Gingerbread man

Gingerbread man

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(83 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 translucent, golden-amber coloured, sweet syrup

  • 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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20th Feb, 2013
Really reliable gingerbread recipe. Easy to make. We used half the mixture to make one batch of gingerbread men and put the rest in the fridge for the following day.
5th Dec, 2012
so hope mine turnout, couldn't work out why it was so dry and added hot water.....then realised had only put 40gms butter in
25th Nov, 2012
these tasted lovely but were rock hard?? is this normal or have i cooked them too long?
31st Oct, 2012
I used this recipe to make gingerbread bats and ghosts. They taste amazing, this is generally a great recipe. I also added a considerable amount of mixed spices and nutmeg to make it more interesting. And yes, the dough was very greasy and crumbly. I found that rolling out small handfuls of dough was much easier to handle. (Adding water only makes it more sticky).
25th Apr, 2012
Wonderfully gingery, went down well with the littlies!
27th Jan, 2012
I wish I'd read some more of the comments before I started. The mixture was really crumbly and greasy, almost impossible to roll out. My 3 year old grandson was upset when the legs dropped off his gingerbread man as we were placing him on the tray! On a positive note though, he did enjoy sampling the uncooked dough. Next time, will try an egg to bind as suggested.
12th Jan, 2012
Wish I had read through the reviews more thoroughly before starting to make this. As other reviewers have said, nasty to work with; very crumbly and greasy, difficult to put onto the baking tray without falling apart. Seem ok when cooked but will not be using this recipe again. Surprised its on the Good Food website.
26th Dec, 2011
.... Same crumbly problem as some other readers. In the end I added an egg to combine the ingredients which worked out fine
23rd Dec, 2011
Hello everyone! I just made these and they came out like biscuits. Are they suposed to be like this or soft like a spiced bread? (Though, I am sure that the temperature and time were a little bit to much for their size, they were a bit golden brown on the sides...) If anyone could help me clearing out this issue, it would be great (for future baking). Happy 2011 Holidays!
20th Dec, 2011
I have given this recipe 3 stars because it tastes lovely but I was disappointed at just how crumbly and difficult to work with the dough was. Wish I'd read the comments about adding an egg first! Run out of bicarb now. Any designs I had on making elaborate festive shapes to decorate as tree decorations have been reduced to a simple Christmas bauble. I hope I can get creative with my piping bag to make them look more exciting.


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