A fluffy gingerbread house icing that works as the “glue” to keep the house together! This is our go-to recipe and it works perfectly every time. It’s soft and easy to pipe, but strong and holds so well.
This icing is also great for making a graham cracker gingerbread house and adding decorations to a gingerbread house or gingerbread Christmas trees, mini gingerbread houses as well as gingerbread cookies. We use this icing every year for our homemade gingerbread house recipe!
Gingerbread houses are a Christmas staple and one of our favorite holiday traditions. Every year we turn on the Christmas music and host a gingerbread house party for the kids! We use our gingerbread house icing recipe to “glue” them together and make fluffy decorations. Add food coloring to change the color and get creative with your gingerbread house!
Making gingerbread houses has been a tradition of ours since I was a kid. The icing that comes in a gingerbread house kit is usually horrible. It’s too hard to pipe, takes so long to dry, and has zero fluff to it. I always whip up a batch of this icing for everyone to use, and it works so well!
Why We Love This Icing
It’s will make your life so much easier when you’re trying to hold roof pieces together while gluing on sides!
The consistency is like edible glue but still soft and fluffy! I also like that it’s thicker, holds its shape, and dries quickly, allowing you to build your gingerbread house faster.
It really is the best gingerbread house icing.
The frosting is sticky but still fluffy and easy to squeeze out. Furthermore, you can also divide the icing into separate bowls and make fun colors. Get creative and make pink, blue, green, red, and more!
Once your gingerbread house is done you can use it for decorations or eat it! I personally love the way a decorated gingerbread house looks on a shelf in my kitchen or dining room. There is something so charming about a house decorated with candy canes, red hots, chocolate kisses, and Christmas sprinkles!
It’s a charming Christmas decoration that you don’t have to store but can enjoy all holiday season.
How to Make Gingerbread House Icing
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own delicious gingerbread house icing! This recipe only uses 3 ingredients and 3 steps and it will make a very strong gingerbread house. It doesn’t get easier than that!
- Piping Bag Tips
- Electric Mixer
- Whisk Attachment
Confectioners Sugar – Also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar. Confectioners’ sugar is a very fine form of granulated sugar that dissolves easily. Because of its fine texture, it’s often used to make frostings and icings.
Egg Whites – Whisking egg whites into your icing recipe will give the icing stability and a thick texture. It also creates a glossy sheen and fluffiness in this icing. They are crucial for making gingerbread house icing. When using raw egg whites, used pasteurized eggs when making frosting.
Cream of Tartar – Cream of tartar is an acidic salt that helps to stabilize the whipped egg whites in this recipe. It also prevents them from deflating too quickly. Do not omit this ingredient!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form.
2. Next, turn the mixer to low speed and add powdered sugar one spoonful at a time.
3. Once all of the powdered sugar is in the mixer, turn it to high again and beat until the icing is fluffy.
Tips for Making Gingerbread House Icing
- If the texture is still runny, add another 1/4 cup powdered sugar and continue to whip. This will thicken it up. It should look similar to thick glue. Continue adding 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until you reach the consistency.
- If the texture is too thick, add a tablespoon of water and continue to whip. Keep adding drops of water until you get the desired consistency.
- Add flavor by adding a teaspoon of any extract you like!
- If you want different colors, use gel food coloring to make festive icing colors like blue, green, and red.
We highly recommended using pasteurized eggs in this recipe. Pasteurized eggs are heated to a temperature that kills bacteria without cooking the egg. This process is often done using hot water or steam. You can find them at your local grocery store and they will say pasteurized on the package.
We recommend using the icing within 24 hours. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.
If the frosting is already in piping bags, close the top of the bags and add them into a large plastic bag. Seal the bag. Place in the refrigerator and remove it an hour before using so it can soften. It’s best used when it’s room temperature.
Freezing Gingerbread House Icing
Yes, this icing can be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply store it in an airtight container and thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using it.
Easy Way to Fill a Piping Bag
A friend of mine taught me this trick years ago and I use it when filling a piping bag. It’s the easiest way to fill an icing bag without the mess.
- First, cut the tip of the bag and add in the
- Get a tall glass with a wide mouth and put the piping bag inside with the edges folded around the rim of the glass.
- Spoon in the frosting and push it down to the bottom of the glass.
- When the bag is 3/4 of the way full, remove it from the cup and twist the top of the bag closed. Use a rubber band to tie the frosting bag at the top.
It’s less messy and works every time!
What To Do With Leftovers
If you have any frosting leftover, use it to decorate gingerbread men or graham cracker houses!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is buttercream or royal icing better for gingerbread houses?
A buttercream frosting will not hold a gingerbread house together as it’s not strong enough. Royal icing is used to decorate cookies and houses and can be a little liquidy until it sets.
The best frosting to make a gingerbread house is our recipe below. It’s neither royal nor buttercream and truly its own frosting made for gingerbread houses.
Is it safe to eat gingerbread house icing?
Yes! This icing is safe to eat as it’s made with sugar, eggs, and cream of tartar.
What is gingerbread house icing made of?
Gingerbread house icing is typically made from confectioners sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar. This recipe is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.
How long does it take for gingerbread house icing to harden?
This icing will take about 30 minutes to harden. Once it’s hardened, it will be very sturdy and will hold up your gingerbread house.
How do you stick a gingerbread house together?
Honestly, using this homemade gingerbread icing will be your secret tool to keep a gingerbread house together. It’s like magic! Simply add it to the back of the pieces and hold them together. Then add the roof and wait a minute before adding more “snow” or “icing” to the top.
What can you use instead of egg white in icing?
If you’re looking for another option, meringue powder is a great choice. Meringue powder is a dried form of egg whites. It’s often used in recipes as a safe, alternative to fresh egg whites. You can usually find it in the baking aisle of your local grocery store.
Can you use regular frosting for gingerbread houses?
No, you cannot use regular frosting for gingerbread houses. Gingerbread houses require a specific type of icing that is made from confectioners sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar. This icing is different from regular frosting because it is much thicker and more stable. It’s also designed to harden so that your gingerbread house will hold its shape.
What do you use to decorate a gingerbread house?
You can either make your own gingerbread house or buy a gingerbread house kit.
Next, make a batch of this gooey and perfect gingerbread house icing to glue your house together and decorate it!
You’ll also need a variety of your favorite candies!
Here’s a list of all of the items:
- Gingerbread Kit or Homemade Pieces
- Gingerbread House Icing (Recipe Below)
- Candy for Decorating
- Cardboard, Wood Platter, Marble Platter, or Plate – This is to build the gingerbread house on.
More Holiday Desserts You’ll Love!
Let us know if you make this icing by leaving a comment and review below!
We love to hear your thoughts. AND please tag @sugarandcharm us to share your wonderful gingerbread houses! Happy Baking!
Gingerbread House Icing
- 4 egg whites
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar , start with 4 cups and see how the texture is, then add the 1/2 cup.
- food coloring , if you want to make different colors.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar together.
- When the egg whites are whipped to firm peaks, turn the mixer to low and spoon in the powdered sugar.
- Continue adding in the powdered sugar until it's gone, then turn the mixer on high to whip again.
- Once it becomes fluffy (only a few minutes) it's done. It should be sticky, fluffy and thick!
- Divide the frosting into different bowls and add the desired amount of food coloring to each bowl. Whatever colors you want.