Woman decorating gingerbread cookies with white icing

Gingerbread Cookie Decorating Ideas & Tips

As the festive season approaches, there’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than by decorating gingerbread cookies. This delightful tradition can make the festive season even better, with enticing ginger and spice aromas wafting through the house. Decorating holiday cookies is more than just creating delicious treats. Rather, it’s an opportunity for families and friends to come together in a shared activity. 

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just having fun in the kitchen, gingerbread decorating ideas can help you transform simple cookies into edible works of art. From traditional designs to innovative and quirky themes, there are several ways to make your cookies stand out. Keep reading to explore suggestions that will inspire both beginners and experienced decorators alike. 

  • How to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies
  • Gingerbread House Themes for the Whole Family
  • Tips for Decorating Gingerbread Cookies
  • Get Into the Holiday Spirit with Gingerbread Cookies

How to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies

Among Christmas cookie ideas, gingerbread cookies are festive holiday classics that make an appearance every year. From classic gingerbread men to artistic cookie houses, let’s take a closer look at how to elevate your gingerbread cookie decorating game this year.

Use royal icing

Royal icing is the go-to choice for bakers when decorating gingerbread cookies and houses. Its smooth consistency and ability to harden make it perfect for intricate designs, and it's an excellent tool for outlining. So, grab a piping bag and outline those gingerbread men or create delicate snowflake designs. Not only is royal icing easy to customize with food coloring and use, but it also provides an elegant finish for cookies. 

Add color with gumdrops and other candies

Decorating gingerbread cookies becomes a delightful adventure when adding colorful gumdrops and candies. Gumdrops are the perfect candy for giving gingerbread men buttons and providing different textures and flavors. Other candies commonly used to garnish gingerbread cookies and houses include licorice, candy canes, jelly beans, and mints.

Paint with festive candy melts

Break out the red and green candy melts to create paint for your gingerbread. View your gingerbread cookies as the blank canvas and the candy melts as your paint. Melted chocolates are easy to paint with, allowing you to create unique and colorful designs. 

Use cookie cutters to create shapes

Who said you have to stick with gingerbread men? A fun gingerbread cookie decorating idea is using cookie cutters to create diverse shapes. Festive cookie cutters come in all shapes and sizes, including Christmas trees, snowflakes, wreaths, candy canes, penguins, and more. Unique cookie shapes allow you to express your creativity when decorating gingerbread.

Have fun with sprinkles

Gingerbread decorating ideas can include fun and festive sprinkles. Add a bit of sparkle and playful design by choosing sprinkles in holiday colors and shapes. From sparkling reds to tiny yellow stars, sprinkles are a quick and easy way to decorate delicious gingerbread cookies. 

Mother and two little girls decorating gingerbread houses

Gingerbread House Themes for the Whole Family

One of the most fun holiday traditions is decorating gingerbread houses. Whether you’re a professional entering a  decorating contest or simply keeping the kids entertained with festive activities, here’s some gingerbread house inspiration to get you started.

Gingerbread barn

Give the traditional gingerbread house a twist by creating an adorable gingerbread barn. You can take the traditional house structure and make small adjustments to turn it into a barn for cute animals. Create fun barn doors and add chickens, cows, and sheep using candy and melts to ensure a memorable and tasty piece of work.

Bright and pastel gingerbread house

Swap out the traditional reds and greens with bright and pastel colors to create a bold gingerbread house. Playing with color schemes is a fun way to personalize your gingerbread house, giving it extra flair. Consider creating color palettes to reflect different themes, such as gingerbread beach house, bakery, or castle. 

Gingerbread dog house

Calling all dog lovers! Create a gingerbread dog house inspired by your favorite furry friend. This is a cute and simple gingerbread decorating idea, perfect for dog owners. This playful approach to gingerbread house decorating is the perfect christmas activity for families.

Spooky gingerbread house

There are many gingerbread house themes, but if you’re decorating a bit early this year consider creating a spooky gingerbread house. Add different types of cookies to your design to create depth and interest in your spooky theme.

Winter wonderland gingerbread house

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, incorporate this theme into your gingerbread house inspiration. Create a winter wonderland gingerbread house by adding dazzling, snowy elements such as snowmen, snowflakes, and icy details. 

Stained glass gingerbread house

For the experts and those who want to improve their skills, take your gingerbread house theme to the next level by creating stained glass windows. This technique involves using melted hard candies to mimic the appearance of colorful stained glass windows, adding a sophisticated and impressive touch to classic gingerbread house designs. 

Girl decorating festive gingerbread cookies with piping bag for icing

Tips for Decorating Gingerbread Cookies

While there is no right or wrong way to decorate gingerbread cookies and houses, following these tips will help you achieve beautiful designs like a pro. 

  • Prepare the right consistency of icing to ensure clean lines and smooth surfaces.
  • Use piping bags and tips to create diverse designs.
  • Allow gingerbread cookies to cool completely before decorating. 
  • Experiment with layering icing colors or textures to add dimension to your designs.
  • Sketch or plan your design before decorating.
  • Add texture and depth by using edible embellishments like sprinkles, glitter, and candy.
  • If your design is intricate, work on one section of the cookie at a time.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment and embrace your creativity. 

The key to decorating gingerbread cookies and houses is to let your imagination run wild and enjoy the process. You don’t need to be an expert to have fun creating delicious and beautifully decorated treats. So, take this gingerbread house inspiration and let your creative juices flow to make your gingerbread as unique as you are. 

Get Into the Holiday Spirit with Gingerbread Cookies

Bring the joy of holiday cookie decorating to your friends and family by creating unique gingerbread cookie designs together. Decorating cookies, whether it’s gingerbread, frosted cookies, or any other recipe, is a great way to bring everyone together and share a festive holiday activity. 

If you’re not an expert baker, have no fear, Mrs. Fields® is here. Simplify the cookie-making process by ordering pre-made baked goods from our shop. With a range of cookie kits and gifts, you’re sure to find the best treats for your decorating endeavors. Made from quality ingredients and flavors you’ll love, Mrs. Fields® is the go-to choice for holiday cookies this season. 

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