Haunted Gingerbread House

Halloween is a good excuse for me to completely get distracted from my work and make something creative with my son.  Usually it is related to his Halloween costume which I make every year.

Last year, he was a samurai warrior.  I made the armor out of gold cardboard and used an awesome pattern I found online.

fierce samurai warrior

The year before he was a Lego mini figure.  The Lego head was refurbished from a Dora the Explorer piñata found at a 99-cent store.  This past birthday, I turned it back into a piñata for his Lego party.  Two uses out of one – I always love it when that happens!

Now it’s a pinata again!

This year he is going to be a mime, so his costume is just a hat, striped shirt, black pants, white gloves, and white make-up.  Since it was such a cinch, I ended up pouring all my creative energies into building a haunted gingerbread house with him.

I made a pattern for the house in Illustrator, which you may download and print here.

Then I made gingerbread using a recipe I found on foodnetwork.com.  It is a great recipe, yielding perfect gingerbread for building. A neat trick about this recipe that I hadn’t seen before is to score the dough before baking.  You bake it for about ten minutes, take it out, then cut the dough along the scored lines and finish baking.  This assures you have clean straight edges, which you wouldn’t have if you cut all the pieces out first and then baked.

I printed my pattern on card stock and used it as a template to cut the pieces out of dough.

I was inspired to make “glass” windows using a technique I’ve used with Christmas cookies:  We smashed Jolly Rogers in baggies and then spooned the crushed candy in the window holes.  As it bakes, the candy melts and when it cools and hardens, it looks like glass.


It is very thick too.  We tried breaking the front window to give our house the run down look, and I ended up breaking the wall.  No matter, we just glued it together with the royal icing (see foodnetwork.com recipe.) I made to construct the house.  I colored it grey with black gel food coloring.

We first covered the roof pieces with tiles made out of Cocoa Pebbles.  Then we covered the basement walls with Trader Joe’s High Fiber Os for stones.

Completed roof and window boxes

almost completed house

Then we glued the house together with the royal icing.

The whole thing was constructed over several days.  We had such fun planning everything — discussing what monsters would live there, what kinds of candy we would use to make things.

With demonic lighting courtesy of flashlight — note the broken window!

The porch railing is made of pretzels and the stairs are made of Kit Kat.

The dirt is made out of crushed Oreos.  The path stones are Reese’s pieces.  The dried shrubs are caramel popcorn. The headstones and monsters were all made out of fondant.  (Click here for instructions on how to make homemade fondant.)  Jamie made all of the monsters except the zombie hand coming out of the grave (his idea though.)

The sign and ghost and skeleton head faces were drawn with food coloring pens.  He did the faces, and I did the sign.

Enter If You Dare

The tree is made out of pretzel sticks dipped in melted chocolate.  I cheated and used non-edible thread to hang the mini marshmallow skeleton heads on the branches.

Jamie’s Shadow Demon peeking around window

Now, we look forward to destroying the whole thing together and eating it!

Happy Halloween everybody!!


Filed under Children, Cookies, Desserts

24 responses to “Haunted Gingerbread House

  1. Oh wow, Melissa! You are such a wonderful mom – creative and fun! 🙂 Love the costumes! I am more inspired to try and make costumes from now on. I’ve always made my own during my younger adult days, but have been buying Bebe E’s costumes.

    I am so happy that I have your blog to refer back to when Bebe E is old enough to do fun things like this. I absolutely love your haunted house. Halloween is by far one of my favorite holidays. Happy Halloween!

  2. What a great idea! Way cooler than your typical Christmas gingerbread house 🙂

  3. I love it when kids do costumes that are original and homemade. I love the Lego costume!

    The gingerbread house is cool too. My family loves doing them at Christmas. A haunted one would be even more cool. Maybe next year.

  4. Amy

    This is awesome! I love making gingerbread houses, I bet you and your son had a lot of fun with this!

  5. Such a gorgeous, gorgeous gingerbread house! So exquisite! I don’t think I’ll be able to make this myself, I don’t have the patience or creativity to bake and make creative pretty things.. thats why majority of my recipes are savoury, lol.

    And such cute costumes for your son too!! So precious 🙂

  6. Wow! That looks amazing. I bet it was a lot of work, but I am sure it was so much fun and quality time with your son.

  7. Summer impressive….wow! Stacie will love this!

  8. carley

    Your haunted house is incredible! What a fun project. I also love to make my kids’ halloween costumes — with my daughter (who takes the fab costume design classes at SA) — but as Cairo has gotten older he keeps changing his mind til the last minute so I am always rushing the last night, havana is yelling at him, he’s running around like a crazy person — and I occasionally find myself wondering: “wait, isn’t this supposed to be fun???” But I can’t give up!

  9. Wow that is the coolest Gingerbread house I have ever seen. It’s so creative and spooky, love it!

  10. I absolutely love seeing other people’s ideas! I particularly love the tree. I wish more people would do Halloween houses.

  11. Wow, what fun…The gingerbread house is amazing!
    So much fun when they are little to do costumes and such.
    We had nieces and nephews over this year for kid friendly treats and pumpkin carving 🙂

  12. This looked like so much fun. your son is real lucky 😀 !! I really the idea of the glass window treatment

  13. That house looks fantastic! You could sell those for a ton of money. Wow.

  14. it’s so funny to me that your house looks just like “you”.

    are you on Twitter?

  15. oh this looks scary!!! but very interesting to give this a try

  16. This is so awesome!! I’m going to try this as soon as I can. Scary yummy awesomeness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Wow, this is amazing!!! You’re so clever, and I love all the little touches that make it especially spooky 🙂

  18. Pingback: Chocolate Hardware Tools and Book Signing in Brooklyn | The Hungry Artist

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