Texas Living

4 Texas Gingerbread Houses and How to Make Them

By Monica Sharp 12.5.19

The bubble will never burst on gingerbread real estate, so clear off a table and stage your gingerbread walls. What could be more fun than spending a wintry Saturday constructing the fairy-tale gingerbread home of your dreams?

Amp up your curb appeal with frosting, gumdrops, M&M’s, mini candy canes, licorice sticks, lemon drops, Whoppers, and cinnamon Red Hots. Don’t forget the colored mini marshmallows — they’re indispensable for landscaping.

Here’s a quick guide to making four charming Texas gingerbread houses.

Photo by Imani Chet Lytle

Gingerbread Construction Manual

The construction is arguably the most important part — you’ll need a solid foundation in order to get to the fun part. Some quick tips will help you quickly move along on your construction time line if you don’t have an award-winning baker or gingerbread artist handy.

  • Instead of improvising, pick a pattern.
  • Choose a good recipe for a sturdy structure.
  • You can also substitute gingerbread with a few boxes of plain graham crackers, which are realistically textured and seamed.
  • Glue your gingerbread slabs (or graham crackers) together with generous amounts of white frosting.
  • If you’re including multiple stories, keep your house narrow and glue in floors for stability.
  • Leave your house to dry for at least 10 to 25 minutes before you get to the good part — decorating it in gaudy, sugary splendor!
Photo by Imani Chet Lytle

Gingerbread House Decorating

At last! Get your frosting tips a palette of frosting colors at hand and pour your candies into small bowls for easy access.

  • Make royal icing in an array of colors. It will hold your structure together well, and it is easy to decorate with.
  • Festoon your home with icing in piles for a snow-topped roof, drips from the eaves for icicles, eddies and swirls around window sills and doorways, or patterns on the walls.
  • Glue candies and toppings to your house and around it in whatever theme you’ve chosen — you could include gumdrop trees, marshmallow shrubbery, a Red Hot chimney, Chex thatching, pretzel logs, and more.
Photo by Imani Chet Lytle

Texas Gingerbread Houses

Make your house unique by picking a theme that’s close to home. A few ideas:

  • Texas Castle: Think the 1892 Bishop’s Palace in Galveston. Use store-bought ice-cream cones in sugar or standard shapes and affix them upside down to gingerbread roofs to create stunning turrets and towers. Glue Whoppers around the castle for rockery and bollards and make handsome drawbridge chains out of black licorice.
  • Texas State Capitol: Fashion a capitol dome out of half a Kinder Egg or any hollowed chocolate dome; decorate as though it were gingerbread.
  • The Alamo: The boxy angles of the Alamo lend themselves easily to a gingerbread production. Carefully scrape a graham cracker into a graceful facade with the rough edge of a butter knife.
  • Festive Barn: Embrace our country roots with this adorable rustic construction.

Complete your cozy gingerbread-making day with hot drinks, homemade marshmallows, and Christmas cookies.

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