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The Best Candy for Gingerbread Houses + 4 Crazy Cool Gingerbread Houses for Inspiration

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!

Best candy for gingerbread houses

Our Top Picks:

Best Overall:
Mini Candy Canes

Next Most Important:
Starlight Peppermints

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.

3. Icing

Sometimes, sticking to the basics is best. Icing is one of the most versatile candies for gingerbread houses. You can use it to cover large portions of your gingerbread house or to create beautiful, intricate designs.

4. Lifesavers Gummies

Lifesavers Gummies come in assorted colors and can be used for many parts of your gingerbread house. Use green Lifesavers Gummies to make a wreath, or cut lifesavers in half for trim and other decoration.

5. Red Hots

If a Christmas-themed house is your goal, then Red Hots are some of the best gingerbread house candies for you! Their bright red color is perfect for decorating alongside candy canes, peppermints, and other holiday candies.

6. Gumdrops

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.

7. Mini Marshmallows

Mini marshmallows are a great way to add texture to your gingerbread house. Alongside one another, mini marshmallows create great tiles for your roof or a sidewalk in front of your structure. Plus, you can use extras to build a marshmallow snowman!

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.

12. Powdered Sugar

Sugar is candy, too, right? Powdered sugar is a great way to create the illusion of snow. Sprinkle it over the roof of your gingerbread house or on the “yard” around the house for the perfect snowy effect.

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.

1. Classic Gingerbread House Kit

You can’t go wrong with keeping it classic. This gingerbread house kit will help you create the quintessential gingerbread house, complete with cookies for your house structure, icing, decorating bag and tip, fondant, and four different candies.

Wilton Unassembled Gingerbread House Kit, Petite

2. Cookie Village Gingerbread House Kit

Don’t just stop with one gingerbread house when you can build a whole gingerbread house village. This kit comes with two sets of gingerbread cookies, so you can create a total of four houses. It also comes with icing and candy you can use for decorating.

Wilton Build it Yourself Mini Village Gingerbread Decorating Kit

3. Gingerbread Barn Kit

If you’ve decorated your fair share of gingerbread houses and want to try something new, consider a gingerbread barn! This gingerbread barn kit comes with everything you need to make a gingerbread barn, including animal cookies, icing, and assorted candies.

Create-A-Treat Gingerbread Barn Kit, E-Z Build, 2.2 lbs.

4. Gingerbread Sleigh Kit

A gingerbread sleigh adds an extra layer of holiday spirit. Keep it simple by focusing on the sleigh itself, or add the sleigh to a bigger gingerbread house display for a true wow factor.

Create-A-Treat E-Z Gingerbread House Kit, Reindeer and Sleigh, 11.6 oz.

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.

Detailed Gingerbread House

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!