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15-year-old Saskatoon girl spends nearly 100 hours on gingerbread house

15-year-old baking prodigy Bailey Mardell has spent nearly 100 hours on a holiday gingerbread house that is now in the running for a $10,000 prize.

“I’ve always been around baking, whether it was for the farm or harvest season, we would be making meals and ones that would have more steps to them like desserts. At Thanksgiving there were lots of pies being made with my grandma, that’s what we would do, and dinner buns as well,” Mardell said.

Mardell attempted her first house last Christmas at 14-year-old, but really wanted to up the ante this season.

Using Pinterest photos for inspiration, she took to measuring and graphing the mansion at the end of October this year.

“Sometimes it was a little bit challenging because mostly it’s just the picture of the front of the house so I had to get creative with the back of the house… I drafted all of the pieces and measured them out on graph paper, making sure they were proportionate.”

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Her house is compiled of at least 50 baked gingerbread pieces put together. Even the sprinkles on the house are made by hand.

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The glassy windows are made from melted down clear mints and a Christmas tree and warm lights can be seen glowing within.

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Bailey Mardell’s gingerbread house. Erik Bay / Global News

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Bailey Mardell’s gingerbread house. Erik Bay / Global News

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Bailey Mardell’s gingerbread house. Erik Bay / Global News

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Bailey Mardell’s gingerbread house. Erik Bay / Global News

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Bailey Mardell’s gingerbread house. Erik Bay / Global News

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Bailey Mardell’s gingerbread house. Erik Bay / Global News

Mardell said she was already knee-deep into her creation when she learned about The Greatest Baker competition.

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“It’s a people’s choice kind of thing, and if you get votes you move onto the next round,” she said.

The winner of the contest will be featured in Bake From Scratch magazine, take home $10,000 and a meeting with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro.

“I would buy myself a brand-new KitchenAid stand-mixer. Probably a blue one as it’s my favourite colour. It’s something I’ve wanted for the longest time.”

She said the motor on her current Bosch mixer is getting tired and has a hard time keeping up with her elaborate baking projects.

“It’s very loved.”

At the time of publication, Mardell was sitting in first place in her group.

You can vote for Mardell and her gingerbread house creations here.

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