2010 Gingerbread House Contest Winners
Here are the top 25 astonishing and edible abodes from this year's competition
Here at This Old House, we're big fans of DIY builders. But little did we know that the tools of the trade—band saws, wood rasps, belt sanders, Dremels—could be used to build dessert.
The third annual TOH Gingerbread House contest boasted some of the most impressive masterpieces we've seen to date. Here, we show you the top 25 creations, counting down to the $500 Grand Prize winner. Hopefully they'll inspire you to create an edible abode of your own this season. Happy holidays!
"I use anything and everything to make gingerbread houses. The cool thing about
this one is that the front was so big I had to make it in two pieces. This is a replica of an actual house on a trail where I ride my bike."
Newtown Square, PA
"I wanted to make a cozy peaceful cottage for Christmas. This is made from
gingerbread, icing, candy rocks, and ice cream cone pine trees. I used a knife,
ruler, and paint brushes. Thank you!"
"The diner was created for a charity auction. I had to make molded forms from aluminum roof flashing and a pop rivet gun. I used a Dremel tool for sanding edges and drilling holes. I used an X-Acto knife for all my cutting. The house is lit inside, and the sign on the roof actually rotates slowly. It is quite large, 18-inches long, 12-inches wide and 18-inches tall. The whole house is gingerbread, fondant and candy. The decorations all are candy except for the cars. The light, bench and specials board are fondant."
Palm Bay, FL
"I created a Painted Lady, much like the home I live in. The
structure is all gingerbread, covered with colored modeling chocolate
for the siding. Shingles were all handcrafted out of a combination of modeling
chocolate and fondant. I handmade the
marzipan red ribbons and green garland trimming the picket fences. All the picket
fences were prepared from pastillage. The gazebo was crafted with gingerbread
on the top and bottom. The pillars of the gazebo were made from white chocolate
piped into plastic tubes placed in the freezer and unmolded, then wrapped with
red marzipan ribbons. "
New Baltimore, MI
"This is my version of an old-fashioned Christmas scene. It is made from
gingerbread, royal icing, and fondant for some of the decorations. I used knives,
a ruler, paint brushes, and a level. Enjoy!"
"Christmas is a time for nostalgia, among other things. This church reminds me
of my childhood Christmases spent in New England. The construction is basic
gingerbread covered with royal icing."
Santa Fe, NM
"This is my very first Gingerbread house! I used an X-Acto knife to trim the
windows, a jigsaw for the base, and a brick impression mat on the walls. Lit from
the inside with Christmas lights."
Grand Junction, CO
"Santa Claus is coming to town via the Santa Express Train! This train display sits on a 1½" foam board that sits on top of ½" plywood that is 2' x 4'. I used a skill saw to cut the plywood and a serrated knife to cut the foam board. I used an X-Acto knife, metal ruler and drafting triangles to create the pattern. This was a fun gingerbread creation to make and decorate. The Santa Express Gingerbread Train was donated to the Eugene Festival of Tree's as part of their fundraiser."
decided to make a gingerbread church. It took almost 200 hours to make. It is
100 percent edible except for the lights inside. More than 8 pounds of various
candies were used. Candy cane sticks were used in the bell tower to support
the tower itself. The tools used to create the church are a saw for the base,
hole saw for the lighting, Dremel for cutting the window, doorways, and candy
cane sticks. It weighs approximately 30
Intercession City, FL
"This is a barn inspired by our traditional trip to to the Christmas
tree farm every year. The barn sides are rolled and cut with piped gingerbread
battens, attached before baking. The shed roof is gingerbread covered with
fondant. All of the tiny wreaths, trees, and greenery are made from royal icing.
The horse, little girl, and snowman are made from gum paste. The fence was
also made from piped gingerbread."
"My Tiki Hut is completely edible, except for the paper umbrella. It is made
out of gingerbread that was baked weeks ago, and left out to dry and harden.
It is assembled using royal icing that hardens fairly quickly. The decorations are
made of various candies, and molded gingerbread. There's even a gingerbread bartender holding a
Lanoka Harbor, NJ
"I created foil templates to trace the homemade gingerbread dough into the shapes and sizes needed. I used graham crackers for the deck
of the ship. Pretzels
and graham crackers were used for the dock. A cheese grater was used
to smooth out all edges for perfect alignment. I mixed food coloring with icing to
creates the desired murky color of the ship.
Sea creatures, sand, rocks, pirate's booty, masts, and wheel are all edible. The
only non-edible items are the sails."
Jersey City, NJ
"We're off to see the wizard! This gingerbread house was inspired by my daughter's
school play. I uses a drill, utility knife, and Dremel tool on it. I made the
characters out of fondant, the tornado is an upside-down candy Christmas tree,
and the Oz emeralds are colored rock candy. The trees are made of Tootsie Rolls."
"I used an
utility knife to cut pieces, a saw to cut board, and a drill to cut the hole for the
candle support; the candle is a Chick-o-Stick! The balls on the top of the clock are giant gumballs. "
"This is a replica of a real house located in Eugene, Oregon.
For the base, I used a Skil saw to cut plywood base and a power drill to make holes for lights. To make the pattern I used foam board, an X-
Acto knife, metal ruler, and drafting triangles."
"This is my 17th year making a gingerbread house—and I am 24 years old!
I wanted to make something different this year, so I made a tree house. The main
components are fondant, pretzels, and of course, gingerbread."
"I wanted to fashion something with a colonial theme reminiscent of Williamsburg
or Independence Hall. Cutting the gingerbread to size before baking, I simply
used some sandpaper to ensure a good fit. The house is lit from within with
a string of 50 lights and is topped with a few hundred cinnamon
Cedar Park, TX
"The picture doesn't do this justice. The gingerbread was cut with an X-Acto knife
and each wall has gelatin windows. The roof is black licorice,
cut out by my father, a master carpenter who has since passed. We used piped icing for snow and trim with a candy cigarette banister.
Stacked wood on the porch was cut from tootsie rolls, and we used marshmallow for the shrubs and
"I remember as a
child shopping with my mother and peeking into the store windows at all the
toys. I used fondant, gum paste and marzipan to create the toys and characters.
Everything else is in gingerbread."
"This house is the re-creation of a riverside hotel that
was torn down in the 1950s to make room for a gas station. I wish
I could have seen it, so I tried to recreate its splendor with lots of detail. I
used a band saw, Dremel, X-Acto, and I strained my pastry arm on all those
windows—but I had a great time!"
"This gingerbread house was built for a retirement facility and is a model of their
building's front entrance. The landscaping was done mainly in crushed and
powdered gingerbread and fondant. The windows panes are linguine."
"Completely edible, this stands over three feet tall with candy mosaics and handmade
candy fairies. It's made from 11 batches of gingerbread, 20 batches of icing and
pounds of candy and cookies."
"My gingerbread house is a creative replica of my own home; it's something I've
always dreamed of doing! The house took about two weeks and 80 hours to
create. It measures approximately 30 inches long and is 12 inches wide. It's entirely edible, including the sugar-pane windows. You
can spy Santa's hat on the top of one of the chimneys! The local lumber yard
cut a piece of plywood as the house's platform and the tools I used include an X-Acto knife, interior lighting, and protractors. Each of the rooms of the house has a decorated Christmas tree to
add to the holiday glow. Happy holidays!"
"This made entirely from gingerbread. It weighs about 80
pounds and measures 28 inches by 18 inches by 18 inches. It took a little more than two months to build. The houses feature shiplap and individual pastillage shingles. The windows are gelatin sheets, and
the inside figures are made of marzipan. The trees are fondant rolled in granola, then covered in royal icing."
"This gingerbread house stands four feet tall. 40 pounds of gingerbread and 30 pounds of royal icing are used. I guess you could call it a labor of love."