This is the gingerbread recipe I come back to year after year. In fact, we're using it this weekend. This recipe is dependable, uses basic ingredients and dries rock-hard for a strong structure.
2 c. molasses or honey
1 c. vegetable oil
1 1/4 c. white granulated sugar
3 large eggs
8 c. flour
2 T. ground allspice
1 1/2 t. ground ginger
1 T. baking powder
Combine above ingredients, mixing well. Put dough into plastic bag or tightly-sealed container and chill overnight in fridge. The next day, roll dough on the back of a cookie sheet and cut dough to fit the pattern of your structure. Carefully remove dough that remains between the pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Let pieces cool completely before you start the assembly process
If you are like me, you want to start making your house the same day you whip up the dough. I've done it. Didn't see any difference in the outcome, but I'd say the dough works best after at least a couple hours in the fridge.
Don't have the recommended spices? I've been in that situation, too. I've substituted cinnamon and basically used whatever I had on hand ... nutmeg and the like. It worked just fine.
Here's the scoop on molasses. Most jars I have purchased have only a cup-and-a-half in them. I typically use the molasses from the jar and fill in the rest with any corn syrup or honey that I have lying around.
Finally, a caution about flour. Trying to be creative, I have substituted whole wheat flour with disastrous results. The gingerbread pieces looked flaky and grungy. They puffed up in an awkward way. Not a good outcome.