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UPDATED Photo Gallery: Not Your Average Holiday Gingerbread Houses

Bakers wowed participants at the annual fundraiser for Preservation Bloomfield at Oakland Hills Country Club.

 

More than 200 of the Bloomfield area's most passionate and ardent supporters got into the holiday spirit while raising funds for historic preservation at the fourth annual Gingerbread House Brunch at the on Friday.

The event showcased dozens of local bakers whose elaborate creations astonished the crowd and built excitement for the holidays. The gingerbread houses, cakes and other centerpieces were auctioned off with proceeds benefiting restoration of the historic . A few of the auctioned items were donated to local charities and hospitals.

Though many of the items received multiple bids, the Dr. Seuss-themed cake crafted by Julie Allen of the Holiday Market in Royal Oak took top honors from the judges. A baker for nearly four decades, Allen said she toiled between 50 and 60 hours to pull the three-dimensional display together.

"I wanted it to look like a pop-up book that just came out at you when you opened it," said Allen, whose won the top honor a prior gingerbread brunches. "I did the pieces and just hoped it all went together."

The results did not go unnoticed by attendees who crowded around the creation for pictures before and after the meal was served.

"It's just beautifully executed and is pure art," raved Barb Williams of Bloomfield Township.

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