Gingerbread House 2010!

by Wendy Copley on December 2, 2010

Gingerbread House

One of my absolute favorite Christmas traditions is making a gingerbread house with the kids, so yesterday that’s what we did for our first Advent activity. We never made a gingerbread house when I was a kid and I always really, really wanted one so making these houses is just as much about me as it is about my kids, I have to admit. Now that Wyatt’s older and more opinionated, that can lead to some stylistic differences of opinion but we generally manage to work it out.

Gingerbread house prep

I had grave doubts about this gingerbread house working out this year. I always buy a kit and I’ve had pretty good success with them in the past, but when I made the icing yesterday it was really runny. Every time I tried to attach one piece to another the icing just kind of slid right down the gingerbread. I resorted to some hard core structural enhancements using books, a can of pumpkin and a jar of lemon curd and I finally managed to get it to stay upright long enough for the icing to turn to cement.

Gingerbread house prep

I got the house completely assembled and dried while the kids were at school and we started decorating as soon as we got home. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — what makes a good gingerbread house a great gingerbread house is a whole boatload of candy. I may have gone just a little overboard with the candy this year though. There was the candy that came in the kit, of course. Then I also bought an extra pack of gingerbread house candy. And then I also saw this great idea over on Parent Hacks to squirrel away some of the Halloween candy for the gingerbread house.

So when it was time to decorate, I pulled out this huge tray of candy and the kids’ eyes got as big as saucers! I had barely put it down on the table before they started grabbing hand fulls and shoving it in their mouths. I don’t know how I didn’t see that coming! After a bit of a scuffle I managed to calm everyone down and we got to decorating. And here’s what we did this year:

Gingerbread House

Our house front was a bit tame compared to years past. I love the candy lights under the eaves though, and I particularly love the peppermint path (Wyatt’s suggestion) and the gum drop fence (my suggestion).

Gingerbread House

Here’s the left side of the house. Wyatt wanted a skylight on the roof and nothing else (“There’s nothing wrong with the brown part showing, Mom!”) but I lobbied hard for the border of stars and eventually got my way. You can see how the peppermint windows slid down the house because of the runny frosting.

Gingerbread House

Here’s the back. I like that gumdrop wreath thingy a lot.

Gingerbread House

Here’s the right side of the house. Wyatt wanted another window on the roof and he even drew me a picture to show the size and shape of it so I wouldn’t screw it up.

Gingerbread House

And here’s a view looking down, as though it was taken from a tiny gingerbread helicopter.

Gingerbread House

Augie has been enjoying counting the candies on the house this morning, saying “One! Two! One! Two!” over and over. He has also been enjoying prying pieces of candy off and stuffing them in his mouth when I’m not looking!

Are you making a gingerbread house this year? Do you use a kit or make it yourself?

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  • Whitneymoss

    It’s so beautiful! You were smart to assemble it on your own. There’s like 5 great tips in this post. Maybe you could sell it to a magazine as “5 smart tips that will save your gingerbread house”

  • Amanda

    wow love it. it looks awesome!

  • Moimama47

    Love it! We try to do one every year too. I have never seen the candy that looks like lights! What is it??? Where did you get it ??? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Maggie

    Delightful and inspiring! Great tips also. I may make a gingerbread house this year. It was a favorite activity with my mom when I was a kid. So fun.

  • Fuzzydolly

    We haven’t made a gingerbread house before but are planning one this year (Advent activity #5). I am SO excited, I’ve never had one before … my 3-year-old is going to love it!

  • The light candies are from the Wilton add-on kit which I saw for the first time this year:Wilton Gingerbread House Holiday Candies AssortmentI did *not* pay $10 for mine though — I got it on sale at Michael’s for $5, I think.

  • I can’t wait to see what you do, Maggie! I think it would be fun to design and bake a gingerbread house when the kids are older.

  • I really like your house! I love that it is not “perfect” and that it really shows what you can make with the kids. You are an inspiration and I am totally going to try to work this project in next year.

  • Monzie

    We are going to try the gingerbread train this year with some mini houses. Since they are kits and we aren’t going to eat the gingerbread I usually hot glue the house together the night before.

  • Very cute! We are doing our GB house this weekend. I always assemble ahead of time, but my tip is to use HOT GLUE to assemble the house. It works 100x better than the icing and once it’s put together (a 10 minute process, 5 minutes of which are spent waiting for the glue gun to heat), you can ice over it, hiding the glue.
    Then I let the kids go to town on decorating…whatever they want to put on it is fine with me! Ours always turns out cute, but it’s usually pretty sad looking by Christmas because the munchkins sneak pieces of candy off it all month long. LOL

  • Carrie

    This looks awesome! As always, your photos are great too. I just might try this with my Augie too :).

  • So pretty!!

    I always keep Halloween candy for our Cmas gingerbread house! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, we frequent Sonic quite often and I toss all the peppermints they hand out in a canister all year. By Christmas we have oodles for our candy crafts!

    Love your bulb shaped candy and the stars! So fun.

  • Lauren

    That looks like so much fun. I don’t get to make gingerbread houses, but I think if I did, I’d make it without the kit. There are so many more possibilities that way ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pam

    What a relief to know that someone else out there makes gingerbread houses partly to fufill childhood dreams! Yours is beautiful! Love the idea of placing all the candies in muffin pans. Let’s see – I made my first gingerbread house in 1973 and in all these many years I have never thought of this idea!

    I still love baking from scratch – well I love the smells when baking from scratch! But these past few years when i have been sharing the activity with a friend’s two young children, I have come to appreciate a good kit! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pingback: Gingerbread House 2011! | Wendolonia()

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