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Family Holiday Tradition: Gather 'Round a Gingerbread House

With their gumdrop roofs and candy cane fences, a gingerbread house creates a magical moment in time. Gather the generations for a day of decorating fun, whether you start from scratch (plan a weekend) or take a shortcut with a kit. Either way, the merry is in the making when it comes to this family project. Here are some ideas to get you started presented by our friends at Folgers®.

Gingerbread House Building Basics


  • If starting from scratch, take inspiration from your favorite places. Cabins, cottages, city buildings and towers fit for royalty are all fair game.

  • When rolling out your dough, make sure it is of even thickness before baking. This helps with construction later.

  • Many great gingerbread kits are available for purchase. Some even come preassembled, with a sweet selection of decorating candies.

  • Build your house on a sturdy platter, cutting board or serving tray so it can be moved easily if needed.

  • Trim baked gingerbread with a serrated knife.


Dazzling Decorating Secrets


  • Use royal icing. It makes a great "glue" and looks pretty, too. Just make sure it's the right consistency—not too stiff, nor too runny. Put in piping bags or squeeze bottles.

  • Get creative with candies. Incorporate your family's favorites and enjoy your edible creation that much more.

    Snow: shredded coconut, powdered sugar, mini marshmallows or white fondant
    Windows: peppermint discs, Lifesaver candies or thin red licorice rope
    Holiday lights: gumdrops or hot cinnamon candies
    Fencing: candy canes, pretzel rods or rice cereal treats
    Roofing: waffle and wafer cookies, or chocolate wafer candy

  • Place small twinkle lights inside for an extra sweet effect at night.

  • Let little ones make a gingerbread house all their own. Starting with a short paper milk carton, use frosting to adhere graham cracker sheets to walls and roof. Cover with more frosting and decorate with holiday candy.