This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

Watch: Creating the 2013 White House Gingerbread House

The 2013 White House holiday theme is Gather Around, celebrating heartfelt memories from American families across the country. Thoughtful hand-made decorations in each room of the White House helps tell a story. As part of White House holiday tradition, the State Dining Room is home to the famous gingerbread house. Over the course of several weeks, pastry chef Bill Yosses and his talented team created a 300-pound, edible White House replica. This year’s creation features a mini Bo and Sunny sitting on the front steps of the house lit from within, and a functioning replica of the North Lawn fountain.

The gingerbread house rests on a life-size, custom-made hearth fashioned from over 1,200 Springerle Cookies. (You can get the recipe for the Springerle Cookies here) These sweet treats tell stories through images imprinted on their dough by hand-carved, wooden molds. Framing the opening of the hearth are sugar paste recreations of the tiles commissioned for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s fireplace. The edible fireplace reminds us of President Roosevelt’s famous “fireside chats” and will certainly evoke memories for so many of their own special moments gathered around a fireplace.
The time lapse video lets you see how Chef Yosses and his team put the whole project together.
For additional information about holidays at the White House 2013, go to Holiday-related content from the White House will be tagged #WHHoliday on Twitter.