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Who Built the Best Gingerbread House?

Our editors get in the holiday spirit with a friendly gingerbread-house competition. Hear what inspired their designs, see the finished results and pick a favorite!

gingerbread house with candy canes
If there was ever a way to placate your inner child, spending the afternoon making gingerbread houses is it. I made my humble abode out of red and green gumdrop shingles—Santa and tree shapes, of course—decorative cinnamon candies and a peppermint window. Two mini candy canes framed my Nature Valley granola door and some peppermint Muddy Buddies sealed the deal as a wintery walkway. —Claire Davidson, associate editor gingerbread house
I was going to be a purist and only use red and white on my house, but I when I locked eyes with the knotty candy ropes that our kitchen shoppers bought (they went a little nuts in the candy aisle!), I couldn’t resist adding a splash of green. I cut half-inch chunks of sparkly candy leathers for the shingles, used an original oats and honey Nature Valley granola bar for the door, and fashioned hot cinnamon candies for the door knob and threshold heart. —Erin Madsen, executive editor gingerbread house on tray
This is the house that Fruit Roll-Ups built. I had no idea what a perfect medium they were for creating a colorful and one-of-a-kind gingerbread house; you can just lick and stick (assuming you won’t be eating the house later!). If you ask me, gingerbread house decorating is all about the roof. While creating this one with triangular pieces in three different colors was a bit more time-consuming than I thought—I was the last one done—it was totally worth it. And because why stop at the house when you can create a whole front yard, I made a walkway out of a Nature Valley granola bar and light posts with gum drops and candy canes. Ta-dah: my dream candy cottage! —Kayla Knudson, managing editor gingerbread house with licorice rope
While I’d usually break out into hives at the mere site of a piping bag, my overwhelming love for all things Christmas had me grinning like a school kid during our gingerbread decorating project. (A quick hands-on piping lesson from Betty Crocker Kitchens expert Marcia Brinkley was a great confidence boost!) I started with the roof, frosting it a billowy cotton-candy pink, finishing the roof lines with candy canes and peppermint candies. The front and sides got slathered with minty frosting, accented with hatches made with a fork, braided licorice windows and a door made from Nature Valley Crunchy Snack Bar. It’s not the most photogenic of the bunch, but the time spent with coworkers—and the contact sugar high—was a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season. —Meghan McAndrews, senior editor gingerbread house with cracker door
I tend to operate under the belief that if something is made with love, it’s automatically beautiful. That being said, gumdrops and glitter certainly help pretty up a gingerbread house! I slathered my house from top to bottom in—what else?—white frosting and covered it in white edible glitter. Instead of spending time crafting shingles, I playfully finished the roof with yellow and white gumdrops. Honestly, I spent more time eating the candy than I did covering my gingerbread house with it, but isn’t that half of the fun of making these sweet creations? I’m a bit of a Grinch when it comes to cold weather and snow, but this project got me more than a little excited for real sparkling white-covered houses! —Angie Sheldon, community manager (aka Ms. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter!)

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