Melt Sugar For A Sturdier Gingerbread House That Stands All Season

While gingerbread houses are supposed to be a fun holiday activity, we've all experienced the frustrations of gingerbread structures that won't stay up and pieces that don't hold together no matter how much frosting we use. But, you don't have to face these frustrations this holiday season. You can strengthen your gingerbread homes by using melted sugar as the glue to hold your pieces together. Royal icing is typically used as the structural glue for gingerbread houses, but a downside is having to wait for the royal icing to set and then hoping it'll hold in place all season. Melted sugar sets very quickly and keeps everything in place all December long.

To create your melted sugar glue, all you need is white granulated sugar and a stovetop. Add one cup of white sugar to a pan and slowly heat it on low heat. It's important to keep an eye on your sugar to ensure it doesn't burn. Once you see the sugar begin to melt and become a syrupy liquid, your sugar glue is ready. The whole process takes about 10 minutes at most. Once your sugar has melted, you'll want to move quickly to start assembling your gingerbread house so the sugar doesn't cool before you've used it. If the sugar does cool before you're done, simply reheat it until it reaches the same consistency as before. To assemble your gingerbread house, dip the edges into the sugar glue, then hold the pieces together until the sugar hardens.

Tips for making your gingerbread houses even sturdier

After you've made the shell of your gingerbread house, you can go back in and reinforce the edges of your structure with royal icing. This still gives the traditional gingerbread house look without relying solely on the icing to hold it together, plus, it gives your house a little extra security to stay upright. When you begin decorating your gingerbread home, be mindful about what candies you use. Heavier candies, like gumdrops or peppermints, may weigh down your walls and roofs. Try and use these sparingly on pieces that need to be upright and instead focus on using them on the base of your build.

When thinking of where to display your gingerbread home, be mindful to keep it away from windows or air vents, as changing temperatures can weaken your structure over time. The best way to display your house to preserve its longevity is by placing it on a serving tray and showing it off in a dry, cool area of your home. If you're planning on eating the gingerbread house, it's recommended to do this within a day of crafting it so the pieces don't become stale.