The biggest deterrents to keeping a gingerbread house are (after hungry humans, of course) animals and humidity. Assuming you keep household pets away, keep your creation in as dry a spot in the house as possible as humidity can cause mold.
Other than that, says Julia Rutland, food editor of Coastal Living and gingerbread house creator extraordinaire says, “ It’s really a matter of flavor and taste. The longer it sits out, the more dry and flavorless it becomes”. She points out that as candy and icing stay out, they can become tooth-crackingly hard. Most recipes are edible for at least a week, some longer. Julia has this great tip: surround the house with piles of gingerbread cookies made with softer icing, which will stay tasty (and keep you away from the dentist’s office) longer.
Note: Julia is the creator of this amazing Gingerbread Lighthouse. If you want more information about making one, see our blog post about the gingerbread house that includes step-by-step instructions as well as links to the templates.
Recipe: Gingerbread Lighthouse