Gingerbread biscuits

Posted by Cornel Schalkwyk on


There is nothing better to get you in a festive mood than baking gingerbread biscuits for Christmas!  It is a Christmas tradition for many families, whether you make gingerbread men or build gingerbread houses. The beautiful aroma lingers in your house for days, making it smell just like Christmas!

Gingerbread house

We make gingerbread biscuits every year leading up to Christmas, and love to package them up with some festive ribbon as gifts to friends and family.  They are a great option for home-made presents and the kids love to get involved with the decorating, so you should definitely give it a go!

Gingerbread packaged biscuits

The recipe is super easy to make and can be used for all shapes of gingerbread biscuits, whether you are building a house or making gingerbread men.  However, take note of my top tip regarding baking time below.

Top tips for this recipe:

  • The secret ingredient for these biscuits is dark muscovado sugar! Trust me on this one and don’t be tempted to use normal brown sugar!
  • Don’t be shy with the spices, and feel free to add more if you really like a particular flavour.
  • The baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your biscuits. If you are making large panels for a house, you may want to give it an extra couple of minutes in the oven.  Similarly, for small doors or chimney shapes, you would be able to take them out of the oven sooner than stated in the instructions below.
  • The flavour continues to develop over time, so I personally think the biscuits are at their best a day or two after you’ve made them, so don’t eat them all in one go!

Gingerbread Christmas trees


Prep time: 60 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes per batch

Servings: At least 60 large biscuits, or a big gingerbread house

Author: Cornel Schalkwyk



  • 300g dark muscovado sugar
  • 150g golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • 380g butter
  • 900g plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 – 4 tbsp water (as required)

Watch the video here for a demonstration of how to make the dough and biscuits.

Royal icing for decorating / assembling:

  • 1 egg white (or 1 sachet of egg white powder) whisked to form soft peaks.
  • 225g icing / powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Gel food colouring (optional)

Royal icing sets hard when exposed to air, so once made, put your icing straight into piping bags to keep it soft and ready to work with. 

Gingerbread men


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan assisted (356°F), or 190°C (374°F) for a conventional oven.
  2. Weigh your syrup and sugar and add to a saucepan with all the spices.
  3. Stir over medium heat on the hob for about 2 minutes, or until the sugar starts to melt. Add the butter and stir for approximately another 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are completely dissolved.  Set aside.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, mix your flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
  5. Pour the warm syrup into the dry ingredients and using your dough hook attachment, mix on a medium speed until the ingredients come together and form a dough ball.
  6. Test the dough and stretch it in your hands to see if it has the right consistency. If it looks a bit crumbly when stretched out, add 1 tbsp of water at a time (maximum 4 tbsp) until you have a pliable consistency.
  7. On a lightly floured surface space, roll the dough out to about 0.5cm thick, and use cookie cutters or templates to cut the shapes you want.
  8. Place the shapes on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes per batch.
  9. The biscuits will be lighter in colour and firm to the touch when pressed gently with your fingertip. They will still feel slightly soft in the middle but will harden as they cool down.
  10. Let the biscuits cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before taking them out and placing them onto a cooling rack.

Gingerbread biscuits cooling

  1. Once completely cooled, you can decorate your biscuits with royal icing. You’ll need piping bags with a small or medium round nozzle. Leave the biscuits for 20 – 30 minutes for the icing to set hard before packaging them.



  • You can use any type of butter for this recipe, whether it’s a dairy-free alternative or not.
  • If you roll the dough out in batches, wrap the rest of your dough with cling film whilst not working with it to prevent it from drying out.
  • The biscuits will keep well in an airtight container in cool room temperature for up to two weeks (if you don’t eat them long before then!).
  • You can freeze your baked (undecorated) biscuits, for up to a month.


Have you used this recipe?  Tag me and hashtag your creations on social media:

Facebook @bloomingbakesbycornel

Instagram @bloomingbakesbycornel



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