The after school gingerbread project: decorating the house

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived – at least, if you are a small child who seldom is allowed unrestricted access to a table of candy, it has.

Our base gingerbread house is solid. We’ve assembled our decorations and mixed together the icing. This is the part of the after school gingerbread project where we can leave the recipe aside and get creative. It’s time to use our imaginations to decorate a gingerbread house that is pure holiday magic.

You’ll need another Ziplock bag with royal icing and one corner snipped, for applying the ‘glue’ to the house and your collection of candy for decorating.

Mateo’s tip: A warm cloth for sticky fingers is a good idea!

Kids in the kitchen: The after school gingerbread project
Start anywhere you like. We added the chimney, a row of jujubes along the ridgepole of the house, and the front door.
Kids in the kitchen: The after school gingerbread project
Noah worked the royal icing once again, and Mateo laid Wilton dark green candy melts in rows for roofing tiles.
Kids in the kitchen: The after school gingerbread project
The boys look serious, but there was plenty of goofing off, believe me. Tomorrow I’ll post a handful of photo outtakes from the entire series. Such silliness.
Kids in the kitchen: The after school gingerbread project
And the table got a little sticky, but that is okay.
Kids in the kitchen: The after school gingerbread project
Working or playing? Looks like fun to me.
Kids in the kitchen: The after school gingerbread project
Noah’s tip: Dust a little powdered sugar over the top to look like freshly fallen snow.
Kids in the kitchen: The after school gingerbread project
Our finished gingerbread house. The window is a square of chocolate. The chimney is full of mini marshmallows and pale blue Lego candy ‘smoke’. Isn’t it adorable?
Kids in the kitchen: The after school gingerbread project
Mateo designed and built the pathway. He also added the broken cinnamon sticks for a woodpile.
How to make a gingerbread house in  easy steps on
Of course you can decorate your gingerbread house any way you like – that is the best part about making one from scratch!
Kids in the kitchen: The after school gingerbread project
I hope the boys and I have inspired you to roll some dough and create a gingerbread house of your own. Who knows, it may be the start of a new Christmas tradition.

Miss the series? Catch up here:

Introduction to the after school gingerbread project.
Day 1: List of ingredients and equipment.
Day 2: Make and chill the dough.
Day 3: Cut and bake the pieces.
Day 4: Prepare Royal Icing + assemble the base.
Day 5: Decorate!

Share your gingerbread house creation with us! Send a photo via email: [email protected] and I’ll publish your photo and name in an upcoming post.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Aimée – what a great series. I am saving this and hope to maybe undertake it with one of my classes (not the Petits Chefs, but maybe my Grade 3s or 4s) next year. We can learn all about “la maison” as we do!

  2. How have we not used cinnamon sticks for logs before?! That’s a sweet looking house your boys made – quite literally! What excitement they must have felt each day for their afterschool construction! A lovely idea, Aimee. 🙂

  3. This is absolutely adorable! LOVE those cinnamon sticks! Good job, guys! 🙂

  4. So cute!!! we just did these on Wednesday and the girls were so proud- I love this project!

  5. How fun! I can’t wait until Caleb is a little older so we can decorate gingerbread houses together!

  6. Beautiful job!!! It looks so lovely!

  7. I love the cinnamon stick wood pile! So creative!

  8. The first year my mom and I attempted to make a gingerbread house, I rolled the pieces too thick (especially the rooftop) and the royal icing was all wrong, lol, so needless to say it collapsed! Then the next year we got better at it, and were more careful, and we learned to hold the walls upright/together with soup cans… Gingerbread houses are really great fun from start to finish (especially shopping for all the candy to decorate with).
    By the way, Mateo’s little cinnamon stick woodpile is super smart! Never thought about that!

  9. I loved this who week! I have been silently following love and loving every post. I have to make the time to do this with my little sister. She would LOVE it! Thanks for all the photos, recipes and tips!!

  10. This post is adorable Aimee ~ pinned to two boards 🙂

  11. I love “Noah’s Tip” and especially that cute picture 🙂

  12. La Torontoise says

    So beautiful! Aimee, your little boys are so cheerful! And the house is magnificent.
    I’ve been following up this series with a great interest and enthusiasm, planing to re-create this experience next year with our little boy. While being on a Christmas market in Germany over the weekend, our 9 years old cook received a gift, which was a kit with home-made, pre-baked elements. So, all we would have to do is the decoration work and I look forward to it next weekend.
    Have a great week!

  13. Oh my gosh, absolutely adorable!! Seriously, the details, the perfect roof tiles, the dusting of icing sugar – I LOVE it all! Look at their sweet faces concentrating, too. Awwwww! Makes my heart melt, truly.
    You’re such a great Mom for organizing this for them btw. xo

  14. Love this sooo much. They are serious artists at work. I hope you will add it to my gingerbread house tour linky. Hugs!

  15. Wow this looks so much better than mine… hahaha. That’s what happens when you rush. I’m definitely using this for inspiration next year!

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