Dress Up Your Drinks with Tiny Gingerbread Mug Toppers

Creative kitchen-and-all-other-things extraordinaire Megan from Not Martha infinitely inspired me with her creation of tiny gingerbread houses that perch on the edge of one’s mug. In addition to a mix for great gingerbread, and mouthwatering icing, this recipe requires a pretty chunk of time. But let me tell you, every minute of those hours are worth investing! You are baking a small village, after all. If you have a night to spare to make these most excellent mini masterpieces, then pull out your creative kitchen tool kit, and put your baking hat on!

Tiny Gingerbread Houses
Makes about 20 houses. Gingerbread and icing recipe from Martha Stewart

6 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 ½ teaspoons coarsely ground salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses

1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Put softened butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a â…›-inch thick or slightly thicker. I took Megan’s original PDF template for cutting out each single piece of a house, and adapted my own PDF template for efficiently laying and cutting out multiple houses at once. I didn’t have a dull sewing pattern roller to cut my shapes out (as suggested by Megan), but found that a knife cut through the gingerbread just fine.
5. The original directions also note additional steps, such as freezing the dough longer before baking to maintain thinner results. I tested out a simpler version by simply cutting the shapes out, baking them, and was very satisfied with the results! The only difference you may encounter is the occasional too-poofy piece of gingerbread (Which ends up making a great taste-tester!).
6. Once in the oven, bake the gingerbread until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. You can let them cool on wire racks, or, I used some spare cardboard that was going to be recycled as my cooling surface.
7. Last but not least, if you’re feeling like a master gingerbread architect, you can whip up your own icing with this recipe that calls for only three ingredients. I’m not going to lie, I totally just bought a pre-made tub of cream cheese flavored icing – it’s my favorite!
8. As for the roof decorations, I garnished them with classic sprinkles, miniature candy-coated chocolate drops, and my favorite, large flaked coconut.

Whether you have a gathering of five or fifteen, every minute you spend making these mini gingerbread houses will be worth it. We’d love to hear what you have up your sleeves – are you making any outside-of-the-box crafts or recipes for your guests?


About Julianne

Julie is a modern day Renaissance woman and die-hard bloody mary enthusiast. When she’s not sprinkling magic fairy dust onto ModCloth’s social media channels, you can find her eclectic point of view on food, fashion, music, and DIY documented here!

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  1. Avatar
    Bluus 12/24/2010 at 5:28 pm #

    They’re adorable but I just imagine them being a pain to both have on your mug and to eat ^^; Still, very cute and a nice decoration concept

    • Avatar
      Cam 11/07/2016 at 6:09 pm #

      How long can they be stored and what would you store them in?

  2. Avatar
    Angie D in Artic Ohio 12/25/2010 at 7:25 am #

    Oh my gosh….. I need to bake a village of these adorable
    gingerbread toppers. Too cute.!!!

  3. Avatar
    Sabina 12/25/2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Oh wow, it all looks exquisite! Too good to eat though I’m
    sure I’d eat it anyway!

  4. Avatar
    Jessica Caneal 12/26/2010 at 9:28 am #

    I just want to know where you got the Boston Terrier mug. I need one!

  5. Avatar
    Natalie 12/26/2010 at 12:35 pm #

    “Inspired to no avail”?

  6. Avatar
    Katie 01/02/2011 at 12:31 am #

    I made these for New Years Eve over several days and let me tell you they were a LOT of work! These were my first successful gingerbread houses I have ever made and they looked and tasted DELISCOUS! In the past, my gingerbread houses collapsed when I was decorating them, so after constructing these houses I let them sit over night (so the frosting would harden) and not a single house broke! Occasionally the space in the walls that allows the house to fit on a cup was too small, so I just used a knife to make that space bigger. I decorated them with leftover candy (like peppermint bark and chocolate covered pretzels), red sprinkles, and coconut. These were GREAT decorations and treats. I definatelly recommend making them, but make sure you give yourself plenty of time!!

  7. Avatar
    Melanie 12/14/2012 at 9:59 pm #

    My icing tip:
    – 1 egg white whipped to soft peaks
    – enough pure icing sugar (confectioners sugar) to mix it into a thick paste.
    That’s all!!!
    Pipe it onto the pieces (construct the house and wait a couple of hours to let the icing set and then put on the roof). This icing recipe dries rock hard, the houses will not fall apart, believe me!! For the past 7 years I have made a big gingerbread house each Christmas and I have never had it collapse on me (and I live in Australia where it is up to 40 degrees Celsius [105 F] at this time of the year and it takes a lot longer for the icing to set!) You just need to set aside a whole day or 2 to make them properly.

  8. Avatar
    Candice Sardella 12/18/2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Absolutely GENIUS!!!!

  9. Avatar
    Letisha 09/06/2015 at 4:05 pm #

    I love the idea of making me some teacup or coffee cup houses. They look so exquisite and delicious. I can’t wait to make them. Thanks for posting all the info on house making templates and icing.

  10. Avatar
    tania 08/02/2018 at 6:23 pm #

    does anyone know were to get the template for these tiny ginger bread houses? I want to make a whole lot for a fund raiser for the spca (new zealand animal wefare group).

    Best Regards
    Tania Fasher

    • Avatar
      Lynn 09/27/2018 at 12:03 am #

      I purchased a cutter last year from Amazon. (Wilson?) It cuts out the pieces for one house with one push.
      It only had the cut-out for the door on one piece so I had to press out two houses if I wanted to have openings on the front and back wall so they could sit on a cup. Take your time; They are very cute!

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