Using melted sugar to assemble gingerbread houses

As I was searching for a royal icing recipe this week to make our graham cracker gingerbread houses, I came upon a tip hidden in the reviews. The reviewer said that melted sugar makes excellent glue for the setting up the houses—it sets up almost instantly and it sticks well.

I tried it: I melted about 2/3 cup sugar in a small pan. Try not to let it burn like I did: it smelled awful and it looks like chocolate on the finished houses. I was too lazy to start over, since the edibleness of the houses is secondary to the fun of the activity, in my opinion.

When the sugar was melted, I took it off the heat and quickly assembled my prepared cracker pieces by dipping the sides of the crackers in the melted sugar and setting them on my foil-covered cardboard. Try not to get any melted sugar on your finger like I did. It really hurts. (You probably won't want the kids helping with this. My kids were helping their daddy disassemble a fax machine in the next room while I did this, and gingerbread houses held no interest for them at the moment.)

I made up a batch of royal icing for the decorating later—obviously the melted sugar wouldn't work for that; the candy would melt right into it. But I would highly recommend the sugar for assembling the houses. It works!


  1. Great idea! Do you want to know our dirty secret to gingerbread assembly?

    Hot glue gun.

    We figure we're not going to eat it anyway - like you said, the assembly is the fun, not so much the eating. I use royal icing to cover up all the ugly spots. It's effective! Plus Jon is all about things being structurally sound.

  2. This one will make the gingerbread edible. Thanks for the cool idea!

  3. This is how my mom assembled our gingerbread houses every year...although, I'm pretty sure she burned it every year, too.