Sweet's Candy Company is proud to present: How to Make Gingerbread Houses with detailed instructions for our Aromatic Gingerbread recipe, the Perfect Royal Icing recipe, gingerbread house assembly instructions, decorating ideas and hacks and our free downloadable gingerbread house template all in one place, so you can spend more time with friends and family – making memories this holiday season.
A Time-Honored Tradition
A gingerbread house was first mentioned in the literature of Grimm's fairy tale Hansel, and Gretel published in 1812. This time-honored tradition of adding decorated gingersnap cookies to decorate Christmas trees in colonial North America was adapted from the German tradition of making gingerbread houses. The tradition became associated with celebrating the Christmas season that many families in the US have cherished for the past 200 years. Make sure to give yourself several days or a full weekend for shopping and gathering supplies, baking, crafting decorations, construction, and final decorations.
Plan, Organize and Bake!
We recommend you devote two days to gather ingredients and supplies, bake your structure and make the royal icing in preparation for day three so you can devote special attention to detail in decorating and constructing the house and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Here is a 3-4 day time timeline to ensure everything goes smooth and you don't get your tinsel in a tangle:
Day 1 - Printing instructions, making a list and checking it twice and shopping
Print out the following recipes, and instructions;
- Aromatic Gingerbread - download ingredients list, download gingerbread recipe
- Perfect Royal Icing - download icing recipe
- Gingerbread House Template (this 4-page template is print/cut/ready to use) - download pg 1, pg 2, pg 3, pg 4
- Gingerbread House - Download Assembly Instructions
- Decorating with Sweet's Candy (easy to follow instructions for the candy elements) - Download pg 1, pg 2, pg 3
- Use the Aromatic Gingerbread Recipe, Perfect Royal Icing Recipe, Gingerbread House Assembly Instructions and Decorating with Sweet's Candy printouts to Make a shopping list for ingredients and supplies you'll need.
- Place online bulk candy order - make sure delivery will be in time for decorating and construction on day 3.
- Complete all shopping errands for day 2 - making, baking, and set-up.
Day 2 - Making, baking, and set-up
- Use the Aromatic Gingerbread Recipe printout: Make and bake your gingerbread and allow the pieces to cool, dry and harden overnight.
- Use the Perfect Royal Icing printout: Prepare the royal icing, and store in the refrigerator in the piping bags to grab and go for decorating and construction day.
- Use the Gingerbread House Template printouts:
- Set up your work area - you will need a large work area like the dining room table; protect your work surface with a disposable tablecloth.
- Arrange Sweet's candies in the center of the table for easy access.
Day 3 - Decoration and Construction
- Begin by decorating the four gingerbread walls and roof pieces. Pre-decorating while the pieces are lying flat will be the best way to make sure your decorating elements don't slide down and stay in place.
- Allow enough time for the royal icing to dry and harden before beginning construction.
- Next put roof both pieces together at the peak at about a 45-degree angle with royal icing.
- Stand up 2 wall pieces at a time, and then make sure all four walls are tightly seamed together, using royal icing to glue the pieces in place and fill in any gaps.
- Now is the time to turn on your battery operated tea light and place it inside the gingerbread house.
- Next, add the roof piece and be very generous with the royal icing on the wall tops to avoid a collapsed roof. Extra hands may be needed to make sure your structure stays in place until the icing hardens enough to hold.
- Lastly, add the chimney sides and back cover with royal icing and set the Candy Pebble stones in place to match your existing fireplace wall pattern.
*You can stop here and extend the final decorating into Day 4.
- Now have fun creating Sweet decorative elements for the landscaping like trees from candy or gingerbread, a path or candy stepping-stones to the front door and creating adorable candy figures.
- Add icing icicles to the eaves, window tops, and chimney top.
- Let it snow! Shake powdered sugar over the entire house to give an extra winter wonderland effect.
Hosting a kid-friendly gingerbread house decorating party might seem daunting with baking and constructing delicate gingerbread. A house made from rice crispy treats squares or graham crackers may be just the solution to make sure little ones have fun too and help avoid frustration. For rice crispy houses use 6 prepackaged rice crispy squares or cut 6 squares from a pan of homemade rice crispy treats. Cut out a door and windows then assemble using royal icing. Decorate with Sweet's Cinnamon Santa's, Holiday Taffy, Fruit Sours and Christmas Jumbo GumDrops. This is a perfect craft idea for children 4 and up or as a children's Christmas Party idea!
'May your Christmas be filled with Sweet moments of joy and laughter with the ones you love' ~ from all of us at Sweet's Candy Company!