November 27, 2015
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A chewy & crunchy Christmassy biscuit that everyone will love to bake & decorate!
I have been asking on my Facebook page recently what sort of Christmas themed recipes everyone wanted and this was 100% one of them – like so many people asked for it, I couldn’t not bake it – GINGERBREAD MEN!
The only other Christmassy biscuits I have on my blog already are my white chocolate & cranberry cookies and my chocolate orange cookies and others – and don’t get me wrong, both of these are delicious – however, they aren’t gingerbread men.
I have had my troubles with gingerbread over the years strangely enough, even if it seems like one of the most common Christmas bakes.
I have tried other recipes and they have all gone so wrong – spreading so much they form a giant cookie, or being so crunchy I feel like my teeth will break – this recipe though, its the perfect mix of crunchy & chewy, and they don’t spread! The men actually still look like men when they come out of the oven!
But anyway, this recipe honestly is my go-to gingerbread biscuit recipe, I have never failed with it since I developed the recipe and it has been a massive hit with all of my taste testers over time. I find it’s the perfect mix of all things spicy, and the biscuit is both crunchy and chewy at the same time which is what I am after in a gingerbread biscuit.
Yes, I realise you are supposed to call these gingerbread biscuits, or gingerbread people these days, but I stuck with the classic name. Also, the cookie cutters I have used for years are some my granny had, and the ‘female’ one was lost a long time ago… Needless to say, I could have just bought more, but I wanted to stick to traditions in my festive baking ways.
Other gingerbread recipes
I updated the photos for this post but the recipe has stayed the same. It’s not something I personally want to mess with any time soon! This sorta recipe is the perfect bake to top and decorate the gingerbread drip cake recipe I have, and my Christmas gingerbread cake recipe!
A must try recipe
I get several messages every year about what my favourite gingerbread biscuit recipe is and have I got anything to save the bakers from every other recipe they have tried, and this one is the solution. That is not meant to sound bigheaded in any way, but I honestly have never had any issues with this recipe in the entire time I have baked it.
As I write this, its the day before the 30th of November, so all I can think about is how its ‘officially’ the festive season starting tomorrow, and how I can start munching on my advent calendars tomorrow.
Every year, I bake gingerbread men to munch on, and they last a good while as well. One of the best tricks? Making a gingerbread hot chocolate and dunking *several* biscuits into the drink whilst decorating the house.
Gingerbread is one of the simplest, but best festive bakes around. There is the occasional person out there that doesn’t like gingerbread, which is fair enough, but you can easily play around with the levels of spices to suit your personal tastes. I like my biscuits to be really ‘gingery’ but my brother prefers them to have a bit more spice from cinnamon in.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Enjoy! X
- 375 g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tsps ground ginger
- 120 g unsalted butter (cold & cubed)
- 175 g light brown sugar
- 5 tbsps golden syrup
- 1 medium egg
- Preheat your oven to 190C/180C Fan and line 3-4 baking trays with parchment paper (or do it in two batches if you only have two trays!)
- Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and ginger to a large bowl and add the cold, cubed butter to the bowl
- Rub together with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs! (Or mix the four ingredients in a food processor till its breadcrumbs!)
- Mix the sugar into the mix and combine, and then add the golden syrup and egg - beat with a spatula/your hands until it is a smooth dough.
- Knead the biscuit dough, and then roll the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Roll it out to 1/2cm thickness and cut out your desired shapes! I did gingerbread men, snowmen, and Christmas trees!
- Place them on the lined baking trays and bake in the oven for 10-11 minutes, cool on a wire rack fully, and then decorate how you please!
- I like my biscuits very gingery otherwise it just doesn’t float my boat, but feel free to use less! (Or even a different spice – like cinnamon!)
- These biscuits will last for about a week in an airtight container, if they last that long!
- It's best to decorate with things such as sweets, chocolate, or royal icing!
- I don't chill my dough before baking.
- You can add in 1/2tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice if you prefer it spicier!
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Could this recipe be used for a constructed gingerbread house ?
Hiya! Yes this should be fine, enjoy! x
I’m planning to make my son a giant gingerbread man for his 4th birthday as he doesn’t like cake! Would this receipt be okay to make one giant gingerbread man or would
I need to change the quantities? I’m going to have a practise run and see!
This should be fine! Enjoy! x
The best gingerbread recipe bar none. Everyone loves them.
Came across your recipe after a last minute decision to make gingerbread people. Fab recipe I did substitute one of the 5 tbsps of golden syrup for a tbsp treacle. They were delicious and went down a storm with the grandchildren. Will certainly be using again.
I even decorated some of them … wish I could have added a picture, but hey ho……
Used your recipe for my first attempt at gingerbread cookies, they have turned out so well, I added a little cinnamon and mixed spice and they have a very festive but not too spicy vibe going on. Can’t wait to decorate them later and give to friends as Christmas gifts. Thank you for such a lovely recipe.
So happy with how these turned out, great recipe. Thank you so much. I may add extra ginger and cinnamon next time 🙂
I am planning on making stamped gingerbread cookies for Christmas this year… Would I be able to use this recipe, should I leave the dough to chill before baking it? 🙂
Hiya! No it doesn’t. Hope this helps! x
Could I use honey instead of syrup? Merry Christmas! X
Hiya! Yes absolutely you can. Enjoy! x
I made these yesterday for my Xmas party… Everyone loved them! The mixture was a bit dry so I added a spoonful of milk. I think this was because I didn’t measure my golden syrup very well as it was hard to squeeze out of the bottle. But other than that… It was fabulous! I will be using this again!
I’m wanting to make a big batch of dough at once to bake over multiple days… should i refrigerate or freeze the spare dough and when ready to bake can i do from frozen or thaw it out first?
Hiya! You can freeze the raw dough for up to 3 months, and refrigerate for up to 48 hours! And yes you can bake from frozen! Hope this helps! x
Lovely recipe I like that they are not too spiced just a gentle flavour I added just a hint of nutmeg and vanilla. For me the chilled butter was too chilled, room temp worked better and I put the first batch in un-chilled and they rose too much for my liking, I got better result with the second batch just chilled for 5 min in the fridge. Will be enjoying these at home and on the tree.
I absolutely love this recipe! So easy to follow for someone with all the gear and no idea! smell amazing and taste gorgeous! Not sure whether to decorate them or not.
Hi, am going to make these for a xmas party 🎄🎅🏻🥳 and was wondering if i could put cinnamon in as well? They look great!
Absolutely, enjoy! x
Planning to make these, but I was just wondering whether stork could be used in place of butter… I’m assuming the answer is no?
Hiya! I personally would stick to block butter – baking spread may cause them to spread! Hope this helps! x
Hello! This has been the best recipe I have found and I love making gingerbread biscuits with your recipe with my daughter, but I need to make some for some friends and we have vegan eaters…please can you advise what can I use as a substitute for the egg?
Hey Jane! panning on making these for Christmas and was wondering if I need to go out a buy some golden syrup for this recipe or could I just use honey, I gravely preferred the taste of honey and I have a dark and rich verity that I think would taste good with ginger?
Hiya! This should be absolutely fine, enjoy! x
Hi, are these spft and chewy as that’s what I’m looking for =) didn’t see much in the description
I have tried this recipe twice and the first time I baked the cookies for 10 mins 30 secs and they were very crispy and hard. If you would like them to be soft and gooey I would recommend baking for 9 mins! Hope this helps x
Soooo impressed with this recipe. I did two bad things and they still turned out (well three!) firstly my butter wasn’t chilled, next I then realised after starting I was out of bicarbonate so after a bit of reading I decided to try it with 2tsp of baking powder and cooked some to trial before my little boy woke up. They were impressive even with these alterations. I chilled the rest and baked them 24 hours later. Tbh they were better fresh in terms of shape, they did rise but once cooled were ok and were chewy as I like them – cooked them for about 8 mins both times. This will now be my go to recipe as so much easier than every other gingerbread recipe I’ve ever made and better!
This is my go-to gingerbread recipe now, I’ve made it 3 times in the last couple of months! So tasty. I find it’s easy to adjust how crispy you want them to be by how long you bake them and they’re delicious soft or crispy, with a little chewiness inside. Delicious!
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Hi do I need to sieve the flour
I think I rolled it out too thinly as I ended up with at least 50 lol but they came out very well and are delicious 😀
That is what happened to me I ended up with 65!
It’s not a competition guys, I only got 32 😢😢😢
Can the dough be made the night before and refrigerated overnight?
Hiya! Ideally I find it is best not to refrigerate this dough before baking, but it is definitely worth a go! Enjoy! x
How did you find chilling the dough please?
I like the dough but ideally would like to freeze or chill half for another time.
Love this recipe! First time I made gingerbread and love that their is no chill time required. had to bake in 2 lots and found that 10 mins was more than enough bake time. Would add some more spice but as it was my first time making followed the recipe to a tee and came out wonderful, definitely using this one again :D. Thanks so much!!!
Hi Jane! Can these cookies be frozen?
Yes absolutely, you can freeze these for up to 3 months! Enjoy! x
Hi Jane, can you freeze the cookie dough or is it best frozen once baked? Thanks x
Also, Made these recently with my 7 year old and 5 year old, clear instructions for them to follow and tasted amazing!! Ae love your bakes and your cookbook is always the one we go to for baking! X
HIya! I would personally freeze the baked men. Thank you so much im so happy to hear that! Enjoy! x
Hi Jane. Do you think this recipe would work for a gingerbread house?
Hi, what can I replace the egg with in this recipe to make it vegan?
Hiya! You could try a flax seed replacement, but I have not tested this myself so am unsure! Let me know how it goes! x
I’ve just made them substituting butter with vegan sunflower spread and made a chia egg and they worked perfectly! I was a bit worried as the mixture looked quite dry so I added a tiny bit of vegetable oil and a bit more syrup to loosen it up a bit. So easy as well 🙂
Never bother leaving reviews but I really wanted to thank you for this recipe! The flavour is superb, love the spices (added extra cinnamon as suggested), and the texture is great – light and crumbly. Could happily eat a whole batch in one sitting, they are very tasty and our family absolutely loved them!
I only had mediums eggs and with just one egg the dough was not sticking together very well, so I added a second one. I don’t know how much this altered the recipe but the end result was amazing. Thank you so much, I’ll be making these again and again!
Great recipe, made a batch this morning and I know they won’t last long … trying to decorate before they all get eaten ❤️
I made a batch of these for the cubs party. They taste really good, my wife has scoffed several already. Great recipe! I may reduce cooking time by a minute or so if I make some more, and space them out a bit more on the baking tray.
Hi I ended up using 2 eggs too, to bind it
They turned out perfectly 🥰 so yummy 😋
Best recipe for Gingerbread Men they cook and taste perfect
I made them for Colleagues at work and decorated them using small coloured chocolate smarties for eyes and piping . I popped them in little Christmas themed cellophane bags and tied the bags off with curling ribbon. I also made gingerbread love hearts
Thank you Jane
Can i make this and leave dough overnight before rolling cutting and cooking?
I left the dough overnight and it was fine. I found that the chilled shapes kept their shape better whilst the softer ones, made at the end when the dough was quite soft, spread more. Both were delicious! Would also
cook them a minute or two less so not quite as crunchy – personal preference!
Tried this gingerbread recipe this morning and OMG !!!! They are so delicious and very more ish …….. love love love them thank u soo much Jane for the recipe would definitely recommend this recipe to others but I’ll be keeping this recipe to myself xx they are lovely and crispy and sweet with plenty of ginger in them xx my grand kids will enjoy making them in different shapes anytime of the year but we will be making Xmas presents of them will have to start ordering a few pastry cutters to try out xx
If halving the ingredients for this recipe, would I use a small egg please?
First time I used this recipe today, I added a little bit more syrup when forming into a dough and they spread a little in the oven, but other that they were crunchy and soft, I would use this recipe again 🙂
Hi, mine have turned into blobs 🙁
Would the use of GF plain flour upset the mix? I used proper butter which was chilled. Should I have chilled the mix when it was made?
It definitely could do – sometimes gluten free flour needs less or more depending on the mixture, and I haven’t tested this gluten free before.
these are the best gingerbread people i have ever tasted! they dont turn into blobs which i find most recipes do!
Jane!! I made these today and they were stunning!! The flavour was amazing and the texture was to die for.
I altered the ingredients (purely because I didn’t have them) and replaced light brown sugar with dark, used fresh ginger and added some cinnamon. Honestly so beautiful. Thank you so much, I can always count on you! ☺️💓
Easy to make and delicious to eat. This recipe made us 24 biscuits that are slightly chewy but also a bit crunchy. Perfect! Will definitely use this recipe again, thanks!
First time making gingerbread and oh how delicious and so easy thank you
Fab recipe, quick and easy and the biscuits keep their shape even without chilling so they actually look like gingerbread men, not gingerbread splodges! Thanks!
Christmas baking with my 11 year old daughter worked perfectly
Making these right now – done the recommended oven temp and obviously pre-heated.. and 10-11 minutes wasn’t enough.. I’ve had to put them in for 4-5 mins longer.
Likely is that they are differently sized, and also ovens can vary so extra time isn’t a problem as long as they’re yummy in the end! x
Hi, can I use black treacle instead of golden syrup as I need to use this up?
Yes! Just makes it a deeper flavour!
I ALWAYS default to finding recipes on your site – thank you for sharing.
I made these for friends… Stuck the gingerbread-men together and iced their names on. They loved them.
Hi Jane. Do you think these would still be as good using dark brown sugar instead. I accidentally bought dark instead of light🙈
Yeah I think it would be fine! Just a deeper flavour x
Made these today, I have tried others, but this recipe is by far the best, they taste absolutely amazing. Am going to be making more 😊
Just tried these today! Came out great and so easy to make! My mum doesn’t normally like gingerbread men and said these were better than the shop! Up on my Insta page @chaiiwithmee Please check it out there 😊
Such a yummy gingerbread recipe! Probably the best one I’ve used! I did add a bit more ginger into the recipe but that’s just because my family love it quite strong!
Easy recipe and taste delicious!
made a batch of 25 this morning! they tasted great and will definitely be making again.
Hey! Would this recipe make enough gingerbread for a gingerbread house? Or would I need to increase the ingredient quantities? x
It depends on the size of the gingerbread house you want to make.. this makes quite a few biscuits, but it depends how large the pieces will be!
thanks for sharing recipe! these turned out really well, even though i was using a dairy free spread instead of butter (i put them in the fridge for over 30mins before baking). As people have stated, the are a perfect balance between snap and softness. I’m less keen on ginger so used 2.5 teaspoons and the put in 0.5teaspoon of cinnamon instead. Thanks again!
First time making gingerbread and these turned out great! Not very gingery though I’m wondering if it should have been 3 table spoons of ginger not tea spoons? Either way will make these again closer to Christmas to give out to family
No the measurements are correct, but spice is definitely personal taste – if you want them more gingery then you can add more!! x
Just made these – they are the best gingerbread biscuits I have ever made! And I have tried scores of recipes over the years!! Super quick and easy to make and bake, crunchy on the outside with a hint of chewiness right in the centre – not too “bready” like past efforts. 10/10. Perfect 😁🎄😁
Makes the best Gingerbread!! Thank you Jane
Hi! I was wondering whether the golden syrup could be replaced with honey.
I haven’t tried this I am afraid!
I have just made a batch and replaced the golden syrup with honey as we didn’t have syrup, and they are just as good!!
Made this with my 3 year old she loved it. Such a easy recipe to follow. I used 2 teaspoons of ginger as children were eating it, and there was a lovely flavour. My little girls thinks Father Christmas would love these so we are making a batch on Christmas Eve for him
I made these last week and they were such a success, I’m so delighted to have found your blog….my waist maybe not so much😆😆
Currently my favourite thing to bake! So quick and easy and taste amazing!!
Made these via zoom with my university baking society and the Tennis Club, was a great recipe to get the guys from Tennis Club involved as they’re really straightforward with no particularly fancy equipment needed. Really pleased with how they turned out- everyone managed to make them with no problem.
So good and make incredible fluffy light but a lite chewy men and great for being decorated and like how you can alter the recipe to the amount you want to make which helps if you use a big cutter. Very good and festive at this time and so easy!
I swapped butter for coconut oil, added a tablespoon of cocoa powder and added many more spices. The dough is quite crumbly and quite fatty (barely needed any flour for powdering!). I was worried about them keeping shape, so I refrigerated the cut out biscuits before baking for just a couple of minutes. Result – fabulous!
Tasty and the right combo of soft and crunchy. Now to try them with some cinnamon 🙂
Hi, I made these last week and I’m wondering what I did wrong? I made two batches. One I chilled and one I didnt but both batches spread in the oven so they lost their shape a bit. Is there anything I can do to avoid this, or even lessen it? They did however taste amazing. Thanks
What butter did you use? And how did you measure the syrup? Sometimes I find these two factors can cause a problem if they are incorrect! I don’t chill my dough really but it also maybe that your oven isn’t hot enough!
Hi Jane I’m a huge fan of your blog and recipes always work out. Which means I’ve done something wrong he very strange never had an issue before. My gingerbread are huge and expanding and merged into each other would that be do much bi card do you think? I used a teaspoon measuring spoon so confused but can’t think what else it was I definitely used plain flour too.
What butter did you use? And how did you measure the syrup? Sometimes I find these two factors can cause a problem if they are incorrect but it can also be over measured bicarb!
Hi Jane, I’m about to use your recipe for the first time this Christmas, I’m really excited about trying it 😄 if I put them in cellophane bags for the Christmas tree how long do they stay edible for? Have you ever tried this? Thanks, Tracey x
I usually say they are all good for at least two weeks – it depends on what you decorate them with, but easily a couple weeks! x
Brilliant recipe. Turned out exactly as described with a perfect blend of crunch and chewiness. The batch only lasted about half an hour and they were all gone.
made this today, sorry really didnt like this. Never put an egg in before followed recipe exactly and they puffed up but never hardened up. Will go back to school years recipe don’t know why I changed other than to try something different, sometimes old way is best way
Best gingerbread I ever tasted !!!! Couldn’t stop eating them ! Thank you xx
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Amazing – super soft and addictive
Followed recipe but was soooo sloppy! Had to pretty much double the flour
The same happened to me I added double the flower and it kept breaking and all and they came out horrible I followed the recipe tho so I don’t know what I did
Hi there! I’m looking to make these for Christmas treats, would I be able to make the dough cut the shapes then freeze and bake when needed? if yes how long would you bake for?
thanks so much!
Yes that should be alright – I would just add 1-2 minutes extra time! X
Hi, is this recipe suitable for gingerbread house?
As long as it’s baked for long enough to make the biscuit harder rather than a softer gingerbread it would be fine!
Omg amazing thanks Jane
Son and I were gonna decorate these as a practice run for Halloween but they aren’t going to last long enough to decorate 😂
Hi Beth can I ask, was your dough quite sticky when you came to roll this ? I’m just making them as we speak and my dough is sticky
Wow wow wow, Fantastic recipe and they were enjoyed by all who ate them. Definitely a recipe to use again and again.
Hello, what size cutter did you use for these?
Can these be cut then frozen? Thanks
Yeah that should be fine!!
This is the best gingerbread recipe I have found. If you get the timing right, It’s nice and crunchy on the outside and softer in the middle. I found that the mixture was really dry after I added the syrup and egg, so I added a little water, then it was too wet and sticky so I added a little more flour, I had to play around with it a bit until I got a really lovely soft dough. Lovely taste and made our house smell wonderful,
First time making gingerbread men, brilliant recipe! Thank you 😊
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Absolutely love making these! They are so simple and easy to do. You can bake them for 10mins if you like them really soft, or just leave them a minute or two longer for them to be a little crunchier.
Excellent recipe – best gingerbread one I have tried! I’m an absolute beginner and the gingerbread men turned out perfectly. Thank you!
Made these for the first time grandson loved them he has now made them with his mum lovely
Made this for the first time for my grandchildren and thay loved them thay have gone on to make them amazing
Our first attempt at Gingerbread, was fun to make (with my 5 year old) and happy with our slightly deformed results. Taste really good- we didn’t have ginger so made cinnamon ones instead and they are yummy- a lot eaten in quick succession by my 2 year old! (we made mini men)
I made these with my 10 year old niece today and the were fabulous. We piped eyes and smiles on them and used smarties as buttons.
On half of them, we dipped their feet in dark chocolate and covered them in snowflakes so that it looked like they had walked through the snow. We were both super chuffed with the outcome. Thanks for another excellent recipe Jane
Absolutely love your recipes Jane! Would you take the bicarb out of this to make it stronger for a gingerbread house? Thanks 🙂
Hi Jane, I’ve just made these for the first time ever & they taste great , I made them into bigger than normal trees & managed to make 16. I’ve tried several of your recipes & they have all turned out ok, I only started baking last year so still a novice. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.
I made this to the letter but they spread a bit more than I’d hoped. Is there anything you can think I might have done wrong? They taste delicious and the texture is perfect for me, soft and chewy, they just lost a little definition during baking. PS I turned some upside down and made them into reindeer! 😂 Xx
It probably is just that they got too hot/soft whilst you were shaping them!
was your cookie cutter the same size/shape as the biscuits? xx
Can I recplace the golden syrup by somenthing else? It’s not a common product to find in Belgium.
Thank you for your help!
I’m not 100% sure I’m afraid, but after a google it says maybe Corn Syrup?!
Is there a step missing? Where and when do you add the sugar, golden syrup etc?
It’s been updated x
Can I leave the dough in the fridge overnight and bake them the next day?
I personally wouldn’t – I don’t chill this dough at all x
Made these for the first time. Amazing!
Could I add cocoa powder to make chocolate gingerbread?? How much cocoa powder would I need! Thanks 🙂
I’ve never tried I’m afraid but I guess replace 25g of the flour with cocoa powder!
Hi! I followed your recipie exactly same and the gingerbread biscuits turned out great and very tasty. I was worried beginning with because I thought the dough would be too dry but once added the golden syrup and an egg it was the perfect dough. Thank you and I will check out and try your other recipes.
Love these…but could they be made with gluten free flour?
Yes you can! But sometimes you might need a bit more flour as it can be sticky using it!
Thank you, I will give it a go.
Adorable..I remember when my boys were young and we made and decorated gingerbread cookies….ah, the good ole days… 🙂
So fun and good to do with kids! 🙂
Yuuuum! Definitely going to make these as part of my holiday baking.
Yay! Thank you!
Cant wait to make these!!!
Yay! Thank you Molly! Enjoy them! 🙂
They look very cute 🙂
Thank you! 🙂