Cape Cod Style Sugar Cookie House (Gingerbread Alternative)

I’ve come to the realization that the only projects I do again and again are Halloween costumes and cookies. One is worn only once, and the other is EATEN, for crying out loud. I feel crazy for spending so much time on both because they’re  gone afterward, but I realized last night that it’s part of the appeal. I’m a perfectionist in many ways, so it’s fun to put a lot of work and creativity into something while at the same time not having the pressure of having to look at it forever.


Maybe when I take up painting, I’ll do all my practice on over sized cookie easels, so I won’t have to look at finished early work in my basement all the time. Hah! Now that’s minimalism.


I began wanting to do this project back at our first house, and after seeing Lauren Gummerman’s  Palm Springs Gingerbread House with a pool, I went out to buy a bunch of supplies. And then I didn’t use them. That was two years ago. Typical!

This gingerbread house, as you can see, is meant to emulate my real house: a tradition Cape Cod style home in New England .


No one at our house likes the taste of gingerbread, and since we weren’t getting some crusty gingerbread pieces out of a box, I wanted us to be able to actually eat the house I made. So, this is a sugar cookie house.

How to make a “Gingerbread” (sugar cookie) house like my Cape Cod style home:

  1. Start out by building a model out of blank paper and clear tape.
  2. Cut the tape that held together the model. The individual pieces will be used as templates to cut the cookies from.
  3. Make cookie dough. You can use any sugar cookie recipe, but if you want to make fabulous sugar cookies with royal icing, I always recommend the online course I took with The Alison Show.
  4. Cut around the templates onto the cookies. Bake, then allow the cookies to cool.
  5. Find a good pan
  6. Use Martha Stewart’s caramel syrup recipe to glue the walls together. For the first walls, I used cans to prop it up, but I soon found that it didn’t need support. This stuff works so well!
  7. Decorate your house!



Lessons learned:

  1. I’ll use wax paper or a plastic sheet for the template.
  2. Make sure the cookies are baked all the way through. My back roof piece split in half right when I placed it to see if it fit. The center must have still been doughy. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, and was immediately thankful it wasn’t a piece that was crucial for a photo of it!
  3. Cut the edges straight after they have cooled. During the baking the pieces warp & attaching the walls without straight sides and bases is impossible.
  4. Think your base through! I started building my house on a round pan before realizing it wasn’t large enough to fit my garage. I had to move it while almost all of my walls were already in place, and it was NERVE WRACKING.
  5. That caramel glue is the BEES KNEES. I made royal icing, but nothing sticks like the caramel, so i used much more of that. If it cools & hardens, just add more water and start the process over. One batch went long way!



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