Perfect Candy for Gingerbread House


Candy for Gingerbread House Decorating

Candy for Gingerbread House decorating is a very fun thing. Knowing which candies to use and what part of the house to include them on can be a challenge. Here we are going to help give you a few different ideas for the best candies you can use in decorating your gingerbread house. 

cupcake candy tray

Candy Toppings for Gingerbread Houses

The candy toppings for a gingerbread house are what helps to give each house its special charm. Not only do you want the candies to taste good, but you also want to try to engineer the best way to use each piece. 

The Best Candies for Decorating Gingerbread Houses

We have compiled a list of candies that are believed to be the best for decorating gingerbread houses. These candies provide a wide variety and can be used in different ways to enhance your house. See Candy Ideas

For New Age Families With Old School Traditions

Creating gingerbread houses during the holiday season are a part of many family’s traditions. No matter if you are old school, or a modern family, there are many different styles and ways to decorate gingerbread houses. Simply have fun, and let loose on your creativity! 

Best Gingerbread House Ideas (With Health-ish Candy Suggestions!)

Not only can you load your gingerbread houses up on different types of candies, but there are also a few healthy-ish options you can add to your gingerbread house supply list if you are looking to cut back slightly on the sugar content of your creations this year. 

Items that are not often considered to be used as decorations, but work well, including raisins and other dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruit, herbs, and pretzels.

Other healthy-ish options may be available as well, but these are a few to help you get started.  

Gingerbread Decorations For Your Decorating Party

If you are looking for a fun party idea during the Christmas season, try hosting a gingerbread decorating party! It is so much fun for people of all ages to see what they can come up with. When preparing for your party, there are a few candies that you will want to be sure to have on hand. 

Favorite Candies For Decorating Homemade Gingerbread Houses:

Some of the favorite candies for decorating gingerbread houses, include gumdrops, candy canes, M&M’s, fruit strips, marshmallows, and Hershey’s kisses.

If you are hosting a gingerbread house decorating party, you will want to be sure to have these candies on hand, as they work well to decorate your house. 

The Most Popular Gingerbread House Candy

Aside from your iconic Christmas candy like candy canes, peppermints, gumdrops, and Hershey’s kisses, some other popular gingerbread house candy includes licorice, fruit loops, and kit kat bars.

Pretty much, any kind of candy that is specifically Christmas, or red and green, will make perfect decorations for your gingerbread houses. 

How to Decorate a Gingerbread House: The BEST Candy Ideas

There are all kinds of ways you may choose to decorate your gingerbread house. Most small and lightweight candies that you can think of work well to decorate gingerbread houses.

Think of smarties, gumdrops, red hots, candy canes, and fruit by the foot. Each of these works well, no matter the design of your gingerbread house. 

Candies for Decorating a Homemade Gingerbread House

When you are choosing your candies for decorating your homemade gingerbread houses, a good thing to keep in mind is what part of the house you think they are best to be used.

For example, some great gingerbread house doors can be made from chocolate bars, fruit strips, or even pretzel sticks. 

Windows can be made from lifesavers, gum, mini cookies, or square-shaped pretzels. Other great candies for the roof of your house might include, fruit strips, gumdrops, mini cookies, Nocco wafers, licorice candy in red and green, sour tape, or shredded wheat.

The types of candies you choose to use will also impact the style of your house, and make it look super cute. 

Delicious Candy Alternatives to Decorate Your Gingerbread House

There are many delicious candy alternatives to decorate your gingerbread house, if you are looking for a healthier option, or simply looking for alternatives to using so much candy.

The first great option is to simply use food coloring in your frosting and pipe a lot of your decorations onto your gingerbread house. 

Other good candy alternatives include raisins, cranberries, dried mango, dried banana, dried oranges, dried pineapple, pecans, peanuts, almond slices, and cinnamon sticks. Coconut that has been shredded also makes some great snow decorations. 

Other Candy Alternative Ideas:

A couple of other candy alternative ideas to decorate your gingerbread house is to use pretzels or cookies. These can be used in a lot of different ways, from windows to shingles on your roof.

A couple of other candy alternative ideas are Mini Wheats, Chex, Fruit Loops, and Cheerios. These types of cereal can be used in many ways to bring your house to life, simply let your imagination take flight. 

Assorted Christmas Candies

Assorted Christmas candies are another great idea for gingerbread house decorations. Sometimes you can find one bag full of different candies. This might be a great option if you are looking to simplify the types of candies you purchase.

Just be sure you get the Christmas-specific candy, that way your gingerbread house will be festive. 

Gingerbread House Candy Ideas

1. Air heads
2. Andes Mints
3. Any festive holiday candies!
4. Candy Canes
5. Candy Icicles and Bricks
6. Caramels
7. Cereal
8. Chocolate Bars
9. Chocolate chips
10. Chocolate Pretzels
11. Chocolate rocks
12. Christmas Captain Crunch with tree shapes
13. Christmas Sprinkles
14. Cinnamon sticks
15. Coconut flakes for “snow”
16. Colored frosting
17. Colored gumballs
18. Colored sprinkles
19. Crackers
20. Crystal like sprinkles for a special touch of snow
21. Cut out fruit strips into shapes
22. Dots
23. Dried fruits
24. Edible metallic beads/dragees (I use Sweetapolita)
25. Edible glass candy
26. Fresh fruit
27. Fresh herbs
28. Fruit Loops and Crunch Berries
29. Fruit Rollups
30. Fruit Strips
31. Gingerbread Cookies
32. Gingerbread Man Decor

33. Gingerbread men/trees to add to scene
34. Gingerbread shaped marshmallows
35. Gum
36. Gumdrops
37. Hershey’s Kisses
38. Holiday Hershey’s Hugs
39. Hot Tamales
40. Icing decorations such as these snowflakes
41. Jelly Beans
42. Jimmies
43. Kisses & Hugs
44. Kit Kat Bars
45. Life savers
46. M&Ms
47. Malt Balls & Chocolate Covered Nuts
48. Marshmallow Snowmen
49. Marshmallows
50. Mini candy canes
51. Mini chocolate chips
52. Mini Cookies
53. Mini Marshmallows
54. Necco wafers
55. Nerds
56. Nonpareils
57. Nuts
58. Oreo cookies
59. Peppermint swirl candies
60. Peppermints
61. Pirouettes
62. Popcorn
63. Pretzel Sticks
64. Pretzels
65. Pretzels for a fence
66. Rainbow nerds
67. Red & Green Licorice Candy

68. Red & Green Sour Tape
69. Red and Green M&Ms
70. Red and Green Spice Drops
71. Red Hots
72. Ribbon candy
73. Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)
74. Shredded Wheat
75. Sifted powdered sugar and cotton candy to look like snow
76. Silver Balls
77. Skittles
78. Smarties
79. Snow Frosting and Confetti
80. Sour straws
81. Spice Drops and Dots 
82. Sprinkles
83. Sprinkles and Dots
84. Star shaped cookies from Trader Joe’s
85. Starburst
86. String Licorice
87. Sugar cone covered in frosting to make a tree
88. Sugar free candies
89. Sweet tarts and those candy necklace candies
90. Swirled red and white mints.
91. Teddy Grahams
92. Tootsie roll for a chimney, Pretzel squares for windows
93. Tootsie Fruit
94. Twizzlers
95. Various Christmas sprinkles

Gingerbread House Ideas

There are all kinds of ways you can make your gingerbread house. A few ideas include a basic small house, an A frame house, a large two-story farmhouse, or you can even try making a barn! 

Best Gingerbread Houses For This Christmas

There are many kinds of gingerbread houses you can try making this Christmas. You can choose to make the entire thing from scratch, or you can buy a kit and simply decorate it. There is not a one size fits all. 

Some years it is difficult to find the time to make an entire house from scratch and buying a kit to decorate works well for those times. Other years, it is fun to get everyone involved in making an entire gingerbread house from scratch. 

The Best Gingerbread Kit

There are many great gingerbread kits available for purchase. Some come pre-assembled, and others need to be put together. If this matters to you, be sure to read the description carefully before you purchase it. 

What We Like

A great thing about purchasing a gingerbread kit is that you have everything you need already included. Most kits come with your pieces, ready-made icing, and a few types of candies to decorate with. 

What We Don’t Like

The downside of making a gingerbread house using a kit is that it does not have very many options both in design and in candy decorations.

If you are looking for a way to express your creative side, you may want to consider making a gingerbread house from scratch. 

Don’t be Limited by your Gingerbread House Kit

If you want to give a gingerbread house kit a try, a great way to not be completely limited by it is to purchase some of your favorite candy to decorate with, along with what is included in the kit.

This way using a kit is not quite so limiting. 

peppermint patties

Everything You Need to Build the Perfect Gingerbread House

The main items you need to build the perfect gingerbread house include the cooked panels of gingerbread to assemble your house.

You will also need prepared icing, an assortment of candy, and a creative Christmas spirit. 

Making Your Own Gingerbread House

There are many ways to make your own gingerbread house. The first way is the most traditional, by making your own gingerbread house from scratch.

Another way to make your own gingerbread house is by using graham crackers, or even Pop Tarts.

Let’s first look at an easy way to make your own gingerbread house using Pop Tarts. 

Make a Pop Tart Gingerbread House! 

Making a pop tart gingerbread house just might be one of the easiest ways to create a gingerbread house.

If you are looking for a low hassle and low-cost way to have some fun with gingerbread houses, this might be the best way for you.

To make these, all you will need is six Pop Tarts, icing, and candy to decorate it. 

Why Are Pop Tarts Better Than Graham Crackers?

Pop Tarts are better than graham crackers because they are easier to handle, and don’t crumble as easily as graham crackers.

However, you should still try to be careful because they still have the potential to break. A good tip, when using Pop Tarts, is to cut them to shape using a serrated knife.

Using this type of knife will make them less likely to crumble. 

Another way that Pop Tarts are better than graham crackers is that you will get a bigger finished house. Pop Tarts come in many different colors and flavors, which makes your options much broader than using graham crackers.

Using Pop Tarts also gives you added color and textures because Pop Tarts come out of the box already frosted and look much more decorative. 


Six Pop tarts
Royal icing

Tips For Assembling Pop Tart Gingerbread House

The best way to assemble a Pop Tart gingerbread house is to begin by cutting out your sides. They should be about three-fourths of a whole Pop Tart. Make sure your two sides match.

Then cut out your front and back peaks, making sure that the peak begins to form where the wall ends.

Then, simply use a whole Pop Tart for the two roof panels. Use Royal icing to stick the panels together.

Allow for the house to dry completely before you start adding candy to decorate your Pop Tart house. 

Tips For Icing And Decorating Pot Tart House 

A tip for an even sturdier house is to assemble the house, a day before you want to decorate it. This allows your Pop Tart house to dry before candy decorations are added.

Another tip for icing a Pop Tart house is to work quickly. If you are using our recipe for Royal icing, it will set up quickly, and so should be assembled at a brisk pace. 

Easy Royal Icing For Frosting gingerbread Houses

Royal icing is a special icing made from pasteurized egg whites. This special frosting sets up quickly and holds your gingerbread house firmly together.

You can buy this from a store, or you can make your own. Please see the below instructions on how to make your own royal icing. 

Can You Use Store-Bought Frosting In A Tub?

Yes, you can use generic store-bought frosting that comes in a tub. If you decide to use this frosting, be prepared to allow your gingerbread house to sit overnight to harden up.

When you use ready-made frosting, the hold may not be as solid as royal icing, so be aware of that.

However, if you want a surefire icing that is going to hold, use the recipe below for royal icing. 

Gingerbread House Recipe Ingredients

1 stick butter, soft
¼ cup molasses or dark corn syrup
1 ½ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp ginger
1 ½ tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp water

Recipe For Royal Icing Ingredients

½ tsp cream of tartar
3 pasteurized egg whites
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F

Step 2

In a large mixing bowl add the butter and mix it until creamy. Add molasses, brown sugar, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix until smooth. Add in flour and water, mix until the dough is stiff. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Step 3

Between two pieces of parchment paper, roll out your dough until it is ½ to ¼ inch thick. Use a pizza cutter and cut out your shapes. Place on a greased baking sheet, and chill for an additional 10-20 minutes. 

Step 4

Bake at 375°F for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough feels firm. Place your patterns on top and trim edges so that all pieces match your templates and are even. Allow for cookie pieces to cool completely. 

Step 5

Make royal icing by adding your pasteurized egg whites to a mixing bowl, and whip until they become white and frothy. Add your cream of tartar and whisk on high.

After a few moments, add in your powdered sugar, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla extract and whisk in. Remove from bowl and place into a plastic bag or piping bag.

Step 6

Assemble your house by piping your icing onto your cooled sections of cookie. Hold each piece in place until it sets up and feels solid. Allow to dry before adding candy. 

Gingerbread House Video Tutorial

Your Gingerbread House Action Plan

A simple overview of creating your own gingerbread house action plan is, to begin with, your cookie. Allow for your gingerbread to fully cool before doing anything with it.

Next, make your frosting. Please note that your frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Next, assemble your house by sticking both side walls to the front of your house. Once those sections are dry, attach the back of your house.

Then add each roof section, holding this in place a little longer to allow it to be fully set up before releasing. Now it is time to add your candy!

Be sure if you have larger pieces of candy, that you hold them in place for a few extra seconds, to prevent them from falling off your house. 

How To Make Homemade Gingerbread Houses:

Depending on who you talk to, there are many different ways you can make homemade gingerbread houses. Experiment and see what ways work best for you. 

Use a Gingerbread House Mold

There are gingerbread house molds that you can purchase if you are a bit unsure about making your own pattern. We also have a printable pattern available, for easy download.

Simply cut it out and trace your shapes onto your dough. Or you can try creating your own pattern to cut out the dough.

Just keep in mind that your walls need to be equal to where your peak begins. 

Decorating Logistics

Depending on who you talk to, some people suggest decorating your panels before you assemble your house. Others say that you should decorate your house after it has been assembled.

I think that there is no right or wrong way to put your house together. I have found that it is harder for me to decorate it before assembling the house, and not mess it up when I am ready to assemble the house.

However, it is also possible to do a more intricate design on your house before it is assembled. 

Now For The Candy…

Once you determine how you wish to assemble and decorate your gingerbread house, it is time to dig in to the candy!

Take your pick of adding candy to the roof, front, back, sides and area around your house. 

Muffin Tins Made Great Candy Holders

A great candy holder idea for kids of all ages is to use a muffin tin. Place different types of candies in each section, then put it in a place that is easily accessible for everyone building a gingerbread house. 

Starting Your Homemade Gingerbread House

Start your homemade gingerbread house by gathering the types of candy you want to use.

Then make the gingerbread portion of your house and allow it to cool completely. Next make your royal icing. 

*Best Method for Rolling the Dough*

I have found that the best method for rolling out the dough to cut into pieces, is to roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper.

If your dough is still too sticky, you can lightly coat between your dough and parchment paper with a dusting of flour or powdered sugar.

Brush the dusting off before baking your cut out pieces. 

How to Construct a Gingerbread House

Once you have your gingerbread pieces made, your candy arranged, and your icing prepared, it is time to construct your house.

While you can choose to decorate each section, before assembling your house, my preferred method is to first assemble the house and then decorate it. 

Gingerbread House Icing

When assembling your gingerbread house with icing, you should only have to hold each section together for a few seconds before it dries.

You can also use the icing to attach your candy anywhere you wish.

Not only is the icing great to hold the house together, but it also works really well to decorate your house to look like it is covered in snow, or has icicles hanging from the eves. 

Crusting Buttercream for Decoration

If desired, you can also make some buttercream frosting and use it to decorate your gingerbread house in additional snow.

Simply whip up some buttercream frosting and pipe it wherever you desire. 

Tips for Gingerbread House Decorations

After your gingerbread house is assembled, allow for your house to completely set up before adding candy decorations.

Then, once you begin to add decorations, simply place a dot of royal icing where you want the candy to go and stick the candy in place.

Be aware that your icing will set up quickly, so have your candy ready to stick on. 

Decide on the design for your gingerbread house  

Before you begin, decide on a design and theme for your gingerbread house. There are many different styles that you can use to decorate your gingerbread house.

Try to come up with a plan of time, so that your entire house flows, instead of becoming a hodge podge of decorations. 

close up of candy tray

Choose a cool dry day to make the gingerbread house

Especially if you live in a humid climate, this step is very important. A cool dry day will give your gingerbread house the best outcome. 

Be creative when deciding on a gingerbread house design

Take a careful look at your gingerbread house and decide on different designs you wish to incorporate throughout your house.

For example, think about what you want the roof to look like, what you want the windows to be, and how you want your door to come out. Also think about additional decorations you could add. 

Assemble all your supplies before the gingerbread house decorating begins

Before you begin decorating your gingerbread house with candy, you will want to gather all your supplies. Once you start decorating, you are going to need to move quickly before your icing sets up. 

Protect the frosting for your gingerbread house

If you are using your frosting to decorate your gingerbread house, then you will want to be careful to not touch your icing design. Icing works great to decorate with, but it is easily bumped and messed up. 

Which food coloring should I use for a gingerbread house? 

Any food coloring can be used for making a gingerbread house and have a beautiful outcome. There are no restrictions for food coloring. 

Cut a sturdy base for your gingerbread house.

A sturdy base is an important part of making your gingerbread house, that is sometimes overlooked.

Your base can be made from a large section of gingerbread, edible glass, or even cardboard. The base will help to add extra support to your house. 

Decorate the pieces first

Some suggest that you should decorate your pieces of the house before assembling them. However, for other people, it might work best to decorate after. The choice is up to you. 

When assembling the house, start with the seams.

When you begin assembling your gingerbread house, it is important that you assemble it by piping icing into your seams. Then hold each section until it sets up. 

What if my sides aren’t straight?

If your sides aren’t perfect, it’s okay. However, they should be very close to even. If they are not, you may want to disassemble the portions of your house, and cut them down to be straight. 

Take plenty of time when decorating gingerbread houses. 

When decorating your house, you should relax and have a fun time with it. Keep in mind that any icing you add to your house will set up quickly, but there is no rush otherwise. 

How to Attach Candy to a Gingerbread House

The best way to attach candy to your gingerbread house is to put a little bit of icing on the back of each piece of candy, or where you want the candy to go. Then hold each piece in place until it sets, before moving on to your next piece of candy. 

Add some “lighting to your gingerbread house.” 

A great way to add some appearance of lights to your house is by cutting out windows and replacing the gingerbread with tootsie rolls, or glass candy. Then place a small light inside, and it will appear as if your gingerbread house has lights inside. 

Finishing touches for a gingerbread house.

The finishing touches are what make a gingerbread house so cute. Try adding a chimney, or a snowman, firewood, or a path. These will help to make your house, feel like a little home. 

Making fallen snow 

Adding fallen snow is a very simple way to add character to your gingerbread house. Simply sprinkle some powdered sugar on top of your creation for it to appear as if your house has fresh snow. 

How to make icicles for a gingerbread house

Icicles can easily be added to the eves of your gingerbread house, by piping some royal icing from the top. Start with a larger portion, gently squeeze as you pull down. This will give you an adorable look of icicles hanging from the roof. 

Waffle cone fir trees

To add a little character on the outside of your gingerbread house, place a sugar cone upside down, and pipe some green frosting on the outside.

This will make it look as if there is a large fir tree in your gingerbread yard. 

Making stained glass windows

To make stained glass windows you can add edible glass to your windows, or fruit roll-ups.

If you are making a church, these will be an awesome addition. 

Thatched roof for a gingerbread house

To get a thatched roof look on your gingerbread house, the best ways are to use Mini Wheats, or Chex Cereal.

You can also add brown food coloring to your icing and use only icing to create a thatched roof look. 

Making a gingerbread chimney

You can make a chimney for your house, using gingerbread, if you cut it out in your baking process.

Or you can use different kinds of cookies glued together to make a chimney as well. 

Find a safe spot for the finished gingerbread house.

When you are finished creating your gingerbread, find a safe spot to store it. Or you can leave it down, for everyone to enjoy, and it will not be around long! 

Gingerbread House Tips

How To Make This Gingerbread Houses Recipe Easier:

A way to make the process of creating a gingerbread house an easier process is to buy a kit and then simply assemble it.

Or you can try spreading the process of creating a homemade gingerbread house out over a few days.

For example, on day one create the dough, chill it, cut it out, and bake it. The next day make your frosting and assemble it.

Then on day three decorate your gingerbread house. 

How Do You Keep A Gingerbread House From Falling Apart?

The best way to keep a gingerbread house from falling apart is to let it completely dry, though each step of assembly. Then, store it in a cool, dry location. 

How Long Can A Gingerbread House Last?

A gingerbread house can last for quite a while. If it is edible, you are going to want to eat it fairly quickly.

You will not want to let it sit around and collect dust. Otherwise, if it is not edible, it is likely to last many months.

The amount of time it lasts will depend on the climate you are in. If your humidity is higher, it will not last as long. 

Can You Freeze Gingerbread House Dough?

Yes! Gingerbread house dough may be kept in the freezer in an airtight container for up to three months. 

How To Get The Kids Involved With This Recipe:

A great way to get the kids involved is to have them help you organize the candy into muffin tins.

Another task would be to help mix up the dough. All kids will enjoy decorating a gingerbread house, with or without supervision.

What To Serve With Homemade Gingerbread Houses:

Hot chocolate
Fresh coffee
Ice cream

How Much Will This Homemade Gingerbread House Cost:

The cost of a homemade gingerbread house depends largely on the types of the number of candy you use. Most gingerbread houses end up costing between $3-$8 each. 

Gingerbread House Templates:

Sides: 4 inches by 3 inches
Roof: 5 inches by 3 ½ inches
Front & Back: 3 inches wide, three inches tall, then an additional peak of 2 inches

Gingerbread House Cut Templates
Download your FREE TEMPLATE!

Cooks Tools

Some helpful tools to make gingerbread houses from scratch include:

Mixing bowl
Cookie sheet
Pizza cutter
Rolling pin
Parchment paper
Piping bag, or plastic sandwich bag with the corner cut out
Butter knife

Should I use frosting or hot glue when making a gingerbread house?  

If you intend to eat your gingerbread house, then frosting must be used. Otherwise, hot glue can be used, if you are looking for an easy way to assemble it. 

Should I make a homemade gingerbread house of buy a retail kit?  

Both ways have their pros and cons. The choice is up to you, and how much time you have available. 

Can You Eat This Gingerbread House?

Yes, if you use the recipe in this post, including using pasteurized eggs in the icing, you may definitely eat this gingerbread house. 

Making a Gingerbread House: It’s All About the Process

Making a gingerbread house is a fun activity to get everyone involved in during this holiday season.

The candy that you use can be used in a variety of different ways, so get some of your favorites and a few classic Christmas candies, and just have a fun time making memories with the ones you love. 

If you have made a gingerbread house send us a picture of it! We love to see what you created! 

What is your favorite candy to decorate a gingerbread house with?

For more recipes like this one, follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Pin these gingerbread house tips for later.

candy pinterest image

Download your FREE Gingerbread House Templates HERE!

More Gingerbread House Ideas!

Amazing Oreo Gingerbread House

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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