WORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY: Easy Gingerbread Houses

Here's a sweet new tradition in our home. We LOVE making gingerbread houses, but the whole baking process often feels just a tad overwhelming for me.

This summer my aunt introduced us to the more simplified version of gingerbread house hoopla.

Substitute out the baking and opt for no-bake graham crackers, and focus your time on getting creative (and sticky) with your kiddos. You can decide how much candy you want to have on hand to embellish the houses. I like the meringue powder frosting (see recipe below) for building, but you can use your own favorite frosting recipe (just try to make it as stiff as you can). Think outside of the box with the decorating: chocolate wafer cookies or shredded wheat cereal as roof tiles, marshmellow windows, upside down ice cream cones covered in frosting for trees, pretzel sticks for moulding, gumdrop bushes, licorice or pretzel walkways...

There was an article on doing this exact same thing (lazy mama gingerbread houses) this month in Better Homes & Gardens, and they suggested giving every child a foil wrapped cardboard "platter" to build on. I like this idea - the kids will marvel at their own reflection while building.

Depending on the ages of the children, you may want to pre-assemble the houses and just let them go crazy decorating.

"Mortar Icing" (this would be a good amount for a couple of kids, so double or triple for a crowd)
combine 4 teaspoons meringue powder and 4 tablespoons water.
Mix in 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar and add water if too thick.

Happy Building!!!


  1. We love making these! Love the chocolate wafer roof, nice touch!!

    I still have memories of a Secret Santa delivering one to our door when I was a little girl. It was fancy with different kinds of candy, icing icicles, etc. It was the best Christmas ever.

  2. I saw the BHG article too. It talked about pre forming house panels, but didn't really say how. Does anyone know? The articles says: Melt sugar over medium high/reduce to med. low when mixture starts to brown. Dip edges and join at 90* angle. But what is the sugar mixture? Is it the meringue and p. sugar heated?? Thanks..I think this will be a great Christmas memory.

  3. Hi Anonymous -

    I believe if you heat up the sugar over medium high heat at first and then to med/low, when it browns, it can be used to join the edges. Once it melts, you can dip the sides of the crackers into the melted sugar and join them together. I am going to try that next year. We made these last week, and the frosting we used to join the sides was not the most was as though hurricane katrina came through our gingerbread neighborhood about an hour after making them. -The kids were excited to "eat the damage". :)


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