It may not quite be Christmas time, but it is not at all too early for inspiration for holiday baking. How about a baked something that has shelf life? Gingerbread Ideas & Inspiration to the rescue (and you can always pin the post for easy reference).
Ever made a fanciful and happy candy decorated gingerbread house? It’s truly a fun tradition to begin even if you never made gingerbread houses when you were growing up!
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Simple alternative to all the work? Bake the gingerbread and just enjoy the aroma of it baking and its deliciousness without any construction work at all! Here are some gingerbread recipe ideas.
And kits are right here.
Gingerbread House Ideas & Inspiration
First some swell and sweetly swoonworthy examples.
Like Pizza…Even When They’re Bad, They’re Good
I’m still a novice at gingerbread houses, and since I have no experience in cake decor, mine look child-like. I prefer to think of them as gingerbread abstractions. But oh, the smells of gingerbread baking! When I helped my children make them, we glued on leftover Halloween candy (frozen especially for this Christmas craft). The festive cheer gingerbread houses bring to decor outweighs the mess of meringue, shifting architecture, and lopsided roof lines.
You can even buy gingerbread house kits online or at the grocery store, skip the gingerbread and use graham crackers, or just decorate cardboard or a milk carton with candy. Last year, I made a simple wonky pink candy house.
First Attempt at a Wonky Highly Imperfect Candy House
Old fashioned hard candy sticks in delicious stripes also work well – but definitely use something to precisely made clean cuts! Mine look ridiculous in these photos!
Alphabet cookies can spell out any sentiment you like.
White cotton candy makes great snow – it starts out fluffy and cotton-like before evaporating within a few hours and lying flat.
The base is a simple white ceramic tile I picked up for a buck at Home Depot.
When They Look Like Perfection
Rock Candy Trees
No matter what the size of your gingerbread house, rock candy sticks work awesomely for trees since they glisten and look like magical psychedelic quartzy Christmas evergreens. (Also notice how effective a monochromatic color scheme works: in this case, slightly varying shades of pink boost the romance factor…sigh!).
Gumdrop Gabled Roof
Gumdrops are your best friend as a gingerbread house builder since they are easily sculpted into varying shapes, cut open to reveal sticky insides that can be pressed into place, beautiful on their own with their sugary frosted snow exteriors, and perfect for massing on a rooftop as magical, balloon-like roof tiles.
Isn’t the tall gingerbread house below reminiscent of a Paris apartment building!?!
Heart Shaped Candy
Is it any wonder that a heart shaped anything pulls at our heartstrings? If you can find heart shaped chocolates for decorating your house…hurray! If you cannot, think about forming your own hearts from gumdrops or cutting heart shapes from Swedish Fish or fruit leathers.
Best Gingerbread House Ideas: Finla Noronha
Rustic Stone Cottage
This beautiful gingerbread house is reminiscent of a rustic stone cottage. You can be creative in what you choose to emulate the stone. Go ahead and decorate your gingerbread candy house with your favorite color combinations, designfreaks, and definitely don’t feel limited by the candy available to you on the shelves…so long as you won’t be eating the house, paint the candy as you wish!
In the gingerbread house below, topiary trees have been formed with pink lollipops, brown sugar (I think), and thimble-sized caps or plastic toys, but you can easily substitute gumdrops for the base by molding them to your taste.
Lollipops & Ice Cream Cones
Old fashioned swirly whirly vividly striped lollipops and suckers look so at home with homemade gingerbread houses and add to the nostalgia and romance so do try to find one or ten to enhance your gingerbread home’s landscape. These turquoise blueberry beauties may inspire you!
How to make them stand in place? Styrofoam will work for a base, and in some cases, gumdrops!
Round and Round
The beautiful gingerbread house below incorporates round wafers which soften the home’s overall design and presentation. Even the royal icing is piped in lacy, delicate patterns as opposed to strong straight lines.
Need a pretty scalloped pedestal for your candylicious creation?
Cupcake Chimney Smoke
Isn’t this sweet white cupcake adorned with a single red candy perfect for simulating chimney smoke from a candy cane chimney? Notice too how the vanilla wafer cookies as roof tiles are not perfectly placed in uniformly straight lines but rather are staggered artfully to suggest an aged and interesting rooftop. (Pssst…need lemondrops for house landscaping like below?)
Trade Gingerbread for Chocolate
Your magical Christmas candy house need not be made of gingerbread or any cookies at all should you choose to build walls of chocolate.
You’ll want to adhere the chocolate to a cardboard base so the weight of your adornments do not collapse, and I predict this is one house that will be nibbled on throughout the season. How fun to research candy bars and undress them to reveal their shiplap, board and batten, and log cabin architectural textures.
Happy Skittles Embellishment
Maybe you will opt for happy hued Skittles, a few gumballs, red hots, and peppermints for your gingerbread house design which can be completed in just a short amount of time…so simple lovely.
Mini is Merry
This wee little gingerbread house looks adorable with its vivid and unexpected color palette and crisper look with royal icing only on the roof.
Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired
Who says you have to stick to a gabled roofline for your gingerbread house? Go Midcentury Modern with a flat roof and minimal embellishments for a creative spin on holiday house splendor.
Open the Door
If you plan ahead in your gingerbread making, you can cut an arched door and position it to be open like the house below which adds to the warm hospitable flavor of the whole design.
To create a tower or turret like the wondrous candy house below, you could incorporate a simple plastic kitchen funnel (with its base snipped off) for the roof atop a cylinder which only appears to be gingerbread. The addition of bright candy decorations and little fairy lights inside is pure magic.
Wafers & Old School
Don’t forget the geometric lovely and sweet scale of candy wafers to construct your gingerbread houses. The chocolate bar candy house below is also illustrative of the power of limiting yourself to old fashioned candy only for a truly vintage-inspired gingerbread or candy house.
Make it a Party
Doesn’t the beyond lovely tablescape below take your breath away and perhaps make you yearn to host a gingerbread house making party (which would float the boat of every girl or grandma)? Gold dotted gift wrap or kraft paper, chevron gift wrapped boards, plastic paint palettes to house candies (just 50 cents per palette and free shipping!)and partially constructed gingerbread houses await the creativity and imaginations of the lucky party guests.
Send me pics if you make one!!!!
Peace to you right where you are.
While I did not win my category at the Interior Blog Awards, I am enjoying my trip to London and visited Kensington and Buckingham Palaces today. The architecture and history everywhere blows my mind.