When the weather turns cool and the holiday music starts up, thoughts of decorating flood our minds and inevitably come around to gingerbread house ideas.
There is some debate as to when gingerbread houses gained popularity, but it is safe to say somewhere between the 1600’s and 1800’s in Germany.
The story of Hansel and Gretel is mixed in there somewhere and now hundreds of years later, there are contests all over the world focused on who can make the most beautiful one.
You are probably asking yourself silently, should we make one this year?
Should it be big or little?
Should it be fancy or simple?
Should I do it myself or get the kids in on the creative construction?
Gingerbread designs run the line from simple to complex!
You have probably seen how to decorate a gingerbread house on both ends of the extremes and all those in between!
The mom at home with little ones has totally different gingerbread house decorating ideas than the chef from the local five star restaurant!
There are displays of gingerbread house decorations from town squares to Walt Disney World hotels!
Maybe you have decided this is the year to make one, or maybe you are still trying to decide if this is an undertaking you are up for this holiday season.
Either way, I invite you to browse these 27 gingerbread decorating ideas I have pulled from all corners of the internet.
Some are fancy and some are not, but all are inventive and amazing in their own ways!
Take a few minutes to simply appreciate the time, effort and energy put into each one.
Maybe you can see techniques that catch your eye or materials that fit your color scheme.
Gingerbread house ideas are really endless as are the materials used to make them.
Please note that I only included gingerbread house decorating ideas that were edible since this is a food blog after all!
There are plenty of others out there that use foam board and superglue but for today’s exploration, we are sticking to the good stuff, gingerbread, cookies, snacks, candy and icing, among other delicious creative items!
Perhaps your experience building a gingerbread house is focused and filled with measurements and pristine piping or perhaps it is around a table with people you love, laughing and eating your way to completion.
Either way is wonderful and memorable.
Let the inspiration begin!
First up on our list of gingerbread house ideas is this woodsy rustic log cabin creation.
Pretzels of all lengths and thicknesses take the starring role in this construction!
It started with gingerbread pieces from a kit.
More time for the decorating process.
And decorate they did!
Specifics for the walls, the door, the windows, the chimney are all shown in process.
Icing recipe and assembly instructions are included on accompanying links.
This site is SERIOUS about their gingerbread houses!
Right off the bat, we have a little something different for gingerbread house decorating ideas, a double gingerbread cookie house cake!
The best part might be that this house is pink!
It includes a spicy gingerbread cake, cream cheese frosting, gingerbread cookies, royal icing and edible decorations!
Recipes for all the parts are included.
As many suggest, the walls and frame should be made a few days before decorating to allow the icing to set.
Step by step instructions for a beautiful house!
Leave it to Martha Stewart to keep it simple and classic in her gingerbread decorating ideas!
Her Swedish gingerbread how-to post is equally simple and elegant.
Recipes for the gingerbread cookie dough, caramel syrup and royal icing are given in associated links as well as step by step directions for assembly.
Templates are a part of the process if you so choose.
SO many professional tips to be gleaned from here!
She does know her way around the kitchen!
This blogger certainly does know how to decorate a gingerbread house!
She has won several awards and talks us through how she made her latest winner.
The tips shared here with explanations and pictures are a treasure trove.
Nothing like years of experience to teach you a few things.
She provides several recipes in associated links depending on whether you are going for an edible gingerbread house or a construction grade house that is really just for building but with edible materials.
She has LOTS of almost unbelievable ideas!
The variety of gingerbread house ideas that exist are seemingly unending.
If you are okay with going outside the mold, pun intended, the world is your oyster!
If you are a Star Wars fan and have an extensive amount of patience, this gingerbread house is exquisite!
This gal has 13, yes 13, parts, some in associated links, teaching how to make each separate aspect of this house!
Her creativity is amazing!
The pictures of the process are equally phenomenal.
This project is not for the faint of heart!
Gingerbread designs that are stripped back to gingerbread and icing are quite captivating!
There’s something about patterns and designs iced on the gingerbread that herald to a less complicated time in general.
This design captures that essence perfectly.
The recipes are shared as well as details on rolling out, using a template, and steps for the assembly.
The goal here was to have something beautiful to highlight inside a clear mason jar or container for display.
This is a proper full blown explanation of how to bake, how to assemble and how to decorate a gingerbread house for the everyday baker.
She also included a fantastic video embedded that is WELL worth your time!
She shares her construction grade gingerbread recipe and her royal icing recipe too.
The steps are clearly numbered and almost each one has a picture.
Details are given for brick designing and stain glass windows creation!
If you are planning a gingerbread house making party, with adults or kids, this post shows very realistically how we “normal” folks would go about finding and implementing gingerbread house decorating ideas!
They started with kits for the houses but everything else was personalized from there!
The pictures are so accurate from the items chosen, to the organized beginning, to the messy process, to the final display of the finished gingerbread houses.
Kids and adults alike enjoy time to visit and create together.
It is bonding and absolutely memory making!
This post is written in paragraph form documenting the steps taken and end results for each step along the gingerbread house making process.
She shares solid gingerbread decorating ideas based on her experience and gives reasons why she did things a certain way.
She used the recipe from the creator in #19 on this list.
Nice to know great creators learn from each other too!
The use of a battery powered LED light string inside was really amazing!
Cake bombs have entered our chat of gingerbread house ideas!
Gingerbread cake inside and white chocolate coating on the outside make these gingerbread house cake bombs as delicious as they are cute!
A mold was used here so you might need to get one of those.
The decorations included candy sticks, sprinkles, sugar crystals and Airheads mostly added with the use of royal icing.
The recipe for the gingerbread cake and cake bombs are included.
This gal is serious about gingerbread house decorations and design, so much so that she even has published a whole book about them!
Her recipe, which is provided, claims to be tasty AND sturdy enough for construction and this is unique because oftentimes the dough is one or the other, but not both.
Excellent pictures show what is being explained and she highly recommends cardboard cake rounds for the building surface.
Some faith based gingerbread designs are out there to be discovered, though kids are often involved so they may not be up to perfectionist standards!
This replica of a nativity rings true to the holiday and is possible with the help of a set of gingerbread cookie cutters.
There are several available depending on the characters you want to be included.
The one shown includes the stable, Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, Wise Men, palm trees, a donkey and a cow.
The recipe uses honey and brown sugar instead of molasses.
Miniature gingerbread house ideas look whimsical and adorable all at the same time.
If mini is your obsession, these will definitely be added to your list!
These mini gingerbread houses fit over the side of a mug as the perfect accompaniment to a mug of coffee, hot cocoa, cider or tea!
The recipe, assembly process and decoration designs are fully explained.
When plated and ready to be fitted on mugs, they look like a charming miniature village!
Absolutely cannot leave out our friends with allergies when gathering gingerbread house decorating ideas and recipes!
This post has a gluten free vegan gingerbread recipe with egg free royal icing to boot!
This will accommodate a lot of folks out there!
The substitutions used are explained and measurements are shared for the size used in the house design.
Not interested in dealing with building the gingerbread house out of actual gingerbread but still want it to be edible?
No problem, gingerbread decorating ideas to the rescue!
Pop-Tarts make the perfect house wall and roof!
This could be a game changer!
They come right out of the box iced and plenty sturdy which fits the building needs perfectly.
Using a serrated knife, they cut easily.
Whip up that royal icing or buy some ready made from the store, just give it plenty of time to dry before decorating, maybe even a whole day.
Lots of great pictures!
16. Rustic Log Cabin
For woodsy log cabin gingerbread house ideas there are many!
I started with one at the top of this list and this one is full of cuteness as well!
I mean, come on, a moose!!!
The ideas are generally discussed and several of Martha Stewart’s tips were put into practice as well, from our third post on this list.
Being in England she modified the recipe a bit and shared it.
Such a personality this one has!
Several sweetly designed houses with gingerbread house decorations in this post.
Same frame, different color and candy decoration approaches.
Most of the actual information is in a video titled “How to Put Together A Gingerbread House” embedded in the post.
There are lists and fantastic pictures to spark your creativity!
Funfetti gingerbread designs are guaranteed to be FUN!
And here we have yet another gingerbread house made of a different dough … this time, sugar cookie dough!
This brought my brain to a standstill.
I could make a gingerbread style house in a flavor my child might actually enjoy working with and perhaps even tasting?
The cookie, buttercream, and royal icing recipes are all included along with assembly steps and decoration ideas!
So ridiculously fun!
This post on how to decorate a gingerbread house is one that many, many other bloggers reference, so it clearly has very solid information and recipes!
There are tips on the process, a timeline, the recommended candy, the preparation, the recipes, how to best use the template, and the decoration details!
I must say this is indeed a comprehensive overview and well worth the read!
Fantastic pictures too!
Oh baby, we are branching out now to different gingerbread house ideas beyond a house.
Here we have a TRAIN!
We are also looking at another building material, the graham cracker!
Of course the hardest part is letting the icing dry well during the construction phase!
So, if working directly with kiddos, that step might be best done ahead of time!
Fantastic list of supply options and full explanation of how to build the engine and the cars!
21. Lebkuchen Houses
Very authentic and gorgeous gingerbread decorating ideas in this post as the writer likes the natural, gentle feel these designs give off.
A unique dough recipe is shared in an associated link while the icing recipe is on the original post.
The description of the templates to create and the parts of the houses are explained in detail.
Reading through this post was a calming and nurturing experience, capturing the beauty of the season.
If you want to know how to decorate a gingerbread house that reflects a more current style home, this post may be the one for you.
Full, and I mean full explanation given from the recipes, to the template, to the baking, to the assembly, to the decorating is given in step-by-step instructions as well as in pictures!
It is fun to try to create a gingerbread house that looks like the style home you live in!
Another creative idea here for a different food item to create a gingerbread house, Rice Krispie Treats!
The second twist here is to make the Rice Krispie with Cocoa Krispies and melted chocolate for a brown color and great stability!
As far as the gingerbread house decorations go, there is a full list as well as the recipe for the Cocoa Krispies and icing.
If choo-choo train gingerbread designs could actually move, wouldn’t that be a sight to see?
Well, we are in luck because this gingerbread train does move with the help of a motorizing car underneath it.
That’s right, this instructables post lives up to its name!
Three recipes are shared along with six detailed steps from beginning to end!
Lots of pictures as well!
Many steps to follow but still lots of room for creativity and personalization!
These gingerbread house decorating ideas are captivating no matter what the design, theme or color!
This boxy Victorian storefront gingerbread house looks like it belongs on a small quaint town square!
This has a three day prep time, wonderful recipes and instructions.
Additionally there is an extensive list of tips at the end so don’t miss them!
There’s just something about the Victorian era that calls to us!
Gingerbread house decorating ideas with bright colors are what this design brings to the table!
This post was about replicating the colors and feel of a Lisa Frank illustration!
Bright, colorful, whimsical!
It starts with a house kit with the decorations getting really creative from there.
Full list of materials is provided along with perhaps the brightest most colorful pictures I’ve ever seen!
Plus how-to steps that were taken to make this colorful gingerbread house!
Smiles all around!
Graham crackers and all kinds of nuts take over this gingerbread decorating ideas plan.
You know what that means, no baking!
Another fabulous strategy is to use other food items to decorate with instead of just candy.
So this build includes such items as green peas, dried cranberries, pretzel sticks, along with all kinds of nuts like pecans, almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashews.
There’s a short video too for a close up overview of the final product!
The bottom line
Gingerbread house ideas are endless and helpful!
Each post listed contains a useful nugget of information to take away and use in your own creation!
Whether you’re making a cute cottage or a tall castle, have fun and enjoy the process and the holiday!
- Festive Gingerbread House Log Cabin
- Vegan Gingerbread House Cake
- Swedish Gingerbread House Recipe
- Gingerbread House Construction Tips
- Amazing Star Wars Gingerbread House
- Snow Globe Gingerbread Houses
- Construction Gingerbread House Recipe
- Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party
- Homemade Gingerbread House
- Gingerbread House Cake Bombs
- The Best Gingerbread House Recipe And Printable Gingerbread House Templates
- Gingerbread Nativity And The Reason For The Season
- Mini Gingerbread Houses That Sit On The Edge Of Your Mug
- Gluten Free Vegan Gingerbread House + Egg Free-Royal Icing
- Pop Tart Gingerbread House
- Rustic Log Cabin
- Making A Gingerbread House And Template
- Funfetti Sugar Cookie House
- How to Make A Gingerbread House
- Christmas Candy Train
- Lebkuchen Houses
- Modern Gingerbread House
- Rice Krispie Treat Gingerbread House + Decorating Ideas
- Moving Gingerbread Train Cookie
- Victorian Storefront Gingerbread House
- DIY Rainbow Lisa Frank Gingerbread House
- No Bake Gingerbread House With Nuts
- Have a look at our list of Gingerbread House Ideas.
- Got inspiration? Get started!
- Share your insights on our Facebook page!