By popular demand, we have now created a tutorial for our loved “semi-homemade” Mini Gingerbread Houses!
My Mom has made these for almost 30 years, along with our larger gingerbread houses, to gift to friends, teachers, and display at our annual gingerbread house tea party! Now we want to show you how to make them too!
Don’t worry, it’s *easy* to make these mini gingerbread houses, and we have a super simple hack to make even store-bought gingerbread houses look even better! Read on..
We absolutely adore these mini gingerbread houses. As you can see above, we love to include them at our annual Gingerbread House Tea Party each Christmas. The joy in the girls’ faces when they see the gingerbread houses is truly magical! They love to tell me how the mini ones are perfect for doll gingerbread houses – I love their imagination!
How to Make Mini Gingerbread Houses
I’m going to walk you through each step of making these little houses along with a couple of different ways to make them – using the same steps. Take a look at the photos below for a quick overview of how to make them, and I dive in further below…
Step 1: Selecting and Laying Out Cookies/Crackers
Your first step in making mini gingerbread houses is picking your base! Do you want to use graham crackers? They are easiest to find in grocery stores and work just fine! Another kind of cookie we also love are the Petit Buerre biscuits – found at Kroger in the cookie aisle.
As you can see from the graham cracker lay-out above (or the petit buerre biscuits in the collage above), the first step is the same!
- Bottom Piece
- 2 Side Pieces
- 2 “Front and Back ” Side pieces (with a triangular top or cut a separate little triangle)
- 2 Roof Pieces
Some cookies come in perfect little rectangle shapes (Petit Buerre do) and you can use those as your main pieces, only cutting to make the front and back triangular sides.
For graham crackers, use a sharp knife to gently “score” the piece before carefully breaking. Grab an extra box, sometimes they do break but you’ll get the hang of it! You’ll see above we show 3 sizes of mini gingerbread houses made with graham crackers, this all depends on how big you make your pieces. It’s up to you! The steps are the same.
Do you have to perfectly measure them? No! The fluffy icing will hide any imperfections, just decide what size mini you want to make, and roughly make the houses the same. The little pieces can vary here and there. Just be sure your matching pieces (aka two sides or two roof pieces) are about the same size. You might want a tall, skinny house or a short, squatty house. Just keep the dimensions the same on the walls and roof pieces so your house doesn’t lean. :)
Step 2: Glue the Walls to the Bottom
Glue? Yes, hot glue! These houses are purely decorative (we serve up lots of gingerbread treats at our parties to satisfy the sweet tooth, but no chomping down on the actual houses!).
Can you use icing instead? You can, it will just be a little tricky to get it to set up without you holding each piece for quite a while. So that’s why we recommend hot glue for the base structure of the house. It holds together well and sets up quickly.
Stick on your two matching side pieces to make the walls of your mini gingerbread house. Remember, the process is the same if you’re using graham crackers. Hold the wall pieces in place in the hot glue for a few seconds until it’s set up.
Now the narrow sides, you’ll see we scored and cut off a bit of the sides to make a semi-triangular shape towards the top. That’s because this section will be tucked under the roof opening.
Step 3: Glue the Triangular Pieces & Roof Pieces to the House
Next, add your roof pieces on with hot glue also, pressing and holding until they are set.
*After* you have your top roof pieces glued on, you will want to fill in the triangular openings with cookie pieces (unless your narrow side pieces fill in the hole). If you’re visual like we are, you’ll see now that we’ve created this little triangular area of cookie so it’s all filled in!
Hot glue two cookie triangles into the openings With graham cracker, you can do the same or cut more of a sharp triangular shape to tuck in there. You just want to avoid a huge hole under the roof overhangs where candy/icing would fall inside.
But Courtney, I can see the hot glue! Don’t worry, we’ll fix that with royal icing! These do NOT have to be perfect, royal icing hides all the little overlaps and small holes.
Step 4: Pipe the Royal Icing on the Bottom
The best part! Adding the fluffy royal icing to the edges of these houses is truly what makes them so cute and festive. Don’t skip this step!
Find a small bowl or little box and flip your house upside down. Fill a small decorator tool or piping bag (with a small, fluted tip) and in a zig-zag motion, add a ruffle border all the way around the bottom of the house. Allow it set-up overnight.
Where is your icing decorator tool from?
It’s ancient, and we’ve looked for new high-quality, small ones (we have our jumbo one recommended for larger houses here), but for these mini gingerbread houses, our suggestion is a piping bag and small, fluted tips. If we find a small decorator tool that we feel is quality (some are not), we’ll update this post. But a piping bag and tip is often even better because you have more control over the flow of the icing.
Step 5: Pipe the Royal Icing on Gingerbread House Sides and Top
After your bottom icing is hard (let it dry overnight preferably), then flip the house over, set it on a flat surface and pipe the royal icing ruffle border on all sides and top of your mini gingerbread house! Again, let it dry overnight before handling.
See below, the process is the same with a mini gingerbread house made from graham crackers!
Step 6: Decorate your Mini Gingerbread Houses!
You’re ready to decorate! Tip: To make smaller candies that fit the houses better, use a knife to carefully cut larger gum drops down to smaller sizes.
We love to add a signature bow on top, it’s the little details that make these houses so charming!
Now, this is the stage we have the gingerbread houses at for decorating at our parties (our girls decorate the larger ones), but you can finish decorating them however you like and then gift to friends, teachers, neighbors, etc.
Another Idea! Create a “gingerbread house to-go kit” which is what we did last year!
Or display them in a little grouping on a mantel, cake stand or counter to make a mini gingerbread village!
Store-Bought Gingerbread House Hack
Short on time? Buy pre-made miniature “village gingerbread houses” from stores (I’ve seen these at Target, grocery stores, etc – HERE is a great set on Amazon) and pick up with my tutorial on the fluffy royal icing step (step 4) to make store-bought houses look so much more charming and festive! Tip: You can do this with larger store-bought and pre-made houses too, that’s what I did here at my girl’s night gingerbread house!
I hope you found the tutorial and corresponding video (showcasing the piping technique) to be helpful! Please leave any questions below in the comments.
From gingerbread house cookie boards to gingerbread house party designs by color scheme, we have ALL the gingerbread house ideas you’ll need this holiday season!