Decorating gingerbread houses is a classic Christmas-time tradition. It’s fun for all ages, and it’s a great way to bring some holiday cheer into your home. Whether you plan to use your gingerbread house as a centerpiece on your dinner table, display it alongside your desserts, or just create some fun for kids, it’s important to make sure you have all the right decorating supplies.
Keep reading to find all the best candy for gingerbread houses, along with gingerbread house inspiration!
Our Top Picks:
Mini Candy Canes
Next Most Important:
Best Gingerbread House Kit:
Classic Gingerbread House Kit
Best Candy for Gingerbread Houses
1. Candy Canes
Candy Canes are a classic gingerbread house candy. They are a staple of the season, automatically creating an air of holiday spirit. On your gingerbread house, candy canes are great for outlining a door, making a “fence,” covering the trim between cookie pieces, and more!
2. Starlight Peppermints
Like candy canes, peppermints add an ambiance for the wintertime holidays, making them one of the best candies for gingerbread houses. They most commonly come in red and white, but you can find them in green and other colors, too. Use these circular peppermints to make windows, a wreath, or roof tiles.
Gumdrops‘ bright, fun colors make them one of the most popular candies for gingerbread houses. Place them in rows in front of your gingerbread house to line the driveway, stack them to create tall structures (like Christmas trees), or line them up on top of your roof for a finishing touch.
8. Frosted Mini-Wheats
Okay, so Frosted Mini-Wheats aren’t technically candy, but they make a great addition to gingerbread houses. The frosting on the cereal pieces gives the appearance of snow, adding an automatic touch of winter and coziness. Use Frosted Mini-Wheats to create roof tiles, a driveway, windows, or anything else you can think of.
9. Pretzel Sticks
Pretzel sticks may not really be candy either, but they are a great way to decorate gingerbread houses. There’s a lot you can do with them, but one of the best ways to use pretzel sticks is to use them to create the appearance of wood. Decorate the side of your gingerbread house with pretzel wood paneling, turn pretzel sticks into doors and windows, or build a fence around your house; the possibilities are endless!
10. OREO Mini
Like the last several gingerbread house candies on this list, OREO Minis are great for adding texture. Line them up side-by-side or overlapping to create a tiled look for your roof, to decorate the sides of your house, or to create a sidewalk. To take it one step further, you can use the cream inside the OREOs to look like snow!
11. Candy Pearls
Candy pearls and sprinkles can add an air of elegance to your gingerbread house. They look like small, round beads, and often come in packs of different colors so you can stay color-coordinated no matter the theme of your gingerbread house. Use them to add finishing touches and textures around the outside of your structure, and you will be sure to impress.
Gingerbread House Kits
There is no shame in starting with a kit to build your gingerbread house, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gingerbread house pro. Starting with a kit can help ensure you have the basics covered, leaving you more time to focus on decorating with all of the best candies for your gingerbread house.
See the list below to find great gingerbread house kits.
Tips for Decorating Your Gingerbread House
Once you have the best candy for your gingerbread house and the perfect kit, follow these tips for even more ways to make your gingerbread house shine.
1. Let Your House Set
There are a few different ways you can decorate your gingerbread house. You can start by constructing your gingerbread house first and decorating later, or you can decorate the individual pieces before attaching them and creating the house structure. No matter which option you choose, remember that patience is key.
Though it can be tempting to dive right in and do all of your building and decorating at once, this is the downfall of many gingerbread houses. The last thing you want is for your house to collapse, and the best way to prevent it is to give your house plenty of time to set.
Wait until the icing holding your cookies together (or attaching the candy decorations to the cookies) is dry before moving on to the next step).
2. Use a Turntable
A turntable is a must-have for many bakers. Though it’s most commonly used for cake decorating, it can certainly be used for decorating gingerbread houses, too. Turntables make it easier to view and decorate your gingerbread house from all angles. Most importantly, it’s your best bet for making sure you don’t miss a spot!
3. Pay Attention to the Details
The best gingerbread houses cover all the details. Use gingerbread house candy to decorate doors and windows, decorate the trim, pipe some icicles, add a chimney, or go all-out on the yard design… the possibilities are endless! The more you think about the small details, the more pleased you’ll be with your gingerbread house’s final look.
4. Don’t Stress Over Buying the Perfect Candy for Gingerbread Houses
Even though there are a lot of candies on this list, don’t feel like you need to buy a ton of different things. Gingerbread house kits often come with the basics, and if that’s not enough, then you may already have everything you need. Leftover Halloween candy and other snacks around the house may have you covered.
If you do still need to go out and buy candy for gingerbread houses, the Dollar Store often has great options, too.
If anything, this list should help inspire you with a variety of ways to use different types of candies.
5. Get Creative
The best candy for gingerbread houses is ultimately what will make your gingerbread house unique. Whether you’re aiming to make your house classic, beautiful, whimsical, or over-the-top, don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
Ready to Build the Ultimate Gingerbread House?
Now that you’ve found the best candy for gingerbread houses, decorating tips, and inspiration, it’s time to get started! No matter how you decide to design your gingerbread house, you are sure to create wonderful memories.
For more food inspiration, check out our recipes page!
- About the Author
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.