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Paleo Gingerbread House

Friends! Did you see my guest post on the Paleo Parents last week?

If you missed it, no worries. I’m re-sharing it here today!

Gingerbread houses are an integral part of our family’s Christmas celebrations. We spend an entire afternoon making, decorating, and then admiring. Determined that there’s bound to be a way to make a healthier gingerbread house, I got busy experimenting.

This recipe is complete with colorful, nutrient-dense gumdrops; cookies that {I guarantee} will become your go-to for delicious “I can’t believe these are Paleo” gingerbread men; and an all-natural Royal icing which makes the perfect edible house glue. Note that my frosting does contain powdered sugar – while this doesn’t usually fall within the parameters of a Paleo lifestyle, it is unmatched in its ability to create a hard frosting. Instead of the mystery ingredient meringue powder, I’m providing steps for Royal icing with natural, household ingredients. Enjoy sparingly!

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As always, I hope you love this recipe and find my step-by-step photo instructions helpful.

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You can take this recipe as far as you want! Go for the full-blown 2-3 day homemade candy and gingerbread house experience or just use the dough to make cookies! Either way, I support you 100%.

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Now let’s get to work! These are all the players in our Paleo-friendly gumdrops. We’ll walk through each step and ingredient one at a time and then at the bottom of this post, you can find the summarized recipe.

For this example, we’re going to make pink gumdrops! I also made purple, yellow and green {ingredients for these will all be listed below}. Regardless of the flavor, we’ll need one cup of fruit or vegetables.

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I chose a mixture of strawberries and cranberries. Put the fruit into a blender.

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Add 1-2 Tbs of maple syrup – adjust with more or less depending on your taste.

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We’ll also need 1 cup of liquid. I used a mixture of approximately ¼ cup lemon juice and ¾ cup water. Use all water if you don’t like sour candies.

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Gelatin! The magical and incredibly healing ingredient. You will need THIS kind for these gummies to work. I promise this won’t be a one-purpose purchase. You will find yourself using this gelatin for a lot of really fun projects.

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Add 5 Tbs of the gelatin to the blender or blender cup.

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Blend! Ah it smells so good. Must resist the urge to gobble it up right now.

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For easy gumdrop pouring, I like to use a pastry bag. You can use either a real pastry bag or just pour the fruit mixture into a plastic bag-lined cup.

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Pull the bag out.

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And clip the corner! Poof! Inexpensive pastry bag is born.

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Have you seen these cute little ice cube trays? We’re going to use them to mold our gumdrops! I found this one HERE.

If you don’t have one of these trays, you could also just pour the liquid fruit mixture into a plastic wrap-lined baking dish. Let it set in the fridge overnight then use a small circular cookie cutter {or maybe even a ring?} to cut little discs.

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If you’re using the ice cube tray, pipe the fruit mixture into each little opening.

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Scrape off the tops.

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And then put this puppy into the freezer!

Note that this recipe will make about 120 gumdrops {WOW that’s a lot} so either half the recipe or snack to your hearts desire. They’re healthy after all!

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After the gumdrops have set in the freezer overnight, pop them out then store in an open-air container in the refrigerator. On the day you make your gingerbread house, pull the gumdrops out of the refrigerator so that they can crisp and dehydrate a bit on the counter – dryness will help them stick to the frosting.

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Now let’s make the actual gingerbread! Pour 3 cups of almond flour into a large bowl.

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Add 1 tsp ground ginger.

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Then 1 tsp cinnamon.

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Then throw in ½ tsp ground cloves.

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½ tsp kosher salt.

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And then finally ½ tsp baking soda.

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That’s it for the dry ingredients!

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Give it a good whisk to combine and break up any almond flour chunks.

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Onto the wet ingredients! We’re using blackstrap molasses as the main sweetener in these cookies. It will give the gingerbread that flavor you know and love.

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Pour ½ cup of the molasses into a jar.

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Add 2 Tbs of maple syrup.

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Then to that, add 2 Tbs of extra virgin coconut oil.

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Take this jar and either stick it in the microwave {if you’re okay with using microwaves} or heat it on the stove until the oil melts and the molasses is running thinly.

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All melted? Good! If it feels hot to the touch, let it cool for a bit. We don’t want it to cook our next ingredient.

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Add 1 egg.

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Whisk together!

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Pour the wet into the dry ingredients.

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Stir until it’s evenly combined.

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Take your dough and plop it onto a few sheets of plastic wrap {parchment paper would work too}.

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Wrap it up and place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. We want it nice and firm before we start cutting our cookies.

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While the dough is firming in the refrigerator, make your cookie stencils! You can use the dimensions here on paper or use them to trace onto a poster board.

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The gingerbread cookie rolling Mise en Place! We’ve got our chilled dough, the cookie stencils, a rolling pin, and a bowl of arrowroot flour {our saving grace}.

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Throw some arrowroot flour onto a large piece of parchment paper.

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Put the cold dough on top.

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Then sprinkle with more arrowroot.

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Roll into a ball {using as much arrowroot as you need}.

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Then flatten with your hands.

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Rolling pen time!

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Roll until it’s about ¼“ thick.

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Make sure it’s well dusted with arrowroot! Sticky cookies aren’t much fun.

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Place your cutouts on the dough in any arrangement that works. If you can’t fit them all in on the first go, no worries! You’ll get ‘em on the next.

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Using a knife, trace each stencil.

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This is so exciting!

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Pull the non-cookie dough away from the cut pieces.

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From here, carefully move each piece onto a new piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

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Roll the leftover dough out and cut your remaining pieces.

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When you’ve got all the pieces on their baking sheet, I recommend you take your original stencils and reform any that are misshapen.

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Time for the oven! Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.

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Done! Let them cool completely before you move any pieces. Once they’re cooled, carefully transfer them to a wire cooling rack so that they can cool and harden over night.

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It’s finally here. Gingerbread house day! We made our gumdrops, we made our house pieces, and now it’s time to make the frosting!

Add 6 Tbs liquid egg whites to either your stand mixer or a bowl ready for your hand-held mixer.

Note: royal icing is usually made with a powdered meringue powder that’s packed full of non-intelligible ingredients. Egg whites make a great substitute.

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Add 2 tsp fresh lemon juice.

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Mix these two together until it’s frothy like this.

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We’re going to use organic powdered sugar for this frosting. While the refined sugar isn’t a health product, its ability to make a royal frosting is completely unmatched.

Sift the powdered sugar until you have 3 cups.

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Look at those clumps! Nobody likes clumpy frosting.

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Ah, beautiful sifted powdered sugar. My Nana would be so proud.

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With the mixer on low, slowly add the 3 cups of sugar to the egg whites and lemon mixture.

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Pause after the sugar has been added to scrape down the sides.

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Then turn the speed up! Run the mixer on high speed for at least 6 minutes.

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If your kitchen looks this messy, you’re doing something right.

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It’s finally done!

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Perfect frosting.

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Spoon some of it into a bowl if you want to color it.

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Cut the tip of a pastry bag or plastic bag {I find that because I’m using a fitted tip, an actual pastry bag works best here}.

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Push a star tip through the opening.

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Grab a few big spoonfuls of the frosting.

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And put it in the bag.

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OR, put a few drops of all-natural food coloring onto about ½ cup of frosting. I made green frosting for the trees.

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Add that frosting to it’s own bag.

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Then squeeze until it comes through the tip.

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Before you get too carried away frosting your soon to be gorgeous house, cover any leftover frosting with plastic wrap – this will help keep it from drying out.

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Start frosting!

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Add decorations as you go – especially before the frosting dries. The Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips make great decorations if you don’t want to make gumdrops.

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Time to make the house! Choose your plate or platter and lay out the pieces so you have an idea of where it will go.

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Lay one line of frosting.

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Place the first piece in the middle of the line and hold until it’s able to stand on its own. This should take between 30 and 60 seconds.

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Lay an adjoining piece by piping frosting on the plate and along the side of the original piece.

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Continue with the next!

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Then the final piece.

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Scrape off any large clumps of leftover frosting and don’t worry if it looks messy … A) this is just for fun and B) we can always cover it up with more frosting.

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The foundation is set!

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Pipe a generous amount of frosting along the roofline.

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Then place the roof pieces on top and hold into place until they’re set. This will probably take about 2 minutes.

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Using a star tip, pipe the frosting over all seams.

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Using a small circular tip, decorate the roof, doors, and windows.

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Add the gumdrops! I cut mine in half so that they wouldn’t stick out as much.

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How cute is THAT?!

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I love it so much.

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Pipe some frosting on the plate for your other decorations.

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Trees! This gingerbread house needed trees.

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And side windows. Oh, hey Peter! Peter’s my photo-bombing gingerbread man. This is his house.

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Peter wanted a close-up. He also asked that I turn on his Christmas lights.

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Adorable! I hope you have the absolute BEST time making your own Paleo gingerbread house and be sure to share pictures on Instagram and Facebook!

Paleo Gingerbread House

Makes 1 house and ~8 cookies


Paleo Gumdrops:

1 cup fresh fruit and vegetables

–Pink Gumdrops: strawberries & cranberries

–Purple Gumdrops: blueberries

–Yellow Gumdrops: mango

–Green Gumdrops: green apple and spinach

2 Tbs maple syrup

¾ cup water

¼ cup lemon juice {optional, use water if you don’t like sour}

5 Tbs gelatin

Paleo Gingerbread Cookies:

3 cups almond flour

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp baking soda

½ cup blackstrap molasses, warmed slightly

2 Tbs maple syrup

2 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil, melted

1 egg

½ cup arrowroot flour {for rolling out dough}

Gluten-Free & All-Natural Royal Icing:

6 Tbs cage-free egg whites

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

3 cups sifted powdered sugar


Paleo Gumdrops:

Blend all ingredients together and either pipe into a gumdrop-shaped ice cube tray or pour onto a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet.

If using an ice tray, freeze overnight then break out of mold. Store in an uncovered container in the refrigerator until day of use.

If using a baking sheet, let set in refrigerator overnight then cut circles out and store in an uncovered container in the refrigerator until day of use.

On house construction day, place on counter so that they completely dry which will help them adhere to the frosting.

Paleo Gingerbread Cookies:

Whisk all dry ingredients together and in a separate bowl, whisk all the wet. Add the wet to the dry and stir until evenly combined. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and set in refrigerator to cool and harden for either 4 hours or overnight.

On a large piece of parchment paper well dusted with arrowroot flour, start rolling out the dough until it’s ¼” thick. Use gingerbread house stencils to measure and cut pieces. Carefully place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Resize with stencils on baking sheet if necessary.

Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheet before moving. When cooled, transfer to a wire baking rack to cool and firm overnight.

Gluten-Free & All-Natural Royal Icing:

On high speed, whisk the egg whites and lemon juice together until they form a thick foam. On low speed, carefully add spoonfuls of the 3 cups of powdered sugar until all is combined. Turn speed up to high and whisk for 6 minutes.

Transfer to piping bag, color in bowls, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.


On a platter or plate, pipe frosting with a star-shaped tip to form the outline of one piece of the gingerbread house. Place the piece and hold in place until firm {about 1 minute}. Pipe the bottom of the next piece and siding with original. Place piece and hold. Continue until all four foundation pieces are set. Pipe the roofline with a generous amount of frosting and place roof pieces at the same time. Hold in place until set {about 2 minutes}.

Using a small circular tip, pipe all decorative accents on house. Decorate with gumdrops and Enjoy Life chocolate chips, as you like! Cut the gumdrops in half for a smaller application.

Store on counter and enjoy.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. I did see your guest post and completely drooled over my computer screen. I’ll definitely have to try my hand at this recipe… although, I’m sure it won’t come out half as lovely as yours.

    December 22, 2013
  2. This looks amazing. I may have to try this tomorrow if I have time. Thanks for doing all the hard work to create such a fun treat!

    December 23, 2013
  3. Very cute. 🙂

    December 24, 2013
  4. How adorable!

    December 30, 2013
  5. Sandra #

    What’s the difference between the gelatin you mentioned and the gelatin packets from the store?

    January 10, 2014

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