How to Make Perfectly Cute Gingerbread People

Making gingerbread people is a family tradition in our house. We love finding fun new ways to decorate them. Lots of tips to help you make great gingerbread people!

How to Make Gingerbread People | Cravings of a Lunatic | Super cute gingerbread people! Perfect for the holidays!

Welcome to Day #6 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.

My family has a tradition of making gingerbread people every year. We decorate an entire tree with only gingerbread people. It is so much fun and we love doing it each year. As the kids get older I’m sure they find it silly, but we still do it every year. I hope one day they carry on the tradition with their own kids. I have so many great  memories of my own that revolve around making gingerbread people.

We also do a gingerbread village each year. Each person decorates their own house. It’s so much fun. I’m hoping once my son flies in that we’ll have time to do that this year. If we do I’ll be sure to take lots of photos and post about it. You should see the house I make. It’s one of the coolest things around. I’ll keep it under my hat how I do it and hopefully I can share my secrets on making gingerbread villages next week if all goes well.

Myself and my daughter, mini-me, are driving to Toronto on Monday to pick up B-Dude. I am so excited to spend lots of time together. I’ll be cutting my work hours way back while B-Dude is here. He’s visiting for 10 days so I want to make the most of every moment.

Really excited to head to Toronto too. Mini-me and myself are going to try to head up early and hit the mall. All I can say is Sephora, Williams Sonoma and Purdy’s better be well stocked for our arrival. Our options are limited where we live so heading to the big, bad city is always tons of fun.

Once we get home and settled we’ll be making tons more of these cute little gingerbread people. I sure hope my tips below help you when you make them!

How to Make Gingerbread People | Cravings of a Lunatic | Super cute gingerbread people! Perfect for the holidays!

I use Martha Stewart’s recipe for Gingerbread Snowflakes for my Gingerbread People. The recipe is fabulous and your gingerbread won’t fall apart. I highly suggest using that recipe. I also use her Royal Icing recipe for a lot of our gingerbread projects. Here’s the thing about Royal Icing, most call for meringue powder to make the icing stiff enough to pipe, but it tastes freaking horrible if you’re eating the cookies. If we hang ours from the tree and don’t plan to eat them I’ll use Royal Icing. If we plan to actually eat the cookies I use a basic frosting recipe and just make sure it’s thick enough to pipe. You can stick it in the fridge for a bit to get it stiff enough to pipe. A basic buttercream frosting is nice. On occasion I just make a super thick glaze with confectioners’ sugar and milk, but I make it super thick and keep it in the fridge for a bit before using it. I hate the taste of meringue powder so what we use to decorate depends on whether the cookies are decorative or for munching.

I want to share some tips I’ve learned over the years. We’ve made a ton of gingerbread houses and people. So hopefully these tips help.

Kim’s Gingerbread Tips:

  • Make the gingerbread dough the day before you want to bake it. It rolls out better if it sets up overnight.
  • When you take it out let it warm up a bit. Otherwise it tends to crack. I leave mine on the counter while I preheat the oven and get trimmings ready.
  • Don’t use a lot of flour for your work surface. Bench flour can make the gingerbread tough. Use sparingly.
  • Don’t over-work your dough. It will make it tough.
  • The scraps you use as the project moves on will not roll out quite as well as your initial roll. Use those for funky people. I did one guy with cracks then gave him a faux hawk. Adds a little edge to your people.
  • Use good quality butter in the recipe. Makes all the difference.
  • I suggest making this a 3 day project. I make the dough in the evening on day 1. Then on day 2 I make the cookies. Then on day 3 we decorate them. If you try to do it all in one day you’ll just get frustrated and it sucks the fun out of the process.
  • Use a garlic press to make hair. Honestly it’s the cutest thing ever.
  • You can make clothes by using a small knife or sewing tool. They just look adorable.
  • Freeze the people for 30 to 60 minutes before baking. This will keep them from spreading.
  • Make up piping bags ahead of time and stick different colours in them. Then pop the bags in tall glasses and stick in the fridge until you’re almost ready to decorate. Then take them out about 15/20 minutes before you need them.
  • Have all your decorations out and at the ready before you sit down to decorate. It helps if you have a lazy susan so everyone can just spin it for what they want.
  • Keep wet napkins nearby for hands.
  • Keep tums nearby to help with the belly ache from eating huge volumes of icing while you make these.
  • Above all else, get the hooligans involved and just have fun. Make a mess. You’ll be making memories and traditions at the same time. xx

How to Make Gingerbread People | Cravings of a Lunatic | Super cute gingerbread people! Perfect for the holidays!

Visit all the other Christmas Week Peeps for more Holiday Baking Goodness:

How to Make Gingerbread People | Cravings of a Lunatic | Super cute gingerbread people! Perfect for the holidays!

Before we get to the giveaway I’d like to thank all of our Christmas Week sponsors and participants. It’s been a pleasure working with everyone. I love Christmas so I really look forward to this event each year. It means a lot to me that everyone hopped on board this year.

I’d also like to send out a very special thank you to Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. This girl works her butt off on these events. Jen works tirelessly to make sure these events run smoothly. I adore working with her, she just makes it a total pleasure. There’s no push and pull with us, we never bicker, bump heads or disagree on things. We work so perfectly together. Jen is the yin to my yang. I am so thankful to count her among my friends. Thank you to Jen, my friend and cohort. I love you sistah from another mistah!

Today’s #ChristmasWeek giveaway comes courtesy of Cake Boss Baking. Cake Boss Baking is the new branded bake ware from Buddy Valastro, the talented chef and baker behind the TLC TV show, “Cake Boss”. Cake Boss Baking features a full line of cake pans, decorating tools, dessert plates and more, with product for all levels of expertise.

Cake Boss Giveaway

Cake Boss Baking is offering one #ChristmasWeek reader the opportunity to win a prize package full of baking tools and essentials {ARV: $260}, including:

To enter, read the details and use the Rafflecopter below!

***This giveaway is for one Cake Boss Baking baking essentials prize pack (details listed above)! This giveaway is open to Continental US residents only . When the contest concludes, the winner will be chosen by random draw. The winner will be notified through e-mail and they will have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen.***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by Cake Boss Baking. #ChristmasWeek bloggers have not received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

Toodles and smoochies! xx

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Comments

  1. says

    Cute, cute cookies…I always make a mess of my cut-outs. I need to make note… :) Thanks again for including me in this wonderful #ChristmasWeek collection!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks Cathy. I swear chilling the dough overnight is one huge trick. And freezing it after you cut it for 30 to 60 minutes will work wonders. Thanks for joining us. I love working with you on projects. We need to do more of this next year.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks Kristin. I love doing the hair, it’s so fun. We cut out outfits sometimes too. So adorbs. Try the cold dough trick, it works.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      We go overboard most years. This year we won’t be because mini-me is wicked sick. Not good. She caught it on her bday and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

      Happy pinning. Thanks for pinning. Pin any time you like. #pinallthethings

      *sorry, got carried away*

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      I have very little in the way of tools. But I did buy a tip kit at Target a year ago for a whooping $20 and it’s the best $20 I’ve ever spent. It was on sale and has over 25 tips and all these gadgets. It’s so cool. And an offset spatula too. Love that thing. Hope your gumballs stop sucking and things turn around Miss Becca. I know how hard you’re working and I’m super proud of you for going for it woman. May all your dreams come true in 2014. xx

  2. Mandy Shannon says

    Love family traditions! We are celebrating one today with my Aunt actually. We have dinner at a fancy restaurant, exchange gifts, laughter and stories from the last year. I love it so much, cause otherwise I wouldn’t get to spend so much time with one of my favorite people :)
    I love making cakes, would make some kind of cute awesome cake or mini cakes with that awesome set.

  3. says

    Another successful Christmas Week! You and Jen did a fabulous job with all the posts and sponsors…thank you!!! And I wish your post was up before I made my gingerbread cookies…I am a horrible decorator and needed all the tips I could get. Your guys are so cute…I’m definitely making hair on mine next year.

  4. says

    Christmas at Kim B’s house is magical! Your kids are sooo lucky to have such a great mom. Gingerbread trees, villages and time together in the kitchen…Now that is Christmas spirit.

    Thank you for sharing your story and very practical gingerbread people-making tips =)

  5. Tracy Spangler says

    I would make mini loaves of white chocolate, cranberry and orange zest bread, This is a really great giveaway! Thanks!

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