There is an amazing smell inside the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan. It's the scent of gingerbread from 23 gingerbread creations.

That includes Upper West Side resident Loretta Bricchi Lee's take on the American Museum of Natural History.

Bricchi Lee started baking gingerbread during the COVID-19 pandemic as a family activity with her husband and daughter.

What You Need To Know

  • "Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off" is a gingerbread competition at the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan
  • More than 50 bakers from around the city applied for one of the 23 spots in the display
  • The competition is in its second year and has grown to three times the size as last year
  • This year's theme for the displays is "Iconic New York"

"At first, I did not realize how big of a challenge it was going to be, because each facade is different, and it's also very large," Bricchi Lee said.

It's all part of the second annual "Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off" at the Museum of the City of New York, which is three times the size of last year's debut event.

More than 50 professional and independent bakers applied for the 23 spots in this year's sweet holiday display.

"The museum has been a storyteller for New York City for the past 100 years. This is our 100th anniversary, and the story of the holidays fits right into that, and this is such a fun, family-friendly activity for everyone to enjoy," said Jerry Gallagher, the chief operating officer at the museum.

This year's theme is "Iconic New York." So there are two Yankee Stadiums, The Met Cloisters and The New York Hall of Science. There is also Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island and a tribute to 50 years of hip-hop with a homage to 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx, where it all started.

A Yankee Stadium gingerbread design is pictured.
Yankee Stadium opened in April 2009, replacing the original Yankee Stadium. (NY1/Roger Clark)

Patty Lambrou-Kalognomas and her team at Patty Pops bakery in Pelham won the best overall prize, and she wrapped up her creation with the addition of a pigeon.

"That was a final touch. I was like, there is something missing, and then I was like, 'Guys, there's no pigeon. Tt's New York City,'" Lambrou-Kalognomas said.

The results of "Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off" will be on display at the museum through Jan. 15.