National Gingerbread House Day

National Gingerbread House DayNo other Christmas confection symbolizes the holiday quite like gingerbread houses. Can you even imagine Christmas without them? We bet not!

Originating all the way from Germany in the 16th century, gingerbread houses made their way to the United States through the early Pennsylvanian German immigrants. As you may have already guessed, the delicious, decorative bread houses were welcomed into the American culture and eventually turned into a holiday tradition. People would gather their family members and spend time building gingerbread houses together. What makes the activity even better is that everyone can join in, even kids and grandparents!  So you better prepare your best gingerbread house blueprint because December 12th is National Gingerbread House Day!


10 Fun Gingerbread Facts

Fact # 1: Gingerbread houses became popular in Europe because of a story written by the Grimm Brothers: Hansel and Gretel.

Fact # 2: Every year, people living in Bergen, Norway make an entire city of gingerbread houses.

Fact # 3: The largest gingerbread house was created by Traditions Club USA in Bryan, Texas. The giant confection measured 39, 201.8 feet. It was 60 feet long, 42 feet wide, 10.1 feet tall, and worth 35,823,400 calories!

Fact # 4: For pastry to be considered gingerbread, it needs to have ginger as the dominant flavor and use molasses or honey as a sweetener.

Fact # 5: As popular as gingerbread houses are in the United States and Europe, they’re not much of a favorite in England.

Fact # 6: It’s believed that Queen Elizabeth I started the concept of decorating gingerbread and creating the gingerbread man. She planned to give them as gifts to the officials who came to visit her.

Fact # 7: The equivalent of the phrase gingerbread houses in German is Lebkuchenhaus.

Fact # 8: The first known recipe for gingerbread was from Greece in 2400 BC.

Fact # 9: Gingerbread can either be hard or soft, and is generally made of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, anise, and molasses or honey.

Fact # 10: In England, some women believed that eating gingerbread men increased their chances of finding a husband.


How to Make a Pet-Friendly Gingerbread House

National Gingerbread House DayIf you have a pet, it’s very important that you refrain from feeding them any portion of a regular gingerbread house. While you want to include them in the holiday celebration, sharing with them a piece of gingerbread can have negative consequences. This is because gingerbread contains ingredients that are toxic to animals, like cloves and nutmeg. In large amounts, anise (a common ingredient in gingerbread) can cause issues, too. To make sure that your pet is safe throughout the celebration, it’s best to keep them away from your family’s gingerbread house and create a pet-friendly version for them instead.

When making a gingerbread house or gingerbread cookie for your pet, you can swap out human-edible bread and regular dough for pre-made pet biscuits or treats. For the icing, avoid high-fat milk or cream. Go for low-fat variants instead. This will prevent your furry friend from ingesting too much sugar and fat, which can lead to digestive issues. If you’re interested in making pet-friendly gingerbread treats for your pet, you can check out detailed recipes here!


How to Celebrate Gingerbread House Day

Christmas is all about family and togetherness, so what better way to get into the holiday spirit than to build a gingerbread house together! Gather everyone and plan out how you want your gingerbread house to look or how many you want to make. If you’re having a hard time visualizing, then you can always go online and print out a ready-made blueprint. You can even divide yourselves into teams and turn your gingerbread house making session into a contest! That’ll make things a lot more fun and engaging, especially for the younger members of the family.

Once you’ve laid out your final plan, drop by the nearest grocery store and pick up everything that you need. Oh, and don’t forget the ingredients you need for a pet-safe gingerbread!


We hope you have a blast on National Gingerbread Day!