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Come Christmas time, there’s a lot more to decorate than just the tree — yep, we’re talking about gingerbread houses! Even if you don’t *quite* have the baking chops to churn out these sugary treats on your own, you can still get in on the fun with the best gingerbread house kits.
Equipped with everything you’ll need to make a wow-worthy holiday display, including pre-baked, ready-to-assemble gingerbread pieces that can be put together to resemble miniature buildings (or in some cases, castles!), pre-made icing, and candy galore, these edible sets are a surefire way to bring some seasonal cheer into your life as you decorate them with your loved ones. Read on find out more about them — and where to get your hands on one this year.
The History of Gingerbread Houses
Anyone that’s familiar with the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel knows a thing or two about gingerbread houses. These confectionary wonders, which are typically made of a cookie dough mixture of ginger, cloves, nutmeg, or cinnamon and sweetened with honey, sugar, or molasses, reportedly originated in Germany centuries prior to the tale’s 19th century publication, and were usually decorated with foil and gold leaves. Yet it was the witch’s life-size gingerbread house from the popular Brothers Grimm’s story — the same one that lured the lost young siblings to her doorstep — that cemented these miniature creations into popular culture.
Over the years, gingerbread houses took on a far more uplifting meaning, as people began to craft their own versions to showcase alongside their Christmas décor. These days, they symbolize a beloved Christmas tradition that has stood the test of time.
Where to Buy Gingerbread House Kits
Whether you prefer larger projects, like gingerbread villages ($24, Amazon), that will keep you and your family entertained for hours, or mini houses, like this Elf on the Shelf pick ($13.99, Amazon), that you can knock out in a hurry, it will be easy enough to track down a gingerbread house kit that works for you at some of your favorite retailers. Amazon, Target, and Walmart are all stocked with plenty of festive options, as are home stores, such as Bed Bath & Beyond and World Market. Keep scrolling for Woman’s World’s picks for the best gingerbread houses of 2019!
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Disney Gingerbread House
Crafty Cooking Kits Disney Holiday House
Where to buy: $16.95, Amazon
The magic of Disney comes alive in the form of this Mickey- and Minnie-themed house, which sees the famed characters peeking out from its sugary-sweet windows. Candy pieces bear the iconic mouse-ear shape, and there’s even a paper candy cane fence to finish your creation off.
Peanuts Gingerbread House
Peanuts Snoopy Gingerbread House Kit
Where to buy: $23.72, Amazon
Bring Charles M. Schulz’s beloved gang to life with this Peanuts gingerbread kit. Not only will you get all the fixings for a festive hut, including plenty of icing and candy decorations, it comes with cardboard cutouts of Snoopy, Woodstock, and Charlie Brown, too.
Elf Mini Gingerbread House
Meet Cookies Elf on the Shelf Mini Gingerbread House Kit
Where to buy: $13.99, Amazon
You never know where the Elf on the Shelf will pop up, but something tells us this mini gingerbread house might be a good place to look. Great for those who plan to eat their creations without a massive tummy ache, this 7-ounce kit has all the makings of a full-size version, plus elf-shaped “scene setters” to boot.
Hershey's Chocolate House
Hershey’s Chocolate House
Where to buy: $10.99, Target
Chocolate lovers, rejoice! If you have more of a taste for chocolate and less of one for gingerbread, you’re in luck. This lip-smacking kit comes packed with a chocolate house base, icing, and real Hershey’s kisses — yum! It’s ranked “really EZ,” to boot, so even your youngest children — or grandchildren! — can tap into their creative side.
Grinch Gingerbread House
Brand Castle The Grinch Whoville Gingerbread House Kit
Where to buy: $19.99, Amazon
Our favorite house on the list is a recreation of a Whoville home from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Unique in its oddly-shaped architecture and open interior design, this house, which also has themed pop-ups from the film, will bring so much cheer to your home, you just might find your heart growing in size — just like the Grinch’s did!
Wilton Build It Yourself Holiday Town
Where to buy: $24, Amazon
Why settle for a single gingerbread house when you can build a whole village? This DIY gingerbread town — yes, town! — has enough gingerbread panels to make eight houses, so the whole family can participate in the decorating. You’ll also get four different types of candy, four decorating bags, pro tips, and an instruction sheet to help guide your way.
Oreo Cookie House
Oreo Chocolate Gingerbread House
Where to buy: $21.94, Amazon
An Oreo-lovers dream, this house sets the bar for high for those with a sweet tooth. Not only is its base made of chocolate — all the better to go with everyone’s favorite cream-filled cookies — it features real Oreo candy pieces that you can use to decorate to your heart’s content, from the roof to the cookie pathway leading up to the door.
Wilton Shimmer and Sparkle Gingerbread Castle
Where to buy: $8.98 (Originally $9.98), Walmart
Forget a gingerbread house — with this kit, you can build a whole frozen castle! Simply assemble the four included gingerbread panels, frost its walls in a flourish of blues and whites, finish off with a sprinkle of icy sugar, and admire!
Candyland Gingerbread House Kit
Where to buy: $14.99, Bed Bath & Beyond
Candyland is more than just a beloved board game to play with the family. This year, it’s the base for your next gingerbread house! King Kandy and his crew are included in this kit alongside easy-to-link gingerbread pieces that are ready to construct, pre-made icing, candy jewels, fruit gummies, candy stars, and sprinkles.
Wrote one happy buyer: “I bought this gingerbread house kit to build with my three-year-old granddaughter. The idea of having slots in the tray to hold up the sides appealed to me. It was amazing. No waiting for the pieces to stick together. The pieces came unbroken and there was plenty of candy.”
Gingerbread Estate Kit
Where to buy: $19.99, World Market
While many gingerbread house kits are similar in aesthetic, this large gingerbread estate stands out from the pack. It’s crafted with a patented “lock and link” feature that makes building a breeze for all ages and comes with icing and candies for beautiful embellishments.