Icing for a Gingerbread House Recipe

This thick and sturdy royal icing is perfect for building a gingerbread house, or giving it quick-dry embellishments.

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why This Recipe Works

  • Powdered sugar dissolves more readily in raw applications like icing.
  • Egg whites hydrate the sugar, while also providing protein to strengthen the icing.
  • Beating aerates the icing, helping it set more quickly.

There are a lot of different types of royal icing out there, but if you're building and decorating a gingerbread house, you'll want one that's relatively low in moisture. That ensures it will dry out fast, which will keep your designs from smudging and your walls from budging (if you'll pardon the rhyme).

Recipe Details

Icing for a Gingerbread House Recipe

Prep 5 mins
Active 5 mins
Total 5 mins
Serves 6 servings
Makes 2 cups

This thick and sturdy royal icing is perfect for building a gingerbread house, or giving it quick-dry embellishments.


  • 1 ounce egg white (2 tablespoons; 28g) from 1 large egg

  • 12 ounces powdered sugar (3 cups; 340g), divided


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine egg white with half the powdered sugar. Mix at low speed until sugar disappears into a paste, then gradually sprinkle in the rest. Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth and light, about 2 minutes. If too stiff, thin icing with a few drops of water. Use immediately; keep covered tightly in plastic to prevent icing from drying in bowl. Royal icing can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 12 hours.

  2. For Coloring: To dye royal icing with gel paste (see note), divide into as many bowls as you wish to have colors. Cover each tightly with plastic. Working with 1 bowl at a time, add 1 drop gel paste to a batch of icing, then stir until fully incorporated before adjusting color with more gel. Cover bowls tightly when not in use.

Special equipment

Stand mixer, disposable pastry bag


To dye royal icing, concentrated gel paste works better than liquid food coloring because it's more vibrant and won't alter the consistency of the icing. I love this Americolor 12-piece coloring kit, packaged in squeeze bottles so you never have to worry about making a mess.

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
223 Calories
0g Fat
57g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 223
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 55g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 9mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)