Super Easy Gingerbread Recipe

The easiest gingerbread recipe ever… perfect for making gingerbread men and Christmas shapes to decorate with the kids!

A gingerbread Christmas tree decorated with green and red smarties.

It’s the time of the year to get excited about baking ALL of the yummiest Christmas recipes! From Christmas cookies to Christmas cake, reindeer brownies to Christmas fudge and rocky road… this really is the sweetest time of the year!

Homemade gingerbread men decorated with red and green M&M's.

Why You’re Going To Love This Basic Gingerbread Recipe

This is such a simple (and fool-proof!) gingerbread recipe that takes just 20 minutes to prepare

Here’s why it’s going to become your go-to gingerbread recipe:

  • the perfect recipe to make with the kids – plus they’ll love decorating the gingerbread men and shapes with icing and M&Ms.
  • results in soft and subtly ginger flavoured cookies that everyone loves.
  • can be made using either hand-held beaters, a stand-mixer or a Thermomix.
  • made with basic ingredients – this recipe won’t break the bank!
  • 5 star recipe ratings – this gingerbread recipe is loved by all our readers.

What You Need

This super easy gingerbread recipe is made using just a handful of pantry and fridge staples (that you probably already have at home!):

Note: Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for ingredient quantities and the full detailed method.

  • butter – if using salted butter, omit the extra pinch of salt in the ingredients.
  • brown sugar – you can use either light or dark brown sugar for this recipe. I generally choose light brown sugar as it results in a lovely sweet biscuit that isn’t too rich in flavour.
  • golden syrup – this is a very common baking ingredient in Australia. If you’re unable to buy golden syrup then you can substitute it for corn syrup or maple syrup.
  • egg yolk – using just the egg yolk (rather than the whole egg) helps to emulsify the mixture together making the perfect gingerbread cookie mixture!
  • plain flour – also known as all-purpose flour
  • mixed spice – this can be bought in the spices section of any major supermarket. It contains a blend of mainly cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, and can include other spices such as ginger, cloves, coriander, and mace.
  • ground ginger – this spice gives the gingerbread it’s classic ginger flavour. I use just 1 tablespoon of ground ginger which gives a light subtle ginger flavour. You can increase the amount if you prefer.
  • bi-carbonate of soda – also known as baking soda.
  • pinch of salt – omit if using salted butter.
The ingredients for homemade gingerbread in individual bowls.

Making The Dough

It takes just 20 minutes to prepare this simple gingerbread dough using either hand-help beaters, a stand-mixer or a Thermomix.

Note: Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for ingredient quantities and the full detailed method.

Step 1 – Cream The Butter And Sugar

Beat the cream and butter until pale and creamy.

Hand-held beaters creaming butter and brown sugar.
Creamed butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.

Step 2 – Add The Golden Syrup And Egg Yolk

Beat through until combined and creamy.

Gingerbread mixture ingredients in a white bowl.
Gingerbread dough in a bowl.

Step 3 – Sift In The Dry Ingredients

Stir through the sifted plain flour, mixed spice, ground ginger, bi-carbonate

of soda and a pinch of salt. 

Sifted flour and spices being added to creamed mixture.
Gingerbread cookie dough in a bowl ready to be chilled in the fridge.

Step 4 – Form Into A Ball

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead into a ball.

Step 5 – Chill The Dough

Wrap in cling wrap and place into the fridge for 1 hour.

This important step ensures that the gingerbread cookies hold their shape when baked.

Step 6 – Roll Out The Dough, Cut And Bake

Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 3-4mm thick.

Use your choice of cutters (gingerbread man, Christmas tree, stars etc) to cut out shapes. 

Gingerbread men shapes being cut out from dough on a lightly floured chopping board.

Chilling The Dough

I recommend rolling the dough into a ball, wrapping in plastic wrap and chilling in the fridge for 1 hour.

Chilling the dough is important for several reasons:

  • chilling allows the flavours in the dough to develop
  • it makes it easier to roll the dough out without it cracking
  • while chilling, the fat from the butter will solidify meaning that it will slowly melt when baked… leaving you with perfectly shaped gingerbread that don’t spread too much!

You can chill the dough for longer than 1 hour if you like – even overnight is absolutely fine!

How To Store Gingerbread 

Once the cookies are baked, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. 

How To Freeze Gingerbread Dough

If you would like to prepare the gingerbread ahead of time, make the dough, roll it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and place into the freezer for up to 1 month.

Allow the dough to defrost in the fridge before rolling it out and baking. 

Christmas gingerbread shapes that have been decorated with green and red smarties.

FAQ

Can this recipe be used to make gingerbread men as well as cut out shapes?

Absolutely! This recipe is perfect for making soft gingerbread men and other shapes. 

My kids don’t like ginger… does this recipe taste really gingery?

No it doesn’t! It has a subtle ginger flavour that’s perfect for kids. You can always increase or decrease the amount of ginger used if you prefer!

Can I use maple syrup instead of golden syrup in gingerbread?

Sure! You can substitute the golden syrup for corn syrup or maple syrup. 

Is this recipe easy enough for my kids to make?

Yes! An adult will need to assist with creaming the butter and sugar with electric beaters or a stand mixer, as well as baking the cookies in the oven. But otherwise, this is a perfect recipe for kids to make and decorate!

How can I stop my dough from being sticky?

Chilling the dough is the key here! By chilling the dough, the fat from the butter will have solidified, making it firmer and easier to roll out. 

More Christmas Recipes For Kids

Whether you’ve got a budding little chef at home, or you’re after a fun holiday activity, these kid-friendly Christmas recipes are perfect to make with the kids! From rocky road wreaths to reindeer brownies, chocolate Christmas houses, reindeer noses and more!

Click here for our Kids Christmas Recipes Collection

A collage of images of Christmas recipes that kids can make.

Thermomix Christmas Cookbook

PS. If you have a Thermomix, take a peak at our Thermomix Christmas Cookbook… it’s a packed full of delicious Christmas recipes!!!

A picture of a cookbook with the title 'ThermoBliss Christmas'

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The easiest gingerbread recipe ever... perfect for making gingerbread men and Christmas trees! Decorate with the kids for a fun Christmas activity! 

Easy Gingerbread Recipe

The easiest gingerbread recipe ever… perfect for making gingerbread men and Christmas trees! Decorate with the kids for a fun Christmas activity! 
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: Christmas
Keyword: gingerbread
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Servings: 30 biscuits
Calories: 114kcal

Ingredients

  • 150 g butter
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 150 g golden syrup see notes for substitutes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 375 g (2 and 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tbs ground ginger see notes
  • 1 tsp bi-carbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt

For the decorations

  • white icing pen (or melted white chocolate)
  • red and green M&Ms

Instructions

Conventional Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced). Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside. 
  • Use an electric beater to cream the butter and brown sugar until pale and creamy. 
  • Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. 
  • Stir through the plain flour, mixed spice, ground ginger, bi-carbonate soda and a pinch of salt. 
  • Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead into a ball. Wrap in cling wrap and place into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. 
  • Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 3-4mm thick. Use your choice of cutters (gingerbread man, Christmas tree, stars etc) to cut out shapes. 
  • Place onto the prepared trays (about 4cm apart) and bake for 8-10 minutes or until just lightly golden (do not overcook). 
  • Allow to cool on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Once they’ve completely cooled, decorate with red & green M&Ms and a white icing pen (or white chocolate). 
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Thermomix Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced). Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside. 
  • Place all ingredients (except for the decorations) into the Thermomix bowl and mix for 15 seconds, Speed 6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then knead on Interval function for 1 minute. 
  • Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead into a ball. Wrap in cling wrap and place into the fridge for 1 hour. 
  • Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 3-4mm thick.
  • Use your choice of cutters (gingerbread man, Christmas tree, stars etc) to cut out shapes. 
  • Place onto the prepared trays (about 4cm apart) and bake for 8-10 minutes or until just lightly golden (do not overcook). 
  • Allow to cool on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Once they've completely cooled, decorate with red & green M&Ms and a white icing pen (or white chocolate). 
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

RECIPE NOTES
Soft gingerbread – gingerbread should be soft (almost bendy) when cooked. You can achieve this by cooking the cookies until just ever so lightly golden – don’t overcook!
Ginger flavour – this recipe has a subtle ginger flavour that’s perfect for kids. You can increase or decrease the amount of ginger if you prefer. 
Chilling the dough – for perfect shortbread that’s easy to roll out and doesn’t spread when baked, chill the dough in a ball shape wrapped in plastic wrap for a minimum of 1 hour in the fridge. 
Storing gingerbread – store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. 
Freezing unbaked dough – If you want to prepare the gingerbread ahead of time, make the dough, roll it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and place into the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow the dough to defrost in the fridge before rolling it out and baking. 
Golden syrup substitutes – you can substitute the golden syrup for corn syrup or maple syrup. 
Avoiding ‘sticky’ dough – chilling the dough will ensure that your dough isn’t sticky! While it chills in the fridge the fat from the butter will have solidified, making it firmer and easier to roll out. 

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.7mg
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2 Comments
  1. Julie says:

    Can you please send a template for a mini gingerbread house please

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Julie, I don’t have a template sorry!

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