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26 DIY Gingerbread House Ideas

Spread some serious Christmas cheer with these adorable gingerbread house designs and recipes. From sweet cookie cuties to savory charcuterie-style houses, we've got the perfect home for you.

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Build a Gingerbread House for the Holidays

Gingerbread — whether it comes in the shape of cookies, people or homes — has been a longstanding holiday menu item for many families. Building a gingerbread house is a great activity for kids of all ages; even some of the youngest family members can do some of the simpler tasks. If you don’t have the time to make your gingerbread house from scratch, there are gingerbread house kits available in various sizes and themes. Pre-made kits can be customized and decorated any way you like, you don’t have to follow what’s on the box. Make it your own. If the taste of gingerbread isn’t your thing, we’ve got recipes that are cake-based so they can easily become part of your holiday dessert offerings. We've also got ideas for savory gingerbread houses that would be perfect for any holiday party.

First up: A cake-based, graham-cracker-covered A-frame house. This one is as tasty to eat as it is to look at. To make it easy, this home was constructed using two boxes of store-bought cake mix that were cut and shaped then covered in chocolate frosting and graham crackers. The roof is made of graham-cracker-flavored cereal and adorned with white-frosting icicles, candies and gumdrops. A little cotton candy stuffed into the chimney serves as a touch of smoke.

GET THE RECIPE: Gingerbread House Cake

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Photo: Jalynn Baker

Create a White Clapboard Farmhouse

A basic gingerbread kit was taken from boring to fabulous with an upgrade that's brimming with classic farmhouse style. Royal icing is the glue that holds the siding (white sticks of chewing gum) and the roof shingles (almond slices). Pretzel sticks make the perfect rustic-style door and window shutters. The roofline is accented with a rosemary twig and red cinnamon candies to give the home its holiday flair. Shredded coconut makes a snowy landscape and graham cracker crumbs create a welcoming walkway. The idyllic mailbox is made with a pretzel stick, rolled up piece of gum and a decorative piece of rosemary topped with confetti sprinkles.

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Cover a House in Kisses

This house is a chocolate lover's dream from top to bottom. You can start eating at the roof peak made of chocolate kisses, work your way down to the roof shingles made of chocolate curls, then the chocolate-chip trim. Finish up with the nonpareil windows and chocolate gummy penguins.

GET THE RECIPE: Chocolate Gingerbread House

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Photo: Jason DeCrow

Make a Tiered Gingerbread Village

Here’s a gorgeous way to get both a gingerbread house and a cake onto your holiday dessert table. To make this village cake, start by decorating house and tree cookies in various sizes — bake your own or buy them premade. Make a one- or two-layer cake with white frosting — any box mix will do. To adhere the cookies to the cake, fill a pastry bag with white buttercream frosting and make a T shape on the back of each cookie then gently press it onto the sides of the cake and on top. Alternate trees and houses and use mostly large cookies on the bottom layer and smaller cookies on the top. Pipe on some snow drifts and sprinkle with confectioners sugar to add some fresh snow.

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