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Gingerbread Train

All aboard!  Whether you make our candy-coated train with just your kids or host a gathering of family and friends, this sweet choo-choo -- complete with a coal car that serves as a candy dish -- is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. It's built with our favorite tasty and durable gingerbread, and we've provided online templates to make cutting out the pieces a snap. Get started with recipes for Gingerbread Dough and Royal Icing.

Engine Car, Coal and Lumber Cars and Caboose

Then follow our simple step-by-step photos to build and decorate the engine car, coal and lumber cars, and caboose.

Gingerbread Train

Gingerbread Train

Gingerbread Train


  1. See below in Directions.



The Engine Car


A cookie boiler and licorice wreath give this steam-powered locomotive a whimsical flair.


Step 11  Lay one side of the engine facedown on your work surface. Use Royal Icing to glue on 2 graham cracker support stacks (see instructions below). Pipe icing on the tops of the graham crackers, then gently press on the other side of the engine. Let the icing set for a few minutes before turning the car upright.

Step 22  Pipe icing along the edges of the side panels, then press the front, back, and roof in place.

Step 33  To make the boiler, glue together a stack of 6 circles. Pipe icing onto the front section and across the top of the graham cracker stack, then gently press the boiler in place.

Step 44  Glue a starlight mint to the centers of 7 circles. Let the icing set for a few minutes. Pipe a ring of icing onto the back of each circle, then glue 3 along each side of the engine and 1 on the back. Then glue a plain circle to the front of the engine. Let the icing set for a few minutes.

Engine Car PartsEngine Car Parts
This arrangement of gingerbread elements should help you organize the project.

Graham Cracker Support StacksGraham Cracker Support Stacks
These layered building blocks help support the walls of the cars from the inside. To make a stack (you'll need 7 for our 4- car train), break 13 graham cracker sheets along their perforations. Using Royal Icing, glue together the rectangles in stacks of 7. Let the icing set for a few minutes.

To Decorate:  Glue licorice sticks to the starlight mints as shown. Glue on colorful candies (we used red and green M&M's) and add details such as a LifeSavers Gummies chimney and a wreath like this one:

Festive Wreath
  Use a toothpick to widen the hole in each end of a 5-inch piece of green licorice.
2  Form the licorice into a ring and insert a K-inch piece of string licorice or a bent toothpick partway into one end. Push the other end onto it to hold the shape. Glue the wreath to the engine.
3  Split an 8-inch piece of Fruit by the Foot in half lengthwise, bend one piece into a bow, and glue it to the wreath.



The Coal and Lumber Cars


These clever carriers are perfect for hauling holiday sweets.

Step 11  Assemble each car as you did the engine: glue 2 graham cracker stacks between the side panels, let the icing set for a few minutes, then turn the car upright and glue on the front and back. Glue the top of the lumber car in place.


Coal Car PartsCoal Car Parts
This arrangement of gingerbread elements should help you organize the project.

Step 22  For each car, glue starlight mints to 6 circles. Let the icing set for a few minutes, then glue the circles in place: 1 on the front of the car, 1 on the back, and 2 along each side.


Lumber Car PartsLumber Car Parts
This arrangement of gingerbread elements should help you organize the project.

To Decorate:  Glue on candies, then add finishing details. For the coal car, split a graham cracker sheet in half lengthwise, set the pieces on the graham stacks to create a shelf, then fill the car with wrapped candies (we used chocolate coins and Rolos). To finish the lumber car, wrap strips of fruit leather around a stack of candy sticks or other loglike treats and glue them in place.

The Caboose


Last but not least, a smiling brakeman in a candy cane-studded car brings up the cheer.

Step 11  Lay the base of the caboose face-up on your work surface. Glue a graham cracker stack in place. Pipe icing onto the ends of the stack, then gently press the sides in place. Add the front and roof. Glue on the roof detail and add a circle deck to the base, as shown.


Caboose PartsCaboose Parts
This arrangement of gingerbread elements should help you organize the project.

Step 22  As before, glue mints to the remaining circles, let them set for a few minutes, then glue them in place: 2 on each side and 1 on the front. Decorate the gingerbread man with icing and candy, then glue it just behind the deck. Pipe some icing onto the outer edge of the deck and press 4 pairs of LifeSavers Gummies into it. Stick 4 mini candy canes through the holes for the gate.

DecoratingTo Finish Decorating:  Glue on candies and add details such as a mini candy cane heart and a stovepipe (we made ours with LifeSavers Gummies).

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