This adorable cold-weathered band is by Linda Carney of Asheville, N.C., and took second place at the 2012 National Gingerbread House Competition. Carney told The Grove Park Inn, "It was inspired by Mom's sweatshirt and her spirit is all over it."
Credit: Grove Park Inn
Entitled "Just My Type," this whimsical typewriter is made of — you guessed it — gingerbread. Made by New York City bakery Baked Ideas, it was on display at New York City's Le Parker Meridian in 2011.
Stephanie of Cake Fixation created this Disney favorite when she entered a competition in Port of Bellingham, Wash., in 2009. It should come as no surprise that she won first place.
Credit: Cake Fixation
Craft blogger Michelle Jamieson created this replica of the Harry Potter favorite, the Weasley family home known as The Burrow, as part of a Craftster.org challenge. She admitted that her favorite part of the entire house was the monogrammed sweaters on the clothesline, a trademark of Mrs. Weasley in the film series.
Artist Britta Blvd, who works with edible materials, created this masterpiece for a "Year Seven at Hogwarts" party. See how she brought the classic Harry Potter castle to life, piece by piece, here.
The Fairmont San Francisco created its largest-ever gingerbread house in 2011, and replicated the design this year. The two-story creation, which stands more than 22 feet tall, features thousands of gingerbread bricks and about 2,000 pounds of icing and candy.
Credit: Fairmont San Francisco
Annual Grand Floridian House
In keeping with its annual tradition, Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian opened up it's life-sized cookie doors for guests to buy gingerbread treats and holiday décor in the lobby of the Victorian-themed hotel.
Built by Jonathan Gellman of Skyward Builders in 2009, this organic gingerbread house was made at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, N.C., an LEED-certified hotel. In keeping with the tune of the hotel, every detail was environmentally friendly, from the recycled nails to the organic eggs.
Credit: Ritz-Carlton Charlotte
Made from London's renowned "jellymongers", Bompas & Parr, this giant replica of the Gherkin building in 2008, just one of their culinary masterpieces.
Not Your Usual Christmas
Inspired by legendary photography Bruce Weber's "Not Your Usual Christmas" campaign, London department store Selfridges placed this mega gingerbread mansion in their fairy tale-themed holiday windows this year.
Life-Size and Luxurious
In 2010, Neiman Marcus sold this Dylan's Candy Bar life-size gingerbread house for a whopping $15,000. For this pretty penny, your child could have had 381 pounds of gourmet gingerbread and 517 pounds of royal icing to play with.
As we've mentioned before, gingerbread houses are a beloved American tradition during the holidays. And it should come as no surprise that something as tried and true as the making of one of these delicious cookie homes has become an art form in itself.
These are most definitely not your average gingerbread houses
We're not talking about little square-shaped houses with gumdrop roofs; we're talking castles, tiered masterpieces, landmarks — the stuff gingerbread dreams are made of, especially this Simpsons-themed one.
During the holiday season, gingerbread exhibits and contests pop up all over the world showcasing some uncanny, imaginative, and downright outrageous creations made from the Christmas cookie. We are forewarning all of you doubters, everything is made from cookie or candy, there is no question about it!
Want to see a roundup of some of the most outrageous gingerbread houses around? Check out our slideshow above.