Here at How To Cake It we are lucky to have an incredible roster of dessert artists working with us to teach live baking tutorials, create digital activity books and share their passion and expertise with all of you. This month cookie artist extraordinaire Megan Warne, aka @downtowndoughto shares four tips for taking your gingerbread to the next level.
The holiday season is full of traditions, but there’s no reason those traditions can’t incorporate some fun new updates. Gingerbread men are iconic- cute and full of warm, toasty winter flavors. But classic gingerbread men cookies are a little played out, and to be honest...a little basic. So I wanted to let ya know about a few of my top tricks I use to create gingerbread people that go far beyond a few squiggles of white icing and a couple buttons. These aren’t your grandma’s gingerbread men. Unless your grandma is a next level cookie artist, that is. I cannot wait to see what you come up with!
This is one of the easiest ways to instantly customize your gingerbread dudes and infuse them with personality. It’s wild how much a tilted head or outstretched arm can change the whole vibe. Either cut out a classic gingerbread man and adjust its position before baking or create a template to hand cut around to give your cookies a little more character. Creating your own templates also allows you more freedom to make your gingerbread a wide variety of body shapes and sizes. If you’re feeling ambitious you can make a whole family, maybe even modeled after your own.
Break away from typical decorative piping, and give your gingerbread family full on outfits! This is another opportunity to customize them with outfits your family actually wears, or let your creativity go wild. I’m def a fan of dressing them up in warm cozy outfits like xmas sweaters, puffy winter jackets and knitted hats. But you do you! If you’d rather dress them up in summery beach fit’s, go for it! You can still pull in those classic elements around the hands and feet for a super cute finished product with a nod to tradition.
Hair is such a huge part of our look- so why shouldn’t our gingerbread get hair of their own? Create hair dos and accessories for your gingerbread people by using royal icing transfers! Just print out or draw a template, place a sheet of plastic (like a sandwich bag, or acetate sheet) over top and pipe away! Let dry overnight and you can use these like giant sprinkles for decorating your cookies. This is a fun way to make your cookies seem a little larger than life, and to have hair and accessories that expand past the limit of the cookie itself.
Little touches like rosy cheeks can go a long way to giving your gingerbread folks some extra personality. Treating each cookie like it’s own character and mapping out different outfits, hair, and finishing touches will make your collection feel unique. And everything looks cute in gingerbread format! Gingerbread people with masks on? Adorable. A gingerbread lumberjack? Stop it! Let your creativity go wild and make a whole community of gingerbread citizens that everyone will be talking about foreverrrrr!