Get the step-by-step instructions for how to create colorful holiday cottages using graham crackers (instead of gingerbread) and a rainbow of candy decorations. This food craft is a great alternative to gingerbread house kits, and just as easy.

What you’ll need

Ingredients for colorful candy cottage graham cracker houses

  • 1 box graham crackers (you will need 5 to 6 whole crackers per house)
  • Paper plate or piece of cardboard work surface to hold the finished project
  • Serrated knife
  • Disposable icing piping bag
  • Assorted candies and flaked coconut (for snow)
  • Royal icing (see recipe below)

Assorted decorations

  • Flaked coconut
  • Rainbow candy such as Spree, M&M’s, or Skittles
  • Colored candy canes
  • Sour gummies in assorted colors

Royal icing recipe

  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

To make royal icing. Start by whipping the egg whites until frothy. Add the confectioner’s sugar and cream of tartar, continuing to whip until volume increases and icing forms stiff peaks—about 7 to 9 minutes. When finished, fill piping bag with the icing.


Step 1. Prepare the 6 basic pieces of your house, starting with 5 whole graham crackers.

  • Shape A. Cut 2. Shape A is the pointy piece, used for the front and back of the house: use a serrated knife to cut the corners off two crackers.
  • Shape B. Cut 2. Shape B is the longer piece, used for the sides of the house: cut one graham cracker in half crosswise.
  • Shape C. Cut 2. Shape C is the shorter piece, used for the roof: cut the bottom 1/4 off two crackers.

Ingredients for colorful candy cottage graham cracker houses

Step 2. Start assembling your house by piping a line of icing along the side of one Shape A (pointy) piece. Adhere a Shape B (long) piece to it, while placing on your plate or other work surface. You can also use a line of icing to hold the bottom of your house in place.

Step 3. Repeat with other Shape A and Shape B pieces, so all four walls are standing. Allow the icing to set for a few minutes.

Putting together the graham cracker houses 

Step 4. Give your house a roof. Run a length of icing along the peak of Shape A (pointy) walls, and gently place the two Shape C (short) pieces on top. Pipe another line of icing along the peak of the roof for added strength and stability. You can stick on a quarter of one more whole cracker (trimmed to size) and create a door, or make one with candy later when you decorate the house.

Allow icing to set for at least 30 to 60 minutes before decorating.

Building the structure for the graham cracker candy house

Step 5. Adhere candy pieces to house with icing. Be as creative as you like! Three houses decorated in their own color scheme make for a fun holiday “village.”

Decorating roof with candy for graham cracker candy house

Decorating awning of the graham cracker candy house

Adding candy to graham cracker candy house

Step 6. And don’t forget to add coconut flakes for a spectacular, snowy finish.

3 colorful candy cottages made out of graham crackers

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