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Massive gingerbread White House replica on display in Salt Lake City

Posted at 6:50 AM, Nov 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-25 08:52:25-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Grand America Hotel is participating in a tradition that many Utahns look forward to every year as they display their gigantic gingerbread house.

At 7 feet tall and 13 feet wide, the gingerbread masterpiece is a feast for the eyes.

"We have rice crispies, gingerbread cookies, we use some doughnuts, sugar candies," explained Executive Pastry Chef at Grand America Hotel Xavier Baudinet.

To make the house it takes 2,000 eggs, 1,600 pounds of flour, 500 pounds of sugar, 160 quarts of molasses, 450 pounds of icing and a lot of candy decor.

Well before the holiday season, Baudinet and his team of 20 pastry chefs start planning the gingerbread masterpiece.

"It's always fun when you start on the blueprint with a sharpie and start to draw what you want to do," Baudinet explained.

He said his planning process starts in June or July and the actual construction of the house starts around October.

They start baking the cookies in September and construction takes two to three weeks to complete.

This year, the inspiration for the creation is the White House in 1889. Within the walls is a story that hits close to home for Baudinet.

"This year I [became a] US Citizen," Baudinet said. "I think for me it's good to honor what the country gave to me."

Chef Baudinet is originally from France and says he's a history aficionado and he wanted to pay tribute to the country he's grown to love.

"I am very proud to be here and to work here," he said.

When the last cookie brick is placed, Baudinet says it really feels like the holidays can begin. Displaying a confectionary structure that brings families from near and far to enjoy a sweet tradition.

"Every year we have about 20,000 visitors," Baudinet told FOX 13 News.

From now through New Year's Day, the gingerbread creation will be on display at the Grand America Hotel, free for anyone to check out and get a dose of some holiday magic.