Ella has grown into quite the adventurous chef and I love giving her opportunities to be creative in the kitchen whenever possible. She recently expressed interest in making an Edible Fairy House, but she didn’t like my suggestion of a gingerbread fairy house. I debated making a house out of sugar cubes or cake (like our Sandcastle Cake) but I was so excited to stumble upon the idea of a graham cracker house!
Ella immediately loved the idea, too so we set about brainstorming and shopping for our very own Edible Fairy House supplies!
We bought everything we needed for our edible Fairy House at Walmart except for the handmade edible flowers we purchased from a local bakery (although you could totally make your own with gumpaste or fondant, skip that step entirely, or opt for pre-made candy or chocolate flowers like Cadbury Roses).
If you’re not working exactly off our list, plan to spend about 10 minutes combing the cookie and candy aisles, letting your engineer pick out just the right accents for their edible fairy house. You may be surprised with the creative ideas they come up with! Ella came up with the majority of the design for this house herself and it took a completely different direction than it would have if I had designed it – and I kind of think her ideas ended up being better.
For our edible fairy house, we used:
- Honey Maid Graham Crackers
- Milk Chocolate Bars (2)
- OREO Minis
- Leaf-shaped candies (could have used green frosting)
- Chocolate Rock Candies (the same kind we used for our muddy worm pudding)
- Waffle-style pretzels
- Fruit Roll-up
- Rainbow fruit leather candy
- Dried apricots (although the OREO Minis would have worked for the stepping stones)
- Peppermint sticks
- Buttercream frosting (4-6 cups icing sugar, 1 cup butter, a bit of cream & purple food dye)
- Silver nonpareils
I had planned to use the Nutter Butter cookies or Sour Patch Kids to make our own fairies, but instead I surprised Ella with a little fairy figurine that reminds me of Glenda, the Good Witch of the North from Wizard of Oz.
There were a few little items that we bought and didn’t end up using, and that’s totally okay, and there were a couple items that we wanted to buy but couldn’t find (like giant pretzel wands). This is a great opportunity for kids to use creative problem solving skills and elastic thinking (in conceiving alternative, non-fixed uses for various edible treats).
How to Make an Edible Fairy House
This house was made over the course of two days with lots of breaks in between (just like when Ella made her Sandcastle Cake) so that it was a positive, child-led experience. As long as children return back to their work, taking breaks can help keep kids interested in a project and allow them to bring new creative solutions to their work, especially when they encounter frustration.
I think by taking her time and feeling like she had the freedom to come and go from the project as she pleased, Ella was able to do her best work and also develop some really creative ideas!
We started off with a simple design. We looked at the materials we had and discussed how we would use them to make her design come to life.
I originally wanted to make the cookie house with the dimensions of one cookie wide by two cookies deep, which would have made attaching the roof a bit easier, but Ella insisted that she wanted the house to be 3 cookies wide and 2 cookies deep. We made the frame of the house by melting the chocolate in the microwave and using it like a glue – microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and then reheat if you still have clumps. The chocolate can be re-melted a few times. (You can potentially use real glue if you’re not planning on eating the house afterwards.) We let the chocolate completely dry before adding the roof so it would be more stable.
When we got to the roof, we broke a few cookies trying to figure out how to balance things before eventually coming to the conclusion that we needed to make a “gabled roof” by cutting our cookies to fit into each other.
I actually love the final effect this had – giving the edible fairy house a cottage-like appearance.
Next, we made some edible stained glass windows with the waffle pretzels, fruit leather candy, and melted chocolate. This was Ella’s idea and is so much easier than using frosting to create windows.
What’s kind of cool is that the fruit leather is sticky enough that you don’t have to use the chocolate, but we did just to be safe. Attach the pretzel to the fruit candy with a bit of melted chocolate and let dry. Trim the excess fruit candy off and peel off any backing. Attach the edible stained glass window to the fairy house with a dab of melted chocolate – I held it in place for a moment, but I don’t think that was necessary either.
Next, Ella put together these cute raspberry-peppermint mushrooms!
I had originally wanted to make mushrooms out of marshmallow twists and meringues, but we didn’t couldn’t find any meringues while shopping and Ella came up with this creative solution instead. Children could also make little bushes or tress by attaching berries together with chocolate.
We simply broke the peppermint sticks into the sizes we wanted our mushrooms to be and then attached a raspberry with a dab of chocolate. We secured the candy mushroom to the cake plate with another dab of chocolate and they held perfectly.
The house was really starting to come together and Ella started adding creative touches. She made cute rose accents with the OREO Minis and leaf gummies, made a stone pathway to the front door with dried apricots, and cut two strips of rainbow fruit leather to make a colourful fairy door with a silver nonpareil doorknob. Everything was attached with a bit of melted chocolate.
Next, we whipped up some purple buttercream and added it to a piping bag. I snipped the edge off very closely to make a very small tip. Ella made “waves of frosting” on the roof to look like shingles. A trick I taught her was to look at where you are going to put the frosting next, not necessarily where you are putting it in the moment.
If you look closely, there are a few imperfections but they’re not noticeable when you look at the fairy house as a whole – which I think is important to mention because sometimes it can be easy to want a project like this to be 100% perfect but it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that children feel positive about the creative experience and feel like they actually created something themselves – without parents hovering or taking over.
To give the fairy house a bit of flair, I suggested maybe a dusting of powdered sugar which Ella was not a fan of! She instead used the silver nonpareils to accent each and every roof shingle – a task that took a bit of time but looked amazing when she was done.
Next, we scattered the chocolate rocks all around the edible fairy house. You could alternatively leave the cake plate empty or use green coconut shreds for grass, graham cracker cookie crumbs for a beachside fairy house – really, there are so many options based on what’s available to you.
Finally, we topped the house off with a cascade of edible flowers and Ella ceremoniously added Glenda the Fairy in front of the edible fairy house door.
I think the house turned out better than I could have imagined – and when you break it down, the steps are so incredibly easy and with an older child or more time, you could make something even more lavish and extravagant.
Ella has already warned me that we will not be eating Glenda’s house, so thankfully we have enough leftover supplies from the project to sustain me for now…
We also decided it would be fun to put together a few of these DIY Fairy House Kits for a couple friends. These would be perfect for a creative birthday gift, or even as a party favour for a fairy-themed event! OR, you could put together one of these kits to surprise your little engineer for a special weekend or summer project. You could also tie on a little fairy figurine if your child doesn’t already have one.
Use a Ziplock bag to hold any smaller items, stack the ingredients, and then secure with some ribbon. We made twirled the ends and tied on some customized gift tags.
If you’d like to make some DIY Edible Fairy House Kits yourself, click here to download the free fairy tag template.
Would you try making an Edible Fairy House with your kids, or a different kind of edible structure?