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
4.96 from 286 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


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  • 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.
4.96 from 286 votes

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
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. This is a fast hard setting icing that is great for gingerbread. The ratios don’t need to be perfect for it. As you can tell from the ingredients, if you plan on eating the icing, this one will taste just like powdered sugar. If you are building gingerbread houses use this icing, if you are eating icing make a Swiss meringue buttercream.5 stars

    1. You can make your own powdered sugar by pulsing granulated sugar in a food processor or blender until it becomes the consistency of powdered sugar.

  2. Hi! I am looking forward to making this frosting. We will have about 5 or 6 houses to decorate. Should I make more than 1 batch? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jean, it would depend on the size of the house and how many decorations you add but one batch should do an average-sized house.

  3. I love this recipe! My kids were using the icing that came with the store bought gingerbread and it was falling apart, got very messy, and we had to hold it together for 10 mins and it still fell apart. I came across this recipe and it was so simple to make – the end result was thick and smooth. It held the house together instantly (as in I didn’t have to sit there holding it) and dried very quickly. The finish look was beautiful because we didn’t have to keep piling it on. This will be my ONLY gingerbread house icing going forward!5 stars

  4. This recipe is perfect. Super simple to make. I followed the recipe exactly as written. I made the gingerbread house pieces a few days before so they were dry and hard. I built the houses the night before we decorated them. If you make a small house, you could probably put it together and decorate it on the same day. The frosting dried hard and sturdy. I used tin cans from the pantry to hold the sides in place overnight. I will save this recipe to use from now on.5 stars

  5. Is the icing okay to eat after sitting out for several days (on decorated houses) given that the recipes uses raw egg whites? Thanks :)4 stars

    1. Hi Carol, this recipe is designed to harden nicely, so 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.

  6. I have not tried this recipe yet, but I am planning to. I am planning a Christmas party for around 100 people. We plan to have a gingerbread house contest. Couple questions:
    1) How far in advance can I make this royal icing? If I immediately fill a piping bag, how long will it last before not working well?
    2) Which piping bags do you recommend? I don’t want them to burst, rip, tear, etc.
    Thank you so much!

    1. I wouldn’t make more than a day ahead so that it doesn’t harden on you. To store 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. Then I would fill the piping bag when you are ready to use it. For piping bags, you can look for ones that say thickened meaning they will be a little more hardy.

  7. We have never found a really good gingerbread icing. I wanted to try again and found this one. OH MY GOSH!! It worked so good! My kids were able to put the graham crackers together and it’s stuck the first time. That’s so nice to not wait for the icing to get hard. I will remember this recipe and it was easy to make. Thank you!! You have made my gingerbread a lot easier!5 stars

  8. Can you please give a sense of how much house this recipe is appropriate for? One large one? More? Less? We’ve got 5 mediumish sized houses (about 6” cubed). Thank you!

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

  9. The BEST glue icing ever! Makes up in s flash! Great consistency! Beautiful gingerbread houses every time. Thank you. !!! Grandma Honeybee

  10. This was my first time trying royal icing, and I checked out a few recipes. This one seemed the best option, and I’m happy to say it came out great! I’m looking forward to using it again in the future!5 stars

    1. We recommend this frosting be stored in the refrigerator in a zippered bag with all the air squeezed out for a few days.

  11. Hi Alison,
    Can’t wait to try this, as in the past most icings haven’t stuck. So can you eat this icing with the house? Or do I need do use another kind? And do you have a separate one for gingerbread cookies to use? Thanks so much.