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Top three tips for building the best gingerbread house

Eliminate your gingerbread houses’ lumpy icing and crooked walls using these pro tips.

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We wonder if there’s a Drury Lane.

Photo by Bill Cobb

After a long day of cooking up smiles, Mr. Gingerbread Man heads home to Gingerbread Lane. Kansas City’s traveling cookie kingdom holds the Guinness World Record for “largest entirely edible gingerbread village” and is on display at the City Market through Saturday, January 13.

Want to build Mr. Man a vacation home away from the busy city? Create your own scrumptious getaway using our top three gingerbread house building tips.

Pro tip 1: Decorate, then assemble

Most people assemble their gingerbread houses and then try to decorate the vertical walls, only to met with messy icing sliding all around. TikTok user @judys_gingerbread says to decorate your cookies while they’re flat. Let the icing dry, then lift up those walls, eliminating runny roofs.

Pro tip 2: Icing, icing baby

This tip comes from Reader Anna B.: “Be sure to generously ice all the connecting pieces — there is no such thing as over-icing when building the base.”

Think of your icing as concrete. You want to make sure your confection is built on a solid foundation so Mr. Man’s house will pass inspections.

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Look at those windows glow.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Pro tip 3: Water is your best friend.

Aiming for a smooth finish? Then you’ll need to smooth the icing with your wet fingers. Reader Brenda L. says to “keep a glass of water available to dip your fingers.”

Bonus tip: Make “glass” windows

If you want to make the gingerbread HOA really happy add “glass” windows. You can create a glass effect with melted pineapple Jolly Ranchers or gelatin sheets.

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