Not Martha

tiny gingerbread houses, a few variations

gingerbread houses meant to perch on the edge of a mug

Earlier I made gingerbread houses meant to perch on the edge of a mug, but I wanted to work on a few more things.

gingerbread houses meant to perch on the edge of a mug

First, since these are meant to be eaten I wanted to cut down on the amount of royal icing. I still used it to assemble the houses, but to get sugar decorations to stick to the roofs I decided to use simple syrup. I heated one part water and one part sugar and let it bubble for a while on the stove just so it would thicken. After it was thoroughly cooled I put a dot on the roof and spread it around using a small brush I keep to use as a mini pastry brush. Then I sprinkled sanding sugar or nonpareils. I let it dry overnight and it worked nicely. It tastes a lot better than a layer of royal icing, and I like the way it allows the gingerbread to peek through.

gingerbread houses meant to perch on the edge of a mug

Second, I added a chimney. I rolled out some gingerbread dough a bit thicker and cut out a square-ish shape, using the house template to get the correct angle.

gingerbread houses meant to perch on the edge of a mug

I think it turned out very cute, though I found that the taller chimneys looked incongruous, so I’ll stick to very short chimneys.

gingerbread houses meant to perch on the edge of a mug

Third I decided to see what whole happen if I moved the door shape, the part that fits over the mug, off to one side to allow more of the house to hang on the outside of the mug. It worked just fine but moving it over made the pieces more delicate and I broke three out of six during assembly, enough to convince me to keep the door where it is.

gingerbread houses meant to perch on the edge of a mug

Last I wanted to see if it would work out using sugar cookie dough. This was from a mix (I know, I know but I had hit my cookie dough-making wall) and spread quite a bit despite a good amount of chilling before baking. I trimmed the doors when the cookies came out of the oven and were still pliable. They still worked out nicely. Now I’m wondering if there would be a way to make one out of shortbread.

gingerbread houses meant to perch on the edge of a mug

· comments [116] · 12-22-2009 · categories:christmas ·

116 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Joanne at frutto della passione // Dec 22, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Amazing, I probably won’t get around to making these this Christmas, but next year they will be at the top of my *To Do* list!

  • 2 Heather // Dec 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I think these are the most charming things I have ever seen in my whole. entire. life.

    Better than Gremlins, better than E.T.

  • 3 megan // Dec 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Aw, big thanks to you both. I had a lot of fun thinking these up and making them.

  • 4 Estela @ Weekly Bite // Dec 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Okay, this is seriously the cutest thing I’ve even seen!

  • 5 Whit // Dec 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I made these last night…but I hot glued them because I have not the patience for Royal Icing. They turned out fabulous and will make the cutest Christmas gifts! Thanks!

  • 6 Nicola // Dec 22, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Whit you made me LOL so hard.

  • 7 Bee // Dec 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    These are so cunning, so adorable, so perfect in every way! (Were you also a dollhouse person as a child?)

    My children and I made a BIG gingerbread house this year. We used simple syrup to glue it all together — much recommended for a thicker wall. I don’t dare show them this website.

    Merry Christmas!

  • 8 Elis // Dec 22, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    These are so freaking cool…next year I think I’m going to make a bunch with that inedible scented dough they use in kindergarten & some spray shellack, and make ornaments for my peeps. Love ‘em!

  • 9 sarah j // Dec 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Hey Megan,

    I made them! I had extra dough left over from making cookies with my daughters 1st grader class. They turned out great! I did trace the pdf onto one sheet/strip so I could use my pizza cutter to cut them out, seemed faster to me. But thank you! They’re awesome and most impressive. And for the record my royal icing covered a multitude of sins!

    ~ Sarah

  • 10 K // Dec 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    This is so genius! I am already planning ways I might be able to work these into some kind of pre- New Years party. Love the new ones with the simple sugar ‘glue’ too! Thanks so much!

  • 11 lynn // Dec 22, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    These are so fantastic…
    Hugs Lynn xxx

  • 12 Sue // Dec 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    You beat all…and I mean that in a good way!!! From a new fan…since yesterday:)

  • 13 barrie // Dec 22, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    i’m still loving the ones with peppermint, but this just shows how diligent you seem to be with your creations. good job yet again! now you just need a santa/reindeer/snoopy sitting on the roof :-)

  • 14 Eliza // Dec 22, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Your cookie making stamina totally wows me. I love the look of the sugar cookie ones…especially the toasty browned edges.

  • 15 Monique // Dec 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I loved your post about the houses and sent it to my daughters:)I am looking forward to doing yours and I thank you for the hand made pattern:) So cute..

    One of my daughter’s had offered me the angle wings that sit perched like this..I like them very when I saw your homes..I was a heartbeat.

    I find Ina’s Shortbread dough does not spread..I use it w/ the Brigitte cookie cutter and the words stay put:)

    That one could work I think..
    Happy Holidays..Great photos! Thank you…

  • 16 Denea // Dec 22, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    These are absolutely STUNNING! And very clever indeed! I wish I had more time before Xmas.

    Next year..!

  • 17 kellee // Dec 22, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    these are even prettier than the first batch, if that’s possible. thanks for sharing megan – they’re making me feel all christmassy! :)

  • 18 mizdarlin // Dec 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I love this idea, and all your variations are fabulous. I’m going to try it with maple syrup and coarse sugar on the roof, since I’m Canadian! Thanks for this great tutorial…

  • 19 Jessica // Dec 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    These are fantastic! Whimsical, cute-as-can-be, and they’d make great accessories for a holiday party. I’m going to have to see if I can talk the family into trying this on Christmas because it’d be such a fun thing for each person to get to decorate, too. Thank you!

  • 20 Helen // Dec 22, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    These are seriously the cutest thing I have ever seen- I am so impressed by your research stamina on the important things. Having a little holiday party tomorrow and in my head I imagine our 2 year, our 4 year old and 4 probably semi-drunk adults making perfect replicas of these houses… In reality it may end up being some graham crackers stuck together with frosting from a tub. But for now we are aiming so very high…

  • 21 Cinnamon // Dec 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I wonder if you could use lemon curd with the shortbread? Flavor-wise it seems appropriate, but maybe a thick simple syrup would also work. Making rolled and cookie-cutter gingerbread cookies was about as much as I could manage patience wise, but I like shortbread so much that I’m tempted to try that out.

  • 22 Mary // Dec 23, 2009 at 5:43 am

    How cute….I am dying of cuteness overload!!!!

  • 23 Gingerbread Mansions | Food & Think // Dec 23, 2009 at 7:44 am

    […] the White House, the cutest version of the gingerbread house has got to be these miniature ones by Not Martha, meant to be hung on the side of a mug of hot chocolate. […]

  • 24 tobias cooks! // Dec 23, 2009 at 8:51 am

    I like the “snow” on the roofs. Such a nice idea!

  • 25 Inge // Dec 23, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Wow, I love these new variations. I’ll follow you, and these are on my list for next year.

  • 26 ansley // Dec 23, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I totally love all your cookie creations this year. They are so inventive. You definitely had a vision!

  • 27 Seanna Lea // Dec 23, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I’m making the gingerbread dough tonight, so I can make these cookies on Christmas Eve. Thank you for the tip about the simple sugar syrup. Royal Icing is definitely not the most flavorful, so I will make that switch.

  • 28 kiss my spatula // Dec 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    love the chimney! santa would be happy to slide down something so darn cute.

  • 29 erika // Dec 23, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    What about toffee? Or houses made out of chocolate bark?

  • 30 Stellina // Dec 23, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I love these! I might have to set aside some time in the next few days and make them. :)

  • 31 barb // Dec 23, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    hey – you made the HuffPo Living section!

  • 32 Las casitas dulces de Hansel y Gretel | // Dec 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    […] visto algo igual? Casitas de jenjibre en versión mini para acoplar a la taza. Lo hemos visto en Not Martha, donde están las guías paso a paso para construirlas. ¡Para dar el golpe esta […]

  • 33 tamara // Dec 23, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I’m so thankfull my shopping and wrapping are done because I am so excited to make these! I make between 20-30 full size gingerbread houses (from a mold) every year for a big party for my kids. This year marked the 13th year! These are so cute and perfect! Thanks for the idea! I feel a little giddy!

  • 34 Lauren // Dec 23, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I adore these! They are flat out awesome. So incredibly creative and fun =D.

  • 35 violaruz/ducksandbooks // Dec 23, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I’m a big fan of boozy sugar glaze: 1 part favorite booze to 2 parts powdered sugar. It’s like Elmer’s glue for sprinkles!

  • 36 Flo Deau // Dec 24, 2009 at 1:05 am

    what a great idea ! .. for architecture and ginger bread lovers ! like me.

  • 37 kathy // Dec 24, 2009 at 7:21 am

    I really can’t get over how cute these are. Love them!

  • 38 smussyolay // Dec 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    holy crap. i am a mini freakout, and these are SO mini and great. mini mini mini. YAY! thanks. i can’t wait for someone i know to make these near me. YAY!

  • 39 Jodi Anderson // Dec 25, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Okay, these have got to be the most adorable little things that I have seen this entire holiday season. I must share this with EVERYONE.

  • 40 Deborah // Dec 26, 2009 at 9:43 am

    These are SO cute!!

  • 41 Jen // Dec 26, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    HOW did you come up with this idea?? ADORABLE.

  • 42 Denise Lea // Dec 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    These are so perfect. I emailed the site to my sister that is into tiny and dollhouses and all of that. Wonder how wonderful they would be made out of a good chocolate? thank you for sharing these and Happy New Year.

  • 43 BugginWord // Dec 28, 2009 at 9:18 am

    They make me want to squeal with delight while wringing my hands and jumping up and down in a silly pinafore with my tiny little bobby socks folded over with the lace around my ankles…in the good way. Now if you can just sell the idea to Pillsbury or someone that can mass produce a little kit so we uncoordinated could have the slightest chance in hell to make them ourselves. Sigh. Maybe next holiday?

  • 44 Daily Inspiration 12292009: Tiny Gingerbread House, Marine Life Concert « SIMON YUEN // Dec 29, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    […] not martha — tiny gingerbread houses, a few variations […]

  • 45 TootsNYC // Dec 30, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Now all you need to do is tint your Royal Icing with cocoa powder, a bit at a time, until it is roughly the same brown as the gingerbread!

    For the sugar-cookie houses, tint the icing “tan” (there’s a chart on the box of the liquid food coloring), so it’s not quite as noticeable.

  • 46 The Cookbook Apprentice // Jan 11, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Too cute and brilliant!

  • 47 missie // Jan 12, 2010 at 7:33 am

    These are SO cute! I have to find an event where they are necessary!

  • 48 Meg // Jan 15, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I. Am. In. Love. I realize it’s now January and the time for things like gingerbread houses has now passed (sob), but these are adorable — and so creative!

  • 49 rucy // Jan 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

    This idea completely hooked me, truly, and I can’t wait for Thanksgiving to begin baking. You’re my #1 site to read in 2010!

  • 50 architetture a colazione « Blog Archive « piattodoppio // Jan 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    […] via › […]

  • 51 architetture a colazione « Blog Archive « piattodoppio // Jan 27, 2010 at 6:03 am

    […] via ‹ › […]

  • 52 Mr. P // Mar 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Possibly the best, absolutely the most amazing thing ever seen by these two eyes.

    Making for all my friends next year. Fact.

  • 53 a tiny gingerbread house that perches on the edge of your mug - NIPA-art // Mar 7, 2010 at 2:33 am

    […] I made a few variations including a chimney and a version made out of sugar cookie dough which you might be interested […]

  • 54 Olivia // Apr 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    what a wonderful idea…special treat thank you x

  • 55 elsa // Apr 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

    just found you on Stumble Upon and I’m very impressed with your little cup houses! really cute!

  • 56 Edible Decorations for Your Mug! « The Next Bar Stool // May 11, 2010 at 2:56 am

    […] we have a recipe that can be found here for making Gingerbread Houses for your coffee/cocoa […]

  • 57 David // Jun 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    So cunning, so cunning.

  • 58 Chanel // Jun 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I absolutely LOVE these. I want it to be christmas already.

  • 59 Andy // Jun 27, 2010 at 5:35 am


  • 60 Six Neat Things » Tape webs and other stuff // Jun 29, 2010 at 8:11 am

    […] Who doesn’t love miniatures? Especially when they are edible! Take a look at these tiny gingerbread houses. […]

  • 61 jessica // Jul 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    What the?? An absolute genius created these! I stand back in awe with salivating tastebuds. :)

  • 62 Natasha // Aug 9, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Freakin Awesome.

  • 63 Lara // Aug 10, 2010 at 7:16 am

    These are absolutely adorable. I love small things, in my eyes everything gets cute once it gets down to a certain size (even spiders and bugs), but this must be top of the list in creative, adorable and yummy cuteness.

  • 64 helen // Aug 10, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    great idea and I’m gonna try it! I’m thinking that if I cut a rectangular hole on the roof, and make the chimney long like a straw, I could get even more stability… but now that I think… the liquid would get absorbed maybe too fast and all hell could break loose…. gonna try it and see what happens..

  • 65 frolickingdepression // Aug 26, 2010 at 7:37 am

    those are so stinkin cute!

  • 66 Norma Jean // Aug 31, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Every year we gather the family for a reunion and we make gingerbread houses out of graham crackers and all the goodies that come with it…this will be something new to add as well. :D

  • 67 Highlights From My Week | Mindy Long // Sep 26, 2010 at 5:07 am

    […] started gathering Christmas crafting ideas. I want to make these mini gingerbread houses I saw last year on Not Marta.  I also plan to download this DIY ornament wrap from the Twig and Thistle Etsy […]

  • 68 Coffee Mug Ginger Bread Houses « Interesting Things // Oct 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    […] Found at […]

  • 69 Tim // Oct 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    These are the most amazing things I have seen today. I am so glad I stumbled across your site. They are beautiful. x

  • 70 Jenifer // Oct 11, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Wow, what a great idea. These are so absolutely adorable!!!

  • 71 tracy // Oct 16, 2010 at 4:36 am

    it’s 6:00 in the morning on a Saturday. I stumbled upon these gingerbread houses and found myself laughing out loud! They’re AWESOME! I think I’ll have a ladies gathering just so I can make these.

  • 72 Jenn // Oct 24, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    :) this is great!! I am putting this on my list of to do this year!

  • 73 Monica // Oct 28, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Very cute, so clever … I love them!

  • 74 heather aka NiftyKnits // Nov 14, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    they are brilliant – I am now desperate for a mug of hot chocolate with one of your cute little houses perched on the side.

  • 75 Guest Post: Mini Gingerbread Houses | Jeff Ha // Nov 21, 2010 at 4:35 am

    […] pressed in some raw sugar granules before baking. I think for the Christmas batch I’ll try Not Martha‘s method of painting the roof with some sugar syrup and sticking things (sugar, crushed nuts, […]

  • 76 Izabella Dennis // Dec 9, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I just found your site and these gingerbread houses are to die for! I absolutely love it … off to make some of my own in a bit!

  • 77 marla // Dec 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    found your blog today and can’t wait to try these adorable lil things!

  • 78 Yummy gifts… « The Flock at Willow Croft // Dec 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    […] experiment. We tried to make tiny houses that would perch on cups of cocoa, as we saw here:  Tiny gingerbread However, although these do taste great.. somehow they really grew much bigger than they should have […]

  • 79 Krista @ Blue Eyed Yonder // Dec 21, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Perfect! Now I have and adorable craft to make with my 12-year-old sister this weekend. She’s gonna love it! I have a sneaky feeling she will want to add some color to the houses. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with. :-)

  • 80 Karen // Dec 21, 2010 at 8:56 am

    So incredibly adorable! Saving this for sure.

  • 81 A Mid-Week Round-Up to Get Us to the Holidays | My Wedding // Dec 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    […] gingerbread houses from Not Martha will knock your guests socks off. For real. (via Twig and […]

  • 82 vancouver food guy // Dec 21, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    wow, these are such a work of art and precision! I hope to have the attention to detail to one day create something like that!

  • 83 A Mid-Week Round-Up to Get Us to the Holidays | stlmakeup // Dec 22, 2010 at 5:29 am

    […] Cake Pop book would be the perfect last minute gift for the baker in your life.-These gingerbread houses from Not Martha will knock your guests socks off. For real. (via Twig and Thistle)-Starting to […]

  • 84 D.I.Y.:Tiny Gingerbread House! « filled with heart // Dec 22, 2010 at 9:10 am

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  • 85 It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year | thoughts & tangents // Dec 25, 2010 at 9:19 am

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  • 86 Kara // Jan 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Made these this Christmas and they were impossibly cute! Will definitely be a new holiday tradition for me. Hint: secure the walls with the frosting first and let set up for 30 min before adding the roof.

  • 87 Monica // Jan 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Me encanto, divina idea, si bien vi el blog, me parecio buenisima para aplicar con nombres en el techo para bienvenida a una casa nueva.
    Gracias por compartir!!!

  • 88 Jenna Short // Feb 24, 2011 at 8:12 am

    LOVE THIS! So cute!! :D

  • 89 anna // Mar 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    idea bellissima ,ciao anna grazie

  • 90 Nom Nom Nom « LIVLIG // Mar 11, 2011 at 2:03 am

    […] speculaashuisjes van Not Martha […]

  • 91 Sarah Smith // Mar 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I love that idea. I am going to try it with some hot chocolate! I hope mine look as cute!

  • 92 Jennifer High // Mar 30, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    SUPER cute! Love these little houses. I am going to do those for next x mas.

  • 93 Five Fabulous Friday Finds // Sep 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    […] week’s award for the absolute cutest holiday idea goes to not martha for her adorable tiny gingerbread houses, a few variations.  SO […]

  • 94 Chloe // Oct 10, 2011 at 8:54 am

    These are so cute. I’m already thinking of buying mugs, filling with hot chocolate sachets and sitting one of these houses on the edge, then wrapping in cellophane, tied at the top with a nice christmassy ribbon for gifts! :-D

  • 95 Julie // Nov 2, 2011 at 8:35 am

    How Cute! I bet kids would love this.

  • 96 Luz // Nov 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    if u cut a square on the roof and put the chimney on the other side closer into the mug. do u think the heat from the hot drink would show as if it were smoke coming out of the chimney? (:

  • 97 megan // Nov 6, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Luz – That would be charming! But my chimney is just a block of dough, it’s too small to construct with a hollow interior. Really lovely thought though.

  • 98 Two Cents, It’s What I got. « All I Eat Food! // Nov 7, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    […] This may just be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! Check this link out for a fun Christmas-y […]

  • 99 Denise // Nov 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Hey Megan! I have just discovered this website a few days ago, I am your fan! I tried these cute cookies today but had big trouble with the icing. It does not seem to stick the parts together… you can imagine the mess I made. Fortunately it was just a few samples. Tomorrow I am trying again with the rest of the dough. Do you have any advice on how I can apply the icing so it glues? I am new at baking cookies, Lol! thank you Megan!

  • 100 Jason // Dec 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Creative addition to the plain mug! Stumble Upon’d this page – such a great find!

  • 101 Mom That's Cool! // Dec 5, 2011 at 11:38 am

    […] you’re interested in making these cute as cute can be gingerbread house mug side cookies, visit the Not Martha blog for instructions and the details on different methods she tried to make […]

  • 102 Sheera // Dec 12, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Wonderful site! I was just looking for something different for my the children in my home daycare and THIS IS IT! I have a lot of children, so I like the idea of individual houses and adding them to a mug of hot chocolate gives it the “different” factor! Thank you!!

  • 103 Me // Dec 13, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I was led to this via a facebook link, and now Im going to make some!

  • 104 Karlie // Dec 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I just made these in the sugar cookie variation, absolutely incredible and lovely! Thanks!

  • 105 Katie // Dec 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I’d love to “Like” this on facebook because they are so totally adorable!! Thanks for sharing… can’t wait to make these with the kids!!

  • 106 Heidi // Dec 22, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Love these tiny houses! Adorable! Thanks for the creative insights!

  • 107 Portrait Photographer Sydney // Apr 30, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Lovely and cute. I will try making this with white and dark chocolate as well just for variation in colour. Thanks for the idea.

  • 108 vikki // Nov 3, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I made them they are SO cute!!
    Thank you :)

  • 109 migus // Nov 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

    super and cute :)

  • 110 Trudie // Dec 23, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Zo mooi !!!
    Ga ik zeker maken voor mijn kerstdiner !!
    Dank je wel !

  • 111 Mini casette di Natale | Cake Your Life // Nov 21, 2013 at 8:13 am

    […] made a few variations including a chimney and a version made out of sugar cookie dough which you might be interested […]

  • 112 Virginia // Dec 8, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Wow, it’s been four years since you did this, and not ONCE has anyone made one for me or pointed me in the direction of this post. This is the CUTEST idea when you need a lot of relatively inexpensive presents. I love it!

  • 113 Karen // Dec 16, 2013 at 4:33 am

    I was looking for a cooky cutter for this. I sure was tickled pick to see your lit’ gingerbread houses. What a brilliant idea. I just <3 them all. I'm sure they will be a hit w/ any coffee, tea & milk break. Hope to get a few of these made before Xmas. It's just around the corner. :) Holidays!

  • 114 srbhara // Dec 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I use melted sugar in a cast iron pan to make the cement when I do big gingerbread houses…just put sugar in the fry pan and let it melt…use as soon as it is liquified…it will get dark if you cook it too fast and long but it works like crazy…just be very careful not to get it on you as it also burns like crazy!

  • 115 Krystal // Mar 7, 2014 at 2:56 am

    These look too good to eat!

  • 116 Maggie // Dec 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    The traditional “icebox cookie” recipe from the 40’s works wonderfully. Let it stay overnight in the refrigerator before rolling out..covered in Saran type wrap.

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