Dear Gossips,

Many of you have been emailing over the last couple of weeks about one of our favourite traditions here at LaineyGossip: the Gingerbread House Annual Cup! The competition was slightly delayed in 2017 due to travel schedules but we’re now ready for your votes. 

For several years now, my friend Lorella and her family have been holding the Gingerbread House Annual Cup as part of their annual Christmas celebrations and those of you who’ve been visiting this blog for a while know that, together, they’ve produced some of the best gingerbread creations we’ve ever seen, especially considering the rules and parametres they’ve imposed. 

Each contestant works off the same store-bought kit. Everything used to make the gingerbread houses must be edible. Even a toothpick will get you disqualified. The competition takes place over the course of an entire day at one location. It’s a live competition. It can go on for hours and hours and hours, starting in the morning and ending sometimes in the middle of the night. Or the next day. And this is because everything must be constructed on the spot. You can’t pre-make anything and bring it to the meet. Which makes you appreciate that much more what you’re seeing here, because it was all built on the spot, in the presence of rivals. These people do not f-ck around.

For the last 6 years, LaineyGossip readers have represented the People’s Choice vote for the  Gingerbread House Annual Cup. Please vote using the Twitter poll below. Here are the 2017 entries – click/tap to expand and more photos for each are below this post: 

#1 – Cuckoo for Christmas

Based on popular European cuckoo clocks of old, this gingerbread house features a blue fondant cuckoo bird popping out of cookie doors. A snowy shreddie-tiled roof tops walls intricately piped with royal icing scrolls, ivy, and holly garland. The unmistakable triple pinecone cuckoo clock weights are made of fondant and attached via licorice laces.

#2 – Merry-Go-Christmas

This whimsical and festive carousel features horses hand made from Rice Krispie treats, with flowing royal icing manes and piped saddles. The carousel is decorated with digestive biscuits adorned with silver and gold dragees, holly and snowflake garland, and hand-piped Christmas wreaths. Sugar cube presents, candy canes, a frosty white Christmas tree and a plump fondant snowman complete the snowy scene.

#3 – Hanukkah Goblin-King Cottage

Inspired by the beloved children’s book, “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins”, this admirable rookie entry features pretzel and candy stone walls, a pretzel stick logpile, a tiny pretzel mezuzah and spearmint leaf gummie bushes out front. Prior to erecting the walls, the interior of the house was painted to feature the Goblin-King from Eric Kimmel’s story. The “moss” roof effect was achieved using royal icing and pulverized (health food store) grass.

#4 – Stone Holiday Lodge

This entry features an impressive contest first: clear poured-sugar windows, made by melting golden sanding sugar and pouring it into the hand carved windows to cool. The grey royal icing mortar is tiled with toasted coconut, and the double roof is thatched with lentils and bran flakes. A wild rice path leads to the front door, which is framed by candy coated chocolate stones. A fondant snowman (with his sour gummy scarf) stands beside an ice cream cone pine tree, which is iced and decorated with gold and silver dragees.

#5 – Gift in Bloom

This sweet entry features a gingerbread gift box, which was iced and covered in rolled fondant. The fondant “gift wrap” was given a quilted effect and adorned with piped details and silver dragees. Instead of a bow, this gingerbread gift is decorated with an enormous gum paste poinsettia, which was hand - dyed and made (petal by petal) during the contest and without the assistance of wire supports. Icing and pink peppercorns make for realistic detail in the flower’s centre.

#6 – A Spot of Christmas Tea

This tidy entry features a gingerbread-house shaped teapot, decorated with two-tone candy coated chocolate stones, complete with a massive (caramel flavoured) candy cane handle and spout. The scalloped roof is piped with a delicate royal icing diamond-shaped pattern, adorned with sparkling clear sanding sugar and gold dragees. Pearl-white gumballs top the teapot’s “lid” and tiny holly leaves line the teapot’s base. A tiny Christmas wreath hangs on the graham cracker front door.

Once again, more photos of each entry are posted below where you can see the amazing details up close to assist in your deliberations. Your votes are important to us. Please vote here on Twitter or you can email your votes and your comments to us at [email protected]

If you’re new to this and you would like to browse through previous entries from the Gingerbread House Annual Cup, please click here

Thank you for your support!

Yours in gossip,