I am fascinated by gingerbread houses, although my ability to make them is limited to the kits that you can buy at craft stores. Two years ago I got to see all of the creations submitted in the National Gingerbread House Competition at the Grove Park Inn and was in total awe.

One time my daughter and I tried to make a sugar-free gingerbread house using graham crackers, sugar-free candies and a sugar-free cream cheese frosting. It looked real good--for about 3 minutes. Then it started collapsing under the weight of all that cream cheese frosting. The next year we just went back to the kit and had much more success.


My new favorite gingerbread house is the Gingerbread Lighthouse created by my friend Julia Rutland, the food editor at Coastal Living. I got to see this as it was being built and was so impressed with Julia's construction skills that I just had to share it. For all of you who are spending the holidays on the coast, or just wishing that you were, this is the project for you. You can find templates and step-by-step instructions for this amazing gingerbread house at

For some more fun ideas for making gingerbread houses, see our videos on Making Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses and Decorating Gingerbread Houses. Or, if you want to just stick with regular gingerbread cookies, we've got recipes for those, too. We'd love to hear about your gingerbread creations, so please let us know what kind of house you are decorating this season.