How to Decorate Gingerbread Men That Are Almost Too Cute to Eat

There's a lot to love about gingerbread cookies, whether served on their own or as part of a larger gingerbread house project. Either way, these little guys' royal icing smiles and heart-shaped cheeks are the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.

Gingerbread Men

Level: Easy

What You Need


1. Bake the Cookies

Make the gingerbread cookie dough according to your recipe instructions. Roll out the dough and shape the gingerbread men with cookie cutters. Place a jumbo snowflake sprinkle on the gingerbread man's tummy and carefully fold the arms over it.

Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake according to your recipe's directions. Let the gingerbread cookies cool completely.

2. Make the Royal Icing

Mix the royal icing . You should have black and white royal icing in piping consistency, and a spice brown color (mix brown, ivory and red food gels) in piping and flooding consistency.

Pro Tip

You don't have to stick to one gingerbread color. Make a lighter color and a darker color for added personality in your platters.

Place all the icing in piping bags fitted with couplers and a #2 decorating tip.

3. Pipe the Outline

Outline the body and arms with the spice brown icing and let dry. (This will help the icing to stay on the arms without rolling off the sides.)

4. Flood

Flood the body of the gingerbread men cookies with spice brown icing. While it's still wet, add the eyes and mouth with black icing.  

Pro Tip

If you're not comfortable with the wet-on-wet icing technique , you can always wait for the cookie to dry and add the smile and eyes with an edible food-safe marker.

5. Finish the Face

Place a heart sprinkle on each side of the mouth, then let the icing dry completely — this can take up to 24 hours, depending on the humidity of your climate.

6. Add Detail

Once the cookies are completely dry, pipe squiggly lines across the hands and feet of your gingerbread men. Hey there, cuties!

Find Your Next Project

Go all-in on gingerbread this holiday season.

These gingerbread house cookies are fun to bake, decorate, gift ... and SO much easier to eat than their 3D counterparts. (Gotta love that in late December!)
Felicity and Krystle
Miniature gingerbread houses will bring smiles and holiday cheer to faces wherever they go. Make these gingerbread house cake pops for a gathering, or have a gathering to make and decorate these sweet treats! With only four easy steps, these cake pops for Christmas are simple and fun to make for the whole family.
Kris Galicia Brown
If you're not ready to commit to a full-on gingerbread village, get started with a mini gingerbread house cake topper. It's a quick project that will add a festive touch to your favorite cake recipe.
Felicity and Krystle

December 06, 2019
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How to Decorate Gingerbread Men That Are Almost Too Cute to Eat