How to Decorate a Gingerbread Man Cake

Are you looking for a fun and festive cake to make for the holiday season? In this blog post, we will show you how to decorate a gingerbread man cake that is sure to impress your guests. Whether you’re an experienced baker or just starting out, this step-by-step guide will help you create a beautiful and delicious cake that everyone will love.

Before we get started on the decorating process, it’s important to gather all the necessary ingredients and tools. We’ll provide you with a detailed list and tips on where to find specific items to make the process as seamless as possible.

In addition to listing the ingredients and tools needed, we’ll also provide you with step-by-step instructions on baking the gingerbread man cake from scratch. This way, you can ensure that your cake not only looks amazing but tastes delicious too. So, let’s dive in and get started on creating your very own gingerbread man cake.

Ingredients and Tools


To decorate a gingerbread man cake, you will need the following ingredients: cake mix (or ingredients to make a homemade cake), buttercream frosting, royal icing, assorted food coloring, and various decorations such as sprinkles, candies, and edible glitter.


In addition to the ingredients, you will also need some tools to help you decorate your gingerbread man cake. These include a piping bag and various tips for creating different designs with the frosting and icing. You may also want to have small spatulas or knives for spreading the frosting and icing on the cake. Other useful tools include toothpicks for adding small details and a turntable for easy access to all sides of the cake while decorating.

Additional Items

Depending on the specific design you have in mind for your gingerbread man cake, consider additional items such as cookie cutters or stencils for creating specific shapes or patterns on the cake. Edible markers can also be helpful for adding fine details to your decorations.

Now that you have gathered all of your ingredients and tools, it’s time to move on to baking the gingerbread man cake.

Baking the Cake

Before you can start decorating your gingerbread man cake, you need to bake a delicious and moist cake to serve as the base. Follow these step-by-step instructions to bake the perfect gingerbread man cake:


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup hot water


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease and flour a gingerbread man-shaped cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract and molasses.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, alternating with hot water until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Now that you have successfully baked your gingerbread man cake, it’s time to let it cool completely before moving on to prepping and decorating it.

Remember to follow these steps carefully for best results when trying how to decorate a gingerbread man cake.

Prepping the Cake

When it comes to decorating a gingerbread man cake, proper preparation of the cake itself is essential for a beautiful and successful outcome. There are several tips and techniques that can help ensure that your cake is ready to be decorated in the best possible way.

Leveling the Cake

Before you begin decorating, it’s important to level the cake to create a smooth and even surface. This can be done using a long serrated knife or a cake leveler. Simply place the knife or leveler horizontally on top of the cake and carefully slice off any uneven or domed areas until you have a completely flat top.

Crumb Coating

Applying a crumb coat is another important step in preparing the cake for decorating. A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting or icing that is applied to the outside of the cake to seal in any loose crumbs.

This helps create a smooth base for adding additional layers of frosting and decorations. To crumb coat your gingerbread man cake, simply spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire surface of the cake and refrigerate it for 15-20 minutes until the frosting is firm.

Chilling the Cake

Chilling the cake before decorating can also make the process easier and more successful. After leveling and crumb coating your cake, place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow it to firm up. A chilled cake is less likely to crumble or break when you are adding frosting and decorations, making it easier to work with.

Taking these steps to properly prepare your gingerbread man cake will set you up for success when it comes time to decorate. With a leveled, crumb coated, and chilled cake, you’ll have a solid foundation for applying frosting, icing, and all of those delightful details that will bring your gingerbread man cake to life.

Decorating Techniques

Decorating a gingerbread man cake can be a fun and festive way to celebrate the holiday season. There are numerous ways to decorate a gingerbread man cake, and the key is to let your creativity shine. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced baker, there are techniques and styles for everyone to try. In this section, we’ll explore some popular decorating techniques and styles that you can use to make your gingerbread man cake truly special.

One of the most traditional ways to decorate a gingerbread man cake is with classic icing designs. You can use royal icing to create intricate patterns, such as swirls, dots, or zigzags on the surface of the cake. Another option is to use buttercream frosting to pipe out details like eyes, mouth, and buttons in a whimsical design.

If you want to take your decorating skills up a notch, consider using fondant for more detailed designs. Fondant allows you to create three-dimensional decorations such as bows, hats, scarves or other accessories that can really bring your gingerbread man cake to life.

For those who prefer a simpler approach, using cookie cutters to create shapes out of rolled fondant or marzipan is an easy yet effective way to decorate a gingerbread man cake. This technique is great for adding fun and festive shapes like stars or Christmas trees as accents around the cake.

No matter what decorating technique or style you choose, the most important thing is to have fun and let your imagination run wild. Decorating a gingerbread man cake is all about spreading joy and creating memorable moments with family and friends during the holiday season.

Classic icing designsUse royal icing or buttercream frosting for traditional patterns on the cake surface.
Fondant decorationsCreate three-dimensional details like bows, hats or scarves with fondant.
Cookie cutter shapesAdd accents around the cake with shapes made from rolled fondant or marzipan.

Frosting and Icing

One of the most important aspects of decorating a gingerbread man cake is the frosting and icing. The right frosting can make or break the overall look and taste of the cake. There are several different options when it comes to frosting, including buttercream, cream cheese frosting, royal icing, fondant, and more.

How to Make Cake Decorating

Each type of frosting has its own unique properties that can affect the final appearance of the cake. It’s important to choose the best frosting for your design and flavor preferences.

When it comes to making your own frosting, it’s important to follow a good recipe. For buttercream or cream cheese frosting, you’ll need ingredients like butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and cream cheese for a tangy flavor. Royal icing requires egg whites or meringue powder mixed with powdered sugar for a smooth finish. Fondant can be made from scratch using marshmallows and confectioners’ sugar or even purchased ready-made.

Once you have your chosen frosting prepared, applying it to the cake requires some skill and technique. For smoother surfaces like buttercream or cream cheese frosting, a spatula or icing smoother can help achieve a clean finish.

Royal icing can be piped out in intricate designs using piping bags with different tips while fondant can be rolled out and laid over the cake for a smooth canvas. Regardless of which type of frosting you choose, ensuring an even application is key to achieving professional-looking results in decorating your gingerbread man cake.

Adding Details

Adding intricate details to your gingerbread man cake can take it from simple and plain to a stunning, festive centerpiece for any holiday gathering. There are several ways to add these details, depending on your preferred style and the tools you have available. Here are a few techniques that will elevate your gingerbread man cake to the next level.

One of the simplest ways to add details is by using icing or frosting in different colors. Use a piping bag with a small round tip to carefully pipe on eyes, buttons, and other features. You can also use candy pieces or small edible decorations to create these features, simply adhering them to the cake with a bit of icing.

Another option for adding intricate details is by using fondant. Fondant can be rolled out and cut into shapes for things like eyes, mouth, and clothing details. It’s a versatile medium that allows for precise detailing and can be tinted with food coloring to achieve the desired colors.

If you want to get really creative with your gingerbread man cake, consider using edible paints or dusts to add shading and highlights. This can give your decorations a more realistic appearance and really make them pop against the rich color of the cake itself.

By incorporating these techniques, you can transform your gingerbread man cake into a work of art that is sure to impress your friends and family. Experiment with different methods until you find the one that works best for you and fits your personal style. With some patience and practice, you’ll soon be decorating show-stopping gingerbread man cakes that are almost too beautiful to eat.

Final Touches

After successfully baking and decorating your gingerbread man cake, it’s time to add the final touches and present your masterpiece. Adding final touches can make a big difference in the overall look of your cake, so here are some tips to ensure that your gingerbread man cake looks as impressive as possible.

One of the most important final touches for any cake is the presentation. Consider placing your gingerbread man cake on a festive platter or cake stand to make it stand out. You can also enhance the presentation by adding a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a snowy effect or arranging some holiday-themed decorations around the cake.

Another great final touch for your gingerbread man cake is to add some texture and dimension to the design. You can achieve this by using various piping tips to create different patterns on the cake, such as zigzags, lines, or dots. This will give your cake a more professional and polished look.

Finally, consider adding some edible embellishments to your gingerbread man cake. This could include small candies, chocolate shavings, or even fresh fruit. These extra touches not only add visual interest but also provide an extra element of flavor and texture to the cake.

By paying attention to these final touches and presentation ideas, you can elevate your gingerbread man cake from delicious treat to eye-catching centerpiece.

Final Touches TipsPresentation Ideas
Consider using different piping tips for added texture and dimensionPlace the gingerbread man cake on a festive platter or stand for an attractive presentation
Add edible embellishments such as candies, chocolate shavings, or fresh fruitSprinkle powdered sugar for a snowy effect or arrange holiday-themed decorations around the cake


In conclusion, decorating a gingerbread man cake can be a fun and creative activity for anyone to try. It’s a great way to showcase your baking and decorating skills, while also adding a festive touch to any holiday gathering or celebration. Whether you’re an experienced baker or just starting out, the tips and techniques provided in this blog post can help you create a beautifully decorated gingerbread man cake that will impress your friends and family.

Remember, the key to decorating a gingerbread man cake is to have fun and let your creativity shine. Experiment with different frosting and icing designs, add unique details, and don’t be afraid to try new techniques. The possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating a gingerbread man cake, so don’t hesitate to put your own spin on it and make it truly one-of-a-kind.

So go ahead and give it a try. Gather the ingredients and tools, follow the step-by-step instructions for baking and prepping the cake, explore different decorating techniques, use our frosting and icing recipes, add intricate details, and finally, put on those finishing touches.

With the tips provided in this blog post on how to decorate a gingerbread man cake, you’ll be well on your way to creating a stunning dessert that will delight everyone who sees it. Happy decorating.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Use to Decorate a Gingerbread Man?

When decorating a gingerbread man, you can use icing, frosting, candy, sprinkles, and colored sugar to add details. You can get creative with the decorations and make each gingerbread man unique.

Do You Decorate Gingerbread Before or After Baking?

It is best to decorate gingerbread after baking. Once the cookies are completely cooled, you can then decorate them using various ingredients like icing and candy. Decorating before baking may cause the decorations to melt or change shape in the oven.

How Do You Pipe Gingerbread Men?

To pipe gingerbread men, prepare a piping bag with royal icing or other frosting of your choice. Start by outlining the shape of the gingerbread man and then fill in the outline with more frosting to create the desired design. You can also use different tips to create varying textures and shapes for your gingerbread men.

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