Creating Traditions: Gingerbread Houses

Dec 30, 2011

In my family, making a gingerbread house/village is a long-time tradition.

Sometimes you stay up until 4am with your sister-in-law watching Alias re-runs and making an entire gingerbread village complete with railroad and ice skating rink on the island in your mother’s kitchen before it gets demolished during The Great Kitchen Make-over of 2006 and 2007.

And sometimes you just allow your toddlers to help you. :)

We used all our left-over Halloween candy (apparently Gavin and my mother are the only people on this planet that enjoy candy corn) on this bad boy and only things in the pantry as the decorations. Other than the gingerbread kit that I got about a month ago using my 40% off coupon at Michael’s, I didn’t buy anything extra for the house …with one exception: THE PEPPERIDGE FARM GINGER FAMILY COOKIES. Thanks to Kim, they are my favorite holiday cookie. You must try them. Do it now before they are no longer on the shelves. We used 3 cookies on the house …and I ate the rest.



I hate to bring up such a super serious discussion during this holiday season, but there is a great debate happening at The R House regarding gingerbread house construction.

My mom (the genius above) hot glues the actual gingerbread pieces together so that they won’t fall apart while decorating. Mr. R is a purist and believes everything should be done with royal frosting …which is why ours fell apart twice and the walls look the way they look. (Hysterical, btw!)

My feeling is that no one really eats the actual gingerbread–heck, no one has even picked at the candy on the house–so why use royal frosting when hot glue will save you time and possible frustration?

Let’s discuss.

Are you a Royal Frosting Purist or are you joining The Hot Glue Revolution?



  1. We used to do hot glue, but this year we tried melted sugar and it worked even better. Just melt sugar in a pan and then dip the sides of the gingerbread pieces in it. It sticks really well, dries quicker than glue, and keeps the house “pure” since it’s sugar;)

  2. Hot glue for sure at our house. But when it came to adding the candy to the houses we used tubs of Betty Crocker frosting. So I guess that would make us a 50/50 family. Which fits because we’re half BYU fans and half Utes fans. All I can say though is GO COUGARS!!!

  3. I’ve never tried but I’ll be a hot glue girl when the time comes. Here’s something to try with that leftover candy corn since Gavin can’t eat it all. Homemade butterfingers. Melt the candy corn and add peanut butter. And one more thing, Go Cougars!

  4. We’ve tried the glue and royal frosting. This year we used melted white chocolate and it held better and set up just as fast as the glue did, plus the kids could eat it and I didn’t have to worry.

  5. Great idea for using Halloween Candy! I also Love the fenced in animals – adorable.

  6. fun! We always had a tradition of eating it on new years eve when mom and dad were at the Church dance. When i started babysitting I’d bring the house for the kids and I to eat.

  7. I had never thought of hot glue but I’ll use it for sure next year!

  8. We make gingerbread houses with everyone on my husband’s side of the family. It ends up being more than 30 of them. Last year I brought my glue gun. I couldn’t take the tears, the screaming, and the swearing any longer! LOL!

  9. ROYAL FROSTING!!! Question – did your frosting come from the kit? Just wondering because I have never had royal frosting fail me. To me, it’s more like super glue…nay gorilla glue than frosting. Plus, it’s made with raw eggs so you can’t eat it anyway. :) My mother uses royal frosting to put the house together, then uses a stiff buttercream to adhere the candy so the candy can be eaten (more easily picked off, no raw eggs in the frosting). I am not that fancy and just use royal for everything.

  10. My girls invited sisters over to do houses, and I RUBBER-CEMENTED all of them together. I did let the guests take them home but told their mom the houses were toxic. :> I like the idea of melted sugar and white chocolate (above) – I may give those a try next year!

  11. I mean, I rubber-cemented the HOUSES together. Tee-hee.

  12. I had never heard of using hot glue before this post. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I have officially decided to use hot glue from now on.
    The end.

  13. At first I thought you were putting Royal Frosting IN the hot glue gun and I was super-impressed! :) I vote hot glue. :)

  14. we use hot glue most of the time an others we have done the melted sugar to hold it together then make a egg free royal frosting to hold the candy on :) and we always use left over Halloween candy but usually also get a few other favorites to decorate with. cute houses!

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