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Cooler weather and family time means staying inside and spending quality time with one another, and that also means warm fires, hot cocoa, and fun activities to keep everyone entertained and full of the holiday spirit. One of the best ways to indulge in a little holiday fun is by building a gingerbread house! Not only can you build and decorate the house of your dreams, but you can eat it, too!
Kiana Washington, the pastry chef for The Hope Farm in Fairhope, Alabama, says she usually bakes her own gingerbread when she's giving it as a gift that's meant to be eaten, but when it comes to store-bought houses, she recommends Wilton's selection. "The Wilton brand makes for a sturdy nice house, and I usually make my own royal icing and buy my own candies—the kit is just for the house!" Washington says. Here, we tested and rated some of the best gingerbread houses available on the market so that you can get a headstart on getting the most perfect one before the holiday season kicks off.
Wilton is the go-to brand when it comes to gingerbread houses, and this build-it-yourself kit is perfect for creating the quintessential holiday scene. It comes with pre-baked and embossed gingerbread panels, icing, candy, decorating tips and bags, and the cardboard base.
Wilton's gingerbread houses and villages sell out quickly each year, but there are plenty of options to choose from for a variety of skill levels and interests. No matter which kit you go with, Kiana Washington has a simple recommendation: "Have fun and do not stress while making it. It’s a craft! It’s meant to be fun and bring people together!”
Relive playing one of your favorite childhood games with this fully edible Candyland gingerbread house set. Adults and kids alike will love the fact that the kit has everything you need in it to make a fun and colorful gingerbread house, although our tester did note there was no piping bag included for the icing.
The kit includes the prebaked gingerbread house walls and roof, premade icing to help decorate and keep everything together, and an abundance of candies that come in different shapes and colors like jewels, stars, sprinkles, fruity gummies, and swirled mints. One of the best, most unique features about this kit is the scene setters that are included to make these homes more personal for their makers.
While this kit may not be the standard gingerbread house, it’s super cool and unique because it actually includes all sorts of fun gingerbread ninjas! These fighting gingerbread men are taking back Christmas, one deliciously funny ninja at a time. The kit includes a gingerbread mix and plastic molds so that you can create your own custom scenes, but you will need a few kitchen staple ingredients to add in and make the cookie dough.
The kit includes all the standard fixings like icing, piping bags, and candy beads. These kits make between 10 and 20 ninja-bread men, so everyone in the family can have their own custom silly cookies, and because the molds are reusable, you can make these funny ninjas all year round and with different cookie doughs if you want!
If you’re tired of the pre-packaged gingerbread houses and are up for the challenge of making your own, this cookie cutter set is the perfect kit for you! It includes ten food-grade pieces that will allow you to create your own walls, roof, windows, doors, and extra decor. While it doesn’t include any recipes to make your own gingerbread, it does include a recipe for your own royal icing, and the molds work with any rollable cookie dough, so you’re not limited to just gingerbread!
An additional upside to this cute kit is that you can decorate your houses however you’d like, so you can use this set for more holidays and occasions beyond Christmas. Lastly, this set comes inside a beautiful gift box, making it the gift that keeps on giving during the holidays!
Get on board with this gingerbread kit that’s a train set instead of a house! Perfect for the locomotive enthusiast in the family, or just to switch things up a bit, this gingerbread train set is a bit more adventurous than the average gingerbread house you see during the holiday season.
The kit includes prebaked gingerbread cookies in the shapes of an engine, cargo car, and caboose, as well as four different types of candy and three colors of icing to customize the train cars to look however you like. The yellow fondant is an additional treat that will brighten up your train to match your cheerful holiday spirit!
If you’re ready for a challenge this year or are a serious LEGO lover, this kit is the one for you! It’s not edible whatsoever, but with almost 1500 pieces, it would still work for a perfect holiday centerpiece, and at over 8-inches high, it's definitely a great conversation starter. This large LEGO block set comes with all kinds of props to make the house feel more like a home, like an entire gingerbread family, a snowblower, furniture, a holiday tree, gifts, and fake candy decorations! This set is recommended for people ages 16 and up, but it is sure to be a great activity for the entire family to use to get into the holiday fun.
If you’re tired of making your own gingerbread houses and having to deal with messy icing and flimsy gingerbread walls that have to set overnight, this premade gingerbread house is sure to be a hit in your home. It’s fully edible and fully assembled, so you don't have to worry about opening a box that’s full of broken walls. It's great for any impatient hands that just want to decorate and not build!
It also comes in a very attractive box that keeps the structure as sturdy as the real thing! It includes everything you need to decorate your home to make it your own: icing, candy pinwheels, candied mini beads, spearmint leaves, and red, white, and green jelly beans. It’s the perfect gift or quick activity to put everyone in a cheerful spirit!
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Amethyst Ganaway is a 10+ year restaurant veteran who’s worked every position from waitressing to bartending to cooking on the line and running restaurant kitchens. While researching for this guide, she got firsthand opinions and read through hundreds of reviews to make sure the best items were picked for each category so that you can have the sweetest gingerbread house to bring in the holiday festivities!
Kiana Washington is the pastry chef for The Hope Farm in Fairhope, AL. She has many years of experience in the restaurant industry and loves to bake her own gingerbread houses and jazz up kits!