My kids enjoy making gingerbread houses with kits from Aldi each year. After many years creating houses during the holidays — and even a Halloween haunted house earlier this year — we decided to try something different from Aldi and make a gingerbread train.
Aldi has been selling gingerbread trains for years. The kit comes with things to make the engine, one car, and a Santa figure, along with a tray to hold it all, plus the icing and candy pieces you’ll need for decorating.
The Benton’s Gingerbread Train Kit cost $7.49 during the 2020 holiday season. It’s an Aldi Find (Special Buy), which means it’s in stores for a short time only.
The kit is a product of Canada.
When you open the box, you’ll find a large white plastic tray, the gingerbread pieces packed in plastic-wrapped cardboard trays, one pouch of icing, two icing tips, two bags of starlight mints, a bag of holly and berry candies, a bag of candy quins (sprinkles), a bag of mini gumdrops, and a bag of red sugar.
The ingredients list is lengthy, with different components for the gingerbread pieces, the icing, and all the various candy pieces. If you’re concerned about allergens, this kit contains wheat. It may also contain soybean, egg, and milk.
We don’t usually eat these kits because the gingerbread pieces are very hard, although we do like to nibble the candy pieces. The mini gumdrops are especially tasty.
If you were to eat this train, though, the box says it contains about 27 servings. A 31-gram serving would net you 120 calories, 3 grams of total fat (4% DV), 23 grams of total carbohydrates (8% DV), and 15 grams of added sugars (30% DV).
The box also contains illustrated instructions for creating your gingerbread train. They are as follows:
- Icing preparation. Remove pre-made icing from the kit. Knead/massage the icing pouch for 1-2 minutes, bringing icing to room temperature and making it more adhesive. To cut the icing bag, remove the cap and snip the tip 1/4 of an inch from the end. Your icing is now ready for assembling the train.
- Getting started. Your train kit includes cookie pieces to build an engine and a caboose. Gently break the pieces apart on the solid lines to separate (keep pieces grouped together for the car to make building easier).
- Prepare the engine. Pipe a strip of icing in the front cavity of the tray. On the back (rough side) of two rounded pieces and both sides, pipe strips of icing along the edges.
- Building the engine back. Place the back of the engine in the tray and attach the side of the engine to the icing.
- Building the engine front. Press the other side of the engine to the back piece. Attach the front of the engine and square the pieces so they are all straight. Attach each of the two wheels with a dot of icing. Pipe two strips of icing along the tops of the side walls and add the roof.
- Finish the engine. Put a dot of icing on the back of each of the remaining rounded pieces and attach them as shown. Put a strip of icing along the top of the cow catcher and secure it to the front of the engine.
- Preparing the caboose. Pipe a line of icing in the cavity as shown. Lay the four walls of this car on the table. Pipe a strip of icing on the back edges of the wall pieces.
- Building the caboose. Place one of the short wall pieces on the base and press the two side walls up against it. Attach the other short wall piece to complete the car. If you would like a larger opening to decorate, cut the tip on the icing bag to 1/2 of an inch.
- Your train is now ready to decorate!
I assembled this with my 12-year-old, and it came together easily, although it was helpful to have the picture on the front of the box to use as a guide in addition to the instructions.
In terms of getting the structure to stay up, this kit goes together easier than Aldi’s traditional gingerbread house kit, and that’s probably because these pieces are smaller and weigh less, and with this train we didn’t have to deal with angled roof pieces that tend to slide down.
I let both of my kids go to town decorating the train, and they had fun and had plenty of candy pieces and icing. There was a lot of leftover holly and berry candy pieces (good for snacking on), and candy quins and red sugar (both good for ice cream toppings).
The Santa cookie piece doesn’t stay up well no matter how much icing you use to anchor it. I found that one of the plastic frosting tips that comes with this kit is perfect for sticking between Santa and the caboose to keep Santa upright, and you can hardly see it once it’s in place.
Overall, this is an inexpensive and fun family project. If you haven’t ever tried a gingerbread kit from Aldi, this one is as good as any of them.
The Benton’s Gingerbread Train Kit is a fun alternative to a traditional gingerbread house during the holidays. It goes together easily and is a fun project, especially if you have kids. And especially if you have kids who like trains.