Updated for 2023! Learn how to make a graham cracker gingerbread house with new, gorgeous step-by-step images.
Making gingerbread houses with graham crackers is easy once you know these tips. AND be sure to read through them. It will save you a ton of time.
I've hosted a gingerbread house party for over 30 years and have plenty of tips!
Learn how to cut the crackers more easily, put them together so they stay together, and more!
This post has been updated from the December 2012 version.
Table of Contents
🗝️ Key takeaways
- This is a fun project to do with your kids or classroom.
- It's perfect for inside days when you've got bad weather. Adjust the decorations to fit Halloween, Easter, and other holidays, too.
- Honey Maid Graham crackers is the only brand that I have found that still makes rectangular crackers. Squares won't work.
🧾What you'll need
- Honey Maid Graham crackers - this is the only brand that I have found that still makes rectangular crackers. Squares won't work.
- Confectioner's sugar
- Egg whites
- Paper plates
- Children of all ages
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Be sure you get a couple of extra boxes just in case. And now is a great time for a cranberry Moscow Mule or three - especially if you're a perfectionist.
- You will need five rectangular graham crackers for each house. One rectangle for each of the ends, one rectangle cut into two squares for the sides, and two rectangles with about 1 inch cut from the bottoms for the roof. Cutting the graham crackers can be a bit stressful and they break pretty easily.
- If you leave the graham crackers out for a few hours and it's humid they will soften up and are easier to cut. You can also put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a cold oven and put a bowl of steaming water in with them so the steam softens them - check often! You don't want them to get too soft.
- A wood cutting board is the best surface for cutting.
- Use a sharp knife and cut the top end of each rectangle into a point. It doesn't need to be perfect.
- Cut straight down. If you use a sawing motion the graham crackers are more likely to break.
- Once you have two pointed rectangles, set them aside with two rectangles cut in half to make squares. Continue on until you have all of the pieces cut and stacked together.
How to Cut the Graham Crackers to Shape
Make the Royal Icing
Keep the royal icing covered with a damp paper towel once it's made to keep it from drying out. You'll probably need to make more so have plenty of supplies.
Recipe is at the bottom of this page.
How to Assemble
Set aside to let dry while you make the other houses. It works best for them to be stable before adding the roof.
Let stand at room temperature overnight.
Now comes the fun part! Decorating those cute graham cracker houses! You'll need to handle them gently and remind the younger kids to be careful - they collapse easily.
Set out the candy in pretty dishes, muffin pans, or whatever holds it and makes it easily accessible. Someday, I'm going to set everything out in vintage teacups and do a gingerbread house party tea.
Put a glob of royal icing "glue " on each plate. Show the kids how to add candy to their graham cracker houses using the icing as glue. Caution them to be gentle!
That's it. Let them decorate to their hearts' content and be sure to "ooooh" and "ahhhhh" over the results. Try not to coach them but be there to help if needed. If you happen to have red hots left over (I always do) consider making the red hots candy apple pie or spiced apple rings.!
Most of all - take lots of pictures! This is such a wonderful way to make special memories.
Basically, you need graham crackers, royal icing (recipe below) and candy plus time and patience.
Royal icing or melted chocolate are the most common forms of "glue".
📚 Related recipes
📞 The last word
About 24 years ago, on the first Saturday of December, I unknowingly created a tradition that was to haunt me for the rest of my life. I made houses out of graham crackers, bought candy, and invited the kids' friends over to decorate the "gingerbread" houses.
I served gingerbread and hot chocolate to the kids, and wine to the moms.
Since then I have only missed one party - and that was because of tremendous upheaval in my life.
I hosted the 1998 party while in active labor with Sean - giving birth to him at home about 4 hours later.
I have hosted parties with 30 children and I have hosted parties where the only ones in attendance were my own kids. Each one has been amazingly fun, but most of all, each has created a special memory for the kids who attended.
A lot of those kids are parents now.
And it isn't just little kids either. My 41-year-old still decorates a graham-cracker gingerbread house with as much candy as she can get on it.
I won't say that my other kids and grandkids have to fight her for the last of the red and green Dots... but I may have witnessed a few arm wrestling championships and food fights that rival the scene in Animal House.
Graham cracker gingerbread houses aren't really difficult but they do take some finesse and some practice.
It takes a little time to get the technique down and you will end up with a lot of cracker scraps and broken crackers that you can use for crumb crusts and other things. You might also want to save up.
This year my candy bill for 20 houses was close to $200.00.
Now every time I go to the grocery store, the bag boy we voted most likely to smoke weed on his breaks gives me a thumbs up and a knowing smile.
Because really, unless you had a severe case of the munchies why else would you buy an entire cartload of candy?
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need.
If you love this recipe please comment below and give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Royal Icing for Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses (The best "glue")Print Pin Recipe Save Recipe
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 egg whites, , room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch of cream of tartar
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- Rinse your mixing bowl with lemon juice or white vinegar.
- Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until they are foamy.
- Add the sugar and lemon juice.
- Beat at high speed until thick and fluffy.
- You may need to add a little water if it is too stiff or a little sugar if it is too thin. It should have the texture of old fashioned paste.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
First published December 10, 2012. Last updated November 4, 2023 for better tutorial images.