The countdown to Christmas is on! While you’re decorating your home with twinkling lights and towering trees, we’ve got the recipe for creating the ultimate festive classic — gingerbread houses! Gingerbread houses are an iconic holiday craft, dating back to the 16th century in Germany. These days, gingerbread houses are a great way to bring family and friends together. Create a friendly competition to see who can build the jolliest home of all! Here are seven simple steps to make a gingerbread masterpiece:



Graham crackers

White icing 

Quart-sized plastic bag


Paper plate or cardboard

Assorted candy (chocolate chips, gumdrops, peppermints, marshmallows, candy canes)

Powdered sugar



  1. Scoop icing into a quart-sized plastic bag and seal tightly. Squeeze all the icing into the bottom corner of the bag. Use scissors to cut a small hole at the tip. This is your piping bag!
  2. Create the base foundation of your home by lying an even number of graham cracker sheets in a flat square or rectangular shape on the paper plate. Use frosting to stick the graham crackers together.
  3. Use large graham cracker sheets to build the walls of your home, using the same icing method as before. Make sure that the graham crackers really stick together!
  4. Place two sheets of graham cracker squares diagonally on the top edge of your walls to make the roof. Secure your roof with icing.
  5. Use your wildest imagination to decorate the outside of your gingerbread house with assorted candies!
  6. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top to give your house a snowy look.
  7. Enjoy your yummy masterpiece!

Share pics with us on Austin Family magazine’s Facebook page, or use the hastags #atx_family and #austinymca on Twitter and Instagram!


This activity is brought to you by YMCA Austin, a dynamic association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility.



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