I’m so excited to share one of my FAVORITE posts of the year. We hosted Blakely’s 4th Annual Gingerbread House Tea Party last weekend. This Christmas tea party always kicks off the magic of the season for us.
There are twinkling lights, gum drops, sweet little giggles, gingerbread houses, sugar cookies, icing and sweets galore!
If you’re new to Pizzazzerie, my Mom is the Gingerbread House QUEEN. She’s been making them – in her same signature style – for over 40 years. She hosted gingerbread house tea parties for me growing up and now we get to do the same for my daughter, Blakely! We started when she and her friends were just 2 years old. It’s our favorite Christmas tradition.
Each year, we try to change up a few elements of the tea party so there is something new for the girls to see. I have the links below for the past years so you can take a look. For example, last year we had personalized gingerbread girl cookies at each place setting. This year, we added mini gingerbread houses and a gingerbread house Christmas tree.
- 3rd Annual Gingerbread House Tea Party
- 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Tea Party
- How to Make Gingerbread Houses (+ VIDEO)
I need to share photos of the 1st annual Gingerbread House Tea Party (on my to-do). The girls were just 2 years old and they all helped decorate one large gingerbread house that we set up in the lobby of a Nashville children’s home to bring some magic to the children.
I’ve shared lots of the details of this year’s Gingerbread House Tea Party so read through if you have questions, but if I don’t answer them then leave me a comment below!
Do you make the gingerbread houses?
The number one question we get asked is whether or not we make the houses. YES! We make semi-homemade gingerbread houses that can withstand lots of royal icing and sweet candies. Over the years, we have found that having the children begin by constructing the houses ends up taking a bit too long and many of the children just want to get right to the fun part – DECORATING their gingerbread houses.
We have a FULL Gingerbread House tutorial + Royal Icing Recipe + Measurements in this post here! So many of you have shared pictures of the houses you’ve made following our tutorial – we love it!
So my Mom has always made these houses with graham crackers and thick, ruffled royal icing. They’re ready to decorate when the girls arrive!
We purchased about several of these icing decorating tool from Amazon to use for these houses. They work well and can withstand the thick royal icing for these houses! I HIGHLY recommend using this tool as the plastic piping bag is just too messy for the job. We quickly refilled these with extra icing (that we keep in the kitchen covered with a damp cloth) whenever anyone ran out of icing.
Where did you get the party invitations?
This year’s Gingerbread House Tea Party invitations came from Dixie Design. We embellished each one with a tiny red bow!
Down the center of the table, we place lots of pink nutcrackers, trees, pink and red rose and a larger gingerbread house on a pink cake stand! We also added a pink buffalo check ribbon (here’s a similar runner) down the center as a sort of table runner for a pop of pattern.
We also use weave these twinkle lights throughout the table! They’re not too warm white or cool white, they’re just perfect, and their battery pack is small so it’s easy to hide. There are 6 in a pack, and I use them in her room when the party is over. I LOVE THEM!
Each girl has her own house to decorate. We always place the larger houses on a decorative paper plate. We had extra of these gingerbread house plates, but it appears they are no longer made. I even tried to each out to the company, but no luck. I will keep looking, however! A solid pink or red, striped, polka dot or other fun pattern would do the trick as well!
They help keep things organized because they keep candy on the plate and off the floor. Any candy that falls off the house usually lands on the plate. It’s just a much easier method than putting the houses directly on the table! Plus, they’re cute!
Mini Gingerbread Houses
This year we added a sweet “mini” gingerbread house (perfect for their dolls) on a cute pink cake stand! We have Blakely’s now sitting with her pink nutcracker collection in her room! We made the houses in a similar fashion to the larger ones. Instead of graham crackers, we used these petite buerre biscuits. You could use a similar type of “tea cookie” as well.
We used mini candies and cut gumdrops in half to make smaller versions for these sweet mini houses. We also used a smaller icing tip to achieve the same ruffled edges as the larger trees. A small pink bow on top is the finishing touch!
Candy Tips for Gingerbread Houses
True candy canes and peppermints can often “drool” the red color because of humidity, so we usually opt for other candies (more in the video) that withhold the air better since many of the girls like to display their houses throughout the season.
I share a FULL CANDY LIST in our gingerbread house video post! I also have a few of my favorite candy finds in my Amazon list here! There you’ll also find links to the cute pink and white striped marshmallows and pink shimmer gum-balls that we have every year! They are definitely the most popular candies for decorating!
We choose lots of pink and pastel candies to match our pink color scheme. You can certainly recreate this with traditional red and green candies. You can stick to one color scheme or go all out for a multi-colored house! Sprinkles are also a fun addition, and we add them to the roofs of each house!
We love to place a big ribbon bow on top of each house! We also make small bows to pass out to the kids to add to their houses. Tiny decorative ornaments from craft stores (mini snowmen, Santas, trees, etc) are also fun to pass out. The possibilities here are infinite and your imagination will kick in as you play around with different ideas!
Gingerbread House Christmas Tree
This year, we added a sweet Gingerbread House Christmas Tree to greet all the party guests as they walked in the front door. The tree was full of mini gingerbread houses (just like the ones at each girl’s place setting) along with gum drops, peppermints, candy canes and lots of darling pink bows!
The girls ADORED the tree, and we look forward to adding a few new ideas to the tree next Christmas! You can find our exact alpine-style tree here. We find the airy-ness of the tree allows for the gingerbread houses to hang more easily than a full Christmas tree.
Where are the tables & chairs from?
For the little tables, I love the play tables from Pottery Barn Kids. I actually shoot most of my recipe photos on one that I leave in my office. I let Blakely have another as a “play table”. The little chairs are from Chiavari Chair Co. and we use them a few times of year, and they stack easily.
After the girls finish decorating their gingerbread houses, they are always excited to get fruit tea and lots of sweet and yummy goodies in the dining room! We always include my Mom’s fudge recipe, ham biscuits, sausage balls, chocolate cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes and more!
There we have it! I hope you’re inspired to throw your own gingerbread house tea party this year!
Thank you to Evin Photography for so many of these magical photos!