How to Preserve Gingerbread House (Step-by-Step Guide)

If you want to prepare your gingerbread house early, how do you preserve it so that it’s perfect for bringing out at Christmas time? And, can you preserve this year’s gingerbread house until next holiday season?

Here’s a quick guide on the best ways to preserve your gingerbread house.

How to Preserve Gingerbread House

1. Make Sure That The Gingerbread Is Totally Dry

If you want to preserve your gingerbread house so that it steals the show at Christmas time, you want to ensure that the gingerbread is totally dry and doesn’t contain any moisture at all. Any moisture that might be present will encourage mold to grow over time.

2. Paint Your Gingerbread House With Clear Lacquer

If you are only making your gingerbread house for display purposes and don’t need it to be edible, then you can coat the entire house with a clear lacquer or varnish. This will provide a protective coating so that no moisture can deteriorate the gingerbread.

Once you’ve coated your gingerbread house with lacquer and it is fully dry, you should wrap it tightly in some plastic wrap. This will keep your gingerbread house looking pristine for many years.

Rather than painting on the lacquer or varnish, it’s better to use a non-water-soluble polyurethane spray. This will allow you to spray your house all over without actually touching it with a brush. Make sure you do this in a well-ventilated room or do it outside. And also, make sure to mark it properly when stored so no one eats it. Keep it away from children.

3. Find An Airtight Container To Store It In

To protect the gingerbread house from dust, insects, and moisture, you can simply store it in an airtight container. Of course, you’ll have to find one that is large enough to accommodate your masterpiece.

Once you’ve placed the gingerbread house in the airtight container, you can either put it in a nice cool, dry place or, if you have the room, you can even store it in the fridge. This is a good option if you intend to allow the gingerbread house to be eaten at Christmas time.

4. Coat Your Gingerbread House In Chocolate

If you want your gingerbread house to be edible at Christmas time, you can always coat it with a thin layer of melted chocolate. As the chocolate hardens, it will form a protective coating, but the gingerbread inside will still be moist and full of flavor.

How Long Can Your Gingerbread House Be Preserved For?

If you coat your gingerbread house with a sealant, wrap it in plastic once it’s completely dry, and store it in a cool, dry spot, it can last for several years. However, once it’s coated with a sealant, it will no longer be edible.

However, if you want your gingerbread house to remain edible, you might be able to preserve it for a year if you wrap it tightly in plastic and store it in a cool, dry place. The plastic should help to keep out moisture, dust, and any insects that might be attracted to it. 

Here are some tips for preserving your gingerbread house for the longest time possible, if you don’t mind it being inedible:

  • Make sure that the gingerbread house is completely dry before preserving it.
  • Use only royal icing to seal all the cracks and to hold the house together. The royal icing will harden completely once it’s dry and provide a protective coating. If you use water-soluble icing, this will create moisture and eventually cause your gingerbread house to become moldy.
  • Using a non-water-soluble polyurethane spray, coat the entire gingerbread house, covering both the outside and the inside. Make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area or outside. You might need to apply a couple of coats to ensure that the gingerbread house is well-sealed.
  • Allow the varnish to dry completely.
  • Either wrap the dry gingerbread house in several layers of plastic wrap or put it into a completely airtight container. Wrapped gingerbread houses should be put into a sturdy box that is large enough to accommodate the house completely.
  • Clearly mark your gingerbread house as not eatable and keep it away from children.
  • Store your gingerbread house in a cool and completely dry environment. If you want to keep your gingerbread house preserved for the longest time, a dehumidifier will be useful.

Some Dos And Don’ts Of Preserving Your Gingerbread House

If you want your gingerbread house to last for many years, here are some tips that will help.

Dos

  • Make sure your gingerbread house is completely dry before storing it.
  • Wrap your gingerbread house well in several layers of plastic wrap, or place it into a container that is completely airtight after you’ve coated it with a sealant.
  • Do regular checks of your gingerbread house to ensure there are no cracks forming. You can fill these with royal icing if necessary.
  • Make sure you store your gingerbread house in a dry environment. If there is too much humidity in the air, you can dust your gingerbread house with powdered sugar. This will help to absorb any moisture.

Don’ts

  • Don’t store your gingerbread house in the refrigerator if you want to preserve it for a long period of time. In general, your fridge is quite a moist environment and will not help to preserve the gingerbread house for very long. 
  • Don’t place or store your gingerbread house near a window. The sun that comes through the window will eventually fade the colors in your house.
  • Don’t forget to check your gingerbread house regularly to ensure that it is not attracting rodents such as mice, who may feel inclined to use the house as their home. If your gingerbread house is tightly wrapped or in an airtight container, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, be aware that mice can actually chew through plastic quite easily.