Graham Cracker Cabins (or houses, or shacks, or whatever!)

So, I’m not a food blogger (or photographer) but I wanted to share one of our family’s favorite Christmas traditions…our Graham Cracker Cabins! Sometimes we call them our little Christmas shacks, but whatever the name, this experience is sure to bring your family together! It’s permission to eat sugar and be creative and make memories—to even go down memory lane—which is what we usually do! This is the moment that Nathan and I usually end up hearing confessions from our kids, from their childhood days. Like, how they used to take turns as little kids, climbing out in front of the stair railing of our two story foyer! So, there’s that…

Anyway, as you know, most stores carry ready-to-go, Gingerbread house kits, complete with everything you need to make the exact Gingerbread houses that everyone else is making, along with the worst candy selections known to man! So that’s reason number one and two, to go with our Graham Cracker cabin tradition! They are unique—a work of art—and you can buy the cookies and candy that you actually like! That leads to reason number three, all of the leftovers are actually edible…you can even enjoy them in a bowl of cereal if you like, or have them as an afternoon snack! 

Here’s what you’ll need!

  • 2 or 3 boxes of graham crackers (they break easy so you’ll need extra but hey, just stash them in your s’mores-supply-basket in the pantry. You have one, right?)
  • About 1 cup of white, granulated sugar
  • 2 to 3 cans of white, store bought cake icing (one year I tried to get cheap and make my own icing and it just didn’t hold up! So maybe just splurge here!)
  • Cookies, candy and cereal to decorate (we love to use frosted mini-wheat cereal for the roof and pretzel sticks for the log cabin look, but you can get super creative with whatever cookies, candy and cereal that you love! You could even make sweet and savory cabins!
  • Have plates ready to set each cabin on, you can use fun, paper plates or whatever you have in your cabinets!

Now let’s put these sassy little shacks together, ya’ll!

Each cabin uses six graham crackers: Four full, uncut crackers and two that are cut in order to pitch the roof! Have an adult use a very, sharp bread knife to lightly (and slowly!) cut the tops of two of the graham crackers to look like the picture shown below. This is where you’ll be glad that you bought extra graham crackers! This is also where you have to remember that it’s going to be worth it it all! Those generic, store-bought Gingerbread kits (that require zero imagination and craftsmanship) have NOTHING on you! You’ve GOT this!

Now, melt somewhere between a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of white, granulated sugar in a non-stick skillet on medium or so. A 1/2 cup of sugar makes 5 cabins, no problem, so it just depends on how many cabins you’re making! This’ll take a minute to melt the sugar down!

Just watch your temperature so that it’s melting but not scorching! The sugar will crumble up at first and look kind of like scrambled eggs from afar. That’s what I’ve observed anyway. 

Once your sugar looks like the pic below, you’re ready! This is essentially your “hot glue” to assemble your cabins. And when I say hot—I mean that it’s basically a skillet full of lava! So, DO NOT let your kids anywhere near this stuff! And, please be careful with your OWN fingers!

Start by glueing one of your full, uncut crackers to one of your cut,pitched-roof sides. Just dip the end of one of your rectangle crackers in the sugar “glue” and attach one side of your cut, pitched-roof sides—just make sure that your pitched-roof side glues to the inside of your full length cracker, like this:

Now, dip the end of another full sized cracker in the sugar glue and attach it to the other side like this:

Now, attach your other pitched-roof side, carefully dipping each side into the glue and then placing it down between the two sides like this:

You are now ready for your precious little roof to go on! Dip both ends of another full-length cracker in “glue” and carefully (without having to go to the ER for burned fingers!) secure both ends to the top of your cabin on one side like this:

Now, do the same thing with the other side and see if you don’t feel a sense of pride rise up in you—not to mention a major dose of Christmas spirit—but for real, you’re a graham cracker architect! Look at you! 

Use your store-bought icing to secure all of your goodies to your cabins! It also doubles as “snow” and will give your cabins the instant “White Christmas” of your dreams! 

Now, just have fun with it…let your kids (and yourself) eat some SUGAR while you let your creativity SOAR! And if you want to take this to the next level like we do, have a contest! Post these cute little sugar shacks on social media and have your friends and family judge! Maybe you could even have some prizes for first, second and third place! 

And, if you REALLY want to go next level, you can vote on our family’s Graham Cracker Cabins on my Instagram. Just visit @christynockels to see how ours turned out and pick your favorite!

I truly hope this tradition brings you and yours TOGETHER this Christmas!