Vegan Gingerbread House

Homemade vegan gingerbread house including easy step by step instructions and my eggless royal icing. This recipe makes a perfect holiday project that the entire family can enjoy.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 12 minutes
4.86 from 7 votes
gingerbread house with snow.

Have you ever made your own gingerbread house? This year, was the very first year that I embarked on this creative journey into gingerbread construction! And all I can say is that I had SOOOO much fun! It felt like being a kid again, I even doubled the recipe to make two houses in order to create a miniature gingerbread village. Making a gingerbread house is the perfect festive activity that the entire family will enjoy – plus you get to eat it afterwards.

This gingerbread house is made using plantbased ingredients and is an adaptation of my vegan gingerbread cookies recipe with some slight adjustments.

vegan gingerbread house

WHAT INGREDIENTS WILL I NEED?

Ground flaxseeds: Flaxseeds act as the binding agent and egg substitute for this gingerbread cookie recipe. When water is added, flax swells up and forms a gel-like consistency.

All purpose flour: Plain white flour or spelt flour work best for this recipe. For the gluten-free option, a gluten-free all purpose flour also works perfectly.

Vegan butter: Vegan butter is rubbed into the flour to form the base of these soft gingerbread cookies, while adding favour.

Spices:For this gingerbread recipe, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg are combined to which makes them super flavoursome.

Salt: As always, I add a little salt to this recipe as it enhances all the other flavours of the cookies.

Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar has a deep caramel flavour and that is perfect for cookies like these gingerbread people. It is in my opinion, a better alternative to highly refined white sugar.

Molasses: Molasses, blackstrap molasses or black treacle is the liquid sweetener used to give this gingerbread a deep flavour and colour.

Plantbased milk: You can used any plant-based milk of your choice here. I normally use soya or oat milk. Be mindful to take into account what milk you use if you are gluten-free.

Orange zest: This is optional, but highly recommended! The fresh orange zest flavour really comes through and helps to balance the “spiciness” of these cookies.

Aquafaba: Aquafaba is the viscous liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas or other white legumes. Chemically, aquafaba has many of the same components as eggs, making it an ideal substitute for many recipes. The addition of aquafaba to the icing makes it harden when it’s exposed to air.

Icing sugar: Icing sugar is the main ingredient of the vegan royal icing. If you live in the US, be sure to opt for organic variety to ensure that it’s vegan-friendly.

Lemon or orange juice: A touch of orange or lemon juice livens up the icing with a citrus twist. This marries in well with the subtle orange zest flavour of the gingerbread house.

gingerbread house photography

LET’S MAKE A VEGAN GINGERBREAD HOUSE

MAKE THE COOKIE DOUGH

Prepare the flax egg by mixing the milled flaxseeds and 2 ½ tablespoons water and allowing them sit and soak for at least 5 minutes.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the chunks of butter. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a “crumble” consistency. Add the remaining dry ingredients (spices and salt) and stir to evenly combine the ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix the flax egg, coconut sugar, molasses, plant based milk and orange zest (if using) to form a paste.

Add the paste to the dry ingredients and knead until a dough forms. Roll the dough into a ball and cover wrap in cling film or place in an airtight container, and place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.

CUT OUT THE GINGERBREAD COOKIES

gingerbread house dimensions

I used gingerbread house cookie cutters for this design. Here are the Christmas cookie cutters that I used for this exact house. If you’d like to create your own template you can print them out and cut the cookies out using a knife. See the image to the right for reference of the dimensions of the house in this recipe.

If you don’t have gingerbread house cookie cutters, alternatively you can download a gingerbread house template online and use this as a guide to cut out the parts.

Flour your countertop and rolling pin and roll out the dough to approximately ½ inch in height. If using gingerbread house cookie cutters, cut out the two end walls of the house. Cut out windows and a door. Repeat this by re-rolling the remaining dough for the two side walls.

Lastly, re-roll the remaining dough to a ¼ inch in height, and cut the 2 roof panels, as making them lighter will ensure they aren’t too heavy on top of the structure of the house. For the roof panels, you can use a knife or cake scraper to carefully draw a roof tile design.

Carefully slide the cookies on to a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Bake the gingerbread cookies for 12 minutes until they start to brown, then place them on a cooling rack to cool completely for at least 30 minutes.

PREPARE THE VEGAN ROYAL ICING

Meanwhile, prepare the royal icing by adding the aquafaba to a large bowl and whipping with a handheld whisk or stand mixer for 5 minutes. Once bubbly, add the icing sugar in quarter increments whilst continuing to whisk. Lastly, add the lemon or orange juice and whisk for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is thick.

Transfer the icing to a piping bag. When ready to use, snip the top of the bag with a scissors. I use a clothes peg to seal the end while I’m not using it, as the icing will harden when exposed to air.

ASSEMBLING THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Once completely cooled, gently trim away any uneven edges of the cookie panels and ensure that all the pairs are uniform.

Get a flat piece of cardboard to use as the base for building your gingerbread house. Pipe icing on the bottom of one side panel and one front panel of the house, the pipe icing on the side ends and press them together. Repeat this with the remaining 2 panels of the house. If needed, use some food cans as props to support the sides while they dry. Allow to dry for at least an hour before adding the roof!

Once the outside structure of your house is complete and the icing (cement!) has dried, you can add the roof. Pipe royal icing on the top edges of all the house panels and carefully place one roof piece on top. Again, you can use a can or small glass to prop up the side of the roof while it drys.

Add a thick layer of royal icing to the top of the first roof panel, then place the second roof panel onto the house. I’d recommend using some glasses to prop up the sides and support the roof panels while they dry.

Allow to set for at least 2-3 hours (preferably overnight). Make sure you seal the piping bag so that the remaining royal icing doesn’t dry out. The royal icing can be stored at room temperature until ready to use.

Once the house is completely dry, you can start to decorate and add any details that you’d like.

YOU CAN DECORATE THESE GINGERBREAD HOMES HOWEVER YOU LIKE BUT MY FAVOURITES INCLUDE:

Fresh rosemary: Fresh rosemary sprigs make the perfect little “evergreen trees”. Simply pipe some of the vegan royal icing onto the cardboard base to secure the trees.

Wooden lolly sticks: Wooden lolly sticks can be cut to size to create a “picket fence” and held together using a little vegan royal icing.

Icing sugar: Sift icing sugar on top of the roof of the house for the effect of freshly fallen snow.

Cornflour: You can also use cornflour to dust the base and around the gingerbread house to give the effect of snow.

Fairy lights: I added some fairy lights inside and outside of the house for a homely look 🙂

SUBSTITUTIONS

MOLASSES: You can use pure maple syrup in place of the molasses if preferred.

VEGAN BUTTER: If you’re not able to get vegan butter you can try using coconut oil in it’s place. Although I haven’t tried using coconut oil in this recipe, this is commonly used in place of vegan butter in cookie recipes.

ALL PURPOSE FLOUR: You can use spelt flour or wholegrain flour in place of plain flour. If you’re gluten-free you can opt for an all purpose gluten-free flour in place of regular flour.

vegan gingerbread house with royal icing

WHY MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Plant-based and vegan-friendly
  • A great festive activity for the entire family
  • Full of festive vibes
  • Makes a beautiful edible Christmas decoration
  • Makes a beautiful Christmas gift for neighbours and loved ones
  • Surprisingly easy to make
  • Can be adapted as gluten-free
  • Free from eggs, dairy and all other animal-derived additives
  •  

OTHER FESTIVE VEGAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

gingerbread house with snow.

Vegan Gingerbread House

4.86 from 7 votes
PRINT RECIPE PIN RECIPE
Homemade vegan gingerbread house including easy step by step instructions and my egg-free royal icing. This recipe makes a perfect holiday project that the entire family can enjoy.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 12 mins
Servings 1 Gingerbread house

EQUIPMENT

  • Christmas cookie cutters (https://amzn.to/3mFo6Py)

INGREDIENTS

VEGAN GINGERBREAD

  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds *see notes
  • 350 g all purpose flour
  • 150 g vegan butter cut into small chunks
  • 30 g ground ginger
  • 15 g ground cinnamon
  • 5 g ground nutmeg
  • Pinch salt
  • 150 g soft brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 30 g molasses
  • 30 ml plantbased milk
  • 15 g orange zest optional

VEGAN ROYAL ICING

  • 80 g aquafaba unsalted
  • 500 g icing sugar *use organic if based in the US
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or orange juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Prepare the flax egg by mixing the milled flaxseeds and 2 ½ tablespoons water and allowing them sit and soak for at least 5 minutes.
  • Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the chunks of butter. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a "crumble" consistency.
  • Add the ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and salt and stir to evenly combine the ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flax egg, coconut sugar, molasses, plant based milk and orange zest (if using) to form a paste.
  • Add the paste to the dry ingredients and knead until a dough forms. Roll the dough into a ball and cover wrap in cling film or place in an airtight container, and place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F)
  • Flour your countertop and roll out the dough to approximately ½ inch in height. If using gingerbread house cookie cutters, cut out 2 of each part (2 side walls, 2 end walls and cut out windows and a door. Lastly cut the 2 roof panels at ¼ inch in height, as making them lighter will ensure they aren't too heavy on top of the structure of the house.
    If you don't have gingerbread house cookie cutters, alternatively you can download a gingerbread house template online and use this as a guide to cut out the parts. I have listed the gingerbread cookie cutter set that I've used in the equipment section of this recipe, so that you can refer to it for size guidelines.
  • For the roof panels, you can use a knife to carefully draw a roof tile design.
  • Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 minutes until they start to brown, then place them on a cooling rack to cool completely for at least 30 minutes.
  • Once completely cooled, gently trim away any uneven edges of the cookie panels and ensure that all the pairs are uniform.
  • To make the royal icing, add the aquafaba to a large bowl and whip with a handheld whisk or stand mixer for 5 minutes. Add the icing sugar in quarter increments whilst continuing to whisk. Lastly, add the lemon or orange juice and whisk for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is thick.
  • Transfer the icing to a piping bag. When ready to use, snip the top of the bag with a scissors. I use a clothes peg to seal the end while I'm not using it, as the icing will harden when exposed to air.
  • Get a flat piece of cardboard to use as the base for building your gingerbread house. Pipe icing on the bottom of one side panel and one front panel of the house, the pipe icing on the side ends and press them together. Repeat this with the remaining 2 panels of the house. If needed, use some food cans as props to support the sides while they dry. Allow to dry for at least an hour before adding the roof!
  • Once the outside structure of your house is complete and the icing (cement!) has dried, you can add the roof. Pipe royal icing on the top edges of all the house panels and carefully place one roof piece on top. Again, you can use a can or small glass to prop up the side of the roof while it drys.
  • Add a thick layer of royal icing to the top of the first roof panel, then place the second roof panel onto the house. I'd recommend using some glasses to prop up the sides and support the roof panels while they dry.
  • Allow to set for at least 2-3 hours (preferably overnight). Make sure you seal the piping bag so that the remaining royal icing doesn't dry out. The royal icing can be stored at room temperature until ready to use.
  • Once the house is completely dry, you can start to decorate and add any details that you'd like. You can use the remainder of the royal icing to create a snow effect on and around the gingerbread house.
  • To decorate, you can use fresh sprigs of rosemary to resemble evergreen trees and a picket fence made from wooden lolly sticks. Dust the roof of the house with some icing sugar for the feel of freshly fallen snow.

RECIPE NOTES

*Flax egg= mix 1 tbsp milled flaxseeds and 2.5 tbsp water and sit for at least 5 minutes before stirring.
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6 thoughts on "Vegan Gingerbread House"

    1. Hi Jess,

      No not at all! That’s my error, it’s been updated in the recipe now. Thanks so much for calling it out 🙂

  1. I followed your wonderful recipe and made a gingerbread house for my nieces. It worked out perfectly! I was concerned it was going to be difficult, but the recipe was super easy to follow and the taste of the gingerbread cookies turned out to be absolutely delightful! The royal icing was easy to work with as well, such a great idea with the aquafaba! Thank you for this recipe, we all enjoyed it so much!

    1. Hi Annika,

      Thank you so much for the amazing feedback! I’m so happy to hear that you loved the recipe and enjoyed making it for your nieces!