Nov 28


Gingerbread House Ideas

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It’s become a tradition of mine to make a gingerbread house every Christmas season.  As usual, I turned to Teresa Layman’s books Gingerbread for All Seasons and Gingerbread: Things to Make and Bake for templates and inspiration.  This is what I ended up with:

ginger bread house gingerbread house 2009

Below is the back:

gingerbread house gingerbread man lollipop

fondant snowman for gingerbread house

The fondant snowman is all edible except for the toothpick as his nose.

ginger bread house icicles

To make the icicles, use a #2 piping tip and use flood icing.  For the recipe see here.

Begin at the roofline and pipe a enough of a bead of icing so that it adheres, then squeeze and pull.  Let go of the pressure when you’re happy with the length of the icicle and gently pull down.

gingerbread man flood work

gingerbread girl lollipop tree

I made the back and interior of the the house a bit more whimsical with royal icing ‘run-outs’ or ‘flood-work’.  {Basically royal icing piped on parchment paper or acetate paper.  If you’d like to use acetate paper, make sure you lightly coat it with shortening/lard}.

disco dust jube jubes

As usual, I couldn’t resist using disco dust.  These are supposed to be jube-jubes.

inside of gingerbread house christmas tree

inside of gingerbread house

The inside was pretty basic with a Christmas tree, candy gifts and some sticker-inspired flood work.

I seem to get a lot of questions regarding the trees every year.  They’re so simple to make!

undecorated ice cream cones for gingerbread house

Begin with ice cream cones of any size.  Various sizes look nice as well.  You can gently break your cones or stack them to make the ‘trees’ larger or smaller.

unfinished ice cream cone trees

You’ll need to use a thick or stiff icing for the trees.  I used Teresa Layman’s recipe.

Holding the cone by the tip, pipe stiff green ‘stars’ using a #18 tip.  Any star or leaf tip works really and you can pipe small, tight stars or larger, longer ones.  Whatever your preference.  Begin at the base, piping one row at a time, and work your way upwards until you almost reach the top.

Since you need a place to grip the cone, stop piping near the tip and let the icing dry.  Once it is firm, you can gently hold on to the bottom of the tree and finish the rest.  Voila!

ice cream cone tree for gingerbread house

This tree has a little bit of icing sugar dusted over it as well.

I did end up entering the house into my first competition.

Gingerbread House 2009 Competition

Every year our local museum holds a Gingerbread House Competition to raise money for Christmas Cheer - a charity for local families in need.

silver gingerbread award

I ended up with silver in the professional category, representing the school where I teach and Sweetopia.

winning gingerbread house cakes by design

First prize went to Cakes by Design with their adorable house and figurines.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the award ceremony as I was in class with Peggy Porschen, but I was able to get a few shots of the other houses when I delivered my house.  I loved Whoville and so many of the unique ideas!

whoville gingerbread village

gingerbread house santas sleigh

cupcake castle gingerbread house

gingerbread cabin

Happy gingerbreading if you decide to make one this year!



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  1. Thanh Thao
    May 6, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    Yr house is wonderful! (Last year I made one too but in comparison with urs, it was such a nightmare:))
    And what was the roof made from, graham cracker or amother thing? Can we make that at home?
    Anyway, thanks so much for the ideas and inspration. This is the most beautiful house i have ever seen, cant wait to make such one!!!

  2. July 16, 2015 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    It’s impressive that you are getting thoughts from this post as well as from our dialogue made at this time.

  3. Meghan
    December 22, 2015 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I was wondering if I could just use a variation of one recipe for the thick and thin icing? For example, add more egg white for the icicles and less for the trees?

    Also, with your gingerbread recipe (that I found the link for in one of your replies), how many baking trays do you think it would fill? I’m not sure whether to double up for my gingerbread house or not (I’m making a smaller version of yours, instead of three rooms I’m just making the middle square with the chimney and roof dormer)

    Thank you so much for the tutorial!


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