Extravagant gingerbread creations have been a tradition at the Broadmoor for the past 32 years. But executive baking and pastry chef Adam Thomas outdid himself this season, with a 12-foot-tall, 150-square-foot work that replicates the hotel’s Pauline Chapel. “This year’s is the tallest and longest and widest, in measure,” Thomas says. “We’re always trying to do something different than the previous year, we don’t ever want to repeat ourselves.”

The impressive baked treat, which features everything from brioche to cupcakes to cookies, was made in anticipation of the Broadmoor’s 100th anniversary in 2018. The gingerbread chapel went up the day before Thanksgiving on the mezzanine level of the main building, and will remain there until January 3.

As good as brioche and chocolate and cupcakes sound, the gingerbread chapel was not made for eating. For those hoping to steal a bite, Thomas warns, “It’s not going to kill you, but you don’t want to eat it. A lot of these things need to be made well in advance, so it’s dried out.” Plus, he adds, since they didn’t reinforce the creation with screws or other tools, they had to make the materials as adhesive as possible. In other words, lots of eggs and under-baked dough.

“I wish we had a romantic story [of what happens to the creation after it’s on display], like donating it to cattle, but we just dispose of it responsibly,” Thomas says. “Because there is raw egg product and some perishable items on there, we really can’t do much.”

Here’s a breakdown of what went into the gingerbread chapel:

    • 220 hours of labor
    • 958 pounds of powdered sugar
    • 475 pounds of flour
    • 650 eggs
    • 19 pounds of holiday spices
    • 200 pounds of honey
    • 128 pounds of molasses
    • 6 pounds of salt
    • 146 pounds of dark chocolate
    • 89 pounds of butter

    …totaling up to 3,798,114 calories.

Our waistlines are shuddering just thinking about it.