Today I have a very special guest with me.
One of my best friends, Janet.
I’m so excited that you’re here today.
Yes, me too!
This is the mastermind, the creator, the founder
of the most magical gingerbread houses
you will ever see in your entire life,
and your company’s name
is Lily’s Gingerbread Lane.
Yes, Lily’s Gingerbread Lane.
So first of all I just want to ask you
how did you come up with that name?
cause your name is Janet…
-but it’s Lily’s…
-Yes, my name is Janet.
Yeah! But it’s
Lily’s Gingerbread Lane?
Lily is my daughter. She’s
4 years old and after she was born
I really wanted to come up with a new
project, a new company,
I just needed to shift into a different mode,
and so we decided to call it Lily’s.
She’s the most adorable little girl.
She knows it.
My boys were born
eight months after her.
-So they’re very close in age.
-Yeah yeah yeah!
-I love her.
And this company is incredible!
I mean look at these houses
that you create. Honestly.
I will have to say, I’m going to have to brag,
Janet puts more candy and more decorations
on her houses than any other gingerbread house
company out there.
That’s, like, the key. Like, this
has about 350 pieces of candy.
-The smaller one has at least 200.
There’s plenty of frosting,
there’s plenty of candy,
you get the fondant figures,
you get the Christmas trees
but then the other key that
kind of sets us apart
is you have a candle for each
You get three tea light candles
so when it’s dark we have it as,
like, a holiday centerpiece.
It just glows.
The large houses come with an
LED remote controlled light,
The small do not have a lighting system,
but they are just absolutely adorable.
So you offer many different
things on your website,
including a gingerbread house for every single
holiday and birthday, by the way.
A great gift. She makes the most
adorable birthday houses.
Skip the flowers and the fruit bouquets, guys.
-Lasts a really long time.
-From the day you receive it,
-Get a gingerbread house!
to the day you probably want
to get rid of it,
it’s going to look exactly the
same. It does not change.
But I have to say, do yourself
a favor and eat the house.
-because they’re really really good.
-Yeah, they taste good too.
-You should do that.
-And you also do a large house.
-Don’t have the large house here.
We don’t have it here today but I will share
pictures on Instagram because I ordered
one for our house. It’s become a
really special part of our holidays.
The boys look forward to it. So if we don’t have
that large gingerbread house,
-There’s something missing., so…
-Yeah, it’s super cute.
Yeah! And you do Hanukkah houses. I mean,
I do a lot of corporate gifts,
like mass orders of corporate gifts
and she’ll personalize them.
Honestly, the most creative, wonderfully artistic
person I’ve ever met
besides my husband,
but, I mean, honestly, I’m blown away by your talent,
so let’s please show people what you can do.
So I will say you can order houses that are
completely assembled and all ready to go
just like this or you can get a
gingerbread house kit that you can
decorate at home.
Great activity for kids.
Now please describe
what comes in these kits.
Alright, so in the kits,
there’s a medium sized kit or we have the small kit.
So everything that you see
in a completed house comes in the kit so
here is all the candy that is in the
completed house. It’s right here for the
medium size. This is the small, this is
everything that comes in the small.
You also have a piping bag, you have your
fondant figures, you have the trees and
then you have your royal icing mix and
just little hints to make it a little
bit easier throughout the process.
Alright, so amazingly, Janet does both
regular and vegan gingerbread houses.
We’re doing a vegan one today
and honestly I know that took a lot of
research because believe it or not
there’s a lot of candy that isn’t vegan
that you would never suspect.
Even some of the fruity hard candies like this
because there’s one ingredient called
confectioners glaze that’s made from
Makes it nice and shiny. Yeah, it’s from a
blackbug from Thailand and India
Yeah, so if somebody were to
get a gingerbread house kit,
this is the house that they would
receive. It’s already assembled.
That’s the key! It comes assembled
-because it’s difficult to put a house together.
-You don’t need to do it.
-Honestly, it is.
-It is. Right.
I’ve watched a lot
of videos and they fall apart,
it’s the frustration, you don’t want a
fun family activity to be frustrating
and stressful and that’s going be the
main thing if it doesn’t stick, it falls apart.
So I try to make it as easy as possible.
And you’ll see us put one together right now.
-OK, my dear.
So what I like to start
with is the roof.
So we’re going to use these lovely
candies here that are 100% vegan.
Nice, yeah, so pretty, I love that you
don’t lose any of the color even though they’re vegan
-Nice and bright.
-and the way I like to
do the roof is you
just do lines.
So I have to say normally a royal icing would have
egg whites, so the magic ingredient
that we’re using instead of egg whites is…
the garbanzo beans, the chickpea.
-The chickpea brine
so also known as aquafaba.
Believe it or not, aquafaba is an egg white replacer
in a lot of baking recipes. It is magical stuff.
It’s cool, yeah. I was like ‘Whoa!
this is like totally the same as the
other!’ so yeah it’s amazing. No,
you would have known the taste
is amazing as well,
so it totally works
Yeah, it’s crazy. It’s nice and thick. You would
never know in a million years
that this icing is vegan.
So then, of course, for the house there’s no egg, no butter,
right? You’ve replaced everything that
needs to be replaced
and you come up with
-recipe that you feel good about.
-Yes, and it’s 100% vegan, for sure.
Alright so let’s just show everybody here.
So you just did about five lines or so first. And now why
do you do that?
Yes, I begin with that because the royal icing
does become hard very, very quickly.
Just do about half the roof and then go ahead and do the next half
once you get up to that line.
Now, here’s the other key thing, you’ve got to keep
the house nice and cool, about 68 degrees
and a fan, which we need grab our fan.
-Okay, let’s grab our fan.
-A fan is very helpful
because the frosting will soften and if
it melts you’re going to have a disaster
like it’s going to fall. The candy isn’t
going to stick. It’s key to get the
royal icing mix with little peaks and
kind of fluffy. That’s what you want to
look for, but in the step-by-step
instructions it gives you all of that.
So you can kind of decorate any way you want.
You can kind of see I’m beginning a
little bit of a thread here, like an
angle. I’ll just go back and forth with
each one, just to kind of make it look
uniformed, but you can go to town!
Do whatever you want to do.
Honestly, so cool. So fun!
OK, now I have to say, you have basically a life’s history of making
gingerbread houses, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And that’s all thanks to who?
My mother, yes, she learned
how to make gingerbread houses
from scratch at a church event, I
think in Boston, over fifty years ago.
So she brought it into our house and I
can’t remember not making gingerbread
houses and she was told to sell them but
she never did so
of course I brought the tradition to my
kids when I had my boys and we’ve just
kept it going and I always wanted to
have a gingerbread house business. Always!
And so finally I got inspired after Lily
was born and went for it.
Yes, I’m so glad you did
because they’re the best!
I can’t say it enough! She’s the best!
Nobody has the detail or the finesse.
Now please tell me how I can help, by the way.
is there anything I can do?
So, you know what we could do is
we can share this responsibility.
So I’m going to pipe over here
and then you can do that side,
and I’ll work on this side.
I always say to Janet that I’m the
recipe person, the baker, and she’s the artist.
Although you do some good baking too.
Artistry, that’s something I need to work really hard on, that’s
it doesn’t come naturally to me
like it does for you.
Yeah, well, and cooking
doesn’t come natural to me.
We make a great pair.
-Someday we will open that bakery.
That’s right, we will.
-Look! She’s taking off my candy!
I’m re-doing the row.
I’m sorry I should’ve told you to angle it.
-It’s my fault. It really is.
Uh oh! ::SAD TRUMPET NOISE::
Mine got taken off ::laughter::
I’ll stick to baking. It’s okay.
So in a way it’s almost like you’re laying brick,
so you have the one in the center of the two.
I don’t know how you describe it but basically you know
you don’t like them perfectly lined up.
Yeah, I mean, I do. I just like to slide it in
where just kind of settles in really nicely.
There’s all sorts of different
ways you can do it.
I mean you can just do lines and place it
wherever you want.
Get creative, right?
it was super kind
when I was a kid and my mom would just
give us a bunch of stuff and we would
just go to town and that’s where the
creativity began because I was just free
to do whatever I wanted with it.
Sure, so I should mention the entire house is
edible, right? You didn’t coat it with
-anything? Everything is just good to go, right?
-Everything is good to go.
-Everything that comes in the kit, yeah.
And we know a lot of people who don’t bother to let it
sit out as a centerpiece for the holiday.
The kids take it out of the box and
literally dig into it right away.
And I will mention the gingerbread house is delicious.
The gingerbread itself
as well as the candy I have to say it’s gorgeous
and I always make sure that we save it
until the actual holiday but as soon as
Christmas Day hits or as soon as
Halloween hits, we dig in and it’s so delicious.
See, what we used to do growing up is we would
make it at the beginning of December
and then throughout the month you
would see some candy missing.
Like, you know, a few little things, and then Christmas
would hit and then we could just destroy it
and dive in and eat whatever we wanted.
So I have to say, do you think that there’s a time limit
as far as how long you should wait to eat it?
-Oh! Good catch!
I love it!
Yeah, it’s going to last for
about four to six weeks.
For visual, you could keep it year after year.
My mom has her… she has three
in her closet. You just have to keep them in a
cool, dry, dark area.
Right, but I wouldn’t recommend that, guys. You should eat the
-It’s so good!
-Yeah, it all depends.
And then you can just get another one next year! Right?
Every time that I tell Jeff I think we
should try and keep this one as long as
we can, maybe even after Christmas, he
just gives me the craziest look.
Like ‘Look at that thing. Really?
You really you don’t wanna eat that?’
We always eat it.
Beautiful, okay, we have our roof on.
So we’re going to begin with the
piping. We’re going to pipe the edge
of the house, the awning, basically,
and then we’ll move to the top.
Now I have to say, this is one of the most magical parts of your
house, is the piping along the roof
because it is so perfect. It’s like a
machine did it, I’m not kidding really
Wait till you see…
-Lots of practice! Lots of practice.
I can’t even imagine the thousands of
times you’ve done this, but okay, let’s see.
Yes, here we go, it’s just like a shell technique.
You mix up the frosting
but then you only put half of it in your piping bag, right?
and then you
refill it when you’re need to?
Right, because you see I need a good grip.
If it was way out here,
I wouldn’t have a solid grip
and… yeah, the piping would be
That’s a good tip, okay.
Alright, so now we’re gonna do the top.
so these are just,
I just do great, big shells, but you know before I, kind of,
learned how to pipe,
I just did, like, circular motions.
This is what my mom did. Just circles. Circles. So…
Right, so for the average person who doesn’t
know how to do what you’re doing here
It’s a nice way to go.
Just do a little circles.
You can practice a little bit like on
parchment paper before you begin
Don’t practice on the house, like, practice a little bit.
So then when somebody orders a house,
you include the piping bag and the tips, right?
Yeah! Yes, it comes with everything. Everything you need.
everything you need is there
except for that chickpea brine
-That you need from the can of chickpeas.
or garbanzo beans.
-You’re right. You’re right.
Yeah that’s the only thing, and then you can always use
those beans for something else
Totally, make some hummus.
I have two great recipes for
hummus on AudreyDunham.com.
Just throwing that in there.
So now we’re going to move to the edging
around the bottom of the house
the base of the house. alright so the
roof is looking super cute!
So I’m just doing shell icing, the piping, I should say,
all the way around the edge
and then I’m going to grab my candy and fill it in.
So what I would do like with my boys when they were little
or even like with Lily at this point.
I iced it, they’d decorate it.
Right, you know, that’s a good
way to go, right?
Do the hard part and then you let
the kids have the fun with the candy
and then you just hope that the kids don’t eat all the candy
before it makes it to the house, right?
Well the other great thing is there is so
much candy that you get in the kit that’s gonna be
-There’s some extra
-Yeah I do put extra in there.
Gosh, how long have we been friends? Since 2003?
I think it’s 2002? Isn’t it?
I moved to California 2001 and I met you soon after that. yeah yeah
about a year later you’re both actresses
-About a year later.
-We were both actresses
yeah and we were both auditioning for
the same play, “It’s a Wonderful Life” for Christmas.
and we became fast friends. We were
friends ever since we both were part of
the play, we both got a role and,
We spent a lot of time backstage hanging out,
talking and we’ve been best buddies ever since.
Janet was in my wedding.
The most gorgeous wedding on
the entire planet.
Like, we had the best weekend.
It was just amazing!
Out in wine country with
your 15 year old?
I know, but still! We just
had so much fun! Just dancing…
It was a really fun, amazing, magical weekend.
So I added the gumdrops
on the corners.
Here comes a little… just a little, you’ve got to…
fitting the door. This is where it becomes a little tricky,
so I’m taking away the extra icing
so my door can fit.
So every house receives the door, this is your door, but
you do have to fit it in there
because that’s gonna
hide the candle on the inside.
So you’re piping the pathway
with more of your royal icing.
Yes, everything is royal icing,
but you don’t want to put
any icing in the doorway itself because
you don’t want to glue your door down.
Right, I would offer to help but we
know how that went last time.
OK, so you see the pathway. Now I’m
going to go back and I’m going to put the door in
-Oh, so cute! I love the pathway!
-So now, I know, isn’t it so cute.
It’s coming together, so now we’re going to
do the trees.
Each medium-sized kit receives four trees.
And the base of that
is ice-cream cone, is that right?
Yeah, it’s a mini ice cream cone with the
vegan royal icing on top.
So then all you need to do to give it that snowy effect
is just dust a little powdered sugar on top, right?
Yeah, and here I like to just
kind of center the window so that can easily happen.
You see how I flicked my
-There’re lots of mistakes that can happen folks.
Right, but you have fun with it!
It’s all fixable. All.
Sometimes the more messy, the funner
though, I think too?
Then you get to lick your fingers?
The medium-sized kits come
with two little fondant snowmen.
Just so cute, my boys love
snowmen, so I think it’s the favorite part of the house.
Now with the kits or when you order the assembled house,
you can get them personalized, right?
So what I did today is we have little gingerbread cookies,
and this is totally 100% edible,
so we put Jack and
we put James
and that’s how we’ll do it and
then there’s a Happy Holidays sign that
also comes with each one or Happy
Halloween or you know whatever the holiday is.
And then also, each house
comes with a Lily’s Gingerbread Lane.
Now that is really just for taste testing.
It will be in a separate bag for you
just to kind of taste it.
-That’s so nice!
-I love that!
Because everybody wants a little nibble right off the bat.
-A little nibble, but you don’t want to ruin it.
Oh boy, I can’t believe all the stuff that comes
with this house. This is mind blowing.
Alright, so now we have snowflakes.
Look how cute, honestly.
These are 100% vegan.
Little bit of fondant yummy
delicious yes wait what am I saying I
Yummy. I bet they’re delicious.
Actually, what am I saying, I know
they’re delicious! These are so good.
So we’re just going to place these wherever you’d like
and then kind of insert the names
and the happy holiday sign.
I usually start with the back because I want to make sure
the happy holiday sign gets in here nicely
where I want it to
go. I normally put it like
kind of, like, tucked away back in there.
So I’m just going to place some
icing down to make it stable.
And this is the back of
the house, right?
Yes, this is the back of the house.
Yeah, it’s fun when you see it all come together.
where you’re just like “Ahhhhh”
And I will say at the time that I did do one
for Easter as I mentioned you have this
feeling of accomplishment after you’re
done. You have to do it to see what I’m
-It is! it’s an accomplishment and it’s gorgeous.
She includes all of the instructions you need.
We’ll put one Jack and one James
and we’ll put snowflakes in front
of their names.
They’re going to be excited
when to get home from school today.
Oh! Do we get to actually keep it?
Well, why not? Sure!
They’re going to lose their minds.
And whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not, you need to
go online to see the Hannukah houses.
They are so beautiful.
Yeah, they really are cute.
I’m gonna go ahead and pipe the
edging of the house
just to kind of give it that last
I love it and this is what separates your
gingerbread houses from everybody else
is the attention to detail. I can’t say that enough. I think
this is such a fun centerpiece.
We’ve had many Thanksgivings where our centerpiece
was one of your gingerbread houses,
Your Thanksgiving gingerbread houses.
Christmas, of course,
it’s so great to have something so fun
and festive and cute to look at while
you’re enjoying a very special meal.
It truly is fun for everyone, the
adults love it, the kids love it,
It’s going to last a long time.
Flowers die quickly or fruit dies quickly.
Like, it’s just, yeah.
-Give somebody a gingerbread house.
It’s the right thing to do.
It is. It’s just a super cute gift.
Here is, kind of, the magic touch.
Now, every kit will come
with powdered sugar. Now I put mine in a
little handy dandy
What do you have here?
-Little mesh here.
-Why do I not have one of these?
If you don’t have something like this
at home, just get a little nylon stocking
put the powder sugar in,
-Like a panty hose?
Yeah! Panty hose. Panty hose.
-Remember those? Where did those go?
-And then just shake it up.
Where did you get that little thing?
-Oh, just a craft store.
Now if you don’t have, like if you don’t
have some panty hose laying around
your house anymore or one of these, so you
just want to, you know, you could just
-Sprinkle it this way.
-Oh there you go.
We just really like to snowcap the trees.
We’re gonna grab our candles now. Again,
this comes in the medium sized house kit
so you turn on all three, put it right
through the door, lay it down and then
you remember you made a little space for
your door? And there we go.
So pretty. I love it.
Look at the back window. Look at that!
So imagine the lights are down,
It’s a beautiful Christmas table, there’s candles on the
table. It’s just beautiful.
I just… I can’t brag about these houses enough.
Can you tell that I love these houses?
I love them.
So once again you ship all over the United
States and you’ve mastered the technique?
We have. It took some practice, but yes.
And I should mention if somebody does place an order
in Orange County or Los Angeles, California
then there’s a good chance that they will be hand
-Yes, there’s a good chance.
So they may be shipped during the busier
times but that is one option too.
But the times that we’ve had them
arrive at our door through the mail
they’ve arrived just like this.
Everything looks perfect and amazing and
intact. so beautiful.
Once again, you can
order your houses, small, medium and large
for any holiday any occasion. Bridal
shower, baby shower, birthday, every holiday
that you can think of. Mother’s Day, I mean
Corporate gifts. Customized house.
You name it, Lily’s Gingerbread Lane can
create it for your special occasion or
if you need a gift for the person who
has everything or maybe you want to
switch up the routine. You don’t want to
get flowers again, then this is perfect.
-And it’s so fun.
-It’s perfect, we love it.
You can order your gingerbread house or your
gingerbread house kits on lilysgingerbreadlane.com
but be sure to also follow Lily’s Gingerbread Lane on
Instagram and Facebook
where you’re constantly posting incredible images of
the work that you do.
And you’re not done, really.
You come up with new ideas
-All the time.
-I do. Every year.
So follow her journey. Lily’s Gingerbread Lane on
Instagram and Facebook.
-Thank you so much for being here, Janet.
-Thank you, darling.
-No, no, Thank you, Honey.
-This was so fun!
Thank you very much for joining us today.
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Alright, I’m going to finish my gingerbread.
I already finished mine.
See you all next time.
All credits go to Audrey Dunham