The iconic Bake Off Tent

The Bake Off Tent in Gingerbread

Inspired by my time baking in the Tent in August, this gingerbread tent captures the classic shape of the tent with all of the bakers from Season 5. And don’t forget about Paul, Sherry, Spice and Emma!

The Bake Off Tent in Gingerbread
The iconic Bake Off Tent in Gingerbread

Every year I create a gingerbread structure that represents somewhere that I have been or been inspired by in the past year.

Last year, I made a replica of Eileen Donan Castle. I had a chance to visit the Highlands of Scotland for the first time since I lived there in the early 90’s. This castle was one that I have always wanted to visit but never had. I finally made it there in August 2018 and just had to use it as the inspiration for my gingerbread structure!

This year, there could be no doubt what I would attempt to build out of gingerbread.

After being chosen to compete on the Great American Baking Show, I worked tirelessly to prepare recipes and get ready to compete. The cast on the American Bake Off competes in the Tent in London and, unlike the British bakers on the British version of the show, we only have about 4 weeks to do ALL of the prep. It may sound like a lot of time but it isn’t!

Walking into the tent for the first time is incredible! It is bigger than you think from seeing it on TV. While the bakers are working at their stations, the center aisle is flooded with people – cameramen, sound people, producers, culinary team members – so many more people than you would believe.

Baking on the show was a dream come true and seeing the process of making a show was eye-opening. I loved every second of it, even with the long days, unexpected problems, waiting around and being watched and judged by Paul and Sherry.

I would go back and do it a thousand times over!

When it came time to make my annual gingerbread structure this year, my husband said ‘You have to make the Tent.’

At first, I wasn’t sure. Mostly because I didn’t want to tackle the roof!

But it was obvious that the Tent was the most inspiring place that I had been this year. (We spent some more time in Scotland this year as well and that is my happy place. Stay tuned for more Scottish inspired designs and recipes soon!)

Here is video for you!

So here it is. It is not perfect. The scale is off. The benches are angled in order to make them fit. I left two benches out completed because it was just too tight in there with all ten benches. The removable roof is rough and it is the second attempt since the weight of the fondant peaks was too heavy and the first attempt collapsed. The people are simply decorated – Paul would call them rudimentary. And he would be right.

Here is a video to introduce the Bakers!

But I love it. I’m not going to win any competitions. There are a million things that I could’ve done to improve it. But it’s my Tent and it’s perfect.

My Bake Off Family
My Bake Off Family
The iconic Bake Off Tent
The iconic Bake Off Tent
The Christmas Tree in The Bake Off Tent
During filming, we were constantly told “Bakers, face forward!” so that the crew could film us. I starred at the Christmas Tree most of the time! If I looked at one of the Producers at the front of the Tent, I would laugh! I remember one laughing fit when Alex and I started giggling while waiting to be judged on a Technical and we couldn’t stop!
The fireplace in the Tent
The fireplace is just there for ambience. And it was one of my favorite features!
My Baking Family
Back Row: Carlos, Sarita, Bianca, Brother Andrew and Alex. Front Row: Helen, Dana, Tanya (me), Marissa and Sally.
Spice Anthony Adams - Uh haha
Anthony ‘Spice’ Adams is such a warm, funny, and amazing guy! I loved having him in the Tent with us! Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton is friendly, sweet and comforts the bakers during rough bakes and judging!
The iconic Bake Off Tent
The iconic Bake Off Tent
Paul, Sherry, Spice and Emma
Our judges – Paul Hollywood and Sherry Yard. Our hosts – Anthony ‘Spice’ Adam and Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton.
The stations in the Tent
The baking stations in the tent

I hope you enjoyed my little project!

Happy Baking!


  1. Marijo Hennagin-Mazur

    BTW – Sally reminded me last week (but I forgot to act on it!) to tell you that I made your “Banoffee Tart!” It turned out fabulous! The only hitch was that I used whipped cream that I had made in my CO2 whipper, and it deflated in the fridge before I was to serve it! No problem! I just whipped up (the regular way) a batch of whipped cream, and added it as an additional layer, with another sprinkle of dark chocolate shavings! Divine! Thank you for that wonderful recipe. Everyone loved it!

    • I’m so glad you liked the Banoffee Tart! I’ve never used a CO2 whipper before and I didn’t realize that the cream deflates that quickly! I’m glad you rescued it and enjoyed it!

  2. Marijo Hennagin-Mazur

    This is just beyond amazing! I think it is perfection, and you should be sure to send Paul and Sherry, as well as “Spice” and Emma, these photos and videos! I have never seen anything in gingerbread that even comes clise to your masterpiece! Bravo, Tanya!

    • Thank you so much! I have poted to instagram and tagged them so hopefully they will see it. I know Spice did because he commented!! I really love playing with gingerbread!!

  3. I mean…. WHAT?!?!!!! Unbelievable!!!!

  4. This Is such an awesome and thoughtful project! Thank you so much. Can’t tell you how much I enjoy your gingerbread creations! Xo

    • Thanks Dana! I loved every second we spent in the tent and love that I have my own tent that I can share with you guys! I dont think you can see it in the pics but I TRIED to draw tattoos on your figure.

  5. Holy shit, Tanya!

  6. Tanya, it gets impossible to find what to say about this amazing masterpiece! You outdid yourself, I saw the Castle from last year and it is another “tour de force” but the detail in this one and beyond detail, the LOVE you put into it, making every baker, every station, it’s just amazing.

    • Thanks Sally! It was fun to make and I love that I have my own miniature version of the tent on my table! I wish I could keep it forever but it’s huge!

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