To make your Christmas extra special this year why not construct a Gingerbread House together with your child? Or if you are set on making a really beautiful Gingerbread House, better make two and work side-by-side with your child- each on your own! There are lots of opportunities for scooping, measuring, as well as mixing and kneading the dough by hand if your little one enjoys getting sticky fingers. The ingredients make enough for a house plus extra dough for gingerbread cookies, or if rolled thin enough, a second house. This recipe will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit, and your house smelling amazing! It usually takes me between two or three days to complete the house from start to finish-so a perfect activity for the days leading up to Christmas!



  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt). 
  • In a separate bowl, blend the butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs, molasses, and water and beat until well combined. 
  • Add half of the flour mixture into the batter and mix. Once well combined, add the remaining flour mixture and continue to mix. The dough will be stiff so it may be too difficult for your child to mix with a spoon, but they can use their hands.



  • Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for about one minute until the dough is smooth and evenly combined. 
  • Divide the dough into two balls. Pat each ball into a round disc, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill overnight (or at least two hours).
  • Create your house template. (You can print out our template here or create your own)
  • Roll out your dough to about ¼ inch. Remember to use enough flour to prevent sticking to your surface and your rolling pin.
  • Dust your house template with flour, then place atop your dough and cut out your pieces.
  • Use a large spatula to transfer the pieces to your greased cookie sheet. If the pieces stretch while transferring them, gently push them back into shape. 
  • You can cut out door and window pieces while they are in the cookie sheet, or wait until they are fresh out of the oven and still warm. 
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 175℃ for 11-15 minutes for larger pieces and 6-8 minutes for smaller pieces, when the edges are slightly starting to darken you know it is finished.



  • Make a royal icing. Keep a damp towel over the icing to prevent it from hardening as you work. Place enough icing for putting your house together inside a pastry bag and get to work building!
  • Choose a sturdy base. I usually use a Christmas tray for my base, but a piece of cardboard covered with either aluminum foil or wax paper works well too! 
  • Starting with a side piece and either the front or back piece, pipe a line of icing along the short edge. Hold the pieces together until it has partially set. Repeat with the remaining two pieces. Put the two corner pieces together. Add extra piping along the insides and outside corners for extra stability. (This part requires a bit more advanced dexterity and may be challenging for little hands, but my daughter really loves piping the icing on while I put the pieces together). 
  • Wait about an hour for the house to dry before putting the roof on top. Pipe icing along the top of the house pieces and add the roof and optional chimney pieces. It is helpful to have something for the roof pieces to rest on as they dry to prevent them from sliding off.  
  • Let your house sit up to eight hours before decorating.



  • The same royal icing can also be used to draw the ice and snow decorations on your house and for gluing candies to your house.
  • Let your creativity fly as you and your little one decorate your house together. It is so much fun to make, to see the finished process, and finally to enjoy!



General tips on baking with children:

  • Prepare the space beforehand - get ingredients ready and clear the space so your child only has access to what is needed - make sure eggs are out of reach for the throwers! And don't forget to prepare a Learning tower (aka Little kitchen helper) or a step stool that allows your child to easily and safely work in the kitchen.
  • Don’t leave opened bottles and bags of ingredients within reach unsupervised
  • Ensure your little one can easily reach into the mixing bowls
  • Use a bowl with a handle for mixing wet ingredients to make pouring easier
  • Use child-sized kitchen utensils
  • Give smaller spoons and measuring cups for added scooping and transferring practice 
  • Crack eggs into a separate cup in case your child drops the shells in too- it is easier to remove
  • Take the opportunity to discuss oven safety with your child when baking together
  • Slow down and let your child enjoy the full sensory experience of baking- touching the ingredients, tasting (when safe), smelling the spices...and if your child is focused on a single task try not to interrupt until they have finished. 
  • And remember- practice makes better. It will be very messy at the beginning but not forever!


Written by

Góc Montessori





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