Building the perfect gingerbread house according to science

The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers share their secrets for a winning design

By Chiara Profenna | December 13, 2022 10:00am
The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers shared some tips for the perfect gingerbread house this holiday season.
Media Credit: Ryan Reynolds / The Beacon

Hoping to build the perfect gingerbread house this winter? This just in: Scientists and engineers recommend "patience and frosting."

The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) discovered some crucial techniques to construct the perfect gingerbread house during their Winter Gingerbread Engineering Contest on Dec. 5.

Three teams participated, each hoping to win bragging rights for their efforts. Stability was at the forefront of their minds as they raced against the competition, but frosting placement was of equal concern.

Here are their recommendations for building the perfect gingerbread house.

Start with a strong foundation

One of the most crucial parts of a gingerbread house is the foundation. It’s no surprise each team gave their base some extra attention.

Competitors Esther Beaulac, Grace Yuquimpo and Dawon Lee (Team EGD) realized some roadblocks they faced early on.

“We were given a disadvantage by having broken cookies,” Yuquimpo said. “So we're gonna make sure it's solid before we start building.”

And the key to supporting your foundation? None other than frosting.

Esther Beaulac and Dawon Lee working together to secure their foundation in place.
by Ryan Reynolds / The Beacon

Ice things up

Given the option between edible glue and frosting, scientists and engineers recommend the latter, citing the quicker dry time as a competition boost.

Competitors Kaylee Ocheltree and Tran Phan (Team Penguin) made this discovery early in the competition.

“We learned that the frosting was more glue-like than edible glue,” Ocheltree said.

Another fundamental element of house construction is the tools used. Competitors Lucy Wu, Ian Thompson, Ying Zhen and Fiona Xu (Team TBD) opted for a small spatula for more precise icing.

Team TBD assembling the roof of their house.

by Ryan Reynolds / The Beacon

“Good attitude and persistence”

Building a house in an hour is no easy task. During the last few minutes, the competitors found themselves rushing to piece together their gingerbread panels.

In the end, Team EGD came on top for the night. Their winning strategy? 

“Good attitude and persistence,” Yuquimpo said.

And if all else fails, an abundance of sprinkles is sure to sweeten up any gingerbread house.

Kaylee Ocheltree and Tran Phan decorating their gingerbread house.
by Ryan Reynolds / The Beacon

Chiara Profenna is the DEI editor of The Beacon. She can be reached at