Gingerbread man

Gingerbread man

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(70 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 15 mins


Makes 12 big gingerbread men

Even the smallest hands can help make these gingerbread men – perfect for Christmas. You can use raisins, sultanas or Smarties to decorate

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal264
  • fat10g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs43g
  • sugars20g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.33g
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  • 140g unsalted butter
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
    Golden syrup

    Golden syrup

    goal-dun sir-rup

    Golden syrup is a clear, sparkling, golden-amber coloured, sweet

  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 2 tsp ground ginger and 1 tsp ground cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)



    Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and…

  • 2 balls stem ginger from a jar, chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

To decorate

  • 50g icing sugar
  • a few glacé cherries (we used undyed)
  • 2 balls stem ginger


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Melt butter, sugar and syrup in a pan. Mix flour, soda, spices and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir in the butter mix and chopped ginger to make a stiff-ish dough.

  2. Wait until cool enough to handle, then roll out dough to about 5mm thick. Stamp out gingerbread men, re-rolling and pressing the trimmings back together and rolling again. Lift onto baking sheets. Bake for 12 mins until golden. Cool 10 mins on the sheets, then lift onto cooling racks.

  3. To decorate, mix icing sugar with a few drops of water until thick and smooth. Halve then slice cherries thinly to make smiles, and cut ginger into small squares. Spoon icing into a food bag, snip off the tiniest bit from one corner, then squeeze eyes and buttons, and a tiny smile onto 1 man at a time. Stick on a cherry smile and ginger buttons. Repeat; leave to set. Will keep up to 1 week in an airtight tin.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Jan, 2019
Very disappointed started making this with my 4 year old, the dough was very crumbly so added egg but they didn't taste good at all.
28th Dec, 2017
I also had the same dough problem/experience and I had to add milk to fix its consistency and make it rollable and cuttable. More than anything though, this is simply not a tasty recipe. It had pungent smell and taste of dark muscovado sugar, which in combination with the given amount of ginger made it worse, it just did't hit it with me!
koolk_2009's picture
8th Dec, 2017
Really disappointed in this recipe as it's not really fit for purpose. I can't believe it's been tested and allowed to be on the website. Had to crumble my partially rolled out dough back into the bowl (not hard!) and add an egg, this made the dough rollback. The resulting biscuits are lovely.
18th Dec, 2016
Just made these, the mixture is crumbly but if you work it a bit it comes together, just about! Taste really good, will make lovely Christmas presents.
Bethy Darling
13th Dec, 2016
If you are thinking of making these gingerbread men please do not bother as you will be wasting your valuable time and money. The dough is far too crumbly to use. As some others in the comments mention you can try and address this by adding an egg or some milk, but surely the point of having a recipe for something this basic is that you will be able to simply follow it and get a predictable and good quality result every time. Seriously poor job here from good food - avoid!
23rd Jan, 2016
Great recipe! I have never made gingerbread and was so pleased with the results. I made half the portion but they kept really well so will make full amount next time. I didn't have any stem ginger so added a bit more ground. I wasn't sure what texture I should have, and to begin with it was a bit greasy - much better with a tiny bit more flour. I will also reduce the time by a minute or so (or temperature) next time, as they were wonderfully chewy in the middle but their arms and legs were a bit too dry. raisins worked well for eyes
13th Dec, 2015
I did double quantities with 1 egg to bind and had good results. But needed a slightly cooler oven (180 degrees centigrade) when rolling pastry thin. Would definitely do again. I think (from experience of other gingerbread men) they are meant to be more like a biscuit.
10th Feb, 2015
really glad I didn't read the comments before I made these as they would prob have put me off. I probably used closer to 150g of butter rather than 140 but that was purely down to laziness in measuring but it made lovely gingerbread, not too dry.
13th Nov, 2014
Great gingerbread recipe! Yes, it is crumbly, but once you have worked it a bit then it becomes less so and the finished result is excellent! I did add 2 tsps. of milk to help bind it together and this helped. This recipe is great for egg allergy suffers. The recipe says it makes 12 big gingerbread men, but my cutter must be very big as it only made 9 large ones and 1 small one!
30th Jul, 2014
The dough was so crumbly! Unfortunately i didn't read the comments below before starting the recipe (I'll make sure to for recipes in the future!) so half my batch were very crumbly. I added drops of milk until the dough was malleable enough, but this often caused it to stick to the work surface. I baked the biscuits for 6 minutes in a fan oven.


7th Jan, 2015
Hi. We do not have stem ginger at all in our country, is there a substitute? Also, for golden syrup, may we use honey? Thanks in advance.
30th Mar, 2014
As everyone else has said in the comments, the dough is extremely crumbly-people have suggested to add egg to bind it, but I can't eat egg, so instead I used some milk. It did the trick! It made it the perfect texture to roll out and completely solved the problem!
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