The Best And Worst Gingerbread House Kits, According To Customers

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As you look at the mess of icing and gingerbread lying before you that should have been a cookie house, you may think to yourself, this was supposed to be fun. Yes, too many have been traumatized after they tried to put together a gingerbread house that keeps falling apart and doesn't even come with nearly enough candy decorations. But do not give up on the dream of making the perfect Hallmark-style gingerbread house just yet. All you have to do to avoid a gingerbread house "Nightmare Before Christmas" (and not the fun kind with the skeleton) is buy the right kit. We've compiled a list of the season's best and worst edible cookie structures to ensure that taking part in this holiday tradition is stress and tear-free.

We based our list on customer reviews that detailed if the houses in question were easy to assemble, came with all their parts, and were tasty or tasteless — and while not a part of the judging, we also noted each gingerbread kit's price (which varies by region). Let's take a look at the gingerbread houses that belong in fairy tales ... and nightmares.

Worst: Paw Patrol Gingerbread Pup House

As the song goes, "The Paw Patrol is there on the double whenever there's a problem." But not even cute little pups dressed as everyday superheroes can save you from the atrocity that is the Paw Patrol Gingerbread Pup House kit. Costing $5.85 a pop, this cute-looking and trauma-causing gingerbread house features plastic cut-out versions of everyone's favorite animated canine heroes and link-and-lock gingerbread house pieces that are supposed to make the whole assembly process as easy as pie. Maybe this edible pup house would be a breeze to put together if its pieces didn't come broken.

Yep, while some gingerbread house kits come pre-assembled, according to customers, the Paw Patrol Gingerbread Pup House kit's parts are likely to come pre-destroyed. One reviewer reported they bought four, four boxes of this kit, and every single one's gingerbread house parts were split into pieces. However, even if the kit's "link and lock" walls are intact, other reviewers reported the pre-made icing it comes with is so questionably thick they didn't even believe it was actual icing. And lest we forget, some customers found that the kit's Paw Patrol cutouts were MIA. No matter how hard your kid begs, we highly suggest you stand your ground on not buying this one. Assembling the Paw Patrol Gingerbread Pup House kit will lead to more tears than refusing to put it in your shopping cart.

Best: Barbie Cookie Dreamhouse

With the Barbie Cookie Dreamhouse kit, you too can have a girls' night every night — and you don't have to sacrifice your blood pressure to do it. This edible mansion is everything the Paw Patrol catastrophe wishes it could be. Coming with pink and blue icing, an array of colorful and Barbie-approved candy, and a figure of the queen of playtime herself (plus her dog and her bestie Christie), customers report that Barbie's cookie house will make you want to say, "Come on Barbie, let's go party."

According to reviews, Barbie's Dreamhouse is very easy to build and, once its icing dries, actually stays together. As one would expect from Ms. Barbie, this kit builds a pretty sizable cookie house and also comes with plenty of decorations for pink beautification. As a bonus, customers report the house is as simple to assemble as it is delicious to eat — one reviewer went as far as to say the walls tasted like freshly bakery-quality cookies. At a price point of $25.99, the Barbie Cookie Dreamhouse kit affirms that Barbie can do anything.

Worst: M&S Gingerbread Bus

The M&S Gingerbread Bus kit is an adorable concept. How darling is a little gingerbread cookie double-decker bus? And it truly would be the belle of the Christmas ball — if you could actually assemble this kit's pieces.

Customers report this would-be gingerbread house on wheels comes with warped cookie parts that will not fit together. And even if you do manage to manhandle the mismatched bus's cookie sections together, the icing in the kit isn't solid enough. Basically, you have to pay an outrageous $24.99 to do what is essentially the equivalent of trying to build a puzzle composed of a bunch of pieces that don't fit together. No wonder this gingerbread bus has an underwhelming (to the point of almost impressive) 1.3 stars on Target's website. As one reviewer on the same grocer's online forum aptly put it, "Do not waste your money, blood, or tears on this mess of gingerbread bus."

Best: M&M's Gingerbread Stadium Cookie Kit

We can only assume the M&M's Gingerbread Stadium Cookie Kit came to be after a bunch of the brand's executives had a little too much fun playing paper football during a holiday meeting. But despite its outlandish concept (Seriously, a cookie stadium? Why?), M&M's edible sports arena is high-quality and full of fun, and (thanks to costing only $3.24) a good deal of a product.

Customers report M&M's tasty football field (or soccer field, depending on how you choose to decorate it) comes with all its advertised parts and even has different types of colored powder that sports fans can use to dye the icing the colors of their favorite team. However, the main thing this stadium has going for it is that it's ridiculously easy to put together. As one customer noted, because the kit's walls don't want to drift apart like two passing ships in the night, this M&M's gingerbread set is easier to build than your usual gingerbread house. So even if you're not a sports fan, the M&M's Gingerbread Stadium Cookie Kit may be the best shot you have at a no-stress gingerbread-building experience.

Worst: Swiss Miss Chocolate Flavored Cookie Mini House Kit

If any brand is going to make a quality home for the tasty folks of the gingerbread community, you'd think it'd be Swiss Miss, a company whose name is synonymous with the hot chocolate that fuels the holidays. Whelp, unfortunately for us (and gingerbread homeowners) Swiss Miss is only good at making one thing — and it's not gingerbread.

The $6.98 Swiss Miss Chocolate Flavored Cookie Mini House Kit comes with chocolate-flavored cookie walls and marshmallows, but according to traumatized customers, its aforementioned chocolate cookie pieces often come broken or, even worse, crumbled to the point that not even super gluing the parts back together (hey, we've all been there, icing only goes so far) can save them. So if you're looking for a chocolatey treat of gingerbread kit, skip Swiss Miss and seek out one of the two chocolaty (and structurally sound) gingerbread houses on this list that we and Santa give a thumbs up to.

Best: Hershey's Chocolate Cookie Kit House

Now that we've booed Swiss Miss's chocolate gingerbread house off the stage, everyone welcome the first of two chocolate gingerbread houses in our "best" category: the Hershey's Chocolate Cookie Kit House. Costing $18.00, Hershey's version of a classic gingerbread kit comes with materials to build a full-sized chocolate cookie house, a cookie tree to spruce up the place, and a cookie person to pay the rent. The candy decorations also feature the brand's famous chocolates, making it arguably the tastiest gingerbread house on the list. Customers report that Hershey's chocolate cookie house is fun to eat and build.

Reviewers note that the house is simple to put together, with one customer on Walmart's website even going as far as to vouch that it was, "the easiest house to get to stand up that we've ever built." Aside from its easy-breezy assembly, Hershey's cookie house kit also doesn't skimp on the chocolate, and decorators found their kit came with a generous amount of treats to use for decoration — which is a good thing because if you buy this kit you'll be doing some eating while decorating. And isn't that what Christmas is all about?

Worst: Freshness Guaranteed Christmas Gingerbread House Kit

Alright, if you have to put "freshness guaranteed" in your product name, you've already raised our suspicions. According to customers, our inherent distrust of the Freshness Guaranteed Christmas Gingerbread House Kit is well warranted. With a whopping 2.4 stars on Walmart's website, this classic-style gingerbread house is plagued by a Grinch's worth of problems.

Customers report this house's candy and gingerbread are (of course) terribly stale and horrific tasting. Plus, the cookie house's roof is designed in such a way that the "E-Z Build Roof Holder" the kit comes with doesn't even make contact with it. Oh, but the kit's problems just keep coming. Reviewers also note that this gingerbread house's white hard candies outnumber its colorful ones — which is a major problem, since, as one customer pointed out, the white candies get lost in the color of the white icing. And speaking of icing, reviewers also report that this gingerbread house kit's frosting doesn't solidify enough to hold the house together.

One horrified customer reported that a slew of kids and adults tried and failed to keep this gingerbread kit's pieces from falling apart. So not only will Freshness Guaranteed Christmas Gingerbread House Kit's bits not hold up, but you can't even enjoy its stale-tasting ruins. Please save your time, your $9.87, and your sanity, and don't buy this gingerbread house.

Best: Oreo Arctic Cookie Kit Skating Rink

We told you there were two high-quality chocolate gingerbread kits on the market, didn't we? Yep, the Oreo Arctic Cookie Kit Skating Rink is here to give Hershey's chocolate-filled winter wonderland a run for its money. Costing $12.98 per kit, Oreo's tasty DIY skating rink is admittedly kind of a cop-out because it involves decorating a skate rental shack, not an ice rink, alongside some chocolate cookie penguins and Christmas trees. But aside from not involving decorating an actual skating rink (and to be fair, how fun could decorating an icy circle be?) customers report that assembling and decorating Oreo's Arctic "Skating Rink" is good (and stress-free) holiday fun.

This cookie kit has all the usual marks of greatness (it's easy to assemble and comes with all its advertised parts). But aside from not having misshapen or missing pieces, Oreo's answer to the classic gingerbread house is also aggressively Oreo-flavored. And we mean that in the best way. According to customers, the kit has Oreo creme icing that truly tastes like enjoying the inside of the famous cookie and makes the whole house smell like a chocolatey Oreo dream. As one customer wrote on Walmart's website, when it came to putting this kit together, "the hardest part was trying to keep the kids from eating it while they were supposed to be decorating!"

Worst: Favorite Day Featherly Friends Gingerbread Kit

Do not let its name fool you — this bird-inspired gingerbread kit is not filled with featherly friends but enemies. Sold under Target's in-house brand Favorite Day, the Featherly Friends Gingerbread Kit costs $15, features feather-inspired hard candies and edible bird figurines, and is regarded by one frustrated customer on Target's website as a "wild ride of a product."

Several reviewers found that their kits didn't include all of their advertised pieces — namely, in one sad customer's case, the candy birds. But even customers whose kits contained all the gingerbread birdhouse's fixings reported it was almost impossible to put together due to its strange design. For some unknown reason, this gingerbread house's front door is composed of two different pieces, making it needlessly difficult to assemble. And it doesn't help that the icing you're supposed to use to cement the house into place is so chunky one reviewer likened it to cottage cheese. So merrymakers, avoid this fowl gingerbread house like black licorice.

Best: Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle Cookie Kit

At a price point of $30.51, the Hogwarts Castle Cookie Kit is one of the McMansions of the gingerbread house world, because, as customers attest, cookie Harry, Ron, and Hermione (who the kit comes with) have a huge edible Hogwarts school to manage mischief in.

According to reviewers, on account of its being a literal castle, the Harry Potter Build Your Own Hogwarts Castle Cookie Kit has lots of parts to decorate and plenty of hard candies and usable (what a concept) icing to decorate them with — which makes this cookie castle the perfect thing for a big family or a group of friends to put together. And don't fret — even though this kit looks like it'd be complicated to assemble, customers also report this edible Hogwarts is surprisingly easy to put together. Making this Harry Potter cookie kit, in the words of one reviewer and Harry Potter super fan on Walmart's website, is a holiday activity that "Even Dumbledore will approve!"

Worst: Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Cottage Kit

It is with great sadness in our hearts we have to say, "Et tu, Toll House? "In a similar vein to the Swiss Miss chocolate house kit, the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Cottage Kit (which is not produced by Toll House but instead by a company called "Bee") sounds like the embodiment of edible Christmas magic. Aside from having wonderful taste potential, this cookie house, which costs $11.48 and comes with chocolate morsels (as it should), has a special "link and lock" design that's supposed to make building it a breeze. But here's the thing — special jigsaw edges aren't going to make a gingerbread house easier to build if the pieces themselves are malformed — as customers attest to.

Alas, reviewers report the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Cottage's sides barely fit together and the icing the kit comes with is as runny as it is horrible tasting, so it does very little to keep the house from falling apart. One reviewer on Walmart's website described a particularly emotional scene of trying to put this cookie house together, reporting that when they attempted to assemble the cookie cottage, "The icing ran down and pooled together and then the 'cottage' fell leaving a huge mess." To make matters more tragic, in a strange twist of fate, customers report the Nestle Toll House Cookie Cottage's chocolate chip cookie pieces don't even taste good.

Best: Trader Joe's Gingerbread House Kit

Wait...Trader Joe's makes a gingerbread house? Yep — not only does the grocer beloved by Gen Z, New Yorkers, and vegans make a gingerbread house kit, but it's triangular, comes with animal figures made out of sugar, and has got to be the best gingerbread house $8.99 can buy.

IIt is important to note that the icing in this kit isn't pre-made. Instead, it comes with a frosting base that you mix together yourself. However, while DIYing icing is an extra step of preparation, this aspect of TJ's gingerbread house kit is ultimately a plus, not a minus. Because, according to reviewers, the egg whites and lemon juice you need to use to whip up this kit's icing make it as strong as sugary steel — so your house will be held firmly in place. And, if you're interested in actually eating your gingerbread cottage, reviewers also report that TJ's triangular take on this Christmas staple has all the tasty flavor a merrymaker could ever want. So if you want to get some real bang for your buck, you'll for sure need to take Trader Joe's gingerbread house (and its candy animal friends) home for the holidays.

Worst: Tootsie Roll Holiday Gingerbread Cottage Kit

Next up is a kit ranked as a one-star wonder on Walmart's website: the Tootsie Roll Holiday Gingerbread Cottage Kit. This quaint cookie house is also made by Bee, the same brand that puts out the equally horrible Nestle Toll House Cookie Cottage Kit.

The Tootsie Roll Gingerbread Kit is priced at $13.99 and you can decorate it with the Tootsie Company's most famous candies, including Dots and Double Bubble gum. As expected, the gingerbread house has the same accursed problems as its Toll House Cookie cousin, but it also features some exciting new issues.

The kit has jigsaw sides and, according to customers, this house's "easy lock and link" pieces don't fit together at all. Plus, the icing is equally as useless here as in Bee's other kit. Aside from being near impossible to assemble, reviewers report the Tootsie Roll Holiday Cottage Kit is also missing most of its featured candy components. One even stated there's didn't come with any Tootsie Rolls — which in our book, is unforgivable. We are sorry Tootsie and Bee, but your horrible gingerbread house has sealed your fate. You guys are getting coal this year.

Best: Create-A-Treat Easy Build Gingerbread Houses 2 Pack

While themed gingerbread kits are fun to dabble in, nothing quite beats assembling a good old-fashioned gingerbread house like Santa intended. The Create-A-Treat Easy Build Gingerbread Houses 2 Pack is one of the best cookie kits for Christmas gingerbread building. Seriously — this kit has almost 5 stars on BJ's website.

Customers gush that this traditional gingerbread kit comes with plenty of ready-to-use icing and classic gingerbread candy for building two glorious gingerbread houses at a very reasonable price point of $13.99. Plus, these gingerbread cottages are easy to assemble. Many reviewers reported their young children (including a daycare's worth of eager little elves) had no issues putting these houses together and decorating them — we're sure — with an artist's finesse. With all its parts accounted for and its walls' ability to stay together after its been iced up, the Create-A-Treat Easy Build Gingerbread Houses 2 Pack is a great choice for those on a budget with little patience and a dire need to build two gingerbread houses.

Worst: Dancing Deer Baking Co. Gingerbread Cookie House

This gingerbread kit proves that just because something is more expensive, that does not mean it is good. The Dancing Deer Baking Co., a bakery that specializes in making fresh, preservative-free goods, sells a Gingerbread Cookie House kit that costs nearly $40 and doesn't even have an actual gingerbread house. Yes, we know you're wondering how that is possible.

The thing is, the "ginger" in this kit's name comes from the fact it features gingerbread cookies you use to decorate the plastic house-looking box the said cookies come in ... and that's it. That's all this kit relies on. There's not even any extra candy decorations or anything. And if slapping icing and cookies on a box didn't sound horrible enough, this, as one Amazon reviewer wrote, this "anthesis of a gingerbread house's" assembly is really difficult. According to customers, the icing takes hours to firm up and your gingerbread cookies are very likely to slink off the plastic house. Yeah — we honestly don't know how Dancing Deer Baking Co. is still selling this gingerbread house of horrors or why it keeps the price of disappointment so high.

Best: Williams Sonoma Gingerbread House

While Harry Potter's gingerbread castle may be considered the winner of the best themed gingerbread houses category, the Williams Sonoma Gingerbread House kit is in the running for the title of the ultimate classic gingerbread house set.

Like Bee's many failing gingerbread houses, this kit's gingerbread pieces are made to interlock, however, unlike the aforementioned brand, reviewers report William's Sonoma's cookie cottage's sides fit effortlessly into each other, making this an easy kit to assemble. Also, as one would expect from a company specializing in home products, customers have gushed that this fanciful gingerbread kit comes with lots of beautiful candies, including ones shaped like lights and stars to place across the house's roof to help light gingerbread Santa's way. Plus, this kit allows you to DIY your own icing so you don't have to worry about dealing with any of the less-than-solid pre-made stuff.

So although it costs $29.95 (which is almost $10 less than the ginger....thing that the Dancing Deer's Baking Co is selling), for its timeless elegance and easy assembly, the Williams Sonoma Gingerbread House kit is well worth every holly jolly penny.