As the holiday season calls time for the annual family gingerbread house bake-off, no matter how much effort you put in to beat Grandma this year, it’ll still be no match for Jon Lovitch’s Gingerbread Lane.
Lovitch has been the owner and creative visionary behind what the Guinness Book of World Records has deemed the “largest entirely edible gingerbread village.”
The project grew from its 12 original houses, inspired by the storefronts of Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri to its record-breaking number of 1,251 houses.
The entirely edible village—that’s right, with no cardboard backings—has traveled to cities such as Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Boston, Baltimore, Hartford, Philadelphia, and more for the past 25+ years. And this year, it will once again settle in NYC’s Essex Market on the Lower East Side!
The 2023 iteration is made up of 700 gingerbread houses (using 1,000 lbs of gingerbread) and 4,000 lbs of candy.
The process takes the entire course of the year to construct, from candy shopping in early January (gotta jump on those Christmas sales!), to drafting the design in March, and putting all the final touches and checking the work from October to November.
Each year, once the display is ready to come down, every part of the village is given away.
That’s right–you can own a piece of this year’s Gingerbread Lane, be it your favorite home or little snowman. Last year’s giveaway began at 2 p.m., however, the line opened at 12 p.m. But as a reminder, though the construction is completely edible, it is not recommended you eat any of it.
Feeling inspired? Try making your own gingerbread village using the same dough, icing and cake recipes used by Lovitch that are downloadable on his website.
Essex Market is even offering Gingerbread House Workshops with Lovitch where you can learn how to make your own delicious works of art from the master himself. Learn more here.
88 Essex Street, New York
November 26th, 2023 – January 7th, 2024