Just in time for Christmas, we take a look at some of the most extreme gingerbread houses and sculptures. From record-breakers to royal gingerbread, check out the most impressive structures built with this favourite festive treat.
Gingerbread London, 2007
In December 2007, German chef Beate Woellstein created a landscape of some of London’s most well-known structures – out of gingerbread. Hello magazine reported at the time that it took 50kg of gingerbread dough to create the landscape, which included Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and the Tower of London. The structure was on show at The Grosvenor Hotel, London.
The White House gingerbread, 2011
This year, the Obamas unveiled their gingerbread White House replica, made with gingerbread, white chocolate and marzipan. It comes complete with working lights, miniature artwork, furniture and chandeliers – along with an iced model of the Obamas’ pet dog, Bo. It also features a vegetable garden and beehive, complete with tiny bees. According to reports, the gingerbread house measures 41” wide and weighs a hefty 400lbs. But it’s not the heaviest Presidential gingerbread house. That was made back in 2008 under the Bush administration, and weighed a staggering 475lbs.
Life-size gingerbread house, London 2011
In June 2011, The Brunswick shopping centre in London exhibited the huge Incredible Edible Gingerbread House. Built to raise money for The Great Ormond Street Hospital, it came complete with meringue clouds, chocolate furniture, a cupcake lawn and a balloon sky. It was created from 250kg of gingerbread and cake dough and had a chimney that actually popped popcorn. Hundreds of children came to see (and taste) the gingerbread house, which raised £5,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
[See also: The unusual Christmas food available this year]
World’ largest gingerbread house, Minnesota, USA, 2006
This record-breaking gingerbread house was made by Roger Pelcher and exhibited at the Mall of America in Minnesota, USA. Guinness World Records confirmed that it measured 18.28 metres (around 60 feet) tall. It was made with 14,250lbs of gingerbread and 4,750lbs icing and also over a ton of sweets including Hershey’s chocolate bars and Tootsie Rolls. It took Roger 1,700 hours to make the sculpture, which was put on view to the public. Photo courtesy Mall of America
Gingerbread dining room, USA, 2011As one of America’s best-known waterpark resorts, Great Wolf Lodge came up with a festive way to dine with family and friends this year – in their purpose-built gingerbread house. Available at each of their eleven resorts, each gingerbread house can seat up to six visitors at a time. The houses were built to raise money for charity and each one took 400 hours to make. They’re put together with 5,000 candies, 4,900 pretzels, 600lbs of gingerbread dough and 1,000 candy canes along with 100lbs of chocolate.
Royal gingerbread house, Oslo, 2009In 2009, Norway’s royal family posed for a photograph in front of a huge, edible gingerbread house. The photo shows Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit posing with their children, alongside King Harald and Queen Sonja. Although the gingerbread house was made by professional chefs from the palace, the children did help to decorate it. And although they weren’t allowed to eat the actual gingerbread, they did get to nibble on some of the decorations.
Have you ever made an exceptional gingerbread house? Which one of the above is your favourite?