Gingerbread House Party

For the past 11 years in December, I’ve hosted a gingerbread house party. But this isn’t all sugar plums and happy fat gingerbread men – it’s cut throat competition. I divide all my friends up into teams and pit them against each other in a one hour slugfest for gingerbread domination and bragging rights for the whole next year.

All teams are provided the following:

  • One Wilton Gingerbread House kit
  • One 13″x19″ cake board covered in foil
  • Three cups of prepared buttercream icing
  • The royal icing supplied in the Wilton kit, prepared
  • One soup can
  • One knife
  • One pair of scissors

Here are the rules of my gingerbread house throwdown:

  • Teams can be of any size
  • Teams have one hour to complete their masterpieces
  • Time may be extended in five minute increments if all teams agree to do so
  • All decorations on the final product must be edible with the exception of the cake board covered in foil
  • All pieces provided in the Wilton kit (two roof panels, two rectangular side panels, and two house shaped end panels) must be used in some form on the completed house and scene
  • Modifying, crushing, breaking or using house pieces in a non-traditional manner is allowed
  • Pre-assembled items are allowed, pre-constructed items are not
  • Teams are allowed to bring as many extra supplies to decorate their house as they wish (This includes additional Wilton gingerbread house kits to create a village or two story house)
  • Stealing of other team supplies is allowed*
  • Houses are judged on creativity (50%) and construction (50%)
  • Rules clarifications are provided by request and shared with all teams upon the final decision
  • Points will be deducted for not returning the soup can, knife or scissors

* Stealing of unique, pre-assembled items or decorations that have already been placed on the house or scene is not allowed.

The most frequent rules clarification requested is “What is the difference between pre-constructed and pre-assembled?” Say for instance the team decides to build a bridge as a part of a snowy cabin theme. The bridge will be made out of sugar cookies. They can bake the individual sugar cookie bridge pieces in advance of the party but not assemble that bridge until time begins at the party. Also, these sugar cookie bridge pieces would be considered a unique item and thus are not available for stealing.

Over the years I’ve had some really awesome houses everything from the traditional gingerbread with decorated Christmas trees and a brown sugar path to the front doorto grandma got run over by a reindeer

and a church (Including steeple!) with a full nativity scene. 

Incredibly talented people have come up with some amazing edible house and scene details.  Like “Hot Hands” Matt’s work with tootsie rolls (See figure on the bridge and canoe at the dock):  Or Kelly’s oven with old lady in it to complete a Hansel and Gretel theme.

And palm trees and fire pit – all made from candy!

All these houses were made in ONE hour!  This party is a blast every year because people keep coming up with ways to top last year’s houses.  I can’t wait to see what designs are brought to the table this year and I invite you to torture your friends with a gingerbread house throw down of your own!

–Martta

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