Mini Gingerbread Houses

Writing a cookbook has been a cathartic experience for me. Yesterday, I worked diligently in the kitchen, working hard to finish up my manuscript and I kept enduring failure after failure. In fact, this entire week has been chockfull of failures that has left me questioning what the hell I am even doing. It’s beginning to mess with my head. After 14 recipes yesterday, 5 of which were failures, not to mention the other 9 failures this week, I walked away from the kitchen and drove my doughy ass to the gym. It was about time I worked out. The whole drive over there I talked to Matt, who was sitting next to me, about feeling worried and nervous about this book.

Moments like this, no matter what they are–deadlines, performances, you name it–are the moments that tend to bring out our worst insecurities.

What if no one likes the recipes that are in this book? What if this is such crap that no one will buy it? What if, blah blah blah

I got on the treadmill and began to sweat out my frustrations, my nerves, my anxieties to the point where the only thing that I could focus on was needing to breathe (and occasionally glancing over at the sweaty but ultra sexy man next to me, of whom I am most grateful for…he’s so cute when he runs!) 

I get a little giddy.

Mini Gingerbread Houses

I sat there alone in the dark in the stretching room after running, holding poses to stretch those muscles that have been stagnant from 10 hour sitting marathons every day at the computer. I breathed in new life and positivity–It’s going to be okay. And even if no one likes the book, that still does not define who I am.

Deep breath.

I am going to be okay. I realize that it’s not about being hard on yourself when you do have negative thoughts–we all get them. No matter how hard we might try to work on our self esteem. It’s what you with those bad thoughts once they enter your mind.

A man walks in and turns the light on.

I initially get annoyed because he ruined my moment but then I smiled as I sat on my knees with my hands on my thighs. Even the lights on does not define my experience.

Deep breath.

Mini Gingerbread Houses

This adorable mini gingerbread house recipe is something I cannot take credit for. I have been seeing these all over Pinterest lately but I wanted to take a stab at it in order to get back into the holiday spirit.  This is just the recipe for the cookie base itself. I’m not including the way to assemble the houses because, well, I’m tired and I just wanted to say hi. I miss being over here, especially since Christmas is coming and all. I need some interaction and creativity to perk me up…

Oh and Happy Birthday to my #1 fan. My mother.

Mini Gingerbread Houses Recipe

  • 1 ¼ c. Cara’s Flour Mix
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan shortening
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix everything together with a fork in a medium bowl until dough begins to form. It might be a little crumbly, simply place the dough on a piece of parchment paper and gently knead until a smooth ball is formed. If it is still crumbly, add a teaspoon of non-dairy milk until completely smooth. Roll between 2 pieces of parchment until 1/8”. Cut into desired shapes. If the dough is too sticky, chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow to fully cool.




OptinMonster allows you to explode your email list by using our incredible exit intent technology.


  1. These are seriously the cutest things ever. I love the idea of putting them on the edge of a mug.

  2. These are beautiful! And seriously, isn’t fucking up a recipe you’ve had planned out in your mind the worst? It’s like, “Seriously? I wrote this shit out and everything and THIS is how it turned out?!”

    Either way, I know that your book is going to be awesome as hell and people are going to love it!

  3. Oh I have had weeks like those- where everything just goes so so wrong! BUT look! You’ve overcome it and created these beautiful gems :) And don’t be silly- we all love you and I know your book will be just as loveable and delicious as you are :)

  4. This sounds yummy! I’ve never made gingerbread houses from scratch before. We used to just decorate the premade ones with candy and icing when I was a kid. I saw them at the store last week and was so tempted to buy one. Does anyone know if gingerbread houses are normally vegan?

  5. Q: i never have shortening, do you think vegan margarine or coconut oil would work? or is shortenting a must? I could get some but I’d just never use the rest so it might be wasted. thanks!

    • I would go with solid coconut oil! The shortening just helps them keep their shape but I think the oil would be a good sub!

  6. Mini gingerbread houses, so so cute! I love it! I haven’t made one since I was little. I want to use this recipe and guide !

  7. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

    I Realize You Never Said You Cannot Do It. But Confront Those Negative Thoughts And Realize That You are alreAdy Doing it. Life Isn’t Meant To Be Easy It’s Meant To Be Lived… (Unknown)

    you Are Amazing. Look How Cute These Houses Are! The Tests That Didn’t Come Out Perfect Is Your OVen Wanting A Break. 😉

    • Christie, you are welcome to stop by here every day to post such great quotes! Thank you so much for these. They really brightened up my morning :) xo

  8. Cara – I am so confused about when I need to use a gum. You use the flour mix here – but do I need to add a gum? Thanks! Excited to make these!

    • Hi Sara!
      The usage of gums can be a very confusing matter–which is why I am going to do a baking series with that particular topic. Until then, in this recipe no gum is needed because of the molasses, which provides binding to the flours. Hopefully that helps a little but if you have more questions before I do that topical post on gums, email me and I will gladly help! xo

      • Thanks so much! I made a mistake with pizza dough not long ago – so I have been worried about repeating it! Thanks!

        • I know, this whole allergen-free baking thing can be a bit of a mess, can’t it? I cannot tell you how many flops and failures I have had!

  9. Oh, these are awesome ~ totally the cutest things ever. And you certainly still have a job … even while you’re questioning your life, you’re still great at entertaining us :)

    • Aw, thank you so much Kelli! What sweet words, really–that just meant the world to me. Thank you! xo

      • Oh, good… As soon as I sent it, I got concerned that it sounded like I was implying that your writing is going to have to carry you :) And it’s totally not – I haven’t been reading your blog for very long so I have alot of catching up to do, but what I’ve seen so far is phenomenal… can’t wait for the cookbook! If you do an online bloggy tour, I’d love to be a part of it! xx

  10. Haha, I can totally relate to this! Isn’t it crazy how simply taking a moment to tune into your body can quiet your mind? Keep pushing through!
    Also, these are ADORABLE!

    • And it’s such a simple solution too–why don’t we immediately remember to do it more often??? We so silly :) Thank you for the encouragement! Pushing through is all we can do, right? Well I guess give up but I refuse to do that. xo

  11. These are so, so, so cute! My 11 year old son and I will have a blast making these this weekend!

    One question, what did you use for the icing?

    • Oops, one more question… Can I use whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour to make these?

      • You can definitely use whole wheat flour in place of the gf flours! I haven’t done so, so I cannot verify if it’s 1:1 ratio but give it a try and let me know. xo

    • Hi Tracy, I used a very thick basic royal icing: TONS of powdered sugar (ie: 2-3 c.) + 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract + 2 tsp. non-dairy milk. You want to make sure the icing is very thick and not runny.

  12. Those look AWESOME. I love love making gingerbread houses. Gotta do it ASAP.

    • Thank you Alana! I love them too–brings me back to grade school. It was the most special time for me to make these, I loved it so much. xo Have fun making them :)

  13. Happy Birthday to your Biggest Fan! Aren’t you awesome? You’ve got an awesome, creative, intelligent daughter and we all know where those traits come from.

  14. Shut the front door! These are the cutest things ever! I’m missing you during 12 Days, but I can’t wait to see what’s transferring itself from your noggin to the page! Happy Birthday to Cara’s Mom!

  15. Those are the. cutest. gingerbread. houses. EVER!!!
    Don’t be too hard on yourself Cara, we all have insecurities. Trust me if you make delicious allergy-friendly treats people will (and do!) love you!!! I am a huge fan and I’d love to get your cookbook someday! I think you’ll find that the most appreciative fans are the ones who are living without. Thank you!

    • I must tell you that this comment here has stuck in my heart all week–I cannot thank you enough. You are so right, Megan! It means so much to those who cannot eat certain foods to have options. You are awesome with your words! xo

  16. Absolutely love them! And I’m definitely going to buy your book 😉

    I know how you feel though, I’ve had a week of kitchen fails, plenty of tears and a binned cake, and it’s left me feeling incredibly insecure. But onwards and upwards!

    • We can be so silly, can’t we? A few failures get us down all the while forgetting about all the successes??! Silliness. But I am secretly happy to not be alone in this :) Onwards and upwards it is!

  17. Your Biggest Fan! says:

    Hey! Gingerbread houses are my theme this year for Christmas! These are so cute and they really look tasty!
    Thanks so much for the birthday wishes!
    P.S.I have several requests for your book already :-)

    • Your secret it safe with me, birthday girl. Start looking for places to book when I get there in spring for my book signing gala :) haha

      • Hey Sissy – I was the FIRST to wish Mom a happy birthday. I’m still her favorite.

        Do you think it would be weird to make gingerbread houses when you come out in March??? :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *