Gingercake House

A house made from cake rather than cookies is less painstaking to build.

  • Servings: 12

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2004


  • Gingerbread Cakes
  • Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Clean, thin, nontoxic tree branches
  • About 1 ounce chocolate, melted, for brushing branches
  • Cornstarch, for dusting
  • 5 ounces rolled fondant
  • Gel-paste food coloring in red and orange
  • Chocolate sprinkles, for decorating
  • Black licorice gumdrops, for decorating
  • 1/2 recipe Royal Icing, room temperature
  • Sanding sugar


Constructing the House

  1. Start with two square ginger cakes.
  2. Cut one cake on the diagonal, into four triangles; halve the other to make two rectangles.
  3. Place one rectangle on a cake board or plate; frost top. Stack the other on top; frost top.
  4. On a flat work surface, stack the three triangles, frosting between the layers. Set the stacked "roof" on the cake, then place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.

Frosting the Exterior

  1. First, apply a thin "crumb coat" of frosting, which seals in stray crumbs and ensures a smooth surface.
  2. Frost house with a crumb coat; refrigerate cake for 20 minutes to set.
  3. Frost house with another, thicker layer of buttercream, smoothing sides and front. Make a log pattern by running a decorating triangle with a scalloped edge along the front, back, and sides.
  4. Transfer cake to a serving platter using two large spatulas; refrigerate.

Preparing the Cookies

  1. Begin with chilled, unbaked cookie dough.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out dough to just thicker than 1/8 inch. Cut out shingle, border, window, walkway, and door cookies with scalloped pastry wheel and cookie cutters. Use a skewer to make holes along edges of trim, doors, and windows.
  3. Bake the cookies, then decorate window and door pieces. Fill a piping bag fitted with a #2 tip with royal icing, and use it to draw details. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and tap off excess. Allow the icing designs to dry.

Finishing the House

  1. Press scalloped trim onto roof edges, cutting with a paring knife as needed and matching up corners. Press shingles onto roof, starting at bottom and overlapping as you work up. Place trim on top of roof.
  2. Add door and windows. Cut remaining trim pieces to fit bottom edges of house; press into place.
  3. Prepare royal icing. Chill cake at least 20 minutes or up to 5 hours. Just before serving, pipe royal-icing icicles, using a #3 tip, around roof edge.