How to Decorate a Gingerbread House

The smell of gingerbread is the best Christmassy smell. There's really nothing more delicious than the smell of gingerbread freshly baked from the oven. One of my favourite things to do near Christmas is to make a gingerbread house; it's a little tradition Jonny and I have had for the past couple of years, and quite possibly my favourite. If you want to see last year's creation and want to know the recipe then check out my how to make a gingerbread house post hereThis year, we wanted to make our gingerbread more impressive than the last and with the addition of Renshaw icing I think we definitely did! With over 100 years of experience in baking and cake decorating expertise, Renshaw is the best place to go for ready to roll icing, marzipan and frostings. With 29 colours and 2 flavours of ready to roll icing, you can make just about anything festive. You can roll a perfectly round Santa, mould festively red flowers and build a deliciously sweet snowman. As well as being tasty, Renshaw icing is really easy to use. It's as easy as kneading the icing until pliable and then rolling or molding your shape or character onto a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. For more tips on how to use the icing and to see a full list of the colours and flavours available, this booklet is so handy! As I gave you the recipe last year, I thought this year I would share some of my tips and ideas of how to decorate the perfect gingerbread house. Have you built a gingerbread house yet?

The more the merrier. When decorating a gingerbread house, there is no such thing as too much decoration. Pile the sprinkles high. Layer as many chocolate button tiles on the roof as you can. Make a festive scene complete with Santa, a snowman, sleigh and all eight reindeer. Sprinkle on a tonne of glitter. Use as many marshmallows as possible. More smarties. Embellish every wall. Scatter a generous sheet of sweet snow over the entire thing.

A day of festive fun. Baking, constructing and decorating a gingerbread house is quite time consuming so make sure you have plenty of time. Make a fun day out of it. You could even have a gingerbread house making competition with your siblings and see who can make the most impressive one. This would be so much fun and would also be the perfect activity to do on Christmas eve! Jonny and I started baking our gingerbread house at around 6pm and didn't finish decorating until about 12am - so that's around 6 hours of gingerbread making, woah! It was definitely worth it! 

Lots of icing. Renshaw have a huge range of ready to roll fondant icing which is perfect for Christmas baking. From baby ice blue, to ruby red and teddy bear brown, there's a wide selection of rainbow like colours to allow you to create an amazing bake. Make your gingerbread house stand out from any other by transforming it into a colourful wonderland using various coloured icing. Adding lots of colour certainly makes it look that bit more impressive! 

What's Christmas without chocolate? Something I had never seen before is Renshaw's chocolate flavour ready to roll fondant icing. This would be amazing on cakes paired with their chocolate flavoured frosting! This was the most exciting to use and I couldn't resist breaking off pieces and 'testing' it before I put it on the gingerbread house (it was so yummy!). I think it's nice to add a different flavour and what is more tasty than chocolate gingerbread? We found that it was perfect for the door - there's definitely going to be a fight over who gets to eat that!

Be creative. Be creative with the tools you use. Perhaps you could use a pin to give a dotty effect or cookie cutters to make festive shapes. To make the Christmas tree you'll need a pair of scissors. Simply roll the fondant icing into a cone shape and then snip into the tree to create the branches. The more snips you make into the Christmas tree, the fuller it will look. If you want, you could also make little baubles and a star using brightly coloured fondant icing. 

All is bright and colourful. Even though Renshaw have A LOT of different colours of ready to roll fondant icing to choose from, it's always fun to get creative and make your own. Combine two or more colours together until you have reached your desired shade. As another idea, if you don't combine the colours fully, you are left with a lovely marbled effect which would look great if you're crafting a chimney or outdoor furniture for your gingerbread house. It would also look amazing on the roof! To make a pebble path like the one I made, mix together black and white to create varying shades of grey. Then roll out little pebble shapes and place them in a line leading out of the door. 

A Christmas scene. Why not give more character to your gingerbread house by creating fun little characters to place around the front? Using the ready to roll fondant icing, you can mould any shapes and figures you like as it's really simple (and so much fun) to use - all you need is a little imagination! You could mould a little family with the icing, or create a North Pole scene with Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees, penguins and candy canes. We went for a classic wintry look with a snowman, lots of snow and Santa peeking behind a Christmas tree. I think it turned out great!

Glitter and snow. Everything is better with glitter and snow; you just have to throw on a bit of glittery sparkle! To create a quick and easy snowy effect, simply sift icing sugar gently over the rooftop using a sieve. As well as looking super cute and wintry, adding the snow is great as it covers up any little mistakes you may have made and any wonky roof tiles are no longer noticeable. The addition of snow makes it look ten times better too. Once covered in a sheet of snow, add a generous sprinkle of glitter. Now your gingerbread house is complete and ready to enjoy!


This post is sponsored by Renshaw. All opinions  are my own, for more information see my disclaimer

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