Decorated Cookies | Gingerbread | Haniela's | Tutorials

Halloween Spider Gingerbread House

In 2013 I made my very first Ghost Haunted Gingerbread House. Since then, I made several Halloween houses inspired by movies like Hocus Pocus, Harry Potter, Addams Family and Nightmare Before Christmas, to name a few. This year I decided to create something slightly creepy : Halloween Spider Gingerbread House.

Halloween decorated gingerbread house displayed on a white cake stand.

HOW TO DECORATE HALLOWEEN SPIDER GINGERBREAD HOUSE

In this step by step tutorial I’ll show you how to create :

Gingerbread house decorated with black spiders on a white cake stand.
Detail of front door on Halloween gingerbread house.

BAKE GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Let’s start with gingerbread house panels. To make the panels I used my construction gingerbread cookie dough recipe. I generally use this recipe when making display pieces.

To cut out panels I used a template (scroll down to tools to print the template) along with a small square cookie cutter to cut out windows.

Hands holding undecorated gingerbread house panels.

CLEAN UP THE EDGES

What can sometimes happen is that door opening can shrink slightly during baking or door cookie itself can expand ever so slightly during baking. This will cause door not to fit snugly into the opening. To address this problem I used a handy microplane zester to shave off some of the cookie from the edges,(steps 1-4).

TIP : You can use a microplane zester to keep cookie edges super sharp, for example when making square/rectangular cookies.

Using a zester to smooth the edges on baked gingerbread cookies.

HOW TO FIX BROKEN COOKIES

In the process I inadvertently broke the door cookie in half. To glue it back together I used royal icing. Allow icing to set for several hours before handling the cookie.

Gluing a broken cookie together.

FRONT DOOR

To decorate front door I used purple royal icing of 15 second consistency. Outline and flood the cookie. Use a scribe tool to distribute the icing evenly and let it dry, (step 1-4).

Then after icing dries you can draw wood grain pattern onto the icing. I used a fine tip edible marker, (steps 5-6) Check the tools’ section for details.

And the last step is airbrushing. With black airbrush color airbrush the edges of purple door cookie, (steps 7-8).

Flooding door cookie with purple icing, and then drawing a wood grain with edible marker onto a dry icing.

MAKE BLACK SPIDER WITH ROYAL ICING

Royal icing spiders are really easy to make. I’ve used the same technique to make these creepy Spider Cupcake Cookies.

Start by placing a template on a flat surface, cardboard, tray or a baking sheet works well, too. Layer a piece of wax paper/parchment over your template.

To make the spider bodies I utilized a simple method created by Corianne’s Custom Cookies that helps prevent cratering in royal icing (often called royal icing cratering, cave-ins).

Start with 25 second consistency black icing and pipe small dots in the middle of each circle. Let these crust for 10 minutes,(step 1). Then with the same icing pipe a large dot of black icing over a small crusted dot. Bottom crusted dot acts like a support beam, not letting the top layer of icing sink in the middle. Use a scribe tool to smooth the icing,(steps 2 -5). Lastly pour black sanding sugar over wet dots of black icing ,(step 6).

With care lift up wax paper and pour excess sanding sugar into a bowl, (steps 7-8). Then lay the wax paper with black dots dusted with sanding sugar onto a flat surface.

Piping black spiders onto a wax paper with royal icing.

Finish spider body design by piping a smaller dot right on the edge of the larger dot. Immediately dust with black sanding sugar, (steps 1-3). Carefully lift the wax paper and allow sanding sugar to fall into a tray/bowl. Let spider bodies dry overnight, (steps 4-6).

Piping royal icing spider bodies onto a wax paper and dusting them with black sanding sugar.

It’s important to let spider bodies dry overnight (step 1). Then you can carefully remove black spider bodies from the wax paper, (steps 2-4) Try no to put too much pressure onto the seam or bond between 2 dots can break (step5). Transfers can be prepared ahead of time, days, week, even months in advance, (step 6).

LEARN MORE ABOUT ROYAL ICING TRANSFERS

Removing black spider body royal icing decorations from the wax paper.

HOW TO MAKE WOOD PLANKS WITH ROYAL ICING

To make wood planks I used stiff royal icing that I colored with brown food coloring. If you lack brown color you can achieve brown by mixing red and green.

I created planks as royal icing transfers. Depending on the size of the windows and doors you might need to make the crossed planks bigger or smaller. You just want to make sure that planks are long enough to overlap the door and windows.

To pipe use a basket weave piping tip, (step 1). Place a piece of wax paper over your template. Pipe straight lines forming a cross, (steps 2-4).

To texturize royal icing use a scribe needle tool or a toothpick. Run it through wet royal icing to shape it the way you want, (step 5). To make the nails use silver confetti style sprinkles. One by one gently push silver sprinkles into wet icing, (steps 6-8). Allow icing to dry overnight.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CONFETTI SPRINKLES

Piping wood planks with brown royal icing onto a wax paper.

Once icing is dry you can carefully remove dry royal icing wood planks decoration from the wax paper, (steps 1-8). Store them in a dry place, away from direct sunlight.

Removing wax paper from the royal icing transfer.

Lastly, to make wood planks look more realistic I decided to airbrush them with brown airbrush color.

Airbrushing dry royal icing transfers with brown color.

ROYAL ICING TRANSFERS DECORATIONS

Both of the decorations, crossed wood planks and spider body transfers can be prepared ahead of time. Store them between pieces of paper towel in an airtight container.

Royal icing transfer on a wax paper.

STENCIL BRICK DESIGN WITH ROYAL ICING

To create brick texture I optioned to use a brick stencil and royal icing.

Secure stencil over a cookie with magnets, (steps1). Then spread a thin layer of medium thick consistency gray icing over a small section of the cookie, (steps 2-3). Carefully lift up stencil, (step 4-5). Repeat on another section, (steps 6-8).

Cookie stenciled with gray icing.

Repeat the brick stenciling on rest of the cookies. (steps 1-4). And allow icing to crust before flooding the cookies, (step 5).

Spreading icing over a stencl.

USE MAGNETS TO SECURE STENCIL

There are number of ways you can secure stencil when decorating cookies. You can use stencil holders, however if you don’t own a stencil holder old fashion magnets work as well.

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO COOKIE DECORATING TOOLS

Brick stencil secured with magnets over a cookie.

FLOOD THE COOKIES

In this next step I used 15 second flood consistency icing to ice the cookies. I’d recommend that you use a thicker scribe tool to distribute the icing. You can also use a brush or a small spatula.

I find that with a thicker scribe tool I’m able to distribute icing faster. With larger cookies if it takes too long to ice the cookie icing can start crusting. For fine details I usually switch to a fine point scribe needle tool.

Outlining and flooding a front house panel with light gray royal icing.

Stencil and flood the sides of the house.

Spreading thick icing over a stencil placed over the house panels.

HOW DO YOU MAKE “STUCCO” AND “FUR” ROYAL ICING TEXTURE?

To create “stucco” texture I used a medium thick consistency light gray icing. You want icing to hold its shape when you pipe it, but it shouldn’t be to stiff.

I used a coarse food only paint brush and crumpled food wrap, (steps 1-4).

Hand holding a coarse paint brush and a food wrap.

I decided to decorate gingerbread house panels with textured icing in sections. Pipe icing onto an iced cookie, spread it with a paint brush, (steps 1-2). Wipe off excess icing into a paper towel. DON’T WET THE BRUSH WITH WATER. Use a dabbing technique to create texture in wet icing with a dry brush, (step 3).

Additionally I also used crumpled food wrap to even out some of the uneven spots. Though, using crumpled food wrap it’s not necessary, (step 4). Continue with texturing rest of the cookie, (steps 5-8).

Brushing icing onto a cookie.

Apply same texturing technique to decorate the sides of the Halloween spider gingerbread house.

Dabbing icing onto a dry icing with a coarse paint brush creating texture.

Allow textured icing to dry.

TIP : This technique can also be use to create fur texture, I used it on Teddy Bear Cookies.

House panel decorated with textured royal icing laid flat on a table.

AIRBRUSH

In this next step I airbrushed cookies with yellow and black airbrush color.

Airbrushing side house panel with small windows with a yellow and black airbrush colors.

Repeat airbrushing with the rest of the house panels.

TIP : Airbrush all the panels with yellow and then switch to black.

Airbrushing front house panel with yellow and black airbrush color.

See the difference black airbrushing makes!

Airbrushing gingerbread house panels.

If you don’t own an airbrush you can also paint cookies with edible food paints.

Decorated house panel laid flat on a table.

PIPE SPIDER WEBS

Now we are ready add some creepiness to this Halloween spider gingerbread house!

To pipe white cobwebs I used a piping consistency white icing and a round piping tip #2.

Piping white royal icing spider web onto cookie.

MAKE BLACK SPIDER WITH ROYAL ICING

Now we can attach those spider bodies wet made earlier from royal icing. It would look odd without its legs and so to make this spooky black spider I decided to use a fine tip black edible marker and first draw the legs’ guides onto the icing.

Position spider body onto a cookie. Then with a black, fine tip edible marker (Rainbow Dust Brand) draw legs’ guides onto the icing, (steps 1-5).

Drawing spider legs template onto a dry royal icing.

And now we can pipe legs with black icing piping consistency. I’m using a round piping tip #2 to pipe the legs in segments.

Pipe the first segment and then try to pipe the next segment starting just under the tail of the previous segment. Repeat until you are done with all the legs, (steps 1-8).

Piping black spider legs onto a cookie.

Create variety of spiderwebs.

Piping white spider web onto a cookie.

Don’t forget to attach those spooky black spiders on each gingerbread house panel.

Attaching a royal icing spider body onto a cookie.

DECORATE COOKIES WITH A COOKIE MOSS

Have you guys worked with a cookie moss? Cookie moss it’s super easy to make at home. It’s just cookie crumbs colored with food coloring. You can find all the details on how to make it my tutorial for Easter Gingerbread House.

With a small icing spreader or a spatula spread green icing of 15 to 20 second consistency over a roof panel cookie, (steps 1-5). Then dip cookie into a cookie moss, gently wiggle the cookie to make sure all the iced cookie surface is coated with the cookie moss. Shake off the excess and allow to dry, (steps 6-8)

TIP : I love using funnel tray (blue tray) to hold cookie moss or sprinkles.

Spreading green icing onto a cookie and dipping it into cookie moss.

ASSEMBLE HALLOWEEN SPIDER GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Finally we got here. It’s time to assemble this slightly creepy Halloween Spider Gingerbread House!

I often assemble my houses on a rubber liner. It helps to prevent house from sliding.

TIP : You can also glue the house directly onto a cake board. Decorate cake board with sugar, sprinkles, or create a festive scene with pretzels and candies. Then use the cake board to transfer gingerbread house onto a table, cake stand, etc.

Decorated gingerbread house panels laid on a rubber liner.

USE THICK ICING TO GLUE PANELS

To glue house panels use thick, but not overly stiff icing. Pipe icing on the front panel, glue the sides onto the front panel, (steps 1-5). Then pipe icing on the sides and glue the back panel onto the sides. Prop the house panels up with small cans, sprinkle bottle or toothpicks. Allow to dry for 3-4 hours before attaching the roof panels, (steps 6-8).

Gluing walls of gingerbread house with royal icing.

ATTACH ROOF

To attach roof pipe icing on all angled edges of front and back panel. Then take both roof panels and gently press them onto the base. Hold in place for 30 second. Check if the front and back is aligned. If needed slowly move roof panels so they are aligned. Use small skewers or toothpicks to support the panels from sliding down, (steps 1-3). Allow to dry for 4 hours.

Hands holding 2 roof panels from the gingerbread house, gluing them onto the house base.

CHIMNEY

Now with a leaf piping tip pipe a decorative border between 2 roof panels, (step 1). Attach the chimney parts, panel by panel, (steps 2-8).

Gluing chimney panels on top of the roof with royal icing.

PIPE A BORDER WITH A LEAF TIP

To finish this fun Halloween Spider Gingerbread House design I decorated edges with a piped border using a leaf tip.

Piping black leaves with royal icing onto the chimney.

Gingerbread houses are perfect for creating a festive mood in the house. Not only they are pretty to look at, they also smell amazing. Display them on a dinning room table or in the kitchen, etc. They are also great for gift giving.

In general I use construction gingerbread cookie dough for my display houses. Because of the amount of spices used and no leavening agent this cookie dough can be pretty hard and very spicy. However for gingerbread houses that you want to munch on I’d recommend my other recipe for Edible Gingerbread Houses.

Decorated gingerbread house standing on a black tablecloth.

TO MAKE HALLOWEEN SPIDER GINGERBREAD HOUSE YOU NEED

MORE FUN HALLOWEE DESSERT IDEAS:

Side of the decorated Halloween gingerbread house.

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2 Comments

    1. Thank you so much June. I had so much fun making this house and you know how much I love sugar spiders! Crawling kind not so much. lol

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