Gingerbread Pop Culture 960×600

Congratulations to the Winners of Our 2018 Gingerbread Competition!

The results are in–here are the winners of the 2018 gingerbread competition. Thanks to all the talented bakers for making the holidays “pop”!

If you’re interested in participating in next’s year competition, email

Youth Division

First Place

Charlie Brown’s Winter Wonderland
Katie Pasay, Springfield, MA

“The inspiration for our gingerbread display came from ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ We added on our own ideas as we went on.  My Aunt Ilona did help me with my display. I couldn’t have done it without her.”

Special Ingredients: Some foods we used were pretzel rods, royal icing, gingerbread, and light cocoa candy melts. Some candies we used were clear mints and sprinkles.

Second Place

Hanukkah Winter Wonderland
Springfield Chapter United Synagogue Youth

“United Synagogue Youth is a nationwide Jewish teen organization.  We thought it would be wonderful to build a gingerbread display all together for the Springfield Science Museum!  This was our first time building, and we were inspired by our Jewish heritage to create a Hanukkah-themed holiday scene. Builders: Josh, Will, Max, Alex, Rebecca and Gary.”

Special Ingredients:  Our Hanukkah display is made of entirely kosher ingredients. We even have candy from Israel! There are sour belts for grass, a gingerbread walkway, and a gelt coin trail leading to the hanukkiah (menorah). The dreidels and Stars of David on the house are made from fondant and they are colored gold and blue.

Third Place

Phoebe Wondolowski, Greenfield, MA

Bavaria was the inspiration for this display.”

Special Ingredients: Chocolate and candy pebbles.

Family Division

First Place

Snoopy Loves the Holidays
Jolie Landau, New York, NY

“Snoopy is a pop culture character who is known by people who are younger and older. My mom helped create this gingerbread house with me. We used a recipe that did not have eggs, so Snoopy’s house would be harder. But it still tastes really good.”

Special Ingredients:  The outside of Snoopy’s house is covered with chocolate that has been colored red and black. The snow is royal icing, and the lights are different colored sugar pearls. We hope you like Snoopy and his house as much as he loves the holidays.

Second Place

Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Water House
Bridget Hoffman, Manchester, CT

Dad helped me design, and Gram helped with making gingerbread and frosting.”

Special Ingredients: Gingerbread, Vanilla Wafers, Red Hots, graham crackers, M & M’s, royal icing, sugar sprinkles, gummy bears, red licorice, candy canes, marshmallows, candy rocks and pretzel sticks.

Third Place

Inside/Outside House Wonderland
Naima Ramos, Springfield, MA

Our house, No, Mom, and Ezekiel inspired the creation of this display.”

Special Ingredients: Nerds, fondant, gumdrops, Skittles, pretzels, candy canes and hard candy.

Adult Division

First Place

Times Square on New Year’s Eve
The Salva Family, Feeding Hills, MA

Participating in this display has been our family tradition for years now! Many times a few of us make our own, but this year we chose to work as a family of 5 (Mom, Dad, Olivia, Donovan and Nan) to create this piece. To us, Times Square on New Year’s Eve combined a holiday scene with the pop culture theme. We wish health, happiness and good times to all in the coming New Year”!

Special Ingredients: The large billboards and crowds of people welcoming the New Year are made of primarily gingerbread, fondant and chocolate. Royal icing is the glue that hopes to hold it all together, and hard candy, chewing gum and coconut also were used.

Second Place

The Muppet Show
Cheryl Barnhart, Agawam, MA

Jim Henson inspired this pop culture display.”

Special Ingredients: The curtain is made of fondant. The backdrop is fondant. Various sprinkles were used.

Third Place

The Ruby Slippers
Terry Sullivan, Springfield, MA

“What inspired me was the theme, pop culture, and making something fun and delicious. Even today, replicas of the slippers are sold and worn. I love how the crushed cinnamon candies look like jewels, and the gingerbread basket looks like wood.”

Special Ingredients: I’ve made the ruby-encrusted gingerbread shoes resting against Dorothy’s picnic basket.  The rubies are made up of crushed cinnamon candies. The picnic basket is gingerbread. The tea towel is made of fondant.

Professional Division

First Place

She Sells Seashells by the Seashore, but Where’s Waldo?
Chef Eric Hirsh, Mystic, CT

This year’s display has taken three very, very, long years to put on display at the Spring field Museums, two years of ideas in my mind and on paper. December 2017: Mockups and sizing, ordering items from Russia, South Korea, Canada, England and the USA.  Then an added twist mid-2018, my wife and I got a new car, smaller than the plan built could fit – so, back to the drawing board.  But with quick thinking and my saw, the display came to life in my kitchen and dining room, living room, basement – well. the whole house. After everything — and planning for a wedding cake for my son and ‘Darling Daughter 2’ (daughter in law) next year, consisting of three tiers, roses, berries, nature, sticks and, ‘Oh nooooo! — Mister Bill! I’m very happy to bring to you, in 2018: The Biggest and Greatest Gingerbread Display from my kitchen to you! ENJOY!  P.S. I had to rent a van. So much for my measurements.”

Special Ingredients: So you think building big would be fun, HA! The construction of this display took:  One week of vacation, about 5,000 jelly beans, working gingerbread — hot from the oven, somewhere around 40 to 50 pounds of royal icing, one gallon of egg whites and one quart of food coloring. Gum paste, candies, and sails made of four layers of rice paper and put together with paper mache. Other ingredients include Rice Krispies treats and beans. Now the non-edible: PVC piping, plywood and glue. Do you still think you want to try it?

Second Place

A Merry Little Christmas
Sugar D.L.’s Baked Goods, Wilbraham, MA

For our display, we wanted to do a traditional holiday gingerbread house.”

Special Ingredients: Candy canes, Lifesavers candies, Shredded Wheat cereal and Sweetarts.