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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!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. annonymous says

    5 stars
    Really nice glue for gingerbread

  2. Leta says

    I have used this recipe for years. Egg whites beat better at room temperature.

    • Susie Cole says

      I wish I would have known that. I thought my eggs were bad. lol

  3. Angela A Justesen says

    Can you make this ahead of time and refrigerate it?

    • Lisa Longley says

      You can! Either place plastic wrap directly on the frosting, or know that you are going to get a thin layer of crusted frosting on top that will need either be pulled off or mixed back in.

  4. Susie says

    It was not think enough.

    • Susie says


    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m really sorry this didn’t work for you Susie, I’ve used it so many times and have never had a problem with it.

  5. Regina says

    Is this frosting ok to eat? I want to make this but just wanted to double check due to the egg!

    • Lisa Longley says

      It should be fine if you use pasteurized eggs.

  6. Brittany says

    Can you use meringue powder instead of the egg whites?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tried it with that, if you do let me know how it works.

  7. Chris says

    What is the conversion of 1 pound of the sugar to cups? No scale here. ????

    • Lisa Longley says

      Powdered sugar is sold by the 1 pound bag. So if you find a bag with 16 ounces listed on it, no need to measure at all.

  8. Rolene says

    Meringue powder is GREAT to use!! I have used it for years!!

  9. Naomi says

    5 stars
    I do not even know how I finished up right here, but
    I believed this post was once good. I do not recognize
    who you might be however certainly you’re going to a well-known blogger if
    you aren’t already. Cheers!

  10. Britany says

    Can this frosting be refrigerated for later use or should it be left out in a container?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Cover and refrigerate the leftovers.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners