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How to Build the Best Gingerbread House

Building a gingerbread house is the perfect holiday activity for children and adults. If it comes out looking spectacular, you can display it in your home as a festive ornament for your holiday party. If it comes out looking terrible, it's even better because you get to eat it. Here are a few tips for making a gingerbread house this year. 

Use Waffle Walls 
Building the gingerbread house is often more than half the fun, but if you're working with stale cookies that are cracking and crumbling, it's all frustration. Skip this problem altogether by avoiding these fickle and fragile sheet cookies in favor of gingerbread waffles. They're soft yet sturdy in their unique shape. They tasty like gingerbread, but are easier to cut and sculpt into the house you want to build. 

Plus, making gingerbread waffles is easy. You can use many of the ingredients you'd use for a traditional waffle recipe and just add ginger, cinnamon, molasses and cloves. Then, simply pour your batter into your waffle maker as you would any other waffle recipe. However, rather than covering these warm waffles in syrup and eating right away, set them aside to cool for your ginger bread house. 

Try gingerbread waffles along with those other shapes. Try gingerbread waffles along with those other shapes.

Make Royal Icing
Don't skimp on your icing. The icing is the mortar and glue for your gingerbread home. If you opt for an icing that's too thin, your building won't have the structural integrity to make it through the night. Experts advise that you use royal icing. Rather than just water and confectionery sugar, this specific blend includes egg whites as well for better adhesion. 

Go All Out with Your Decorating 
Once you have sorted out the core constructive pieces such as the walls and icing, it's time to turn your attention to the real focus on any gingerbread house. Look for candy that's both colorful and functional. For example, use colored confectionery wafers as shingles. They'll bring an attractive dose of color to your candy structure while still looking like a house. 

Decorate the yard and street of this gingerbread house as well. Consider making a few different colors of icing with dye pastes. 

It's important to think outside the box. Don't just slap some candy on a a gingerbread house. Use candy to make household items that bring your confectionery creation alive. Create small candy wreaths, trees and other decorations. Try to really bring the house to life. Details and small flourishes go a long way. 

Accent your gingerbread house with lights. Accent your gingerbread house with lights.

Add Real Lights 
Illuminate your gingerbread house with some real Christmas lights. Whether you outline the whole house or simply accent the structure, lights will help take this decorative treat to the next level. 

Add Gingerbread People 
Make sure you have a few gingerbread people to populate your gingerbread house and bring the whole creation to life. Decorate them and have fun with the whole project - it'll show with the end product.