Not Martha

a tiny gingerbread house that perches on the edge of your mug

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

I made tiny gingerbread houses that are meant to be perched on the edge of a mug of hot chocolate.

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

I had been thinking about those sugar cubes that hook on the rim of a teacup earlier this month, and I was also thinking about 3-D cookies and how they fit together and figured it would be pretty neat to make cookies that hang on the edge of a mug. I thought I was being so brilliant but it only took a few seconds to discover that a flat cookie on the edge of a mug has already been done. So I started wondering what else I could do. At the time I was making a bunch of gingerbread recipes trying to find one that would hold up for my partridge in a pear tree cookie, so a gingerbread house was on my mind.

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

I made a few versions to figure out how to make one that wasn’t so top heavy that it would flip off the mug, and how small I could get away with and still fit on both large and small cups. I generally followed the size of my The Mini Gingerbread House Kit (though, those pieces don’t fit together as nicely as I’d have liked).

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

I’ve made a PDF pattern of gingerbread house pieces which you can open or download right here. My only instruction is that you should make sure that the wall pieces are to be sandwiched on the inside of the door pieces, that way the roof fits on properly. I included two door pieces you can choose from, one at 3/8ths inch wide and one at 1/2 inch wide. I found that a 3/8ths inch door, or slot, fits most mugs but the 1/2 can be used for your really big and heavy mugs. I traced the pieces onto this template page at 9:54 in the evening, please forgive the sloppiness but I’m getting tired, let’s just call the untidy lines charming.

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

I used the Gingerbread Snowflake and the Royal Icing recipes from

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

I rolled it out onto a sheet of tin foil at 1/8th inch thick. I skipped a silicone mat because I use a paring knife for the corner details and didn’t want to accidentally cut down to the layers of glass fibers, and after some trial I found that parchment paper will warp after being chilled and then stuck in an oven which can distort some shapes.

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

I used a dull sewing pattern roller (like a small pizza cutter) to go around most sides. You can do all of one side than turn the entire sheet of tin foil 90 degrees to do all of the next side, this makes the process go a bit faster. Try to fit all the pieces for each individual house in the same batch, I found my batches browned differently from each other. Lift the excess dough up from the tin foil, not moving your cut out shapes at all, this will help them keep their shape. Then slide the tin foil sheet onto a cookie sheet and put both in the freezer for about 15 minutes, you want the dough really well chilled before baking.

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

I used a (well cleaned) flat head screwdriver to get in the detail around the doors, then a paring knife to make sure the corners are cut cleanly.

Here are some tips, most of these are in the recipe but I don’t want you to overlook them:

  • After making it divide the dough into thirds (I made half a recipe) wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight. Make the royal icing while it’s chilling, you’ll need it before you make all the gingerbread you are planning on.
  • Roll the dough out to 1/8th of an inch. It seems impossibly thin but you be cutting the shapes and pulling the excess dough from around them so your pieces won’t be too disturbed. Feel free to nudge your shapes back into squares before chilling them again.
  • Preheat the oven, roll the dough out on tin foil, cut your shapes and lift off the excess dough, slide the tin foil onto your cookie sheet, now put the cookie sheet into the freezer for at least 15 minutes before baking. This will keep the gingerbread from spreading too much.
  • Make a single test house with your chosen door width. This sounds like a pita, and it will be, but it will be far less trouble than the frustration of finding none of your finished houses fit on mugs. Knowing now that you need to cut a wider door is worth it.
  • I found that dough chilled for only an hour puffed up quite a bit, but didn’t necessarily spread if the cut out shapes were chilled in the freezer. Dough that had been in the fridge overnight, or even the second day (it’ll keep for a few days) puffed up quite a bit less, perhaps because the baking powder had lost it’s mojo by this time?
  • If you suspect your intended mugs are thicker and sturdier than usual grab some cardstock or a magazine insert and cut a few different slots — 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch wide, about two inches deep (or tall). The one that slides easily onto the edge of you mug and even has a little wiggle room is the width you want for your door.
  • If your gingerbread should spread and the doors look too narrow to you, you can trim them when the gingerbread is just out of the oven before it sets and cools too much. I suggest a paring knife and trimming just a bit from either side of the door.

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

I decided to only decorate the roofs for now. I might make these again next year and get more detailed with the decorations. I used a variety of sugars and sprinkles. One note, I discovered that candy cane dust will stick together so well that it will not show any piping detail beneath it. I liked the way regular sanding sugar made the roof sparkle a bit, though I couldn’t capture the cuteness in my pictures.

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

Don’t fill your mug of hot chocolate too full, you don’t want the bottom of your gingerbread house to get soggy.

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

Can you tell the crushed candy cane one was my favorite?

I would be these would be fantastic made out of sugar cookie or shortbread dough. You could certainly leave them undecorated, or perhaps press sanding sugar into the roof pieces before baking. On the other hand I’m curious to see what one would look like covered in pieces of tiny candies. I’m also planning on making house-shaped marshmallows that will fit on the edge of the mug.

gingerbread house that sits on the edge of a mug

update: I made a few variations including a chimney and a version made out of sugar cookie dough which you might be interested in.

a few variations on my tiny gingerbread houses

· comments [677] · 12-18-2009 · categories:christmas · food ·

677 responses so far ↓

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    […] worth of these tiny gingerbread cookie houses instead, courtesy of Not Martha. She gives you full instructions, including a PDF of the house pattern. Have your house…and munch it, […]

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    […] bron foto: […]

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  • 7 December Family Foodies Round-Up and Winner Announcement | Eat your veg // Jan 4, 2014 at 5:51 am

    […] inspired by Not Martha Ros over at The More Than Occasional Baker also gave us some cute-as-can-be Mini Gingerbread […]

  • 8 A Ginberbread House For Your Mug « Blogging « Zoom Yummy – Crochet, Food, Photography // Jan 17, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    […] this idea ever since I saw some gingerbread houses similar to mine on a very lovely blog called Not Martha a year or two […]

  • 9 Mini Sugar Cookie Houses aka Hot Chocolate Mug Perches | Cravings of a Lunatic // Jan 21, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    […] for frosting them. To learn how to make the shapes and put them together I invite you to visit Not Martha for her straight forward and beautiful photos of how to do […]

  • 10 Tea and Cookies | Cookies and Candids // Feb 15, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    […] cutters from World Market that allow cookies to hang off the side of your mug. I was inspired by these gingerbread houses awhile back, and these endearing “breakfast” treats, so I baked up a couple of my own […]

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    […] this is nifty. Head over to not martha and check out the tiny gingerbread houses that go on the rim of […]

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    […] I have come across this spring.  Back during Christmas time, I saw the most adorable recipe for mini gingerbread houses perched on the rim of a mug.  While it’s more common to find decorated cookies on the rim of teacups, I thought that […]

  • 13 Mini Gingerbread House For Hot Chocolate Mugs. - Craft & Craft // Jun 5, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    […] Megan,a blogger lives in Seattle made this tiny gingerbread houses that are meant to be perched on the edge of a mug of hot chocolate. What an amazing DIY idea! Link […]

  • 14 Sonia Rumzi // Aug 3, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Thank you so much for your generous sharing of your pattern. It is lovely.

  • 15 15 cool and creative Christmas food ideas // Sep 26, 2014 at 5:10 am

    […] Via: […]

  • 16 Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) // Nov 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    When I saw these in Williams-Sonoma this year, I wondered if they got the idea from you!||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_–_-

  • 17 megan // Nov 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Susan – Looks like it!

  • 18 arlene // Dec 8, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I love these little houses. Why can’t they be made out of the pre-made cookie dough (gingerbread)?? Also, I want to try to make them out of chip board or cardboard, decorate and use them as ornaments.

  • 19 Melanie // Dec 9, 2014 at 7:06 am

    I’m from Venezuela. They are the cutest idea ever! Even though it is very difficult to find all ingredients, I will substitute some. I will bake them today and assemble them tomorrow. They will be the Christmas gift for my child’s teachers. Do you think I could substitute the unsulphured molasses with maple syrup?
    Thanks for sharing this lovely idea!

  • 20 Melanie // Dec 11, 2014 at 8:19 am

    I did it! It was a pain though. I will buy the cutters for my next attempt. The cookie cutting was the worst part, but well worth it! LOVE THEM. Thank you

  • 21 ayudiahrespatih // Jul 25, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    These little house… Looks soo cutee love them!

  • 22 Amy // Dec 10, 2015 at 7:22 am

    It looks like Williams-Sonoma has taken your brilliant idea and is now selling it in its holiday catalog as Gingerbread House Mug Toppers (without giving you any credit). Yours are better! Link.

  • 23 megan // Dec 10, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Amy – Why thank you. This isn’t the first, but I deeply appreciate your acknowledgement that the idea was my own!

    (I fixed the link you put in your comment, I hope you don’t mind!)

  • 24 Katie // Dec 14, 2015 at 3:01 am

    These are incredibly creative – perfect for parties and get togethers’ – simply wonderful

  • 25 Chloe // Dec 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    They are fabulous and thank you for sharing! Can you share how did you assemble the house? Do you assemble them before chilling? Will the dough stand up in the fridge or freezer? So attempted to try these soon, just made my boring ginger man bread today.

  • 26 megan // Dec 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Chloe – I assembled these the way you would any gingerbread house, after baking the pieces, and the panels are so lightweight that it’s easy to glue them together with royal icing and let them set. Does that help?

  • 27 Julie Henriksen // Jul 1, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Haha! So cute and original! Gingerbread tastes a little better when dipped in coffee, so a perfect match!

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