Gravity – still causing problems (gingerbread buses)

Gingerbread houses are a common tradition around the holidays and I remember being fond of seeing the various edificial wonders made and decorated with all things delectable when I was younger.  Never did I give much thought to the work behind these marvels which ranged from the average Hansel and Gretel house in the woods to recreations of Eiffel Towers, White Houses, European castles, and the like.  That is, of course, until we started building our own gingerbread structures.

No, we do not build houses, towers, or castles.  We build buses!!  I suppose the word build is a bit strong as the challenges proved to be more difficult than we realized.  There was our first effort which needed a body shop to repair severe damage, and our second attempt (my personal favorite) that succumbed to the debilitating effects of gravity.  This year, after failing to find the time last December, we made a third bid to complete two gingerbread buses.

Although we are getting better, I do not think we are (and perhaps never were) focused on perfection.  The fun lies in the family joining together for some quality time – creating, decorating, eating.  Should it be anything but fun focused?  After all bus ownership is rarely about the perfect; the charming nature instead coming from the imperfections which enhance the drive, camping experience, wrenching time etc… and make the endeavor unique for each Volkswagen, owner, or family member.  While extremely enjoyable, memorable, and recounted with much fondness, I cannot think of a single classic Volkswagen I owned, or trip undertaken in one, which could not be improved upon.  However, I would never want to do so as it is the imperfections that make these so endearing.  Why should our gingerbread be any different?


This time we got the gingerbread right – very little distortion after baking while remaining fairly stiff. Rolling the dough out very thin (~1/8-inch) seemed to be the key.  Since we have two kids, we made our usual two buses, a bay window and split window.


We’re also getting better using melted sugar for assembly. Although other options are out there and despite its high temperature, liquid sugar sets very fast and allows quick assembly.


The kids love the decorating!!


Hers must have the VW emblem.


Sometimes it takes a little parental help.


His first solo run.




I don’t know how well you can see in this shot, but my daughter made a line of Dancing Gummy Bears (because every bus needs Dancing Bears right?), each with a gummy fruit and gummy bottle.


Gummy dinosaurs sneaking up on the gummy bears. A bit grim for the season perhaps?


And the reason for this post’s title. Gravity is always looking for weakness in a structure and found its opportunity here when my son pressed a tad bit too hard while decorating the top.


It took about an hour and a half to deflate completely, but that’s OK – we started eating it shortly after!


3 thoughts on “Gravity – still causing problems (gingerbread buses)

  1. I was so impressed with how well the gingerbread was holding up in the earlier photos. But I admit to feeling a little disappointed that it was so perfect, because your first attempt with the little people is one of my fondest Christmas memories even though I wasn’t even there. 🙂 So it was with some glee that I saw what happened at the end. Your son’s decorations are beautiful, though, and I loved the dancing bears (and the dinosaur)!

    • I was thinking of you when the one bus failed and how much joy our gingerbread failures bring to you 🙂 You’re going to love my next post. Some day, we’ll have to make sure you’re here for one of these creations!

  2. Pingback: I need to fessup (gingerbread part 2) | Zero to Sixty . . .Eventually

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