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Gingerbread House Icing

4.86 from 7 votes

posted: 12/04/22

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This three ingredient Gingerbread House icing will hold everything together perfectly! So easy to make!

Whether you decide to make a gingerbread house from scratch or you bought from the store, you need this recipe. It works so much better than the icing that comes with store-bought kits, and will make decorating day frustration free!

piping gingerbread icing on a built gingerbread house recipe

Gingerbread House decorating is one of my favorite holiday traditions! But the day can quickly go south if you bought a kit from the store. They are so easy to work with for the most part, but often they don’t give you enough icing and the icing you do get often doesn’t work great.

The perfect solution is this amazing Icing for Gingerbread Houses. It is made with three simple ingredients, and it works like the best edible glue on the planet. I made it to go with my gingerbread house recipe and gingerbread house template, but it is also perfect for saving the day with those store-bought kits.

What Makes this The Best Gingerbread House Icing

  • It’s only three simple ingredients. And even better, you can keep all three ingredients on hand.
  • You can make a batch of this gingerbread icing fast. This whips up in just under 10 minutes.
  • It tastes delicious. I like this so much I even use it on my gingerbread cookies.
  • It dries quickly, making it perfect for construction and decoration. You will have plenty of time to pipe it before it dries, but you won’t have to wait hours for those house pieces to stick together.
overhead photo of ingredients for gingerbread house icing: powdered sugar, eggs, cream of tartar with a Christmas themed measuring spoon set

Gingerbread House Icing Ingredients

As mentioned above, this comes together with three simple ingredients. You will want to scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full recipe card with measurements.

  • Powdered Sugar: When measuring the powdered sugar, be sure to scoop it into the measuring cup and level it off. Do not pack the sugar.
  • Cream of Tartar: This stabilizes the egg whites and keeps the proteins in it from sticking together, making for a perfectly smooth icing.
  • Pasteurized Egg Whites: According to the USDA, “in-shell pasteurized eggs may be used safely without cooking.”

How to Make Gingerbread House Icing

This is a brief overview of how easy this recipe is. For the full recipe with all of the measurements, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the recipe card.

  1. Combine all of the ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a handlheld mixer, mix everything until soft peaks start to form. In the picture below you can see the consistency you are looking for.
  2. Use the icing! This recipe works great when you spread it with a butter knife or when you pipe it.
gingerbread icing being pulled from a mixing bowl

Gingerbread House Recipe

This Gingerbread House Recipe is the perfect fun recipe to make this holiday season. Double it or triple it to make multiple houses.
picture of beautifully decorated gingerbread house recipe

How to Use Icing for Gingerbread Houses

As I mentioned, this is a great recipe to make even if your store-bought gingerbread house came with some. This works a million times better than what comes in the kits. But of course, another great option is to make your own gingerbread houses.

A few years ago, I posted this great gingerbread house recipe. It comes with a ton of tips and tricks. I also have a great post with the template for the gingerbread house. You can print it out and use it to cut the dough to the exact right size.

Gingerbread House Template Printable

This Gingerbread House Template Printable is exactly what you need to make a cute gingerbread house. Print it off, and make gingerbread houses year after year.
overhead photo of gingerbread house template printable next to gingerbread pieces


Store your gingerbread house icing in the refrigerator for up to three days. Be sure to cover it. It can also be helpful to put a layer of plastic wrap right on the top of the frosting so it doesn’t get crusty.

royal icing for gingerbread houses being piped by pieces of gingerbread

Tips and Tricks for Gingerbread House Icing

  • Double the recipe. I made a double batch when I made the house you see pictured here. I liked having enough that I could really go nuts with my decorating and not worry about running out, though I still had some left over.
  • Keep the bowl covered. One of the upsides of this recipe is that it does harden pretty fast, making it perfect for construction. However, because of that you are going to want to keep the bowl covered when you aren’t using it so that you don’t get a crusty layer on top.
  • Decorate first and then construct the house. If you are a perfectionist like me and need to win the decorating competition, decorate the pieces before constructing. This will keep everything in place without fighting gravity. When I’m doing this with my kids I construct and then let them decorate.
  • Invest in a decorating set. I have a really inexpensive piping kit that comes with couplers (so you can switch out tips without using a new bag of frosting), three reusable bags, and multiple different sized tips. It came in really handy while using this royal icing for gingerbread houses. You can buy it here.
  • Color the icing. It is easy to color this icing (you can see how I colored it green for the tree in the photos), but keep in mind that it does make it a bit more runny when you do that. It will dry just fine but it might not make as ornate details.

Affordable Decorating Set

I use this set all the time! And it is super affordable, especially considering the quality.
Product Image
picture of beautifully decorated gingerbread house recipe

If you make my gingerbread house icing or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment to let me know what you think!

piping gingerbread icing on a built gingerbread house recipe
4.86 from 7 votes

Gingerbread House Icing

Serves: 1 gingerbread house worth
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
This Gingerbread House Icing is exactly what you need to make the perfect gingerbread house recipe.  Grab the gingerbread house template printable make up a batch of this gingerbread icing and you will be all set to go!


  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 pasteurized egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


  • In a large bowl mix the ingredients together until it forms soft peaks.
  • Use to put together gingerbread house recipe and for decorating.
  • Keep covered when not using to prevent it from hardening.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
piping gingerbread icing on a built gingerbread house recipe

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Gingerbread House Icing

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

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  1. Charlotte Barinka says

    Can this royal icing be flavored such as peppermint or cinnamon?

    • Lisa Longley says


  2. Tab says

    I’m hoping to make this for a project at school in my second grade classroom! If I use the small clear plastic cups that have lids will the icing be okay if I mix it up the day before? Also, if I’m using liquid egg whites from the store do you know what the measured equivalent would be for 3 egg whites? Your recipe looks like exactly what I need for the kids to be able to construct and decorate all in one day! Thank you!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Okay, you are a national hero as a second grade teacher. And my experience with second graders is limited to dealing with one at a time, so take this with a grain of salt. I am a little concerned you are going to get a hardened layer on the top of the cups. If you use little dressing cups that have lids (email me and I will have them sent to your school) and then fill them all the way to the top you might eliminate that. Another option would be to put it in ziplock bags and then cut little corners off when it’s time to construct and they can pipe it. But if the bags bust open or the holes for piping are too big the wheels might come off the bus. Google says that 3 egg whites is 1/4 cup. Good luck! I really hope it goes well!

  3. Sandy says

    Does the frosting harden too much for use on cookies that are going to be eaten?

    • Lisa Longley says

      It will absolutely harden, but not to the point that it would be unpleasant on cookies. It varies a little from a traditional Royal Icing recipe in that it has cream of tartar and no flavor. You could just leave out the cream of tartar and add in a little vanilla.

  4. Tab says

    Life got busy, but I had to circle back to update you! The icing is the PERFECT RECIPE!!! I’m so thankful I found this, and it was just exactly what I needed to use working with 20 second graders! I stored the icing in Ziploc bags in the refrigerator and just snipped the corner for the kids to squeeze out what they needed the day of. I also made some for my 3 and 8-year-old to use at home and it worked so much better than what comes in the premade kits! Definitely will be using every year! Thanks again!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad to hear this! And such a smart move with the kiddos at school!

  5. Liz says

    We are having a big group icing gingerbread house party. 30 people…so I’m trying to work out how much icing to make up! Is this a generous amount? Or could I split it between two people?

    • Lisa Longley says

      It all depends on the size of your gingerbread house and how much you want to decorate. I doubled the recipe for the house you see in the post to ensure I had enough for things like the tree you see, and I had leftovers. I hope that helps!

  6. Sandy says

    Hi. If refrigerating left overs for use the next day, do you bring it to room temperature before using?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yes, I would. It will make it easier to work with.

  7. Betz says

    Hi! This looks great. I’d like to use this with my students. Will the icing stay soft overnight if it’s in individual ziplock bags?

    • Lisa Longley says

      If there is no air it will work fine in ziplock bags. Anywhere the frosting is exposed to air it will start to develop a crust.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners