Welcome back to December, a time of gifts, endless “hygge,” and jaw-dropping, mouthwatering gingerbread architecture. The festivities are still ramping up, but there have already been several impressive showings, setting the bar high for the season. Whether it’d be a hyper-detailed gingerbread historic manor or a fantastical gingerbread wizardry world, let these masterpieces motivate you to put your best gingerbread foot forward this year.
What it is: An impressively detailed, 6-foot-long gingerbread replica of Waddesdon Manor, an 1800s historic country estate in Buckinghamshire, England, commissioned by the U.K. National Trust
Specs: 500 hours baking time, 480 pounds of icing, 240 eggs, more than 66 pounds of butter and sugar
What it is: A two-story gingerbread Victorian with a completely edible exterior, built by the Fairmont San Francisco hotel
Specs: 700 pounds of icing and candy decor, over 500 hundred hours of baking and decorating
What it is: The annual White House Gingerbread House, unveiled as part of the 2016 White House holiday decorations
Specs: 150 pounds of gingerbread on the inside, 100 pounds of bread dough on the exterior, 200 pounds of gum paste, 20 pounds of icing, 20 pounds of sculpted sugar pieces
What it is: The 24th annual Gingerbread Village from Sheraton Seattle Hotel, designed by local architecture firms around the theme of “Magic of the Holidays” (Flying car! Fire-breathing dragon! Harry!)
Specs: 7,000 volunteer hours, 1,200 pounds of dough, 800 pounds of icing, 200 pounds of white chocolate, 250 pounds of almond paste, and hundreds more pounds of candy
What it is: A gingerbread replica of the long-anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture (which opened back in September on the National Mall in Washington, D.C), created by the Willard InterContinental Washington hotel
Specs: 60 hours of work, 100 eggs, 27 pounds of flour, 20 pounds of powdered sugar, 26 pounds of granulated sugar, and 10 pounds of vegetable shortening
What it is: Sheraton New Orleans Hotel’s gingerbread replica of Jackson Square, a historic site in New Orleans, complete with the St. Louis Cathedral, shotgun cottages, and a toy train moving through the edible landscape
Specs: 150 pounds of gingerbread, 200 pounds of sugar, 250 pounds of candy, completed over two months
Did we miss something? Feel free to share in the comments—we’ll update this post as new masterpieces reveal themselves. In the mean time, you can also check out some greatest hits from years past, which include: a gingerbread hotel from the Shining, gingerbread odes to Frank Lloyd Wright and Zaha Hadid, a gingerbread Downton Abbey, and lots more.