Super easy construction
Good selection of candies for decorating
Mild, pleasant taste
Only one color of icing
Pastry bag not included
Icing was a little uncooperative
Making a gingerbread house is a fun holiday activity, but it can also be frustrating. Gingerbread kits can make assembly and decoration easier, but not all kits are created equal. The Hasbro Candyland Gingerbread House Kit claims that it comes with everything you need for this fun and delicious activity, and I happily put it to the test, building and decorating the house with the included supplies. Did it live up to its famous Candyland name? Read on for all the sugary details.
Design: One cute, reversible house
This kit actually did include everything that was critical for building and decorating a gingerbread house: pre-made gingerbread cookie pieces, pre-made icing, and a variety of candy decorations. Assembly was simple. Although the instructions say that the side pieces will have to be broken or cut apart, the ones in the kit were actually baked separately, so the only cutting I had to do was to remove the chimneypiece from its host.
The box notes that the types of candies and the colors could vary, but I thought the ones included were cute. There were enough included to make decorating interesting, but of course, there’s nothing wrong with adding extras from your own collection. The front and back house pieces were stamped with the same door and windows, so I decorated with two different “front door” looks, just for fun.
Also included on the box are small figures (or “scene setters”) that can be cut out and placed around the house as additional decorations, or kids can play with them before un-decorating and eating the house. I thought they looked silly before I cut them out, but they actually looked better when they were arranged near the house.
While I liked the candies that were included—jewels, stars, gummies, sprinkles, mint swirls—decorating could have been more creative if red and green icing (instead of just white) were included, along with piping bags and tips to use all of the icings.
Quality: Mostly good
The house was sturdy, but it arrived with one slight break at the top of one house panel. However, it was easy to fix with a dab of icing, and once decorated, it wasn’t visible at all.
The included plastic tray made assembly easy since it held the pieces somewhat upright until I could get them all perfectly in place.
My only disappointment was the icing. It comes in a small bag with the instruction to snip off a small corner and a warning not to snip off too much. The problem is that the user won’t know that they’ve snipped off too much until it’s too late and there’s too much icing coming out. The bag worked fairly well for piping until it popped at a seam. Then, I transferred the icing to my own piping bag, which I liked better.
Setup Process: Easy assembly
The included plastic tray made assembly easy since it held the pieces somewhat upright until I could get them all perfectly in place, and it kept the house nice and square. Then, all I needed to do was attach the roof pieces and wait for the icing to set a bit before I started adding candies. I didn’t attach the chimney immediately, opting to wait until I decided on roof décor.
Decorating: Is that buttercream?
While I liked the flavor of the icing, it seemed more like buttercream than royal icing, so it wasn’t quite as sticky and it dried much slower than royal icing. On the plus side, it was easier to reposition decorations, but it also meant that sometimes I jostled decorations out of place when adding new ones. Candies were also pretty easy to remove when it was time to take the house apart for snacking.
The icing was very thick, even after kneading it to make it softer. When I was using it in a piping bag, it didn’t flow well through a small round piping tip, so I couldn’t make fine lines. When I changed to a small star tip, piping worked better and the icing held the decorative shape. The thickness was a plus when I piled it up to make smoke on the chimney, however.
The icing was very thick, even after kneading it to make it softer.
In building the house, it gets attached to the included plastic tray, so I decorated the tray with icing and sprinkles. By the time I ran out of icing, most of the decorations were gone, but I wasn’t done having fun. Since I used most of the included decorations on the front of the house and the roof, the sides and back were a bit sparse. That gave me the perfect opportunity to use my own supplies to finish the project.
Flavor: Mild and pleasant
The gingerbread cookie pieces didn’t have a strong ginger taste, but the flavor was pleasant, reminding me of a favorite cookie from my childhood. The choice to keep the ginger mellow makes sense since kids might be the ones destroying and eating the house. The icing had a slightly buttery flavor along with vanilla. When it came to the decorations, the spice drops had a nice flavor and the mint candies were the standard peppermint, but the sprinkles, balls, and stars were just colored and flavored sugar.
The flavor was pleasant, reminding me of a favorite cookie from my childhood.
At less than $15, I thought the price for this kit was reasonable considering you don’t have to buy anything else for your gingerbread house. The fact that it’s easy to build is a bonus, so older kids can do the construction on their own, or with just a little supervision.
Competition: Plenty of options to suit your style
Juvale Gingerbread House Silicone Mold Kit: For people who prefer to bake their own houses, the Juvale Gingerbread House Silicone Mold Kit will do the trick. Not only does it include molds for the house pieces, but it also includes extra molds for decorations to put around the house. Besides baking, the molds can be used to make chocolates, candy, or even non-edible crafts. But of course, baking your own house using the molds would be more work, while the Hasbro Candyland house we tested had all the fun and no baking required. The Juvale kit is also a little more expensive. They’re both great items—for completely different people.
Cookies United Oreo Holiday Chocolate Cookie House: We have to give a nod to this Oreo cookie house. It’s nearly identical to the Hasbro Candyland kit we reviewed, with one significant difference—it’s chocolate rather than gingerbread and includes Oreo cookies as part of the decorations. They are similarly priced so it really just comes down to your aesthetic and taste preferences.
Buy it for the fun of it.
Although I love to bake, I have to admit that I had a ton of fun with the no-bake Hasbro Candyland Gingerbread House Kit. This kit got me to the decorating quickly, and it included enough candy selections to be creative. And let’s face it: The main point of a gingerbread house is the decorating rather than the baking.
- Product Name Candyland Gingerbread House Kit
- Product Brand Hasbro
- UPC 037695161556
- Price $13.99
- Materials Edible cookies, icing, and decorations; plastic tray; cardboard cutouts
- What’s Included Pre-made gingerbread cookie pieces, candy decorations, pre-made icing, box with cutouts