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Miniature Gingerbread House Cake

Humbly Homemade
This miniature gingerbread house cake is festive & adorable! Tiny gingerbread houses on top are decorated with royal icing snow & icicles. And candied cranberries add a pop of seasonal tart flavor!
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Fridge Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings


Cake Layers and Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 8-inch layers of any cake of your choice. (I made a delicious cookie butter cake with homemade cookie butter.)
  • cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 3 Tbsp milk or dairy-free milk, as needed

Miniature Gingerbread Houses & Royal Icing

  • Leftover gingerbread house dough, or ½ or ¼ portion of your favorite gingerbread dough recipe. I used the dough recipe from Food52 (see blog post above).
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 to 5 Tbsp water, as needed
  • ½ egg white. (To measure out half an egg white, first measure the weight of a whole egg white, then just use half of that in your royal icing.)

Candied Cranberries

  • cups fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided


Construct the Layer Cake

  • Bake the two 8-inch layers of your cake of choice, and let them cool completely.
    Trim any carnalized edges off the sides. Trim the tops so they are level and even.
  • While the cake layers cook, whip up the buttercream frosting.
    Add the softened butter into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat the butter for about 5 minutes, until it is soft, fluffy and pale yellow.
  • Add one cup of the sifted powdered sugar and beat it on a low speed until the sugar is fully incorporated.
    Repeat two more times with remaining powdered sugar.
  • Beat the buttercream for another five minutes to become really smooth and fluffy.
    If you feel like your buttercream is still too stiff, whisk in 1 tablespoons of milk at a time to help loosen your buttercream. It should be stiff enough to stick on the sides of your cake without sliding down.
  • Add a small dollop of frosting onto your plate or cake stand, then place the first cake layer on top.
    Spread the buttercream frosting onto the top of the first cake layer, about ⅓ to ½ inch thick.
    Place the second cake layer on top and apply a crumb coat of frosting. Add just enough frosting to cover the sides and the top of the cake to lock in all the crumbs. Smooth it out as best as possible.
    Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, until the buttercream has firmed.
  • Add the top layer of buttercream frosting on all the sides and the top of the cake and smooth it out. Refrigerate the cake for another 30 minutes, until the buttercream is firm again.

Construct the Miniature Gingerbread Houses

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
    Roll out the gingerbread dough to about ⅓-inch thick on a floured work surface.
    Use cookie cutters or hand-drawn paper templates to cut out miniature houses. You'll need four walls and two roof pieces for each house.
  • Transfer the gingerbread pieces to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
    Bake until the edges are darker brown - my pieces took about 8 to 12 minutes to bake.
    Let the gingerbread cool completely.
  • While the gingerbread cools, prepare the royal icing by sifting 3 cups of powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment along with two tablespoons of water and half an egg white (see note above on how to halve an egg white).
    Mix on low speed. Add one additional tablespoon of water at a time until your icing is smooth and creamy. You'll want it thin enough to pipe out of a piping bag, but thick enough so it doesn't spread out everywhere.
  • Add the royal icing into a piping bag with a small round nozzle/tip. Use the royal icing to secure the walls of each miniature gingerbread house to the cake and to each other. Then use more royal icing to attach the roof pieces to each house.
    Finally, get creative with your royal icing to decorate each gingerbread house with icicles, windows, etc.

Decorate with Candied Cranberries

  • Rinse and dry the cranberries.
    In a small sauce pan, add ½ cup water and ½ cup of the sugar. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Stir in the cranberries to fully coat them for about 2 minutes.
  • Drain the cranberries from the syrup. Spread out the cranberries on a baking sheet to dry for at least one hour, or overnight.
    Note: you can reserve the syrup for drizzling on top of other desserts!
  • Roll the cranberries in the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Add more sugar as necessary to full coat the cranberries.
    Use the remaining royal icing to secure the candied cranberries to the top and bottom edges of the cake.
    Now get ready to wow your friends & family! Enjoy!!
Keyword candied cranberries, candied cranberry recipe, cookie butter cake, gingerbread house cake, gingerbread house village, mini gingerbread, mini gingerbread houses, miniature gingerbread house, small gingerbread houses, tiny gingerbread house