Easy No Bake Gingerbread House – a simple way to make a “gingerbread” house using graham crackers and nuts. It’s the perfect holiday activity for the kids and best of all, no baking required! Plus a short video.
You might remember that my insanely enthusiastic husband puts up our Christmas tree every year immediately after Halloween. In the past, I’ve always tried to tell him to hold back but now that we have two little ones who squeal with excitement every time we turn on the Christmas lights, I have learned to just go with the flow.
Another holiday activitiy we look forward to every year is building a gingerbread house. It’s one of our favorites and the kiddos always have a blast.
This year instead of going the traditional route with a homemade gingerbread dough and candy, we decided to use graham crackers for an easier no-bake version.
And as a healthier option, we decorated the house with an assortment of nuts from Diamond of California since we love the quality and the variety they have.
To assemble this No Bake Gingerbread House, you’ll want something that dries hard, so we used royal icing to ensure that the house would remain stable.
I usually like to use meringue powder when I’m making royal icing instead of egg whites which you can find at your local craft store or online. It’s a dry powder that helps your frosting to harden and glue like cement.
Once you finish building the gingerbread house, set it aside for a few hours so that the icing can set.
When you’re ready to decorate, set out the nuts into individual bowls and have a plastic piping bag or sandwich bag of royal icing ready to go.
We started off by gluing the bottom of the house to a round cake circle.
Then we started adding sliced almonds as the walls for the front and back of the house, pretzel squares for the windows, a dried cranberry for the circle window and pretzel sticks for the door.
For the roof, I used a combination of chopped walnuts and whole almonds to create the shingles.
The Christmas “lights” were created by alternating green peas and dried cranberries along the edge of the roof and I lined the corners of the house with pretzle sticks and the bottom sides of the house with pecans.
I used pine nuts to create the walkway and lined it with pistachios. Diced walnuts were spread out to create the lawn along with crushed roasted green peas.
I made a pine tree using pistachios and frosting and lined the the front of the house with macadamia stones and made a cashew rock boulder along with a cashew lawn border.
For an extra fun touch, I added some gingerbread fondant men and sprinkled some powdered sugar for the snow.
The kids and I had a blast making this gingerbread house and watching it come to life using nuts.
Part of the fun of making gingerbread houses is getting to munch on the decorations during the process. And since we used mostly nuts, I had no problem with the kiddos sneaking in bites here and there.
This no bake gingerbread house makes it easier to enjoy a fun afternoon activity with the family during the holidays.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Diamond of California. All opinions are 100% my own.
More holiday treats:
Easy No Bake Gingerbread House with Nuts
- 12 graham crackers, per house
- Royal Icing *see recipe below
- Diamond of California sliced almonds
- Diamond of California finely diced walnuts
- Diamond of California whole almonds
- Diamond of California shelled pecans
- Diamond of California pine nuts
- Diamond of California pistachios
- Diamond of Diamond of California cashews
- Diamond of California macadamia nuts
- Pretzel sticks
- Pretzel squares
- Dried roasted green peas
- Dried cranberries
- Medium round cardboard circle for the surface (cake circles work great)
- Optional: powdered sugar for snow, gingerbread fondant men
- Royal Icing
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 Tablespoons meringue powder
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup warm water plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the Royal Icing
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together meringue powder and powdered sugar. Add warm water, 2 tablespoons at a time while mixing on high speed for about 5-7 minutes or until stiff peaks are achieved. Add more water as needed if too running but the consistency should be thick enough to hold the house pieces together. Transfer to a piping bag or a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off.
- To make the House
- Place two graham cracker sheets on the cake circle to form the floor. Pipe icing in the middle and glue together. Then pipe icing along all four edges, working quickly, place the house's four walls (which should stand across from each other) onto the icing and pipe more icing where the crackers touch vertically.
- Pipe icing along one side of the house and glue one graham cracker on top of it to form a roof. Allow time to dry and harden.. Snap a graham cracker into two rectangles and attach to the roof and side of the house to close off the roof. Repeat with other side.
- Cut a triangle for each end of the roof from two separate graham crackers. Secure with royal icing.
- Set aside gingerbread house for a at least 3 hours to dry and set. The house can be made a few days in advance.
- Add sliced almonds to the front and back of the house, starting from the bottom and work your way up and secure with glue. Add pretzel squares for the windows on all four sides of the house and pretzel sticks for the doors. For the door handle, attach one green pea and secure with royal icing. Add a dried cranberry for the circle window.
- Line the sides of the house with pretzel sticks and the bottom side of the house with pecans, broken in half.
- Add chopped walnuts to the sides of the house on the roof in a semi-circle pattern. Secure whole almonds diagonally for the remainder of the roof the same pattern and add one pecan for the middle.
- Add "lights" on the roof using green peas and dried cranberries.
- Create a walkway using pine nuts and line pistachios along the border. Spread out diced walnuts to create the lawn around the house and add crushed green peas.
- Pile pistachios in layers to create pine trees with royal icing.
- Add macadamia nuts for rocks and cashews for a rock boulder and a lawn border around the house.
- Add gingerbread fondant men and sprinkle powdered sugar for snow.
I'd love to see! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #LIFEMADESWEETER or tag me @lifemadesweeter on Instagram!