This Is Why Your Gingerbread House Is Getting Soft

Building a gingerbread house is a traditional holiday activity that has been passed along for generations and is incredibly useful to entertain the kids at home, especially during these times. If you're looking to construct your gingerbread house from scratch following age-old family recipes or quick and easy ones found online, there are a few issues you'll be sure to experience as you build your picture-perfect version. One of those could very will be a gingerbread house that has gone too soft. Stressful, right? Well, to most of us, it happens all too often and inevitably leads to a culinary collapse, sad tears, and wasted hours that are worthy of a Pinterest fail!

So whether this your first or fiftieth time making a gingerbread house, here is some much needed information that'll surely come in handy to make sure your gingerbread house stays in tip-top shape long enough to survive the holidays.

The secret to a happy, sturdy gingerbread house is in the cookie

As we all remain stuck at home during the pandemic, sure you'll want to show off your awesome gingerbread house on social media, as it's probably the only place where your friends and family will get to see it in all its glory. So, you better make sure your house is set to last! The secret? A strong cookie!

You might be following a recipe that calls for tasty, soft, and chewy cookies, but to remain the last house standing, you'll want to think twice before you go for a cookie with these traits, or one that's too thin that'll crack just by looking at it. If your gingerbread house is just for show, opt for a recipe like this one from Haniela's that avoids the use of a leavening agent which allows the cookie to bake into hard, firm shapes and results in a strong base for your gingerbread house, which is especially useful when it comes time to decorate with icing and candy.

If you'll be indulging in your gingerbread house, try this recipe from Wholefully, where you'll definitely want to add a leavening agent. Overall, the golden rule here, according to Reader's Digest, is to use a ruler to measure the thickness of the dough before you cut into shapes and bake.

Patience is key, and be sure to store your gingerbread in a cool, dry place

Without a doubt, the key to building a successful gingerbread house is patience. Yes, the one missing ingredient from most recipes. If the icing hasn't had enough time to dry there's no way it'll hold the walls, the ceiling, or even the candy. Allow each step to thoroughly dry and give it a few hours before you move on and risk it all.

If you've made it far enough to have the entire house standing, remember gingerbread is susceptible to moisture (via The Gardening Cook). The culprit behind why your frosting won't harden? Moisture. Ultimately, be sure to keep the gingerbread house in a cool, dry place for its permanent location as you won't want to wake up to what looks like a construction demolition site. Yikes!

Whether you're building the best gingerbread house or baking delicious Christmas cookies, remember that as you and your family embark on this baking adventure, it's all ultimately about having fun and making memories — no matter if or how the cookie crumbles.