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Christmas Gingerbread House

Every year for Christmas I make a pretty decorated Christmas Gingerbread House. And as it happens over the years gingerbread house making became a tradition. Honestly, I can’t quite imagine not having a gingerbread house during Christmas. Today I’ll show you how to creatively decorate Christmas Gingerbread House with royal icing.

Decorated gingerbread house displayed on white round cake stand.

Updated post from 2013

HOW TO DECORATE FESTIVE CHRISTMAS GINGERBREAD HOUSE

In today’s step by step gingerbread house tutorial I’m going to show you how to make a unique gingerbread house for Christmas. I’ll show how to create cozy fireplace, winter scene with a cute polar bear, easy Christmas tree, snowy roof and more. Let’s get started.

Royal icing decorated gingerbread house displayed on a round cake stand.

DECORATE HOUSE PANELS

To make my gingerbread house panels I used my Construction Gingerbread Cookie Dough for Houses and Centerpieces (for long display). And to cut the house panels I used templates.

Cutting out large cookies with a bench scrapper.
Decorated gingerbread house panels on a table.

FRONT HOUSE PANEL

ROYAL ICING COLORS AND CONSISTENCIES :

  • Light Blue, Ivory, Red, Green – 15 second consistency
  • Black – piping consistency
  • Ivory, Green, Terra Cotta, Yellow – 20 second

DECORATING STEPS :

Start by tracing a circle outline on a cookie with an edible marker. Brush a thin layer of light blue royal icing over the circle and let it crust well.

Brushing a thin layer of icing onto a window section.

With ivory royal icing (15sec) outline and flood the front house panel. First pipe a circle around the light blue circle. Then continue with the rest of the cookie. Use a needle tool to smooth the icing. Let dry.

With terra cotta icing pipe 2 planters.

Piping planters with terra cotta royal icing.

Then pipe 2 triangles with green icing (20sec) about ½ inch up from the planter. Use a needle tool to accentuate points. Dust wet green icing with white sanding. Allow icing to crust. Then pipe a tree trunk with brown icing (20sec).

Piping a green triangle above a planter and dusting it with sanding sugar.

With ivory icing (20sec) pipe the window frame. Let icing crust.

Piping a window frame.

Pipe a center line across and let it crust for 10 minutes.

Piping a straight line with ivory icing across the front house panel.

With red icing (20 to 25 sec) make small red bows. Allow to crust and then pipe a knot in the center.

Piping red bows with icing.

Pipe black wavy line with black icing (piping consistency). Allow black line to crust. And after pipe small yellow (20sec) dots for the lights.

Piping yellow dots for Christmas light on a black line.

Finish window frame with ivory icing (20sec).

Piping window frame with ivory icing.

FIREPLACE WITH CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS

ROYAL ICING COLORS AND CONSISTENCIES :

  • Gray, Terra Cotta, Red, Yellow, Orange, White, Brown – 20 to 25 second consistency
  • Ivory – 15 second consistency
  • Green – medium stiff, icing when pulled up should have a peak that bend downs slowly – to make holy leaves

DECORATING STEPS :

Start by marking a fireplace section with an edible marker. Take gray royal icing (25 sec) and pipe small amount of it onto the fireplace section. Then take a coarse food only paint brush and dab the icing to create rough texture. Allow icing to crust.

Creating texture in royal icing with a paint brush.

Then with gray icing (25sec) pipe brick pattern. Allow icing to crust. Continue by flooding each section with terra cotta icing (25sec). Allow to crust.

Piping brick pattern with royal icing.

Pipe a gray icing (25sec) border above the brick, let crust and then flood the top section with ivory icing (15sec). Allow icing to dry.

Piping icing above the fireplace.

Pipe short brown lines across gray line. Then pipe stockings with red royal icing (20sec). Use a needle tool to shape the icing. Allow to crust. Then pipe white hem section. Allow to dry.

Piping red Christmas stockings above fireplace.

Once dry, use dry food only paint brush and a little bit of white icing to create texture on the white hem.

Fit the piping bag with a leaf piping tip and fill the bag with green royal icing. Pipe holy leaves onto the ivory section. Let crust and then pipe berries with red icing (20sec).

Piping green holy leaves with a leaf piping tip.

Lastly make the fire with yellow, orange and red icing. Use a needle to shape the icing while it’s wet.

Piping fire with yellow, orange and red royal icing.

WINTER POLAR BEAR HOUSE PANEL

ROYAL ICING COLORS AND CONSISTENCIES :

  • White, Light Blue, Green, Red – 20 second consistency
  • White, Light Blue – 15 second consistency

DECORATING STEPS :

Start by making a polar bear. I made a polar bear as Royal Icing Transfer. Place a piece of wax paper over polar bear template. With white icing (20sec) pipe the bottom section and the head. Allow to crust.

Piping white bear with royal icing onto a wax paper.

Then pipe scarf with green icing (20sec) and white bear paws. Allow crust again. Then pipe blue rectangle (20sec) and allow to crust again.

Pipe green end of the scarf and simple red bow on the blue present box. Allow to crust. Pipe white front legs as if they are holding the present. Let dry.  With edible marker draw on dry royal icing. Draw face with black marker and paws with pink.

Piping a polar bear with royal icing onto a wax paper.

Pipe 2 layers with white and light blue (both 15sec). Use a needle tool to shape icing while wet. Let dry.

Piping blue and white icing on a cookie.

Pipe white dots (20sec) on a blue section. And immediately dust it with white sanding sugar.

Then glue polar bear onto the white section. Pipe a small amount of royal icing on an underside of the bear decoration and gently with a shifting motion attach it onto the icing.

Piping white dots on blue royal icing and dusting it with white sanding sugar.

CHRISTMAS TREE

ROYAL ICING COLORS AND CONSISTENCIES :

  • White, Green, Brown – 15 second consistency

DECORATING STEPS :

Brush a thin layer of white royal icing on the back house panel. Allow it just crust. About 10 minutes. Don’t let it dry. Take a toothpick or a needle tool and scrape the icing in star/snowflake patterns. Wipe the tip of a toothpick or needle tool to remove accumulated royal icing. Let dry.

Brushing a thin layer of white icing on a cookie.

Airbrush white icing with blue airbrush color. Then pipe a tree with green icing (15 sec). Decorate tree with snowflake sprinkles. Allow to crust and then lastly pipe the trunk with brown icing (15sec).

Piping a green Christmas tree.

RED FRONT DOOR

ROYAL ICING COLORS AND CONSISTENCIES :

  • Red, Light Blue -15 second consistency
  • Red – piping consistency
  • Black – piping consistency

DECORATING STEPS:

Frist, with edible marker draw the window pane outline. Brush a thin layer of light blue (15sec) icing over it. And allow it to crust.

Outline and flood the door with red icing (15sec). Allow to crust well. Then pipe red rectangular panels with red icing (piping consistency). Lastly make a door knob with black icing (piping consistency).

Decorating door cookie with red royal icing.

Be sure to let all the panels dry before gluing them together with stiff royal icing.

Decorated gingerbread house panels displayed flat on a table.

HOW TO BUILD CHRISTMAS GINGERBREAD HOUSE

To glue gingerbread house panels and the roof I used stiff royal icing. Icing should be stiff but not so stiff that it doesn’t stick to the cookie.

Frist glue together 4 walls : glue side panels onto the front panel and then back panel onto the side panels. Allow icing to dry for 4-5 hours.

Gluing gingerbread house panels with royal icing.
Gingerbread house base.

Pipe icing onto the edges and then glue the roof panels onto the house base. Hold the panels in place with your hands for 30 seconds or so.

To prevent roof panels from sliding support them from the bottom either with small bottles (sprinkles bottle work great) or use small skewers/toothpicks. Allow to dry overnight.

Gluing roof panels onto the gingerbread house.

DECORATE ROOF

ROYAL ICING COLORS AND CONSISTENCY :

  • White – medium stiff ( when using is pulled up, peak show bend down slightly

DECORATING STEPS :

To decorate the roof I used a leaf tip and white royal icing. Use medium stiff royal icing. Fit the piping bag with a leaf tip #352 and fill the bag with white icing.

Start piping leaves at the very bottom edge of the roof panel. And pipe rows of leaves going up the roof.

Decorating gingerbread house roof with white royal icing and a leaf tip.

Dust white icing with white sanding sugar. And repeat on the other side.

Dusting white royal icing with sanding sugar.

To decorate the front house panel you can use pre-made holy leaves. Attach them onto the cookie with royal icing.

Attaching royal icing holy leave onto the cookie.

This unique Christmas Gingerbread house is so pretty to look at. Each side offers a difference scene. And I love all the little details. Don’t you?!

Decorated gingerbread house displayed on a cake stand.

TO MAKE CHRISTMAS GINGERBREAD HOUSE YOU NEED

MORE GINGERBREAD IDEAS :

Decorated gingerbread house displayed on a round cake stand.

This post was originally published on December 1st, 2013. On November 22nd, 2019 I updated this post with new photos, written text and a video.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love. Learn more about my affiliate policy here.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi,
    What a beautiful job you’ve done! I love this gingerbread house and wondering what color you used for the base of the house?
    Thanks ~ Gayle

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