The genius trick to decorating Gingerbread Houses!

I heard the most genius, forehead-smack-inducing tip for decorating gingerbread houses yesterday! Ready for it?

Decorate all of the pieces separately, while they’re laying flat, first!

Brilliant! Unless you’re working with Trader Joe’s and Target sets (like the ones pictured above), it can be very difficult to assemble the houses at all, much less when you’re working with impatient little hands.

No collapsing houses, no frosting at weird angles… And my kids really just want to eat the candy anyway, so there’s less waiting around for the good stuff.

If you’re doing this with multiple kids (or grown-ups), just lay out all of the sides on a tray for each person, set out a piping bag at each station, and then put all of the toppings out in the middle (cupcake trays work great). Spend all the time decorating instead of holding things fast. Let everything harden—overnight is actually ideal—and then do the assembly of the house. If no-one is going to eat the finished creation, you could even cheat and use a hot glue gun. Just consider piping a little frosting over the seams to keep the illusion in tact.

Wait, don’t want to deal with assembly at all? 

And here’s one more genius tip that I learned in my son’s first grade class: if you’d like to have a gingerbread-house decorating party and you don’t want to bake or deal with gingerbread house assembly at all?

Use ice-cream cones upside-down instead, and have a tree-decorating party.

Everyone still gets to use frosting and candy and they’ll be totally thrilled! Just pipe a little of the royal-icing on the rim of the cone before putting it down upside-down on the plate to keep it from sliding around! They used graham crackers and pre-made houses a day ahead of the decorating day, too, but the trees were such a unique idea—and turned out so cute!

Do you have any tried-and-true tips for such things?

P.S. A great alternative to the rolled yule-log cake to try with kids. And a super-easy cake recipe that they can follow all by themselves (with print-out picture-instructions).

[Flat-lay tip via Busy Philipps on her IG Stories!]


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