If you’ve spent anytime on this site you know we recommend using a gingerbread house kit, so you can skip right to the fun part—decorating. If you would prefer to bake your own from scratch, here are the top 5 recipes from around the web…
Make your summertime family reunion memorable with a unique, sweet, wholesome activity for all ages. Create your own Family Tradition! (Helpful hint: Gingerbread isn’t just for wintertime anymore.)
So what do the words “Family Reunion” bring to your mind? A casual, slightly crazy get-together with people of all ages and interests getting reacquainted (and meeting the newest family members)? A picnic buffet or potluck, with (hopefully) fun activities that can adapt to weather demands? A rewarding but rather stressful event for the responsible host/hostess who wants to be sure that everyone’s needs are met and all attendees leave happy?
When you think about it, decorating gingerbread houses (or forts, or ships, or castles) is an activity that fits right into the spirit of the best Family Reunions — combining sweet treats, hands-on creativity, some slightly-wacky whimsy and lots of fun that people of all ages can enjoy together.
Add a friendly gingerbread decorating event to your Family Reunion plans, and you can be certain that everyone will enjoy themselves and remember the day fondly for years to come.
Here are three good reasons to put Gingerbread Decorating on your list of Family Reunion plans:
- A Gingerbread project can be as large or as small as you like. You can host a small party in your back yard or family room, or rent a pavilion at your nearest State Park and accommodate a hundred or more at picnic tables. Decorating gingerbread constructions (houses and cottages are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to choices) is an activity that works indoors or out, so it’s easy to accommodate weather fluctuations and changes of plans.
- Decorating your choice of gingerbread “houses” is a lively hands-on activity that provides good wholesome fun for people of all ages, from preschoolers to grandparents. Your charming constructions may be as complex or as simple as you like, so this is an activity that can accommodate almost everyone, including folks who have physical or mental challenges. It’s an activity that offers plenty of opportunity to exercise creativity in a comfortable, companionable environment.
- Your Gingerbread activity can be as unique and specific to your family as you choose. You can adopt a theme, have friendly competitions, work together to create an entire village or fleet of pirate ships. The sky is the limit!
Here are some tips to help ensure that your Family Reunion Gingerbread activity is a memorable success:
- Use disposable tablecloths, paper (or Styrofoam) plates to place the gingerbread structures on, plus plenty of paper towels or napkins to make clean-up afterwards a breeze. You can buy brightly-colored, matching items of this sort at most “dollar stores.” That’s also a good place to pick up shallow bowls or, better yet, small food containers with lids, to hold the various candies, sprinkles, colored sugars, etc. that will be used for decorating the gingerbread constructions.
- Make sure your guests can easily wash their hands before starting (children may need to be reminded) and to clean up afterwards. You may want to provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer at each work area.
- Be very generous in providing lots of frosting and brightly-colored decorations, candies and cookies! You’ll find that your guests’ fun and creativity expands exponentially with the number of options available. Get enough goodies for lavish decorating plus some for (inevitable) snacking. It is considerate to provide sugar-free alternatives (clearly marked) for people who are watching calories or avoiding sugar for health reasons.
- Remember to get boxes or at least plastic wrap to cover your guests’ masterpieces for safe transport home.
You can make your Family Reunion Gingerbread activity plans extra special and easy by visiting our store where you’ll find a delightful variety of pre-made gingerbread constructions and kits plus a huge assortment of sweet decorations. Please click here to check out our store.
A 16 foot tall gingerbread house or “Frozen” gingerbread ice castle at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is adorned with sugar snowflakes, gingerbread shingles and chocolate-coated trees – Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven are decorated with sugar, chocolate and candy. In all, 423 pounds of chocolate and 311 pounds of honey went into the creation. While you can’t eat the house, there’s a special blue raspberry cake “Frozen” gelato, plus gingerbread and sugar cookies, snowflake ornaments, linzer and the popular chocolate-peppermint cookies. Take home a build-your-own snowman kit.
These are just two of the spectacular, all-new gingerbread designs that Walt Disney World Resort pastry chefs have spent months planning and weeks meticulously building. While the finished creations may look easy as pie, cobbling together a life-size masterpiece in gingerbread takes a lot of skillful hands.
You can see the displays through the first week of January, 2015.
The life-size gingerbread house celebrates 16 years at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – the pastry chefs use the same building plans to re-create a fresh masterpiece each year, using a classic gingerbread recipe from Austria (they estimate 400 hours of baking). The house stands 16 feet high and features 40 window panes, made with a whopping 1,050 pounds of honey, 700 pounds of chocolate, 600 pounds of confectioner’s sugar, 35 pounds of spices, 800 pounds of flour, 140 pints of egg whites and 180 pounds of apricot glaze – more than 10,000 pieces of gingerbread make up the house. Gingerbread house decorating demos are featured daily except Sundays, and this is the place to buy gingerbread cookies, stollen, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate-peppermint bark (divine), gingerbread ornaments, mini-gingerbread houses and other goodies.
Although traditionally a Christmastime project, gingerbread houses do not need to be ignored at any other times of the year. Who wants to wait twelve months to have the fun of decorating a delicious architectural confection again?
Winter at the Gingerbread House
No one could argue that the winter holidays are a great time for building a gingerbread house. With the white icing and Christmas style materials, like candy canes, your family can build anything from Santa’s castle and workshop to a quaint country cottage in the snow.
As the decorations are put away, that does not mean the gingerbread building days are over. Valentine’s Day offers a wealth of delicious candy to decorate a new one. Lacy loops of icing and conversation heart cobblestones create a perfect picture.
Spring at the Gingerbread House
As the weather warms, many new opportunities to take time for a gingerbread family tradition appear. Spring itself is a great reason to decorate a cookie home with candy flowers. Imagine an Easter house with hidden jellybean eggs in the yard. See how many different plant types you can create for an Earth Day gingerbread house in April.
Summer at the Gingerbread House
The frozen snows of icing have melted and baking large sheets of gingerbread may not be the ideal hot-weather hobby, but building gingerbread houses is still a great way to spend family time. Buy a kit to cut down on oven time and get creative.
Decorate with red, white, and blue candies and icing for Memorial Day, Flag Day, and the Fourth of July. Create a golden gingerbread house for the solstice to welcome the warmer weather.
Autumn at the Gingerbread House
Cool breezes blow and leaves change to russet and gold. Thoughts of Christmas gingerbread houses may begin to dance in your head, but there are still other opportunities to get together and build a seasonal masterpiece. Halloween and Thanksgiving gingerbread houses can stretch your imagination.
Candy and Halloween are nearly synonymous. A spooky haunted house decorated with black licorice trim and candy corn roof tiles would make an excellent party centerpiece. The bounty of Thanksgiving can be reflected in chocolate flake roofing, warm-toned Reese’s Pieces, and maple sugar leaf candies.
Gingerbread houses are not just for Christmas anymore. No matter what time of year it is, you and your family can head to the kitchen to enjoy this sweet and creative tradition. Winter, spring, summer, and autumn, any reason to celebrate is a reason to build a gingerbread house.
Whether you want to carry on a family tradition or visions of sugarplums and architectural wonders made of cake, cream, and candies have invaded your mind, building a gingerbread house with your kids can be a wonderful holiday or anytime project. As long as perfection is not your goal, the sometimes-questionable help of little hands can result in a unique and wonderfully sweet decoration and memory.
Building “Materials” Selection and Baking Help
The type of assistance each kid brings to the table depends largely on his or her age, ability, and level of attention. The gingerbread sheets that make up the walls and roof need a steady hand – most likely a parent’s hand – to remove them from the baking sheets and fix them in place with the icing glue. Kids love to measure ingredients and mix them together though. Another option is to use a pre-made kit to make the not-as-exciting construction step quicker.
The real magic of building a gingerbread house with your kids is in choosing the building materials and putting them on. Have fun on a trip to the store to buy candy or when perusing the selection online. Necco wafers for the roof? Or a mosaic pattern of brown M&Ms? Gumdrop bushes under the windows, or flower shapes cut from taffy?
Make a Plan and Stick to it Like Icing
You will find, in the course of this project, that sometimes icing does not stick at all. Do not be too rigid or focused on a perfect end goal when building a gingerbread house with your kids. This is bonding time with the little ones and sharing of a tradition either old or new. The end goal may just be a sticky mess and a cup-full of wonderful memories.
Although a casual approach works well for any craft or baking project with little hands involved, having a plan at the start may help. Purchasing a kit takes the architectural decisions off the table, but questions such as what candy to put on the roof and if the path to the door should be lined with candy canes or green spearmint trees still exist.
Perhaps less planning and more creative experimentation is your family’s style. When building a gingerbread house with multiple kids, some friendly competition over who placed the most candies or whose icing lines are straighter may erupt. Divvy up responsibilities evenly as age and ability permit and remind everyone that a house, even a gingerbread house, is only a home with a lot of love poured into it. Traditions are made like this, and the results are always sweet.
Gingerbread Traditions supplies the most delicious gourmet gingerbread house kits for corporate events shipped directly to you. Gingerbread house kits are not just the perfect present for a family on a holiday, but they are also a great way to create a healthy and convivial atmosphere in an organization.
Gingerbread house kits are ideal gifts for your co-workers, staff, and clients. They are a great way to break the ice at the office. Our gingerbread house kits for corporate events are a big hit with businesses across America.
Gingerbread house making events are a great way to boost the festive spirit in your company or organization, and offer a whole lot of creative fun. They are perfect for a corporate party, a charity fundraiser organized by your company, or as a way to welcome new recruits to the organization.
Generally, families of the staff are invited to gingerbread house making events at various organizations. Children love making gingerbread houses, and it’s a great way for the families of your staff to get to know each other. This builds solidarity within the company.
Making gingerbread houses encourages team building, fosters creativity, improves communication, and builds problem-solving skills within the organization. Gingerbread workshops are fun and challenging, and are a great way to build team spirit in the company.
You should make it a point to invite some of your best clients and their families to these events as well, as a way to thank them for their support and as a token of appreciation.
Decorating the gingerbread houses is a lot of fun. You can have each member of the staff decorate their own gingerbread house, or split the group into small teams and give each team a gingerbread house to decorate collectively.
At the end of the event, each gingerbread house is boxed up so the staff can then display them at their office desk. Later, after taking pictures to be posted on Facebook and Instagram, the whole group can join in and enjoy munching on their incredibly delicious gingerbread houses.
At Gingerbread Traditions, we get a lot of inquiries for bulk orders of gingerbread house kits for large corporate events from virtually every part of the country. You can save money on large bulk orders for gingerbread house kits, as we have attractive discounts available for larger orders. We also enjoy helping out with the events and the promotions, so get in touch with us to find out more!
Are you looking for the best gingerbread house stencils, patterns, and designs on the Web? We’ve collected five great online resources where you can get the best gingerbread house stencils—and what’s more, they’re absolutely free! So, let’s get started.
Tipnut.com is a great site for sharing creative ideas and information. It was started by a Canadian homemaker in 2006 who has since published over 1,000 articles on household tips, recipes, craft patterns, kitchen and cooking tips, and yes, great tips on making your own gingerbread houses. You will find plenty of free gingerbread house templates and stencils here, as well as lots of great gingerbread decorating tips and more.
Gingerbread House Template on Pinterest is the biggest online resource of free gingerbread house stencils, designs, and patterns. It serves as a perfect visual bookmarking tool for the best creative ideas on gingerbread houses, and it’s free! You will find hundreds of free printable templates and recipes on Gingerbread House Template such as the Small Gingerbread House Template [https://in.pinterest.com/pin/410812797239459278/] and the Stone Gingerbread House you can bake and decorate [https://in.pinterest.com/pin/410812797239439786/], both by Marie Jean Louis. You can also find the Country Chapel Gingerbread House Blueprint by Danielle Hib [https://in.pinterest.com/pin/124552745922213272/] and much more.
Kung Foodie has one of the best collections of gingerbread stencils, designs and patterns anywhere on the Web. You will find some highly unusual gingerbread house designs such as Firquoet’s Gingerbread Star Wars Tie Fighter, 64bits’ Gingerbread PC Computer, Rickynils’ Fractal Gingerbread Snowflakes, and the NASA Gingerbread Spacecraft, along with advanced designs such as the Haunted Dimensions Paris Disneyland Mansion and Franky’s Attic Gingerbread Houses. There are 32 different gingerbread house patterns in all at Kung Foodie – plenty to choose from!
Haunted Dimensions has a free gingerbread house PDF template of Phantom Manor, which is the name of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Paris. Ray Keim is the man behind the website, and he created this fabulous gingerbread haunted house design for his daughter’s birthday party using a 3D application, Lightwave 9.0, and Photoshop. You can download the design templates and the construction diagram from the link above. You will also find other great gingerbread designs such as Miss Betty’s House, The Blob House and Halloween House on this site.
Tikkido.com has a collection of FREE standard gingerbread house PDF templates such as…
Printable Standard Gingerbread House Template (Front and Back)
Printable Standard Gingerbread House Template (Sides and Roof)
Printable Standard Gingerbread House Template (Door, Windows, and Shutters)
Nikki, the person behind Tikkido.com, designs A-frame gingerbread houses for her kids and their friends at school, as well as for Scout troops. You will find many printable templates for the windows, shutters, and doors on Tikkido.com.
Gingerbread Traditions is an Oregon-based business that ships gourmet gingerbread house kits for holidays direct to you. All gingerbread house kits made by Gingerbread Traditions are exciting and highly creative gifts for the whole family.
Peppermint columns and gumdrop trees decorate the outside of many gingerbread houses created every year at kitchen tables all around the world. Ever since ginger cakes were brought back from the Middle East in the early medieval period, people have been coming up with new ways to enjoy this tasty treat. As the centuries marched on, gingerbread became the de facto material for all sorts of decorations, molded desserts, and gingerbread houses.
In the beginning, gingerbread had a close association with religious ceremonies and special events. For a while, only specially-trained bakers were permitted to work with gingerbread and used religious iconography to mold or shape the biscuits. Gingerbread baking was often controlled by orders of nuns and monks. People usually build today’s gingerbread houses around Christmas, which harkens back to the days when it was the only time of year the sweet treat could be enjoyed, according to the law. As time went on, the strict regulations were lifted and gingerbread became a popular recipe for many people to enjoy.
Gingerbread men came before the gingerbread house. Russian bakers made delicious dolls from this dough, and the practice spread throughout eastern and then western Europe. Gingerbread houses all got their start thanks to the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel” and the gingerbread house in which the mean old witch lived and cooked children for her supper. German bakers built on the popularity of this story and introduced the witch’s house of delicious candies and sweet gingerbread to their customers.
Even though they had a rather frightening origin, the idea of candy-decorated gingerbread houses sank into the mind of bakers and confectioners everywhere. The idea traveled across the ocean to America with German and Dutch settlers and remains a popular holiday tradition in many households.
These days, the humble gingerbread house has grown from a simple sweet treat that is wonderful to display during the holiday season to a large industry complete with world records and yearly competitions. The largest gingerbread house ever built was over 2,300 square feet inside and could easily house a whole family of life-sized gingerbread men and women. In most cases, size does not matter and contests are judged instead on creativity, artistry, and adherence to a particular theme.
Gingerbread houses have been around for hundreds of years, and the sweet and spicy dough that makes up their walls has been around for centuries more. Once valued as worthy of religious ceremonies only due to the expense and scarcity of ginger, cinnamon and other spices included, it has now become a mainstay of the modern holiday season.
Find the perfect recipe and cook up your own wall pieces, or purchase a pre-baked and pre-cut gingerbread house to assemble with royal icing “glue.” Then, decorate with a wide variety of delicious candies and snacks. As you build new traditions with your family and friends, you can remember the days of gingerbread’s first forays into the Western world.
The best part of building a gingerbread house is decorating it with icing, candies, and other edible treats. Families with children of all ages create holiday traditions around building one every year, and even pass the tradition down through the generations. With pre-baked gingerbread house pieces, the time-consuming part of actually mixing and cooking the walls, roof pieces and doors of the house are handled for you. All that is left is the construction and adding all of the yummy decorations.
Holidays are the perfect time for enjoying sweet treats, handmade crafts and fun times together. Everyone in the family, from the grandparents down to the youngest child, can get in on the action of building a decorated gingerbread house together. Pre-baked gingerbread walls, roofs and other construction pieces can make the process so much more fun. Just imagine taking the time to bake the flat gingerbread, and then having difficulty getting it off the pan, having it crack or break, or coming out too soft to hold up the structure. Your fun holiday tradition would be ruined.
The tradition can extend to using the same pre-baked gingerbread house pieces every year, although there are many different styles and sizes available to choose from. Still, the classic four-walled cottage is perfect for the widest variety of decorating styles. With a little imagination and the right additions, you can turn it into everything from a log cabin in the woods to a pretty white church with stained-glass windows.
Pre-baked gingerbread house kits come in various sizes that will help you and your family make a large decoration fit for a table centerpiece, or small individual houses that can be part of a village display. They are perfect for church events and holiday parties as well, since every kid and adult can get their own small home to decorate.
No matter which pre-baked options you decide to purchase for your family, make sure to stock up on plenty of candy and other snacks to decorate with. Some great options include pretzel sticks, candy canes, chocolate pebbles that look like rocks, gumdrops and other gummy shapes, assorted peppermints, and fruit stars and thin wafers for the roof tiles.
Proper icing for gluing them all together is also important. The base of the icing is always confectioners’ or powdered sugar, but different recipes call for water, white meringue powder or egg whites. Whichever you choose to make, make sure the icing is not too runny or too thick, so your gingerbread house holds together but does not look like a gloppy mess.
As you build holiday traditions with your children year after year, consider one of the most popular ones loved by many over the centuries: building and decorating a gingerbread house. With pre-baked gingerbread house pieces, the most difficult and boring part of the craft is done for you. All that is left is to brew some hot cocoa, put on your favorite holiday music or movies, and sit around the table making the sweetest holiday decoration that is good enough to eat.
There’s nothing kids love more than building and decorating gingerbread houses. But who really wants to bake the gingerbread and actually construct the house? It takes hours of meticulous work, and nobody is really interested in that. What kids really want to do is to decorate gingerbread houses – it’s the decorating that really excites them.
So you can save yourself time and pain by building gingerbread houses the easy way using graham crackers. With graham crackers, you can make one gingerbread house for each of your children, nephews or nieces, and maybe have a gingerbread house-themed party for all the kids in the neighborhood. Many families have gingerbread houses for kids on their birthdays instead of cakes.
Gingerbread houses are so much fun, and with graham crackers they are so easy to construct. Let’s find out how to do that.
The instructions given here are child-friendly and can be used by children as well as adults.
First, get the following…
- 10 whole graham crackers (You will need 8 graham crackers for the house and 2 for the roof)
- An extra large tray
- A can of white frosting
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Candies, as many as possible, to decorate the house. Some of the options you may want to consider are gumdrops, red licorice, chocolate kisses and hard candies.
- A plastic bag
- A spoon
- A butter knife
- A pair of scissors
Then, follow these instructions to build a gingerbread house using graham crackers.
- Wash your hands before getting started.
- The first thing to do is to prepare the frosting. Take 1 cup of frosting and add not more than ¼ tsp cream of tartar to it. The frosting may be homemade or store-bought. Adding the cream of tartar to the frosting makes it harder – which allows the house to stand up.
- Next, put the frosting into a small plastic bag and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag, which allows you to squeeze the frosting out of it.
- The frosting serves as the perfect glue. Now, take four graham crackers and arrange them in a rectangle on the tray.
- Take two half-sized graham crackers and glue them to the sides to complete the box.
- As it dries, prop the walls of the house against a book or a box so that the house stands straight.
- Next, put some frosting on the corners of the two remaining graham crackers. Place the two crackers on either side of the house, to form a peak. This is the roof of your gingerbread house.
- Allow the structure to dry for an hour or two. Once it is completed, coat each side of the house with frosting. Now you can decorate it with candies. This is the best part!
- Let your imagination run wild as you decorate the house with candies. Gumdrops, red licorice, chocolate kisses, hard candies – stick them all on, as many candies as you like.
- Once the house is totally dry, it’s all yours! Arguably, gingerbread tastes better than cake. Kids love munching on a gingerbread house, especially one that they’ve decorated themselves.
Now, there’s a terrific alternative to building gingerbread houses with graham crackers that is just as easy, and equally fun. Pre-baked gingerbread house kits from Gingerbread Traditions simplify the process of building gingerbread houses, so that your kids can get down to what they really want to do, which is to decorate the whole thing.
With pre-baked gingerbread house kits from Gingerbread Traditions, you’ll be able to spend more time decorating and less time baking, and it’s so much fun for the kids!
Gingerbread Traditions is based in Oregon and delivers the most delicious and highly creative gourmet gingerbread kits shipped directly to you. Any gingerbread house kit made by Gingerbread Traditions makes for a fun and exciting gift for friends and family – kids as well as adults. Order your own pre-baked gingerbread kits online today!