted like it’s packaging… will definitely have to save this recipe to make something delicious and cute!

TOO CUTE! These are awesome! So easy and impressive. Love it!

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