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More like ginger-dead
When you think of gingerbread houses, white icing and peppermint decorations may come to mind, but you can trade those red and green gumdrops for orange and black this spooky season. There are a number of frightful gingerbread kits perfect for celebrating Halloween, with thematic candies shaped like bones or bats, ectoplasm-green icing, and bonus pumpkin cookies. Gather your friends and family, put on a scary movie, and enjoy building these dastardly delicious Halloween gingerbread houses.
Best Overall: Williams Sonoma DIY Halloween Haunted House Kit
Creepy costumes come in all shades and hues, and this decorative gingerbread house reflects that.
Halloween is certainly a colorful holiday. Creepy costumes come in all shades and hues, and this decorative gingerbread house reflects that. The DIY Halloween Haunted House Kit from Williams Sonoma brings vibrant orange, purple, and black icings to dark brown chocolate cookies.
The included candies are likewise bright, from tri-colored candy corn to rainbow gumdrops and black, orange, and purple sprinkles. For contrast, there are also white bone-shaped candies. This is an eye-catching kit that will fit in among Halloween decorations around the house.
Price at time of publish: $30
Includes: Precut chocolate cookies, colorful icing (black, orange, purple), bone candies, mini beads, candy corn, Halloween sprinkles
Best for Beginners: Create-a-Treat E-Z Build Chocolate Haunted Halloween House Kit
For icing, there are green and orange shades with decorative tips and a purple-icing pen for more detailed work.
Though this gingerbread house may be spooky, it’s not intimidating–not intimidating to build, at least. Everything about the kit is designed to be user-friendly and easy to make. All of the chocolate cookie panels are pre-baked and even have some decorative lines on them already. There are simple step-by-step instructions on how to construct the house, and there’s even a handy little building tray to keep the house in place while you make it.
To decorate, wickedly fun candies include orange gumballs with grinning jack-o-lantern faces, black and orange bats, classic candy corn, and two types of sprinkles. For icing, there are green and orange shades with decorative tips and a purple-icing pen for more detailed work.
Our editors tested a few winter holiday houses from this brand and named them winners on our roundup of best gingerbread house kits. They were both very easy to assemble, came with a base for added stability, included extra candy for snacking (Hershey bars and Reese's...yum), and actually looked really good in the end. We could've used a little extra frosting for two out of the three kits (the third came with more than enough), but you can always grab a back-up at the store ahead of time.
Price at time of publish: $23
Best Interlocking: Bee International Haunted Cookie House 2 Pack
This chocolate cookie house has interlocking panels to add much-needed stability.
One of the trickiest things about making a gingerbread house is avoiding a collapse. Without proper structure or strong icing, the haunted house can fall apart like a Jenga tower. To help avoid that frustration, this chocolate cookie house has interlocking panels to add much-needed stability.
Bright orange icing acts as both glue and decoration. If you need additional icing, the back of the kit provides a recipe (along with step-by-step building instructions). Of course, there are also assorted Halloween-themed candies to bring the haunted house to life.
Price at time of publish: $34
Includes: Prebaked chocolate cookie panels, icing, assorted Halloween candies
Best Candy: Sweetology Haunted Gingerbread House Decorating Kit
The gingerbread panels lock together, so the haunted house will stay nice and secure while decorating.
Between movie marathons and trick-or-treating, candy is a staple of Halloween, and this particular kit has candy in spades. It includes gummy eyeballs, worms, bats, and ghosts, candy corn and pumpkins, chocolate pieces, and several types of sprinkles and decorative sugars.
The gingerbread panels lock together, so the haunted house will stay nice and secure while decorating. There is also royal icing to hold things together and pipe on some cobwebs, colored food gels, and some orange fondant for making fun shapes.
Our editors tested a winter holiday gingerbread house from this brand and named it the runner-up in our ranking of best gingerbread house kits. It was one of the easiest and most fun houses to build, and it came with tons of good candies. Our only minor complaints were that we had wished the royal icing was stronger and that the kit came with a base to help stabilize the parts when building. We really did love this kit otherwise, though, so you should be in great hands with the Halloween version.
Price at time of publish: $35
Includes: Interlocking gingerbread house, royal icing, fondant, food gels, sprinkles, candy, sanding sugar, piping bag with open tip
Best Asymmetrical: Hyde & Eek Boutique Halloween Twisted Tavern Chocolate House Cookie Kit
The best haunted houses are a little bit dilapidated or slanted.
The best haunted houses are a little bit dilapidated or slanted. This Twisted Tavern kit is delightfully asymmetrical, giving off a cartoonish yet eerie vibe. It’s a relatively straightforward DIY kit, so let your creativity shine in the decorations.
The green icing pen can create oozing slimy walls or write out ominous messages, candy bones can line the foundation, and the round sprinkles can act as crooked shingles. However you choose to decorate, it’s sure to be a hair-raising treat.
Price at time of publish: $25
Best Value: Create-a-Treat Chocolaty Haunted Houses 2 Pack
It’s a great activity for couples, families, or a pair of friends enjoying the holiday.
In general, Halloween gingerbread house kits are fairly affordable. That said, it’s always nice to get two for the price of one. Create-a-Treat has a fantastic two-pack for just $30. It’s a great activity for couples, families, or a pair of friends enjoying the holiday.
The kit includes pumpkin gumballs, candy corn, mini bead sprinkles, and fondant for candy decorations. There are also pre-made icing pouches with two decorative piping tips and a couple of purple-tinted-icing pens for detailed work.
Price at time of publish: $30
Includes: Chocolate cookie panels, candy corn, sprinkle beads, pumpkin gumballs, fondant, icing (purple, orange), 2 decorating tips
Best Variety Pack: Circle of Drink Halloween Chocolate Cookie Decorating Kits
This pack includes four separate kits–great for a Halloween party or family activity.
They say that variety is the spice of life, so how about a variety of Halloween cookies to decorate? This pack includes four separate kits–great for a Halloween party or family activity. One kit features a haunted house, complete with bats, spiders, and owls in candy form. The spooky graveyard kit has cookie headstones and a crooked mansion with icing to hold it all together.
In addition to decorating cookie houses, you can also decorate cookie monsters. There are a number of gooey gumdrops and popping candy sugar flakes to make all sorts of goblins and ghouls. Last, but certainly not least: What Halloween celebration is complete without a witch’s brew? The final kit has enough supplies to make three bubbling cauldron cookies.
Price at time of publish: $50
Includes: 4 chocolate cookie decorating kits (Halloween House, Spooky Graveyard, Popping Candy Monsters, Popping Candy Witches Brew)
Best Cake Pan: Nordic Ware Nonstick Aluminium Haunted Manor Bundt Pan
When we tested Nordic Ware's holiday gingerbread house bundt pan, we were blown away.
If you want a true DIY experience, you’ve gotta make everything yourself. This 10-cup bundt pan from Nordic Ware is shaped like a creepy manor, the kind that sits up on a lonely hill and is 100 percent haunted. The details are incredible, from the round pumpkins lining the foundation to the cobwebs and cracked stone facade.
The great thing about making your own cake house is that you have total control over flavor preference. Will you stick with a ginger cake or expand into pumpkin spice territory? Classic chocolate is always a solid choice, especially if you want to bake with kiddos. You also get to be really creative in terms of decoration. You can make your own royal icing, add your favorite candies, or even make separate gingerbread cookie denizens to haunt the baked manor.
When we tested Nordic Ware's holiday gingerbread house bundt pan, we were blown away. We used thisgingerbread house dough recipe and doubled it, filling up the pan about 3/4 of the way full. After we took it out of the oven, we let it cool for three to four hours because it was so dense, but then it released easily and we were able to decorate it with our own frosting and candies. In the end, we were really impressed with both the looks and taste.
Price at time of publish: $36
Material: Nonstick cast aluminum | Capacity: 10 cups | Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.9 x 5.4 inches
Best Pre-Made: Williams Sonoma Halloween Gingerbread House
The professionally decorated house has neat rows of orange icing and candy decor, as well.
Want someone to do everything for you? Get right to the good stuff with a premade gingerbread house. Williams Sonoma has a gorgeous, fully-assembled haunted house complete with a wailing ghost, grinning jack-o-lantern, and some mischievous bats. The professionally decorated house has neat rows of orange icing and candy decor, as well.
While you can absolutely opt for the standard “Happy Halloween” sign above the cookie door, there’s also an option to personalize it with a phrase or name of your own (up to nine characters total). Order whenever you want or select the delivery date for Halloween itself. This picturesque haunted house can serve as a stunning centerpiece for horrifying hangouts or ghoulish get-togethers.
Price as time of publish: $70
Includes: Hand-decorated gingerbread house, 2 cookies, assorted candies
For a spooky yet picturesque haunted gingerbread house with plenty of candy decorations, we highly recommend the Williams Sonoma DIY Halloween Haunted House Kit. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, Create-a-Treat’s Chocolaty Haunted Houses has two sets for the price of one.
What to Look for in a Halloween Gingerbread House Kit
Ingredients and Materials
Despite the wide variety of gingerbread house kits out there, most will have several key ingredients or materials in common—namely the cookie panels that make up the house and some icing to glue everything together. Many kits, if not most, will also have some candy to act as decorations.
What sets certain kits apart from the others is the extras. Some kits have handy building mats that will keep the cookie panels sturdy during construction. Some will have extra icing in multiple colors or food gel pens for detailed decorative work or writing. There are kits that provide a ton of assorted candies and others that have bonus gingerbread people. It’s worth shopping around to find a kit that impresses you.
Poorly written instructions can be worse than having no instructions at all. Many gingerbread house kits will have step-by-step directions printed on the back of the box, so it’s worth clicking through the sample photos to take a peek at them. Are the instructions easy to follow? Are there accompanying pictures for visual aid? You can also quickly check the customer reviews to see if people praise or criticize the included instructions.
Level of Difficulty
Some haunted gingerbread house kits are fairly straightforward and simple, while others have a multitude of parts and decorative elements that’s much more advanced. Try to find a kit that suits your needs, whether that’s a basic house for entertaining kids or a more detailed kit perfect for a spooky date night.
A ton of the appeal for making a gingerbread house comes from the building and decoration itself, but eating it afterwards is also a treat. Therefore, it’s worthwhile choosing a kit that includes flavors you enjoy. Despite being called a “gingerbread” house, not all the cookie panels are necessarily ginger-flavored. In fact, many of the Halloween house kits feature chocolate cookies instead. Just try not to eat all the included candies before you’re finished building the house.
It may also be worth nothing that some gingerbread houses aren’t up to par for eating, whether they’re too hard or just don’t taste very good. Make sure to check the reviews to see if other people enjoyed the experience of eating it, and if so, check on how long it’s good for after opening.
Can you eat gingerbread house kits?
Much like the candy house in the classic Hansel and Gretel fairytale, gingerbread houses are tempting enough to eat. And for the most part, yes, gingerbread houses are fully edible. However, some kits may include inedible parts, such as cardboard figures or a plastic base. Some retailers also sell gingerbread houses that are purely decorative, made of plastic or porcelain. Double check all the elements before allowing kids to devour their cookie creations. And watch out for any hungry witches while building your own candy house.
Do gingerbread house kits expire?
Like any other food-based item, gingerbread kits do expire. That said, these kits tend to have a long shelf life. Some stay good for up to a year if stored in a cool, dry place like a pantry. Still, if you want the best-tasting house, it’s better to build (and eat) it right away.
How long do gingerbread house kits last?
Once built, a gingerbread house should be eaten within the week (if not sooner). Any longer than that and the cookies could harden, the icing can dry out, and the candy will grow stale. The kit you order should come with specific information on how soon it should be eaten.
Why Trust the Spruce Eats?
Halloween is Allison Wignall’s absolute favorite holiday. Her apartment is heavily decorated starting October 1 and often lasts well into November. She’s also partial to gingerbread and autumnal spices. Her work has been featured in publications including Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.