{feliz navidad} Epic Gingerbread Taqueria

I can’t believe this is the fifth crazy gingerbread project I’ve made, but here we are – and I think number five turned out pretty great despite a skeleton crew working on it. So without further ado I present to you: San Francisco’s iconic La Taqueria, entirely rendered in gingerbread and candy form.

This was the first time we actually tried re-creating a real, actual place instead of something made up, which made it easier in some ways and harder in others.

We definitely wanted to get the font right!

The open portico area provided some good structure, but in the end (as always) the whole thing was flimsier than we thought and needed additional support on the roof. Kit-Kats and Twizzlers across the open roof did the trick. But we did get to sneak in some windows of melted red Jolly Ranchers.

You can’t have a taqueria without tacos – or baskets of chips, horchata, and drinks. All rendered in candy, of course.

Re-creating the grill and taco station in the open kitchen was one of the most fun parts of the process. My niece made a crazy cash register, too!

The interior overall is not as crowded as the real place, but I think we did a pretty good job of mimicking the floor, tables, and stools they have there, and the general layout of the place.

There is a mural inside the restaurant, but we couldn’t remember what it exactly looked like. Still, I think the Aztec-esque thing is totally working.

The Muni bus was totally last-minute and a huge pain. By that point I was totally ready for bed! So I don’t feel it’s the best it could be.

I ended up making it open air with seats inside. Artistic license!

My 10-year-old niece insisted Santa be a homeless guy with a bottle of booze. I guess she is beyond believing in Kris Kringle…

How did we make each part?

I am really strict about only allowing edible things in the gingerbread project- even as support. I also don’t like using fondant, marzipan, or other moldable things because I feel like it’s cheating. So it has to be candy! Here’s the breakdown of what’s what:

  • Windows: melted Jolly Ranchers
  • Facade decor: Christmas candy corn, icing, and Tootsie Rolls
  • Roof support: Starburst, Kit-Kats, Twizzlers
  • Tacos and chips: Twizzlers, gumdrops, sour belts, and Nerds
  • Grill: black licorice with Starburst and gummy coke bottle meat
  • Taco station: black licorice with gummy coke bottles, Twizzlers, gum drops, and Nerds
  • Horchata and drinks: gum drops and Twizzlers
  • Mural: Reese’s peanut butter cup, M & Ms, Twizzlers
  • Register: M & Ms,
  • Coke: coke bottle gummies
  • Tables: Tootsie Rolls and Hershey bars
  • Stools: Twix
  • Red tile floor: icing
  • Green tile floor: icing and sour belts
  • Sidewalk: M & Ms and icing with Nerds
  • Street: Icing with Starburst strips
  • Santa: candy santa with gummy coke bottle painted with frosting
  • Bus: gingerbread, icing, Starburst, licorice wheels, M & M lights, Rolo steering wheel, melted Jolly Ranchers
  • Telephone poles: gingerbread base with peppermint sticks, black licorice, and gum drops


We always use this gingerbread recipe from C&H, which is always easy to work with, pliable, not too sticky, and smells great. For the icing glue, we mix egg whites and powdered sugar in a mixer with a whisk attachment until it’s the right consistency. For ease of construction, we put the icing into Ziploc bags and cut a small hole in the corner to pipe the designs. The icing dries out very quickly so the bags also help it stay pliant.

To see all of the previous gingerbread projects, you can find pictures and descriptions here:

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4 Responses

  1. arin says:

    Drunk Santa! Everything is magic.

  2. Caroline in San Francisco says:

    It’s like I’m there! I am craving tacos for dinner now. Well done.

  3. Lora says:

    This is fantastic. So creative. Love it.