Decorating a gingerbread house includes adding a lot of candy to the outside of the house, but the roof is like a blank canvas.
Whether you decide to make it realistic or fanciful is up to you, and there are a lot of roof options available.
Gingerbread house roofs can be decorated with candy in overlapping patterns to imitate shingles, or arranged randomly to create colorful designs. The roof can also be covered with materials like breakfast cereal to make it look like a thatched roof, or with cut-out pieces of fondant or smaller gingerbread cookies. They can also be piped with royal icing to create lattice designs, or other types of scrollwork and lace.
There are a lot of options available, and I’ve rounded up some examples of things that you can do to decorate your gingerbread house roof. All photos were used with permission of the owners.
Decorating a gingerbread house roof with candy.
Decorating a gingerbread house roof with candy is the obvious choice, since it will match the rest of the house’s exterior.
You can use flat candy like Necco wafers to overlap and create shingles. To do that, start at the bottom edge of the roof and work your way up so that you can overlap the rows. Add some icing to the roof right above each line of candy to stick the next line to. When you get to the top. adjust the last row to fit against the peak of the roof.
Candy can also be added to the roof in a random pattern, or just stuck onto the roof to make a colorful design. They don’t have to be flat, either, they can be things like the gummy bears on this house. It’s not realistic, but it’s colorful and fun.
Marshmallows can be added to a roof to look like snowy tiles, or you can put a layer of butter mints to make a pastel roof.
There’s also the classic m&m roof, where you just cover the whole thing with the same round candies. That can be done using all one color, or lots of colors to make a rainbow roof.
This house had sticks of gum stuck to the roof to make it look like it was one color You could also cut the gum into pieces to make little shingles.
Decorating a gingerbread house roof with icing.
Using royal icing on a gingerbread house roof can be done by leaving the roof undecorated, or by icing the entire roof and adding candy to that.
This style of using icing on the roof is more fun for kids to decorate, because they can stick the candy on without having to add the icing bit by bit. If you ice the entire roof for them, they can stick the candy on all over, either in a pattern or randomly.
This also makes a colorful house that’s cute to look at. The drawback of this full-roof icing method is that the candy can bleed into the icing if it’s humid. But by that time it will be time to throw the house out anyway, most likely!
This house has a combination of piped icing and candy that forms a pattern but still leaves the gingerbread visible. This is a nice way to add some color to the roof but also keep the emphasis on the gingerbread.
The roof of this house was piped in a lattice pattern and it has some little colorful candies added to the joints of some of the piped designs.
This house has a design made from fondant cutouts and piped designs in royal icing, so it’s a combination of a few methods.
You can also use fondant lace molds to create lace that you can apply to the roof of your house for an additional pattern.
You can also use a colored icing to add some color to the roof. The candy will cover it and the colored icing will peek out from underneath.
You can also use sticks of gum to create shingles for a roof by cutting out small rectangles and overlapping them as you work your way up the roof.
Decorating a gingerbread house roof with cereal.
If you want a thatched roof look, or you just don’t want a colorful roof, you can use cereal like Shredded Wheat or Life cereal for covering the roof. This will give the roof some texture, and if you’re doing a traditional thatched cottage it will fit that perfectly.
This INCREDIBLE gingerbread train station was made by Eric Hirsh and has a roof made with wheat chex cereal. You can see how big this structure was if you look at the size of the cereal and m&ms that are also on the roof.
Jeanine Careri Jackson’s first gingerbread house had colored Cheerios on the roof with a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar for snow.
Brenda Vaughn Hall made this house with cinnamon toast crunch cereal for the shingles on the roof.
Decorating a gingerbread house roof with cookies.
Cookies added to a gingerbread house roof can be used to create the look of tiles, or to act as a pattern when included with candy.
This house’s roof was iced with royal icing that had some cookies added later, but the roof itself is plain white.
This house has both cookies and candy on the roof and walls. The cookies alternating with the candy create a striped pattern.
You can also use flat cookies like Nilla Wafers or Oreos as shingles, or just stick them to an iced roof to make a flat surface.
Another type of cookie that can be used is the round pirouline cookies. Those can be used to make log cabins and log cabin roofs. You can even paint them brown with food coloring if you want to make them look more like real logs.
Decorating a gingerbread house roof with fondant.
Fondant can be used to decorate a gingerbread house by covering the entire thing with a sheet of the rolled icing, or by cutting pieces out to dry and then put them on the roof.
You can also imprint patterns into the fondant-covered roof with rubber stamps or with fondant embossers. Cookie cutters can also be used to make designs in the fondant, which can then be piped over or painted with food coloring or luster dust.
The I-max dome on the left of this gingerbread museum was made by covering it with fondant, then painting it with silver luster dust. The dome on the right was made by layering strips of green fondant to create the stepped effect.
The roof on the flat parts are pieces of fondant shaped to create different shapes to look like piles of snow.
There are a lot of different methods for covering the roof of gingerbread houses and which one you’ll use will depend on how realistic or colorful you want your house to be. There aren’t any real “rules” to follow, so have fun and be creative!
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