A Mini Holiday Village Made With Graham Crackers

Get the gingerbread village look in a snap by using graham crackers, royal icing and enchanting decorations to build mini homes.

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Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

It's Christmas cookie season, and you know what that means: Gingerbread is having its moment in the spotlight! Want to get the gingerbread house look, but don't quite have time to bake your own gingerbread? We've got you covered with these adorable mini "gingerbread" houses made with graham crackers—no cookie recipes, cookie cutters or store-bought gingerbread house kits required.

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We'll show you how to use chocolate graham crackers to form the mini homes' sides and rooftops. Graham cracker lines serve as a convenient cutting guide, making this tutorial totally beginner-friendly and suitable for the whole family. After cutting pieces, we'll walk you through assembling a trio of tiny houses atop a cake board to craft your very own dreamy DIY gingerbread village.

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Finally, we'll add decorative elements using homemade royal icing, powdered sugar and marvelous mini Christmas trees. And as if the graham cracker "gingerbread" village weren't enough, we've included a bonus recipe: homemade mocha using Milo powder!

Ready to make your very own edible holiday wonderland? Read on for all the details—and don't forget to keep a warm drink and holiday cookies on hand as you get crafty.

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Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

Video: A Mini Holiday Village Made With Graham Crackers

Quick Recipe Overview

‌SERVING SIZE‌:‌ ‌3 mini graham cracker houses, 1 Milo mocha

‌‌PREP TIME‌‌: ‌‌30 minutes

DECORATING TIME‌: ‌‌45 minutes

‌‌TOTAL TIME‌:‌ ‌‌1 hour 15 minutes

‌1. Graham Cracker Shortbread

Things You'll Need

  • Cutting board

  • Serrated knife

  • 12 chocolate graham crackers

1. Cut fronts and backs of houses

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

Tip

Do not press down too firmly with the knife or the cracker will break. Instead, use a slow, gentle sawing motion with serrated knife.

Place one graham cracker on cutting board. Using lines in the graham cracker as a guide, use serrated knife to cut diagonally across top half for a pointed top. Cut diagonally the other way so graham cracker has a triangular shape, as pictured.

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Repeat 5 times for a total of 6 cut graham crackers. Each house will use 3 graham crackers.

2. Cut sides of house and roof pieces

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

Cut 6 graham crackers in half for a total of 12 squares. These will create side pieces and roofs. Each house calls for 4 squares.

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Tip

Make sure to keep any scraps! You can cut them even further to make chimneys, footpaths and other details.

2. Royal Icing

Things You'll Need

  • Large bowl or bowl of stand mixer

  • Stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment or electric mixer

  • 1 or 2 large piping bags

  • Piping tips (we cut a small tip and used the Wilton 2D)

  • 2 Tbsp. meringue powder

  • 6 Tbsp. cold water

  • 2–2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Tip

Meringue powder is a handy pantry item, eliminating the need to separate large eggs into egg whites and yolks. Use it to make basic meringues and royal icing!

1. Combine meringue powder and water

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

In a large bowl, combine 2 Tbsp. meringue powder and 6 Tbsp. cold water. Mix on medium speed to high speed until medium peaks form.

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2. Gradually add powdered sugar

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments, mixing on low speed.

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3. Adjust consistency as needed

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

Icing should be thick but easily pipable. For stiffer icing, gradually add powdered sugar in increments of a few tablespoons.

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Transfer royal icing to large piping bags. You can fit them with a small round tip (or just snip the bag with scissors) and one with a decorative tip. We used the Wilton 2D.

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3. Assembly

Things You'll Need

  • 10-inch cake board

  • Cut graham cracker pieces

  • Royal icing

  • Optional: gum drops, marshmallows, sprinkles, candy canes

1. Attach front, back and sides of house

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

Pipe royal icing on cake board and parts of graham crackers where pieces will meet. You'll use two triangular tops (for front and back) and two square pieces for sides of house.

2. Pipe royal icing for rooftop

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

Pipe royal icing on inner parts of graham crackers where roof pieces will attach. Gently place both roof pieces on at the same time so they balance each other out and stay put.

3. Reinforce graham cracker house with icing

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

Pipe royal icing where graham crackers meet to reinforce structure. This will also act as an outline for decorating.

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4. Decorate

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

Use royal icing to draw decorations on the roof, front and sides of the house. Get creative! Add squiggles, lines, doors, windows and other fun shapes. You could even purchase premade gingerbread man cookies and place them around each mini house.

Repeat steps 1 to 4 for remaining 2 houses.

4. Milo Mocha

Things You'll Need

  • 1 mug

  • Mini whisk

  • 1 cup any type of milk, hot

  • 1 tsp. espresso powder

  • 3–5 Tbsp. Milo powder, adjust to taste

  • Optional spices: ground cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice

  • Mini marshmallows

1. Combine ingredients

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

In a mug, combine 1 cup hot milk, 1 tsp. espresso powder and 3–5 Tbsp. Milo powder. Use a mini whisk to mix ingredients. Sprinkle desired spices on top.

2. Top with mini marshmallows

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Add a few mini marshmallows on top and enjoy! Sip this while making your graham cracker houses with a generous side of sugar cookies for snacking.

Image Credit: Bianca Fernandez

Your completed graham cracker village can be left out at room temperature all holiday season long. Just make sure to protect it from pets or children who might want to snack on sweet little houses!

Seeking more gingerbread inspiration? Check out our roundup of gingerbread house ideas!

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