Easy guide to making your own Vegan Gingerbread House – with a base of vegan gingerbread and decorated with easy aquafaba icing.
If you’ve ever wanted to make your own Vegan Gingerbread House Recipe, then this recipe is for you! I’ve personally always admired these wonderful creations for years, yet never made one myself, despite baking gingerbread cookies for years! Not this year though, it was about time for me to figure this one out and despite multiple worries around ‘how am I going to assemble this’ and ‘I hope the biscuit doesn’t break’ it worked out perfectly fine. This got me convinced that pretty much everyone can do it 😉
What you’ll need to make this Vegan Gingerbread House Recipe
- plain flour
- ground ginger
- ground cinnamon
- soft brown sugar
- dairy-free butter, melted
For the aquafaba icing:
- aquafaba (unsalted chickpea water)
- icing sugar
- vanilla extract
- (optional) food colouring – please see my notes below
- plus decorations to your personal preference (you can stick with icing decorations or go all out with vegan smarties, chocolate buttons, marshmallows, and Co)
- electric hand mixer
- mixing bowls
- non-stick baking parchment
- rolling pin
- sharp knives
- a cake board or water-proof cardboard to assemble your vegan gingerbread house on
- piping bag & a thin round nozzle, plus extra nozzles for other decorations (optional)
- cookie cutters
- a few tins to have to hand to help keep the gingerbread walls in place whilst they’re drying
How to make vegan gingerbread for a gingerbread house
To make the perfect vegan gingerbread house, let’s start off by making the gingerbread walls and roof for the house.
Start by preheating the oven to 180C (roughly 360F), then sieve your flour, cinnamon and ginger into a large mixing bowl. By sieving the flour you’re avoiding any lumps in the dough, so I definitely don’t recommend skipping this step. Add the brown sugar to the mix, stir to combine, then drizzle in the melted vegan butter. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon to combine all ingredients into a thick dough. Knead the dough into a smooth ball and divide it into 4 parts – this will make it easier to roll out the dough in parts rather than rolling out a massive amount at once (which you’re welcome to try of course).
Take the first part and place it onto non-stick baking parchment or a baking mat. Roll it out to about 5mm thickness with a rolling pin – to make it easier, best place another sheet of non-stick baking parchment on top whilst rolling.
For your gingerbread house templates, feel free to create your own or download the ones I’ve used here:
Print both pages on A4, cut them out, and then use the templates to cut out 2 of each on your rolled out gingerbread dough. Transfer your gingerbread house parts to the oven and bake at 180C (360F) for 8-9 minutes. I’ve baked them in batches in the middle of my oven to ensure all parts are evenly baked and I recommend you do the same.
With the leftover gingerbread dough, create decorations for your gingerbread house – simply roll it out in the same way and use cookie cutters in different shapes to create decorations such as a chimney, gingerbread men, trees, stars and Co.
Allow for your gingerbread to cool down and harden completely – for at least an hour or ideally overnight – before assembling your vegan gingerbread house.
How to make a gingerbread house
There are a couple of important elements to put your vegan gingerbread house together. Let me give you some tips on each of them!
Cutting out windows and doors
Cutting out the windows and/or doors of your gingerbread house is totally optional of course! I’ve personally gone without cutting out my windows and doors for my gingerbread house, but hey – feel free to get creative!
A few tips for removing doors and windows:
- best use a cut-out to create the best shapes for your doors and windows, and also to make sure your windows are all straight and equal
- cut the windows and doors into the dough before baking, however, don’t remove the inside of them just yet. Place your gingerbread house pieces into the oven and bake them, then once removed from the oven, re-cut your windows and doors right away and remove the insides. This way your gingerbread house doors and windows will keep their perfect shape and not ‘spread out’ during the baking process.
- if you want to go all out with your window or door design, then place vegan gummi bears to the door and window holes after removing the filling, and place your gingerbread back into the oven for a few minutes to melt the gummies to fill your windows and doors. I think this is a great idea, but I have to admit that I haven’t tested it myself.
How to make the perfect ‘glue’ for a gingerbread house
To put your vegan gingerbread house together, you need the perfect ‘glue’ to keep it in place. I like to use a vegan aquafaba based icing that is easily created from 3 ingredients: aquafaba (whipped chickpea water). Make sure to use the water of a tin of unsalted chickpeas, as you could otherwise have a salty surprise.
To make the icing, start by whipping your chickpea water in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer. Mix it for about 5-6 minutes until it expands in size, becomes white and fluffy, and forms stiff peaks.
Add in your vanilla extract and swiftly combine, then start adding your icing sugar in small batches. Continue to mix with the electric hand mixer to combine everything into a smooth icing. Aim for a thick, but smooth texture – you should feel that your hand whisk slightly slows down as the icing gets thicker If your icing becomes crumbly, you’ve added too much sugar – to fix it simply add a few extra drops of water until the mix is just about smooth again. If too runny, add more sugar until the mix is nice and thick.
How to assemble a gingerbread house
Once you have baked and cooled all your gingerbread parts, check that your edges are straight and even. If they have some bumps or crooks, carefully ‘shave’ them with a sharp knife if needed. Be very gentle though, as any hectic cuts could break off more of the cookie than you want.
Transfer your aquafaba icing to a large piping bag with a round nozzle – you can do this in batches as the amount of icing might be a bit much for one piping bag.
Start with the back and one sidewall for your vegan gingerbread house. Add a thick line of icing onto the bottom of your back wall and gently place it aside without the icing on it touching anything. Add icing to the bottom and back edge of the sidewall, then place the back wall upright onto the back part of your cake board. Hold it in place with one hand and with the other place the sidewall upright into position with the edges touching. Gently press both walls onto the board and towards each other to set them into place.
I have placed some tins around the walls to help secure them into place whilst they’re drying.
Add the second sidewall in the same manner and for the front add icing to the bottom edge and onto the front edges of both sidewalls. To give it extra stability, carefully squeeze icing into the inside edges of your gingerbread house. Allow for everything to set and dry for at least an hour before continuing. In the meantime, you can decorate your gingerbread cookies to use in the decoration later on!
Once your walls are set and dry, let’s assemble the gingerbread house roof! To prepare best keep a stable item nearby that matches the height of your sidewalls – it’s handy to use it to rest your roof panels whilst they’re drying. On this occasion, I used 2 large glasses and lids from my pantry.
Add icing onto the top edges of all walls and place your roof panels on top. Squeeze more icing into the middle gap between the two roof halves and allow for the roof to set for 30 minutes.
How to decorate a gingerbread house
After 30 minutes setting time you can make a careful start on your decorations – I recommend starting on the front, back and side wall decorations, then moving onto the surrounding areas (if you’re planning to decorate this part) and leaving the roof decor for the very end, so it has a little extra time to set. Be careful not to knock it in the meantime.
Get creative with your decor! You can – like me – stick to icing only, but feel free to go all out. Here are a few ideas of what you could use for decoration:
- gingerbread cookies
- chocolate buttons
- different colour icing (see notes)
- edible glitter
- vegan smarties
The options are endless!
This recipe is:
- 100% vegan
- easy to make
- simple to make gluten-free
- crispy & crunchy
- fun to make
- perfect for your own gingerbread house!
Easy guide to making your own Vegan Gingerbread House – with a base of vegan gingerbread and decorated with easy aquafaba icing.
- 650g plain flour
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 300g soft brown sugar
- 250g dairy-free butter, melted
For the aquafaba icing (half the amount if you’re not planning to decorate the surrounding of the house)
- 150ml aquafaba (unsalted chickpea water, weight before whipping)
- 900–1000g icing sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 180C (360F).
- Sieve the flour, cinnamon, and ginger into a bowl and stir in the brown sugar.
- Pour in the melted dairy-free butter and combine everything into a thick dough with a wooden spoon.
- Divide the dough into 4 parts and roll out the first part on non-stick baking parchment to about 5mm thickness. Place your gingerbread house shapes on top and cut them out of the dough. Add the leftover dough to the next quarter and continue until you have cut 2 of all shapes required. Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 8-9 minutes, then remove and allow for all parts to cool down and harden for at least an hour.
- In the meantime, you can create additional gingerbread decorations for your house – roll out the dough and cut out trees, stars, gingerbread men, and co using cookie cutters. Bake them for 8-9 minutes also and allow them to cool.
- Once your gingerbread is all cooled, make sure your edges are straight and carefully ‘shave’ them with a knife if needed.
- Start making your icing: Place the aquafaba in a large mixing bowl and whip it with an electric mixer for roughly 5-6 minutes or until it starts forming stiff peaks. Add in the vanilla extract and swiftly combine, then start adding your icing sugar in batches. You should aim for a thick, but smooth texture for your icing.
- Transfer your icing to a large piping bag with a round nozzle and start assembling your gingerbread house: Start with the back and one sidewall. Add a thick line of icing onto the bottom of your back wall and gently place it aside without the bottom touching, whilst you add icing to the bottom and back edge of the sidewall. Place the back wall upright onto the back of your cake board, then place the sidewall upright into position with the edges touching. Gently press both walls onto the board and together, if needed use some tins to hold them in place whilst they’re drying. Add the second sidewall in the same manner and for the front add icing to the bottom edge and onto the front edges of both sidewalls. To give it extra stability, carefully squeeze icing into the inside edges of your gingerbread house. Allow for everything to set and dry for at least an hour before continuing. In the meantime, you can decorate your gingerbread cookies to use in the decoration later on!
- Once all set and dry, remove the tins (if used) and assemble the roof. It’s best to have something nearby that matches the height of your sidewalls, so you can rest your roof panels on there whilst they’re drying (I used 2 large glasses and lids). Add icing onto the top edges of all walls and place your roof panels on top. Squeeze more icing into the gap onto the top and allow for the roof to set for 30 minutes, before making a careful start on your decorations – I recommend starting on the front, back and side decorations, then going to surrounding areas and leaving the roof decor for the end, so it has a little extra time to set. Be careful not to knock it in the meantime.
- Get creative with your decor! You can – like me – stick to icing only, but feel free to go all out, add chocolate buttons, different colour icing, sprinkles, edible glitter, vegan smarties, marshmallows, biscuits – the options are endless!
- With regards to the amount of icing: this vastly depends on the number of decorations you would like to draw onto your vegan gingerbread house. On this occasion, I’ve decorated the house, covered the roof and also covered the surrounding cake board entirely. If you’re not looking to add so much icing, please half or quarter the amount, or even better: start with a half/quarter recipe and make more as needed.
- If you’d like to decorate with different colour icing, use colour gels for best results! If using liquid food colouring, reduce the amount of aquafaba slightly to make up for the extra liquid, or add more icing sugar to get the right texture.
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