Build a holiday memory by decorating gingerbread houses, a sweet and spicy tradition for all ages. Guests come with a few favorite candies and nuts and go home with a decorated gingerbread house! Offer munchies or share a meal. What a fun activity to look forward to this year!
You have choices when it comes to gingerbread houses. Follow the recipe for Gingerbread Village, or for an easier option, glue together graham crackers with actual glue or frosting. Either way, you'll want to assemble the houses before the decorating event so guests can put their energies into the fun finishing touches.
More Great Recipes with the Gingerbread Theme!
1-2-3 Gingerbread Houses
Gingerbread Castle Cake
Happy Holidays Gingerbread House
Plan-Ahead Success Tips
- Shop for candy-gingerbread house decorations up to 1 month before your event.
- Bake gingerbread; cut, cool and freeze flat unassembled pieces up to 1 month before your event. Thaw the day before the event and assemble.
- Request guests bring decorations to share.
- Place houses on cardboard squares covered with aluminum foil. Guests can decorate the foil "yard" to resemble ice rinks and fill with snowpeople and sleds. The cardboard also makes transportation easier.
- Plan for plenty of table space to spread out decorating supplies and allow room for gingerbread artists to work. Cover tables with inexpensive plastic tablecloths available at party stores. Cover the floor with sheets of plastic available at home stores for quick and easy cleanup.
- Place the food in a separate area from the gingerbread area; make it a self-service buffet and encourage guests to munch as the hungries hit. Keep buffet foods safe by keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
- Serve Make-Ahead Italian Meatballs from a slow cooker or fondue pot.
- Serve Slow Cooker Vegetable Minestrone from the slow cooker it was cooked in.
- Make enough Royal Icing for each guest. Place it in resealable plastic freezer bags (they're stronger); snip off a corner just before using. Make a bag of frosting for each guest plus some extra.
- Have an assortment available of tubes and/or cans of decorator frosting, edible glitter and assorted holiday cookie decors.
Here are some fun decorating ideas to get you started. You'll find more great ideas when you shop!
Great Decoration Ideas
Shutters, shingles and walkways
- candy-striped or plain stick gum
- chocolate bars
- graham or other crackers
- flat round wafer candies
- Chex® cereals
Window frames and/or panes
- square, sugar-coated gum pieces
- pretzel squares
- wafer cookies
- pretzel sticks
- stick gum
- pretzel sticks (large and small)
- cinnamon sticks
- rosemary sprigs anchored in gumdrops
- upside-down ice-cream cones
- spearmint leaf-shaped gumdrop candies
Snow and igloos
Tree decorations and lights
- silver dragées (not to be eaten)
- chopped multicolored ring-shaped hard candies
Light poles/mailbox posts
- peppermint sticks anchored in gumdrops
Sleds and skis
- stick gum
- graham crackers for sled base; candy canes for sled runners
- foil-wrapped rectangular chocolate candies, unwrapped and tied with ribbon
- pillow-shaped hard candies
- round swirled hard peppermint candies; red cinnamon candies; candy-coated chocolate candies (regular size and miniature); red and black licorice bites, ropes and twists; chocolate, butterscotch and white baking chips; sugared gummy candies; chocolate kisses; flags on toothpicks