How to Dress Up Your Holiday Gingerbread Man

How to Dress Up Your Holiday Gingerbread Man
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How to Dress Up Your Holiday Gingerbread Man

Want to learn a few new tricks for dressing up your gingerbread man or woman? Click through the slideshow.

The Dough

As with every story, there’s a beginning, and the gingerbread man’s starts with his dough. Our gingerbread recipe relies on much more than ginger, calling for spices like nutmeg, ground cloves, and even a little black pepper to make sure that the cookies are extra flavorful.

Credit: Emily Jacobs

The Shape

A gingerbread man wouldn’t be a gingerbread man without his globe-shaped head and bulky arms and legs. While unique and unconventional cutters exist, our gingerbread men show up for the party looking as traditional as possible.

Credit: Emily Jacobs

Traditional Gingerbread Men

The most traditional way of decorating a gingerbread man is with icing. We mixed confectioner’s sugar with a little water and food coloring to design his getup for this one, and you’ll see that icing was a common addition to many of his other outfits.

Credit: Emily Jacobs

Black Tie Gingerbread Men

These gingerbread men in tuxes are ready for any black-tie occasion. For chocolate lovers, we used mini chocolate chips to button up one man, while the other’s suspenders are made of black licorice.

Credit: Emily Jacobs

Fruity Gingerbread Men

For a healthy twist, we chose to make this gingerbread man’s buttons out of raisins, providing a sweet burst of freshness alongside the smoky flavors of the gingerbread.

Credit: Emily Jacobs

Gingerbread Man and His Girl

It’s date night, and we chose to decorate our gingerbread girl with a pretty red bow to match her dress. Our man is outfitted with mini M&M's, colorful green icing for a collar, and chocolate sprinkles for his hair.

Credit: Emily Jacobs

Round Candy Route

The greatest thing about decorating gingerbread men is that pretty much every round candy works. Here, we played around with a few varieties, like gum drops and cinnamon candies, to outfit our men, and got creative with the icing for their collars and cuffs.

Credit: Emily Jacobs

Date Night #2

Date #2. A night out!

Credit: Emily Jacobs

Rules to Remember

No matter what materials you choose, decorating gingerbread men can be as fun if not more fun than baking them. Always remember to give them a smile and make sure they have some female company along for the ride, too.

Credit: Emily Jacobs


The gingerbread man has long been a staple of holiday baking traditions. In 1875, the sugary figurine was first introduced to holiday traditions through a fairytale published in St. Nicholas magazine, where he was depicted as a sought-after treat that eventually met its demise by way of a hungry fox. Throughout the years, the gingerbread man's taunting phrase about catching him has followed him from holiday table to holiday table, and he remains a hallmark of festive holiday decorations today.

How to Dress Up Your Holiday Gingerbread Man

Nowadays, the gingerbread man's story is not as damning as it once was, but he still makes a delicious treat at a tree-trimming or holiday party. While his fate remains the same as it did in 1875 (you're not going to be able to resist eating him, after all), decorating him has become one of the most important and fun parts of his tradition.

This year, we're showing you how to dapper-up your gingerbread man for the holiday. From icing and toppings to themes and design, we've come up with some of our favorite ways to decorate a gingerbread man. For the married couple, a gingerbread man would not be complete without his woman, and for the heat-seekers, cinnamon candies make a spicy and colorful way to button up his shirt. We cover these decorations and more for your gingerbread man so that when you finally catch him, he'll look and taste good.

Want to learn a few new tricks for dressing up your gingerbread man or woman? Check out the slideshow above.
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