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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19th Dec, 2011
Adding an egg saves the day, the mix was really crumbly and got worse on cooling so I mixed an egg into it as others suggested and it behaved far better, easier to roll and cut. Loved the end product, would bake again, mine took 8 minutes in a fan oven
19th Dec, 2011
I'm onto my second batch of these. After reading the earlier comments about the dough being difficult to work with and after referring to some other recipes I decided to use an egg and I'm pleased to say I haven't had any problems with the mix being too crumbly. Overall though it's fantastic!!
15th Dec, 2011
I made these for my friends as a Christmas present and they were delicious!! They were very easy to make and loads of fun to decorate....children could make them WITH supervision (of course ) :) !!! A fantastic recipe that I really liked!
9th Dec, 2011
Forgot to rate! I am giving it 5 stars despite the crumbly dough as for me this wasn't a problem and the flavour is really good - eating one as we speak!
9th Dec, 2011
Made these today. The mixture is a little crumbly so perhaps not the best recipe to use with small children but the taste and texture is lovely and surprisingly not too sweet. Just a pinch of cayenne gives the flavour a little 'bite'. Yummy!
4th Dec, 2011
On a friend's suggestion, added an egg -- worked a treat.
30th Nov, 2011
Tried these for the first time today -- dough was very crumbly and stuck to the rolling pin. Someone suggested using more golden syrup -- has anyone tried this and found that it works?
27th Nov, 2011
Delicious, great fun and so simple to make! Would recommend a shorter cooking time, 8 - 10 mins I find is enough as I don't like my gingerbread men too crunchy.
20th Nov, 2011
Great for my son who is egg allergic and dairy intolerant - he loves them, simply to make and great fun!
19th Nov, 2011
Although the taste was lovely, they are definitely not a recipe for making with a three year old. The dough was so crumbly, yet sticky. It stuck to the rolling pin, despite copious amounts of flour and cracked as you rolled, even on the first roll out. Very frustrating for mum and eager child!!!


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