I made a gingerbread house using store-bought gingerbread cookies (from Ikea, if it matters) and using just royal icing made from whipped egg whites, powdered sugar and vanilla paste. Because I couldn't find meringue paste being sold anywhere around me, I had to use the unpasteurized egg whites.

From the remaining icing I had, I made meringue kisses, which were pasteurized in the baking process.

Now I have a gingerbread house which was fun to make with the kids, but I'm afraid to give them to eat because of the unpasteurized eggs.

Will baking the house in the oven as I did with the remaining icing (90 deg C for 1.5 hours) to pasteurize it have any adverse effects?

  • 3
    Egg safety is very variable between countries. In some European countries eggs are officially reckoned to be safe enough to eat raw except in the very highest risk groups
    – Chris H
    Dec 8, 2019 at 12:04

2 Answers 2


This seems like a bit of a catch-22.

If you bake the assembled gingerbread house for an extra 90 minutes at 90°C, the gingerbread cookies will possibly/likely become dried out, hard, and inedible.

Candies and decoration may become similarly dried out and inedible. Some chocolate or gummy candies may melt, even at the relatively low oven temperature.

I wouldn't consider baking the completed gingerbread house as a means to make it edible. I think it would have quite the opposite effect (though, I've never done it).

I think the real question is whether the raw egg whites used are safe to consume as is. As mentioned in one of the comments, this can vary depending on where/how the eggs are sourced and what country's regulations you're listening to. Here in the US, the FDA warns against eating raw eggs, but US eggs are quite different than European eggs due to the differences in cleaning/processing eggs between the farm and table.

  • As I wrote in the question, the house doesn't have any candies or decorations, other than the icing and the gingerbread cookies themselves.
    – SIMEL
    Dec 8, 2019 at 14:03
  • 3
    Well, the question doesn't mention candies or decoration at all, so it was unclear if you had any. But in the interest of answering a future asker's question I included that detail. Regardless, double baking the cookies sounds like a recipe for hard, inedible bricks
    – AMtwo
    Dec 8, 2019 at 15:23

Unless you or your children are in some kind of risk group you shouldn't have to worry about it. In high enough concentrations, sugar kills bacteria through osmosis. Bacteria needs water to live, and the sugar sucks it right out of them. If your icing is quite hard and dry, then I'd consider it as safe as plain sugar.

If you're particularly paranoid, you might actually be better off microwaving individual pieces since that will temporarily soften the gingerbread. That said I don't know how long you'd need to microwave them to have a really sanitizing effect.

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