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pair of decorated gingerbread med on a red Christmas serviette.

Gingerbread men

Author: Sarah Brooks
These traditional gingerbread men cookies are the perfect festive Christmas food. They are full of warming ginger flavor and make fantastic make ahead Christmas gifts.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 1 hr 27 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 64 gingerbread men approx, or about 8 trays worth.
Calories 137 kcal


  • Electric hand beaters or a stand mixer
  • Baking trays
  • Cookie cutters in your preferred shapes i.e. gingerbread men, stars, trees etc.
  • Rolling Pin
  • Piping bag with fine round tip for decorating (optional)



  • extra butter or margarine to grease several baking trays with.
  • 1 cup (220gms) tightly packed brown or light brown sugar
  • 2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon (250gms) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (250mls) golden syrup
  • 2 egg yokes from large eggs
  • 5 cups (750gms) plain flour *or all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 flat tablespoons ground ginger *reduce to 1 and a half to 2 tablespoons if you like a milder ginger flavor
  • extra plain flour for dusting

For optional decorations

  • 1 cup (120gms) icing or powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white, from a large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • decorations such as M&Ms, smarties or your favorite candy.



  • Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C) (fan forced).
  • Lightly grease two to four baking trays with butter or marge.
  • Add sugar and butter to a bowl and beat together.
  • Add egg yokes and golden syrup and ginger and beat together.
  • You will need to switch to mixing with a large wooden spoon at this point.
  • Sift in bicarb and add flour one cup at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  • Sprinkle a clean worktop well with flour and turn out dough.
  • Sprinkle with additional flour and kneed lightly.
  • Cut dough in half, put half aside.
  • Ensure workbench is well floured. Roll out half of dough until its about 3 to 4 mm thick.
  • Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, transferring to pre-greased baking trays as you go.
  • Try to cut the shapes out on the dough close together to minimize re-rolling. When the first batch is all cut out, ball up the dough and re-roll as needed.
  • Bake in the oven for ten to twelve minutes or until golden brown.
  • As the first batch of gingerbread comes out of the oven transfer to wire racks to cool. roll, cut out in the next batch onto bake.
  • Re-grease the trays and continue to cut and lay gingerbread onto the trays until all the dough is used up.
  • Cool completely before decorating.

Optional decorations

  • Put egg white into a clean bowl and beat until soft white peaks form.
  • Sift icing sugar/powdered sugar into a bowl.
  • Gradually add sifted icing sugar to beaten egg whites, beating well between each addition.
  • Add lemon juice and beat well.
  • Transfer to piping bag if using and decorate gingerbread.
  • Add candy if using for buttons etc.
  • Allow to set, then store in an airtight container or put into clean bags with curling ribbon for beautiful homemade gifts.


NB: The recipe was first published for Christmas 2020 and I know many of you made and loved it.  When making it in 2021 I discovered a small error in the plain flour measurements.  I had incorrectly transcribed my family recipe from 5 cups ='s 600gms.  When making the recipe in 2021 I realized the correct plain flour measurement Should have been 5 cups ='s 750gms plain flour.  
It still works with 600gms flour, but the dough is super sticky.  750gms is better, the dough is much less sticky, easier to work with and is a better texture.  
So if you made the recipe with 600gms and loved it all good!  But I recommend 750gms, its better!  And yes if you are not using scales its possible for 5 cups of flour to vary as much between 600gms and 750gms, so you may not have noticed the difference!  I really recommend a cheap digital kitchen scale, you will get better, more consistent results.  
This gingerbread was baking in a fan-forced oven at sea level.  All ovens can vary, so adjust the temperature and baking as needed for your oven.
This gingerbread has a strong ginger taste.  If you prefer a milder ginger flavor reduce the amount of ginger to one and half to two tablespoons.
You can decorate the gingerbread or leave it plain as you prefer.
This gingerbread makes excellent make-ahead edible Christmas gifts.  It will store well un-iced in an airtight container for up to at least a month and it OK to eat but may become soft for a further month after this.    
The time given in this recipe includes the hands-on cooking time and baking for one oven full of gingerbread.  It does not include baking time for multiple ovens full (which take about 10 to 12 minutes each), or cooling time between baking and decorating.  


Calories: 137kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 59mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 91IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.

Keywords: Christmas, Gingerbread cookies
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