Gingerbread House Icing is the perfect royal icing recipe to hold together all of your baked gingerbread cookies!

We start with Perfect Gingerbread Cookies or even Sugar Cookies as a base. This gingerbread house icing is quick drying, sturdy and strong.

Gingerbread House Icing is the perfect “glue” for your baking! This can be used to make full gingerbread houses however, we also use it to make gingerbread houses out of graham cookies or mini gingerbread houses. (I have the cutest mini gingerbread house cookie cutters).

Gingerbread house used with Gingerbread House Icing

How to Make Gingerbread House Icing

Gingerbread house icing is more than just icing, it’s the glue to hold your gingerbread house together. This is most definitely the most difficult part of making a gingerbread house… but not anymore! The key is to make sure you have the right icing that dries quickly and holds well.

This gingerbread house icing uses raw egg whites and while I’m completely fine using them raw, if you’d prefer you can also buy pasteurized egg whites in a carton to use in this recipe.

You’ll want to make sure your eggs are at room temperature.


Gingerbread House Icing in a bowl with a spoon

As you begin mixing the ingredients they will form a pasty icing mixture however you’ll need to continue mixing to make sure it’s thick and glossy. When you run the back of a spoon through the icing, it should hold its shape.

If your gingerbread icing is over mixed, it can become too thick making it difficult to pipe. In this case, you can add vanilla or water to thin it out a little bit (about 1/4 teaspoon at a time).

Gingerbread House Icing on a gingerbread house

This recipe can also be used to make smiles on gingerbread men and of course to decorate your house or even to attach decorations to Sugar Cookies or Gingerbread Cookies. It’s a thick icing, intended to be used as glue so it doesn’t work well as an icing to decorate entire cookies.

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Gingerbread house used with Gingerbread House Icing
4.92 from 138 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Gingerbread House Icing

This Gingerbread Icing is so easy to make, and works great for holding those walls together on your gingerbread houses!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 32 servings



  • 2 large egg whites room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar


  • In a mixing bowl, whip egg whites until foamy, then add cream of tartar. Continue to mix for 30 seconds.
  • Add in powdered sugar a little bit at a time mixing well.
  • Once the powdered sugar is incorporated, turn mixer to high and continue beating until thick and the icing holds its shape (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Store well covered.


Icing can be doubled.
Nutrition based on serving size of 2 tablespoons.
4.92 from 138 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 44 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 10mg | Sugar: 11g

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Gingerbread House Icing in a bowl and on a gingerbread house with writing
Gingerbread House Icing with a title


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Simple, quick, and easy! Love it! Highly recommend! If you forgot to leave the eggs out to get to room temp, just put them in a glass of hot water for a 15-30 min before cracking. (The “stiff peaks” part is not tricky with split second timing. In fact, this statement can be ignored if it doesn’t make sense to you.) It’s great for gluing gingerbread house together; it sticks right away, but doesn’t dry immediately – friendly for re-positioning. Love the fluffy, sweet taste. I would have candy canes set to prop roof part at each corner of the house, otherwise you might have to hold it in place a couple minutes (since that part is so heavy and slopes down). It dries hard, but not chalky. Great also for piping and decorating. For layered decorating, let each previous layer dry a bit.5 stars

  2. this recipe ended up being very strange tasting with the cream of tartar! Seems like too much cream of tartar, ruins the icing taste…1 star

    1. Sorry to hear that Grace. The cream of tartar helps to create a hardening “glue” like effect for the icing. For decorating once the house is assembled you could try our sugar cookie icing which doesn’t use cream of tartar.

  3. Thank you for this recipe!!!!! We’ve been making our own gingerbread houses for a while, but I’ve never been happy with previous icing recipes. Your recipe is a game changer! It is absolutely perfect, and I just cannot thank you enough for sharing your recipe with the world. Merry Christmas!5 stars

  4. Thank you so much for this! It was perfect for constructing our gingerbread houses – SO MUCH better than the junk they always include in the kits. Easy to make, easy to use, very workable consistency and set up great. This is going to be my go-to now!5 stars

  5. I’ve never left a review on a recipe before, but had to for this one. This icing is very easy to make, uses ingredients people actually have on hand (I’ve seen other icing recipes call for meringue powder or powdered egg whites, neither of which I have ever bought), and it works really well. We made pop tart “gingerbread” houses and this icing held its shape (so it wasn’t dropping down the sides while I was working) and dried hard and fast. I wish we’d used this initially. Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

  6. First time I’ve made a ginger bread house from scratch and was dreading putting the house together. This recipe is amazing. It worked well when I put the first pieces together but even better with the last pieces after it had been sitting for a bit. Was scared to whip it too long so maybe stopped mixing too soon?5 stars

    1. Hi Abby, for this recipe we don’t temper the eggs. We whip them until foamy in step 1 before adding the rest of the ingredients.

    1. It’s a pretty thick icing so it might not be the best for icing entire cookies but you could try thinning it out with water. Let us know how it turns out!

      1. Hi Pat, if making ahead be sure to store it in an airtight container or in a zippered bag and press all the air out before placing in the refrigerator.

  7. If this is made with raw egg white, does the gingerbread house need to be refrigerated? We usually let out house hangout on the counter a week or so as it’s devoured, but with raw egg that doesn’t sound safe.4 stars

    1. Adding flavorings won’t ruin the icing, add the flavoring a 1/4 teaspoon at a time to make sure it doesn’t overpower the icing flavor!

  8. Hello! How long does this frosting take to dry? I’m wanting to do a gingerbread house contest with my youth group, but want to make sure we have plenty of dry time.

    Thank you!

  9. How does this frosting store? I’m thinking about making it for gingerbread house making kits to give away, but I don’t want anyone to get sick if the frosting needs to stay refrigerated.

    1. Hi Natalie, we do recommend this frosting be stored in the refrigerator in a zippered bag with all the air squeezed out if not used right away.

  10. I never comment on recipes but this is a MUST make of you’re doing gingerbread houses. This recipe is far superior to anything I’ve ever used. It is strong, and beautiful. It looks like snow. It was a huge hit. I will be saving this recipe as my go to for the holiday season!5 stars

  11. Awesome. I made gingerbread houses with my two kids and my niece who’s only six. This was my first time doing this project and it worked out perfectly with this recipe. Thank you!5 stars

    1. It can depend on the size of the house and how many decorations you add but it should do an average-sized house.