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Simple gingerbread men recipe

Simple gingerbread men recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Biscuits and cookies
  • Ginger biscuits

Delicious gingerbread men. Writing icing helps stick the sweets and bits down.

Cheshire, England, UK

2087 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 15 Makes 15 - 25 depending on size of cutters used (i used mini)

  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 5 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 175g light brown soft sugar
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 medium egg

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. Put the flour, butter, ginger, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda in a mixing bowl. Mix it all together with fingertips until crumbly. Add the sugar, syrup and egg and mix until it forms a firm pastry mix.
  3. Using the rolling pin, roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick. Make sure the surface and the rolling pin are well dusted with flour. Use gingerbread men cutters to cut out shapes.
  4. Place the cut out pastry on a greased or non-stick baking tray.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes. Gingerbread may be ready after 12 minutes in a fan assisted oven.
  6. Enjoy :)


If you use smaller gingerbread cutters, you can make double the gingerbread men than you would with big cutters! (See picture)

Watch how!

Watch our How to make gingerbread men video to see how to make perfect gingerbread biscuits every time!

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(30)

Reviews in English (29)

-19 Aug 2011

I used this recipe today to make Xmas cookies with my children. I added a little milk to the mixture to help form the dough. My family really enjoyed the taste of these cookies - will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing your recipe-23 Dec 2012

The dough was sticky and needed an awful lot of flour for dusting, but other than that, it was a great recipe and fantastic use of store cupboard ingredients!-12 Oct 2012

More collections

75g unsalted butter softened
150g soft light brown sugar
350g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
4 tbsp golden syrup or honey
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
currants, raisins or Smarties®, to decorate

You will need a Gingerbread man-shaped metal cutter.

Simple Gingerbread Men Recipe

Gingerbread Men are a Christmas baking favourite. This recipe is deeelish and super easy for little ones to make.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
No. of serves: 20 standard biscuits


  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 125g butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup golden syrup
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2½ cups plain flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp mixed spice

To decorate


  1. Beat the sugar and butter together in a bowl.
  2. Add the egg yolk and golden syrup and beat until combined.
  3. Stir through the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda.
  4. Once the dough comes together, turn out onto a floured surface and kneed until smooth.
  5. Cover in plastic wrap and place in fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  7. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  8. Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll dough out to approximately 5mm thick.
  9. Cut into shapes and place on lined tray.
  10. Repeat rolling and cutting until all the dough is used.
  11. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until slightly browned.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  1. Beat the egg white until soft white peaks form.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until icing has stiff peaks.
  3. Spoon icing into a small ziplock or freezer bag. Twist top closed and push the icing into one corner.
  4. Cut a small hole in the corner and pipe icing over the gingerbread men.
  5. Decorate with Smarties.

If you are concerned about using raw egg white in the icing, you can purchase egg-free royal icing mix from most major supermarkets or baking supply shops. Or simply substitute the egg white with an egg replacer.


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Gingerbread Men Recipe – Baking with Kids

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Oooh now I do love a good Gingerbread Man! And Baking with Kids at Christmas, always involves Gingerbread Men for us! I have been baking this Gingerbread Men recipe for well over 8 years – well before having children and we love still. It keeps well and makes for great little visiting gifts throughout the Christmas season. We love making the traditional Gingerbread men (approx hand size), as well as smaller “Gingerbread Families”. Again, the families are a cute present for visiting friends – making sure that the children’s genders and number are reflected in our baking!

This of course is NOT an Austrian recipe (where you get a similar Lebkuchen, but often in card, heart or house shape), but as I like to blend the best of Austrian and British traditions for my family, these are my perfect addition to our Christmas Baking Ideas.

I measure these straight into a saucepan:

  • 3 oz (75 g) soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle (like molasses)
  • 1 level teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 level teaspoon ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • finely grated rind ½ orange

And keep these ready to hand for adding:

  • 3½ oz (95 g) butter or margarine
  • ½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 8 oz (225 g) plain flour

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).

1) Place sugar, treacle, syrup, spices and orange peal in a large pan on the cooker and heat slowly. Keep stirring and bring to boiling temperature. Remove from heat.

2) Stir in the butter and bicarbonate of soda.

3) Stir in the flour. You will have a stick dough.

4) Let cool for 20-30mins, which will help make the dough less sticky and easier to roll.

5) Dust your work area with flour and roll out your dough. Get cutting.

6) Bake for 10-15min or until firm to the touch/ turning darker.

Decorate to your hearts content!

As we had already gone crazy with the icing and sprinkles for our Zombie Cookies and Monster Cookies, the kids surprised me by enjoying just adding silver balls and Smarties!


  • 400g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g soft dark brown sugar or dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 125g black treacle
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 310g icing sugar, sifted
  • food colouring, optional
  • gingerbread biscuit cutters
  • a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper

Recipe Tips for Perfect Dairy-Free Gingerbread Men Cookies

Picking the Best Dairy-Free Buttery Sticks

Formerly known as margarine, the new “buttery sticks” are usually non-hydrogenated. And there are actually several brands to choose from. Some vegan “buttery sticks” or dairy-free margarine brands for baking include Melt, select varieties of Blue Bonnet, and select varieties of Fleischmann’s.

Or you can use my Bakeable Butter Recipe if you have the 2nd Edition of my flagship book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook – it works great in cookies!

As a heads up, there have been some baking issues with Earth Balance Buttery Sticks this season. They’ve sworn that their formula hasn’t changed, but many people are experiencing very flat, greasy cookies with their product. I think it’s a bad batch where the oils haven’t been properly emulsified.

A couple of the brands mentioned above do have unsalted versions. If you use an unsalted variety of buttery sticks or margarine, increase the salt in the recipe by an 1/8 teaspoon.

Which Type of Molasses

Look for an unsulphured “cooking” molasses for the best results, like Grandma’s Molasses or Brer Rabbit. For a less intense molasses flavor, you can use a mild molasses. Blackstrap molasses will work, but it produces a darker color and might be too intense for some taste buds.

How to Color the Icing

Royal icing is a classic, dairy-free, egg-based icing that spreads and sets into a perfect sweet shell. The easy recipe included with these Gingerbread Men Cookies makes a pure white icing. To color it, place 1/2 cup of the icing in a bowl and stir in food coloring (start with 3 drops) until it reaches your desired color.

Alternative Icing Recipes

The icing recipe below using powdered egg whites. If you don’t have any on hand, this Decorator Icing Recipe uses egg whites. If you need an egg-free and vegan icing, then use this Perfect Icing Recipe.

This gingerbread men cookies recipe with photo was shared with us by McCormick.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Currants
  • Red cinnamon candies

Beat shortening at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy gradually add sugar, beating well. Add molasses, vinegar, and egg beat well.

Combine flour and next 5 ingredients gradually add to shortening mixture, beating well. Shape dough into a ball wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours.

Divide dough in half. Work with 1 portion of dough at a time, storing remainder in refrigerator. Roll each portion of dough to 1/8" thickness on a well-floured surface. Cut with a 4" gingerbread man cookie cutter place on ungreased cookie sheets, using a floured spatula to lift cookies from work surface. Press currants into dough to form eyes, nose, and mouth. Press 3 cinnamon candies into dough for buttons.

Bake at 375° for 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes remove to wire racks, and cool completely.

Why should I make Gingerbread Man Cookies?

Who needs a reason? This really easy gingerbread recipe is a really lovely bake to make with children but they are also lovely to gift or share. This gingerbread men cookie recipe is wonderful to make as a gift, especially at Christmas or over the festive season. We love to make gingerbread cookies as festive treats for school teachers, for a school bake sale or for anyone else that could do with a little pick me up.

Gingerbread cookies decorated with Smarties

No matter what shape you choose to bake these into, they pack a holiday punch as they are loaded with spiced and molassas! Ginger, cinnmaon and clove makes these cookies sweet and spicy while the molasses and brown sugar keep this cookie moist and chewy, which is what allows it to be shaped into all kinds of fun things from little me to entire gingerbread cookie homes! The cookie itself is really easy to make and can be made in one bowl with a whisk or hand mixer.