The holiday season is upon us, and that means lots of cookie making, family gatherings, and all-around warm, cozy feelings. While most of us are super busy this time of year trying to get everything ready for the Big Day, those creative DIYers, bakers, and builders among us (you know who you are!) are using their skills to whip up gingerbread houses that rival the real world’s most whimsical and design-forward buildings.

Today’s gingerbread houses go way beyond the simple creations many of us attempted in school. We’ve scoured the internet to find some of this year’s best, and there’s festive holiday inspo to draw from every single one. Who knows? You may even feel moved to create a modern gingerbread marvel of your own.

Classic Christmas Cottage

Gingerbread cottage by Instagram user @ellagracebakes.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

Who needs a gingerbread house when you can have a full-blown gingerbread cottage? This one from @ellagracebakes is both festive and fanciful, creating a lovely holiday scene. Bonus points for the brickwork detail and edible patchwork entryway.

The Devil’s in the Details

Intricate gingerbread estate by Instagram user @mygingertable.

Is it still a classic gingerbread house if it’s not entirely edible? If it looks as good as this stunning house from @mygingertable, the answer is a resounding yes. While the house itself is all gingerbread, the other details are painstakingly recreated using a variety of other materials. No matter how you look at it, the result is a gorgeous and impressive edible delight.

Simple Yet Elegant

Simple yet elegant Gingerbread Tower from Instagram user @bakerloocakes.

Many of today’s best gingerbread houses are eschewing the kitschy (and sometimes gaudy), colorful candies of yore and instead focusing on the elaborate construction of the structure itself, and this is certainly true of this creation from @bakerloocakes. Intricate icing deliciously highlights the details, while the height and design of the gingerbread is imposing without being overwhelming. A perfect pairing!

It Takes a Village

Close-up of the café in @sanna_hederstedt's adorable gingerbread village.

Adorable gingerbread village from Instagram user @sanna_hederstedt.

What’s better than one gingerbread house? An entire gingerbread village, of course! This one from @sanna_hederstedt is the real deal, complete with adorable detailed interiors. Look closely and you’ll see tables in the café, miniature baked goods, and even a tiny gum ball machine. This super-impressive offering definitely proves that it’s what inside that counts, even in the world of gingerbread.

Life Imitates Art

Sometimes gingerbread houses are inspired by real-life architectural marvels, and these are some of the best.

Gingerbread version of San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid by Instagram user @grownasswomenwithdinosaurs.

The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco is lovingly recreated in edible splendor in this model by @grownasswomenwithdinosaurs.

Gingerbread version of the iconic St. Louis Arch by Instagram user @justinwirick88.

Check out this uber-impressive St. Louis Arch made out of gingerbread by @justinwirick88.

Gingerbread version of Pittsburgh's Omni William Penn Hotel by Instagram user @tajulian25ca

This gingerbread version of the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh is epic, and we’re glad @tajulian25ca decided to share it with the rest of us!

Gingerbread versions of iconic Washington D.C. landmarks by Instagram user @princessintraining_colleen.

These famous D.C. sights rendered in gingerbread give all new meaning to the phrase “White Christmas.” Photos courtesy of @princessintraining_colleen.

Whether you’re a gingerbread house traditionalist or have an affinity for more avant garde creations, these tasty treats are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Grab some graham crackers and get building to create your own edible holiday masterpiece.