Haunted Halloween Houses: Take a stroll down Sweet Street

Good morning, fellow bakers, and welcome to downtown Horrorwich, VT. Home to the world- renowned King Arthur Fear Company and the Boooo-kers Catalogue, our little town is full of thrills and chills, all in good taste. Really, really good taste.

From our candy-covered rooftops down to our sugar-sprinkled sidewalks, there isn’t another town as sweet and spooky as ours. October breezes carry the spicy scent of gingerbread down Mean Street and past the General Store as children scamper onto the ghoul bus in the early-morning fog.

Over at the bakery, workers are turning out dozens of Cinnamon Bombs, Scare Claws Danish, and cream-filled WoOoOpie Pies. Be sure to stop by for one of our famous Roast Beast sandwiches, served on fresh Pun de Mie bread. Our Death by Chocolate cake is the perfect finish to a leisurely lunch, or a long life for that matter.

On the weekends, come enjoy a band concert by the Greatfill Dead or stroll around the common. For the shoppers out there, why not cross the river to Hangman, NH, home to Ivy League Dratmouth College? Visit the Dratmouth Bookstore, the Hooded Library and the Baker-Bury café. Nothing says autumn like a cup of our devilishly hot coffee and a pumpkin cupcake with battycream icing.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of our little town nestled in the haunted hills. Come and make yourself at home – you’ll be staying for a long, long time.

Are you ready to make your own spooky village? Here’s how we made ours. 

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One gently worn folder makes two fronts, and one triangular brace template.

Luckily for the home baker there are some very simple ways to make stunning gingerbread houses without having to invest much money at all, and in a very reasonable time frame. One of our favorite tips from our Baking Education Center’s gingerbread classes is to make simple house fronts, rather than full houses.

I’ve made my share of houses of all types over the years, but I’m willing to admit that my favorite part has always been decorating the front of the house, the main face that most people will see at first glance. See for yourself how easy it is.

To make your templates, get out some heavy card stock or a manila file folder, a pen or pencil, and a ruler. As you can see, you can make different sizes of fronts by varying the size of the base, height of the walls, and peak of the roof. If you’re nervous about getting started, simply use the measurements from the photos above and below.

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Be sure to label your pieces. They last through several cuttings but eventually you’ll want fresh ones.

When you build house fronts only, you’ll still need some supports to brace the house. For a wide house, use two supports. Skinny houses are fine with just one, but you can use two if you prefer the symmetry.

The supports get attached to the back of the house at the corners for big houses, and in the center of the back for skinnier house. If you check out the main photo, you can see the brace on the larger house clearly.

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A sharp knife or pizza cutter works a treat for cutting around your templates.

When you’re making house fronts that don’t have to support a roof, your gingerbread doesn’t need to be as stiff and strong as with full-sized houses. My favorite gingerbread dough to use is that made from our Gingerbread Cookie & Cake Mix. It rolls out smoothly and doesn’t bubble or wrinkle, and one boxful makes two to three houses. Your favorite construction gingerbread recipe is fine to use as well.

To keep your pieces from drooping out of shape when moved, roll and cut them on sheets of parchment.

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Be wiser than me and bake your fronts and braces on separate sheets in the oven. The braces will bake in less time, and you don’t want them to burn.

Rolled out 1/4″ thick and baked at 325°F until firm to the touch, most houses will be baked in 25 to 30 minutes. Leaving plenty of space between your pieces will ensure that they don’t bake together and become fused.

For truly warped haunted houses, leave your bottom edges slightly askew. It gives them character to lean a little or have a ripple here or there. If you prefer perfectly straight edges, a microplane will grate down any edges that, well, grate on you.

I love to make little gardens or side yard scenes on the braces. It’s a nice extra touch.

Once your pieces are cold to the touch, it’s time to start decorating. You’ll need a batch of Royal Icing, and a happy trip to the candy aisle. When my daughter and her cousins were little we used to let them roll quarters and dimes and use that money at the bargain candy bin. Each could choose their own special candies, and it didn’t break the bank.

Many of the decorations you see in this blog were purchased at our local fabric and craft store. They have a surprisingly large cake decorating section full of pressed sugar decorations, like pumpkins and leaves. The party supply store has also become a favorite haunt of mine for seasonal candies (pun intended!).

Don’t be afraid to add your personal touch to store-bought decorations. Make it YOUR house!

Once you’ve added the final touches to your house fronts and braces, allow them to lie flat to dry overnight. Save out some icing to use to glue the braces to the back of the house to keep it upright.

If you’re sure you won’t be eating the house, you may certainly use a hot-glue gun for assembly. It’s fast, easy, and will keep your house standing tall for the whole season.

And now for a game of spooky I SPY. See if you can find these crafty creatures and devilish decorations within the closeups of our houses.


I spy a gravestone, a spider, and more. One friendly mummy, an alien face, and a coffin-cookie door.

Special thanks to KAF visual merchandiser Brook Lewis for decorating this house. What a great afternoon we had!

I spy a chimney of licorice black, an upside down bat and a sweet sparkling cat.

Want a neat rustic house stand? Try a slab of polished tree trunk!

A yard full of pumpkins, a ghost through the wall, so many ideas we can’t think of them all!

I hope you’ve had as much fun with this blog as I have. Please share your Halloween house ideas, suggestions, questions, and stories with us in our comments section, below. The more, the merrier scarier!

MaryJane Robbins

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...


  1. Dorothy Tedrpw Gampp

    Though this MumMum loves gingerbread, her five granddaughters (ages 10,8,5,3,&2) do not. Therefore, could you please give me the “construction cookie dough” recipe that we could use to make the house fronts, please. I LOVE THIS IDEA! I’ve never been the crafty type mother, but with having all these granddaughters and we have a MumMum Day each Thursday, when possible, I have truly attempted to become as crafty as possible to keep ALL these ages busy and happy, and when possible to have their completed projects ready for them to take home and share with their mommy and daddy. Thanks in advance for the recipe! Blessings …

  2. sewknitread

    I’ve used this technique of house fronts over the years for all kinds of houses…Valentine’s Day, Easter, the beach, using both gingerbread and sugar cookie dough for the houses. There’s an amazing variety of candy available for all seasons. Also, if you use quilter’s plastic template material to cut out the patterns, you can have an amazing variety of fronts that you will be able to use forever because the plastic is washable. The template material is readily available at craft and quilting stores. It comes in different weights, and I prefer the heavier type for this project.

  3. Leslie

    We made the construction gingerbread recipe which gave us enough dough for three house fronts, the requisite sides and some extra for cats and pumpkins. My daughter decided to make hers extra spooky so frosted it all over with royal icing then dusted with the special black cocoa powder. Scary! We embellished with candy corn, gumdrops and gummy worms but on mine most of the decor was piped royal icing tinted different colors.
    Thanks for the inspiration! It was a really fun Halloween project. 🙂

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sounds like you all had a blast, Leslie, and were quite creative with your Halloween frights! Happy Halloween and happy baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  4. Janet

    I spotted these forms too late to do for this Halloween, I think we will practice through the season, though.
    Thank you so much for sharing your skill with us. The one wall idea is great for young’uns lacking a well developed attention span…their easily distractable grandmothers as well.


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