At least 3 days in advance: Using Color Flow and patterns, outline with tip 2 and then flow in the following using a cut parchment bag: Make 20 small windows, 8 large windows, 2 doors, 20 sets of small shutters, 8 sets of large shutters. Let pieces set for 2 days, then outline detail on doors using tip 2 and full-strength Color Flow. Using royal icing and pattern, make the following tip 57 fence pieces: four 7 in. lengths, two 6 in. lengths and two 4 1/2 in. lengths. Pipe 30 tip 4 roof points. Using gingerbread and patterns, cut 2nd floor and 3rd floor roof panels and braces; 1st floor back, side and front roof panels and braces. Also cut four 4 1/2 in. squares. Bake all, then immediately re-measure and trim to correct sizes if needed.
A day in advance: Mold candy ghosts; refrigerate until firm and unmold. Tint portion of white candy black using candy color. Using a cut parchment bag, pipe facial features. Draw FoodWriter spider webs and spiders on some windows. Draw lines on shutters. Pipe tip 55 royal icing windowpanes, then outline window frames with tip 57. Set aside. Cover tops of gingerbread roof panels with royal icing and comb swag lines using large-tooth side of decorating comb. Run a spatula along edges to remove excess icing. Let dry. Attach longest edges of braces to backs of roof panels, near top edge of panel; let dry. Thin royal icing and paint pillars. Let dry.
Bake and cool two 10 in. 2-layer tiers (that's 4 layers 2" high each, giving a finished height of 8"), one 8 in. 2-layer tier, and one 6 in. 2-layer tier; ice smooth in buttercream. Assemble and dowel rod the two 10 in. and the 6 in. 2-layer tiers on a same-size cake board. Comb sides of tiers with small-tooth side of Decorating Comb and spray with Color Mist. Dowel rod all tiers and prepare for
stacked construction. Position 13 in. separator plate on top of 10 in. cake, feet facing up. Leave a 1 in. overhang at back, creating a larger overhang at front of the cake. Center 8 in. tier over 10 in. cake. It will rest on back feet of plate. Position 6 in. tier. Position 7 in. separator plate on top, feet facing down, pressing into cake.
Using royal icing, stack the four gingerbread squares together with icing between each square. Attach to top of cake at center of 7 in. separator plate. Position the cookie roof panels on the stacked squares and join the edges with icing. Outline edges with tip 47. Attach the roof panels to 2nd floor and 1st floor cakes, resting at an angle. Outline edges with tip 47.
Using buttercream icing, outline house corners using tip 45. Divide sides of 6 in. tier in half and sides of 8 in. tier in thirds. Pipe tip 47 stripe down sides at division marks. Attach small window in each section with dots of icing. Pipe tip 57 stripes along side of windows and attach small shutters. On 10 in. tier, attach doors, large windows and large shutters. Using tip 3, pipe shells and dot above doors; pipe fleur de lis and scrolls above large windows.
Attach roof points and gumballs to tops of pillars using royal icing. Ice base board smooth and imprint wood planks using edge of plastic ruler. Position pillars and secure with icing. Attach fence pieces with royal icing, placing two 41/2 in. lengths in front, one 7 in. and one 6 in. length on each side and two 7 in. lengths on back. Tint coconut and place around house. Attach candy ghosts with royal icing.
Adding color details to candies makes them more realistic and much more fun! For large areas of color, it's best to paint the melted candy right in the mold before the whole candy is molded using a decorator brush. Or, for very small details like vines, mouths and messages, melted candy should be piped onto molded candies using a parchment bag with a small hole cut in the tip.
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