Build Our Sea Ranch-Inspired Gingerbread House

Edible Architecture

To celebrate the holidays we decided to make a gingerbread house based on our exclusive and historic Plan 447-1 by William Turnbull, which was originally designed as a cottage for The Sea Ranch, the famous second home community on the Northern California coast. Here it is — the simple gable roof (standing seam

metal out of royal icing) and porch evoke the quintessential mountain cabin. Snow on the doorstep (more royal icing) indicates an unusual weather event for the Sea Ranch and the chocolate mint pathway pavers and gumdrop shrubs give new meaning to the term “edible landscape.” The view below shows how the

windows, made of melted butterscotch, glow from within. Another version of the cabin takes a quasi-Colonial style approach (which, admittedly, might run into trouble with Sea Ranch Design Review) that includes white porch columns

using candy cigarettes (second-hand smoke, I mean support?!) and a slate or shake roof from slices of chewing gum. These are just two of the six versions — a veritable subdivision — made by the contractor-developer, our very own Jamie Roche ( CEO), as he perfected the building technique with advice from his two children and some kibitzing from Houseplans staff. Links to the gingerbread and royal icing recipes are listed at the bottom of this post. Architect Nicholas Lee, who is Director of Design, cleverly

adapted the original William Turnbull Plan 447-1 shown above (photograph by Morley Baer, courtesy Morley Baer Photography Trust, all rights reserved). It certainly helps to have an architect in the kitchen! Nick developed a simple set of gingerbread templates you can cut out to make your own Sea Ranch Cottage — as

in the sample shown here. Click on the link below for the pdf with complete drawings for floor, walls, and roof.

I hope you’ll build your own version of the Gingerbread Sea Ranch Cottage — send me photographs and I’ll show them in a future post…or build the cottage itself and make the gingerbread house in your new kitchen! For more inspiration see all of our Signature Plans.

Happy Holidays from our houses to yours.

Gingerbread Sea Ranch Cottage Instructions pdf

Basic Gingerbread Recipe (using a Martha Stewart Living recipe for gingerbread snowflake cookies)

Royal Icing Recipe (also from Martha Stewart Living)


One response to “Build Our Sea Ranch-Inspired Gingerbread House

  1. Super clever, fellas. Nice work.

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