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Unbelievable, Life-Sized Gingerbread Displays and Tips from Experts

by Kimberly Krol Inlander

Nov 23, 2020

Photo: Ritz Ft. Lauderdale Gingerbread House

Destinations / North America

At Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa and Pebble Beach Resorts, life-sized gingerbread house displays will be front and center this holiday season. Stop by with your family to take in the amazing creations in person.


Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa’s over-the-top display is showcased in the Riviera Beach, Florida, hotel’s lobby. With a tropical twist, Pastry Chef Kursten Restivo’s display will include interactive elements for the first time. Last year’s gingerbread surf shack took more than 1,000 hours to complete. This year’s unveiling is scheduled for Nov. 27.


Pastry Chef Anastasia Simpson’s display in the lobby of The Inn at Spanish Bay will draw the eyes up with its vertical build. The five-level structure will feature several small gingerbread houses, each distinct. Set to debut Dec. 1, it’s expected to take almost a month to create.


Photo: Ritz Grand Cayman


Chefs Restivo and Simpson shared tips for at-home gingerbread house builders, so take heed before busting out your family’s kit this year and make 2020’s version your brood’s best gingerbread confection yet.


Chef Restivo suggests thinking outside the box, and getting creative with different shapes. She notes royal icing should be thick to hold the house together. Use a whisk with a mixer to achieve the desired consistency. Melted-down Jolly Ranchers make for great stained-glass windows.


Chef Simpson reminds home builders patience is key and recommends using cardboard as the base of the scene. Cut a hole under where the house will sit and poke an inexpensive nightlight, with the cover removed, through the hole to illuminate your gingerbread house. Use Snickers for textured walls, like chimneys. Thinly sliced Snickers work best. Nerds Rope candy in holiday colors are excellent for creating a stringed light effect on the roof or for a wreath. Different colored almonds make for a dynamic roof.


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