Gingerbread House Inspiration: Plains, Georgia—Home of Jimmy Carter

Frequent blog readers know that we’re nuts about the holidays here at the National Peanut Board. From DIY Christmas garland and wreaths to cookie swaps and edible gifts, we love coming up with and sharing new ways to enjoy your favorite peanuts and peanut butter this most wonderful time of the year. This year we created a scene inspired by The Peanut President, Jimmy Carter. Read on to find out how we created it and how you can make your own version too!

We started with a bunch of different ideas of how best to represent downtown Plains and the president. Some ideas simply did not work so we tried other ones. As we worked together just like in any team, we discovered our strengths and switched roles and did what felt comfortable. That way we worked faster.

We took six hours total to build the gingerbread house though we used an hour per day to make it more manageable. Below are simple steps you can follow, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to have some fun:


18”x18” wood baseboard
Corn syrup
Cinnamon crunch cereal
Italian seasoning
Chocolate-covered gingerbread sticks
Gingerbread sheets
Royal icing- white
Cupcake icing – green
Cookie icing – green, red and white
Ice cream cones
Coffee grounds
Small hard candies
Licorice – black
In-shell peanuts
Coconut flakes
Peanut butter
Graham crackers
Food-safe marker

 Day 1:
  • Baseboard: Use corn syrup to stick Italian seasoning (grass), crushed peppermints (railroad) and chocolate-coated gingerbread sticks (rail track).
  • Trees: Ice cream cones with green cupcake icing.
  • Attach the gingerbread sheets with royal icing and then let everything dry overnight.
Day 2:
  • Baseboard: Add a dirt road using ground coffee and level the ground.
  • Roof: Attach cinnamon crunch cereal with icing.
  • Trees: Add a touch at the top using green and red candy.
  • Railroad: Using royal icing, attach the tracks to the crushed candy and add two long pieces of licorice on each side of the tracks.

Building Gingerbread House

Day 3:
  • Paint all the walls using red and green cookie icing.
  • Make the balcony with two rectangles of graham cracker and royal icing.
  • Make Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter peanut figures with fondant (smile), peanut butter (Jimmy’s hair), licorice pieces (Rosalyn’s hair) and food-safe marker.
Day 4:
  • Dirt road: Add rolled gum drops dusted with sugar for lines down the dirt road
  • Decorate the building using green icing as a frame all around the house.
  • Doors: Use graham crackers and white cookie icing for the borders. Add hard candy for the doorknobs and gumdrops for decoration.

Assembling Gingerbread House

Day 5:
  • Ice structure on the baseboard and put frames using white cookie icing on the doors.
Day 6:
  • Dust the completed baseboard with coconut flakes (snow) along with the roof. Add some wreathes using green icing and tiny pieces of white and red candy to add color. Put all parts together and any final touches.

Decorating Gingerbread House

It was such a fun project but above all we got to socialize and bond as a team. We hope we’ve inspired you to add a nutty twist to your celebrations this holiday.

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