Making trees for gingerbread houses can be done in a few ways, and this time I used a template to make one from gingerbread.
Here’s the guide on how to assemble the trees and decorate them using candy and other edible decorations.
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Cut the gingerbread tree pieces.
Use the template here to cut out three to six sections from gingerbread: Gingerbread tree template
I used the construction-grade gingerbread recipe for these, and they stayed usable (not edible, but usable,) for over a year, I’m not kidding. (I was busy doing other things…)
Anyway, if you’re not planning on eating the trees, the construction gingerbread is sturdier and will last a long time.
If you want to eat the trees, you might want to use this recipe instead: Gingerbread recipe for building and eating.
Assemble the trees before decorating: Method 1.
Using royal icing in a piping bag or on a spatula, put the icing on the tall side of the tree sections and attach them together.
(Get disposable piping bags on Amazon here: Piping bags)
Depending on how many you want to use, you’ll need to add more icing to fill in any gaps in the center so that everything sticks together.
This tree has three sections, and the flat pieces form a little triangle in the center that the royal icing should fill in.
For a tree with four sections, you can assemble them standing up, or put two together and let them dry, then attach two more.
If you’re using fairly stiff royal icing it should be pretty easy to attach everything together and let the sections dry, but if the icing is a little softer you might have to dry them flat first, then add the extra two.
This time, I was able to just put the whole thing together and let it dry standing up.
I piped a line of royal icing into the seam on each side and smoothed it out like caulk, using a damp fingertip.
That will make sure that the icing is embedded in between the pieces, and that it’s all attached well.
The final seams on the tree will be smooth and ready to decorate.
Decorating the tree sections before assembling: Method 2.
Another way to do this would be to decorate the tree sections before you assemble the tree.
If you’re going to do any piping on the tree, or if you want to use something like sprinkles or jimmies to decorate it, that might be a good idea, since it will be easier to decorate when the sections are flat.
I had an extra section, so I iced it and added these Christmas sprinkles to it after covering it with royal icing.
Gently press the sprinkles into the icing, then leave the section flat to dry.
When it’s dry and ready to assemble, use the methods in the previous section to put the tree together.
Decorate the assembled gingerbread tree.
Once the tree has dried and the royal icing is hard, you can decorate it by adding candy or other edible materials using icing as the glue.
I thinned out my royal icing a little, then iced the entire tree using white.
You can color the icing if you want them to be green or a different color, or you can add color to the white tree later with candy, piped icing, or edible markers.
I left the royal icing to harden on the tree, then came back and attached candy to it using more royal icing.
For a couple of the sections I added another coating of royal icing then sprinkled red and green decorations on.
For another section I added more icing and pressed on some small round candies.
For the final section, I piped a bunch of swags on where the branches would fall, then I added some round decorations onto those.
You could also use green icing and pipe the swags on, or you could do a base icing of green then pipe the swags on in white to make it look like snow.
I like this version the most because of the texture. It also gives the tree some depth, and you could pipe green swags for branches, then a different color to decorate them like garlands.
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