Photography by Frank Grant Image by: Photography by Frank Grant
2/4 lb (375 g) Smarties
2 pkg (each 100g) multi-coloured jelly beans
1 pkg (4 oz/113g) cinnamon hearts
1 pkg (4oz/113g) multi-coloured candy shot
2 pkg (each 4pz/113 g) red and green sugar sprinkles
1 jar (2 oz/50 g) silver dragées
12 green gumdrops
12 mini candy canes
12 gummy bear candies
12 licorice Allsorts
1 pkg (200g) peppermints
1 pkg (250 g coloured mini marshmallows
1 pkg (200g) spearmint leaves
other candies, as desired
5 sturdy paper plates
Waxed paper and plastic wrap
10 Popsicle sticks
5 paper cups
2 sq m (20 square feet) tinted cellophane
5 m ribbon
Preparing for the party
Several days before:
- Prepare Gingerbread Dough
- While dough chills, cut out waxed paper pattern pieces (click here to download a pdf of gingerbread house pattern pieces)
- Bake gingerbread pieces; store in airtight containers for up to 3 weeks.
- Make Royal Icing; refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.
Just before the party:
- Protect table with plastic or disposable cover. Set out a waxed paper place mat for each child.
- Assemble kit for each child consisting of one house base, two sides, one front and one back cookie piece. (Reserve roof pieces to give out once walls have dried.) Place kits on paper plates and set at each place.
- Divide Royal Icing among paper cups; cover with plastic wrap and set out at each place, along with two Popsicle sticks.
- Place candy decorations in bowls in centre of table.
- Cut ribbon lengths and 60 cm (2-foot) squares of tinted cellophane to wrap finished gingerbread houses in, so the can be carried home.
- Have damp cloths and paper towels available for wiping hands.
1. Dip one Popsicle stick into Royal Icing and coat bottom of base so it sticks to paper plate.
2. Coat bottom and side edges of front piece and one side piece with icing; join together and stick onto base.
3. Repeat with back and remaining side piece. Let dry completely, about 20 minutes. (This is a good time for a refreshment break or outside play!)
4. Coat top edges of walls with icing and attach one roof piece. Coat top edge of roof; attach remaining roof piece and let dry, about 10 minutes.
5. Decorate with candies, attaching each with dab of Royal Icing.
Decorating tips and tricks
For various colours
Tint Royal Icing with food colouring. Paste colours, available at cake-decorating stores, produce the most vivid colours.
To paint with Royal Icing Paint
Thin a little icing, tinted to desired shade, with a few drops of water until consistency of heavy cream. Use small watercolour brush to paint onto gingerbread.
To make shingles
Pipe interlocking scallops of icing onto roof pieces.
To simulate brickwork
Pipe small rectangles of icing onto wall pieces
To finish edges
Pipe scallops or rosettes of icing along house seams.
To make wreaths
Pipe circle of icing on door or wall. Pipe connecting rosettes of contrasting colour over circle. Let dry. Pipe dots of red icing and bow onto wreath.
To make icicles
Dribble small lines of white icing from eaves of roof.
To make lamppost
Cut black licorice twists for post; insert toothpick or bamboo skewer for support. Using icing, stick bubble-gum ball on top; let dry.
To make driveway
Brush thinned icing over driveway area; sprinkle with coloured sugar.
Making gingerbread houses isn't just for kids! Enlarge our pattern pieces to make a family-size house - then gather everyone together for an afternoon of pre-Christmas fun.
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