Dining in Disneyland: Gingerbread House Workshop at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

After a super successful Haunted House Building Workshop with my family in October, I knew that we’d be back in December for the Gingerbread House Workshop…

Note: If you are in the Disneyland area, you still have time to register for the December 17th & 18th (THIS WEEKEND) Gingerbread House Workshops. Call Bruno Duarte asap at 714.776.5200 from 10am-4pm Monday-Friday. These workshops WILL SELL OUT.

Gingerbread House Workshop Information

Since this was not our first gingerbread rodeo, we were overly prepared for this workshop (after being under prepared at Halloween).  I had stocked up on supplies from Michael’s Arts & Crafts as well as Target. We knew going in that we were going to be making a serious masterpiece!

Some of our "extra" supplies!

Atmosphere and Haunted House Prep

Arriving right on time, we had just a few minutes to get organized and check out the set up. The room was once again arranged with large tables and reserved seating. We also had fun jingle bell necklaces waiting for us on our chairs!

Gingerbread House Workshop Seating

Ralph Brennan Jingle Bell Necklace

Our place settings included the Gingerbread House pieces and a gingerbread man, tree, and snowman along with a bag of white frosting. Cups of candy included jellybeans, gum drops, gummy bears, mini jawbreaker type candies, colorful disc shaped candies, peppermints, and a Peeps Christmas tree.

Our Place Setting

Gummy Bears & Gum Drops Close Up

Jelly Beans & Colored Disc Candies Close Up

Mini Jawbreakers & Gum Drops Close Up

This time around, we brought SO much extra candy that there was no need regulate my boys on eating the decor.  So I let them dig right in.  They were instantly munching on M & M’s, Nerds, Twizzlers, mini marshmallows, Chewy Sprees, and more.  All while drinking the unlimited soda and wearing the chef hats that were given to all of the children in attendance.  Can you say SUGAR HIGH?


There was also a special lunch menu, and of course we couldn’t make a gingerbread house without a side of tasty french fries!

Gingerbread House Workshop Lunch Menu

The Perfect Snack for Gingerbread House Building!

Gingerbread House Construction

Our instructor was head Executive Chef Darrin Finkel.  He gave us verbal instruction while his pastry chef assistant demonstrated how to construct our house.  Chef Darrin also walked around to make sure we were doing everything correctly!

Step One: Lay Out Your Pieces to Form a Square in the Center

Step One with a Beer (a great way to motivate your husband to join you!)

Step 2: Line the Base with Frosting

Step 3: Line the Front & Back of the House Pieces with Frosting

Step 4: Raise the Walls (thanks to my husband!)

Our House is Standing!

The next step involved putting on the roof, so Chef Darrin himself came table to table to make sure we were doing it correctly.

Chef Darrin Shows Us How It's Done

Step 5: Frosting the House to Add the Roof

Step 6: Frosting the Roof Pieces

Step 7: The House is Built

At this point, it was time to let our house “dry” for 10 minutes. But, to keep things super fun, it was time for a special visitor: Santa!  Santa was great, he took the time to visit everyone and chat with both adults and children.

Chatting with Santa

After chatting with Santa for a bit, we were ready to get going on our decor.  Our decorating supplies were calling my name, and I knew I wanted to use my cute gingerbread men from Michael’s Arts & Crafts and my Chewy red & green Sprees to get going on our roof!

Getting Started on Our Roof

First Side of the Roof is Finished!

Gingerbread Men Close Up

Frosting the 2nd Half of the Roof

As soon as we finished the roof, the problems began.  My candy choices were too heavy and the roof kept slipping down! Such a bummer.  Luckily, Chef Darrin was there to help us out and assisted in a little frosting fix.

Help from Chef Darrin

Our roof continued to slip. We took turns holding it, it would stay for a bit, and then would start to slide again.  While trying to come up with a solution to our problem, we continued to decorate our house adding some gumball siding, a mini candy can border, Santa at the front door, and a Christmas tree in our “yard.”

We added gumball siding, a mini candy cane border and a Christmas tree!

At this point my husband had the grand idea to make some peppermint pillars to hold up our roof, so I unwrapped while he glued them together with frosting. I also started to add a snow-covered ground using mini marshmallows!

Building Peppermint Pillars

Final Product

The peppermint pillars worked and we finished up our decorations.  I love the way our Gingerbread house turned out!

Our Finished Gingerbread House: Front Yard

Our Finished Gingerbread House: Side Yard 1

Our Finished Gingerbread House: Backyard

Our Finished Gingerbread House: Side Yard 2

Participant Gingerbread Houses

Everyone at the workshop did such a great job on their gingerbread houses, so I just had to take some photos to share!

A Cute Mother/Daughter Collaboration

Love the little pond and walkway on this one!

This one had an adorable colorful candy cane border!

A Lego Santa! So cute! Also love all of the Christmas trees.

Fun Snowmen Trio in the Front Yard.

Loving the roof and walkway on this one!

This house was personalized with an "A" and had some cute Reindeer "Peeps."

Our neighbors added a fun candy "garden" to their house.


Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen puts on a great holiday event.  We had so much fun being creative and checking out all of the other Gingerbread Houses in the room.  The staff was attentive and went above and beyond to make the afternoon fun for everyone.  I am so excited to add both this and the Haunted Gingerbread House Workshop to my annual family traditions!

If you are in the Disneyland area, you still have time to register for the December 17th & 18th (THIS Weekend) Gingerbread House Workshop. Call Bruno Duarte at 714.776.5200 from 10am-4pm on Monday-Friday to make your reservation.

Cost is $48 for one house, supplies, 2 seats, and unlimited non-alcoholic drinks.  More than two people in your group?  For $12 each you can purchase extra seats (includes drinks as well).

*One a side note, our roof slid off on the way home.  But guess what? I got out the glue gun and fixed it up just right.  Now that there’s glue involved, we won’t be eating our gingerbread house, be we will be enjoying its beauty through Christmas!

Heather Sievers is the Disney Food Blog’s Dining in Disneyland columnist. See more of her columns here!


  1. says

    Great article, Heather! I didn’t know about this event so I’m sharing your article with our West Coast clients (and my family who is all in CA). Thanks so much! Love your finished house ºoº

  2. Bruno Duarte says

    Onbehalf of The Jazz Kitchen, we are glad you enjoyed the event. The pictures look great. We are always amazed by all the creative ideas everyone comes up with. The colums of peppermint was a great idea to fix your sliding roof.

    We hope to see you next year.

    Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

  3. says

    I totally would have taken the roof collapse on the way home as a sign/excuse from the Christmas gods that I was meant to eat the house.

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