Christmas themed decorated gingerbread
What’s more Christmassy than gingerbread?

The best gingerbread recipe to make at home with children.


This is my tried and tested best gingerbread recipe. I’ve tried a few out over the years, but this one is the best.

We make gingerbread a lot as a family, because it’s a lovely sticky and gooey mixture which is so easy to make. The mixture tastes great straight off your hands after kneading, and the children love rolling it out, cutting out their favourite shapes and then decorating them afterwards. 

You can use any cookie cutters with this recipe to make whatever shaped biscuits you like. The biscuits will keep well in an airtight container for up to a week if they haven’t been eaten before that. 

Top tip : try and make sure the biscuits are of similar size before baking to prevent smaller ones burning and larger ones not cooking enough. 

Ingredients

400g of plain flour

1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp of ground ginger

1 tsp of mixed spice 

1 tsp of cinnamon 

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

1/2 tsp of fine sea salt

180g of butter (not margarine)

125g of dark muscovado sugar

1 egg

125g of black treacle

Grated zest of half an orange

Grated zest of half a lemon

Equipment needed

Sieve

Scales 

2 mixing bowls 

Spatula

Wooden spoon 

Electric or handwhisk

Cling film

Rolling pin

Baking tray

Cookie cutters

Greaseproof paper 

Cooling rack

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°c 

1. Weigh and sieve the flour into a mixing bowl.

2. Add the bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg into this bowl.

3. Add the orange and lemon zest, then stir together. 

4. Weigh and then add the butter and sugar to the other mixing bowl. 

5. Use the electric or handheld whisk to cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 

6. Add the egg and black treacle to the creamed butter & sugar mix and whisk again until all mixed together. 

7. Make a well in the centre of the bowl with the dry ingredients in it. Then pour all the wet ingredients into the well. 

8. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. You will need to work it quite well to bring it all together to make a stiff dough. Don’t be tempted to add any liquids, it will all come together as the heat from your hands softens the butter even more.

9. Lightly flour your work surface, then turn the dough out on to it. Knead the dough until the outside is glossy and shiny. 

10. Wrap the dough mixture in cling film and place In the fridge for 30 minutes. 

While the gingerbread rests

While the dough is resting in the fridge, challenge your children to see if everything can be cleared up, washed up and cleaned up before the 30 minutes is up. (Children love a race, they won’t even notice you’re getting them to clean). 

Next steps

11. Lightly flour your work surface again, and the rolling pin, then remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap it. 

12. Carefully roll out the dough, turning it regularly and re-flouring the work surface and rolling pins. Stop rolling once your dough is around an inch thick.

13. Line your baking tray with grease proof paper, then carefully begin cutting out your shapes from the dough. Use a fish slice when transferring the dough from work surface to baking tray, so it doesn’t split.

14. Make sure there is room around the dough shapes to allow for spreading slightly when cooking. 

15. Place in the oven and bake for between  12-16 minutes. The biscuits should be just changing colour on the edges and be slightly firm to the touch. They will still be soft, so leave them on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to the cooling rack. 

Warning : Your whole house will smell AMAZING and you might start to drool.

Leave the biscuits to cool down completely before decorating as any residual heat will melt the icing off. 

Decorating

This depends on what shaped biscuits you’ve made. But in a nutshell, all you need is :

  • Tubes of different coloured writing icing 
  • Edible googly eyes 
  • Smarties
  • Jelly tots
  • Edible silver balls

You can use these to create pretty much everything! Use blobs of the writing icing as ‘glue’ to stick the googly eyes to the biscuits. 

If you want to hang these biscuits on a tree or fireplace, you’ll need to use a skewer to make a small hole in one outer edge on the biscuit before cooking. Thread a piece of pretty ribbon through the hole and tie together in a knot before hanging. 

And there you go, my very best gingerbread recipe. 

I’d love to know how you get on if you make this recipe.

Tag me on Instagram if you do make it yourself. I’d love to see your creations!

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