Creating a Martha Stewart-Worthy Gingerbread House
I love decorating cakes, and Christmas season means that it’s Gingerbread House Time™! I have some hacks to take your typical little house kit to take it from basic to beautiful.
1. Sticking the House Together
Personally, I like to just agree up front that there is no way that anyone is going to eat this thing. It is not going to be edible. Once you do this, you open up so many more options! The first thing – glue that house together. Yeah, with glue. A hot glue gun makes this whole process easier. If you are not open to that, then pick out a sturdy royal icing recipe. Glue the house together with the royal icing and let it sit overnight. Don’t use the icing in the kit. It won’t work, and you won’t be happy. If you want something easier, but still edible, try melted down gummi bears.
2. Color Choice
A beautiful gingerbread house is all about the planning. In this case, planning the color. I tend to think that monochromatic or simple color themes are the most timeless and photograph the best. At the same time, I’ve seen some beautiful kitschy-colorful ones. If you’re short on ideas, Pinterest is a goldmine of color palettes.
3. Take Your Time
This is not the time to be in a rush. Take time to make it really, truly, beautiful. It’s not going to take decades, but I like to set aside an entire afternoon. That way, when I’m happy with it, I can walk away from it. I’m not rushed, and when it’s over, it’s over.
4. Check Your Frosting Consistency
When spreading out frosting over a large area, like the yard, walls, or roof, royal icing is way too thick. Thin it out with a little water to keep the consistency thin and smooth. If it’s too late – you’ve put the frosting on and it’s not smoothly covering, take a spray bottle and spritz some water on it. It will make it much more spreadable. Again, the icing in the kit isn’t the best. It’s too thin for holding the house together, but too thick for nice, spreadable layers.
5. Cover Up Mistakes
The best thing that I think you can do is to cover up your mistakes…in candy, icing, or something else. For a nice, white, gingerbread house, granulated sugar works wonders. That’s what I used on the gingerbread house above. I spread a thin layer of white royal icing, and then covered it in white sugar for a whimsical, air-brushed effect.
Happy decorating, and tag me in your photos on Instagram!