Gingerbread replicas of NYC now on view at uptown museum


This overpriced rat race of a town sure looks much less filthy and aggressive when it’s constructed out of dessert. 

East Harlem’s Museum of the City of New York has given the boroughs a sugary makeover this holiday season, commissioning bakers from across town to recreate the city using gingerbread as part of their “Great Borough Bake-Off.”

Submissions to the museum’s “first-ever gingerbread competition” represent delicious replicas of all five boroughs, with every candy creation in the exhibit receiving an award.

Bruno’s Bakery, the sole contender from Staten Island, won most intricate and representative for its tiny Staten Island Ferry, treescape and Snug Harbor recreation. The Bronx’s Edigio Pastry Shop earned the “sweetest” award for its version of its own building. Amateur baker Sherry Kozlowski snagged the best overall title for her caloric take on her Astoria block, complete with fondant store fronts and gum paste apartments. Queens’ Sans Bakery chose to build a much more iconic corner of the borough with its submission of an enormous, not-to-scale 7 train adjacent to an icing-coated Silvercup Studios sign. Brooklyn bakery L’Appartement 4F incorporated its popular mini croissant into an edible take on a brownstone building. 

museum of the city of new york gingerbread
Baker John Kuehn’s Lower East Side re-envisioning.
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museum of the city of new york gingerbread
The Bronx’s Egidio Pastry Shop’s submission.
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museum of the city of new york gingerbread
Photographer Ida Kreutzer’s entrant.
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museum of the city of new york gingerbread
Bruno’s Bakery’s sweet recreation of the Staten Island Ferry.
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museum of the city of new york gingerbread
Amateur baker Sherry Kozlowski’s gingerbread miniature of her Queens block.
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museum of the city of new york gingerbread
Sans Bakery’s not-to-scale Queens replica.
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museum of the city of new york gingerbread
L’Appartement 4F’s iced brownstone contestant.
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Judges include an array of local sweet treat experts including Magnolia Bakery CEO Bobbie Lloyd, Amy’s Bread founder Amy Scherber — and Melba Wilson, the owner of Melba’s Restaurant in Harlem. 

Although the photos may be adorable, the full gingerbread experience requires an in-person viewing according to Jonah Nigh, a contest judge and semi-finalist on NBC’s “Baking It” show. 

“The minute you walk into the room you’re hit with it,” Nigh told Hyperallergic about the distinctive sweet scent of the room where the seven gingerbread creations are currently residing. “You can’t really appreciate the work or the scale of it until you see it up close.”

The exhibit is on view through Jan. 8, 2023. 



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