Gingerbread at Christmas is like chocolate at Easter! There’s just something so fun and festive making homemade gingerbread, for me it symbolises the start of the season. The decks go up, it becomes acceptable to play Christmas music and the smell of freshly baked gingerbread fills the house.
This easy gingerbread recipe will help you master a staple gingerbread dough. There’s nothing complicated about the recipe, as the title of this post suggests it’s actually very easy, but using good quality ingredients is really important (more on this later) for a flavoursome gingerbread dough.
3 gingerbread baking ideas
There are so many festive bakes you can create using this gingerbread recipe. Here are 3 baking ideas:
1. Gingerbread People
The gingerbread classic! Use different sized cutters to create a family of gingerbread people and then bring them to life with white icing and sprinkles for the decoration. How cute is the baby gingerbread? 😍
2. Gingerbread Christmas Tree
If you fancy something a little more challenging, why not use this easy gingerbread recipe to create a stunning edible Christmas tree! The tree is made from different sized gingerbread stars stacked on top of each other. For the decoration I used meringue drops, sprinkles and a selection of edible figures to create a winter wonderland scene. Find the detailed recipe here.
3. Miniature Gingerbread House
Saving the best for last with these adorable miniature gingerbread houses. Beautiful as a stand alone decoration or perfect to place on top of cupcakes for some festive pizzazz. You could even hang them on the side of a cup of hot chocolate! Just follow the gingerbread recipe and then use a mini gingerbread house cutter to create your shapes. I’d recommend using royal icing to assemble the houses and for decoration, it dries quickly and will firmly hold the shapes together.
What ingredients do I need for the gingerbread recipe?
- Unsalted butter. Gives the gingerbread their melt-in-mouth flavour and chewy in the middle texture.
- Dark muscovado sugar. This type of sugar contains molasses making it perfect for gingerbread. It also has a deep caramel flavour.
- Golden syrup. Adds a punch of extra sweetness and improves the chewy texture.
- Egg. A little beaten egg helps bring the dough together.
- Plain flour. Provides structure and prevents the gingerbread from spreading too much.
- Bicarbonate of soda. Helps firm up the edges of the gingerbread, making them crunchy.
- Ground ginger. It wouldn’t be gingerbread without ginger! I like to use ground ginger for ease, but for a more intense flavour you could use grated fresh ginger.
- Ground cinnamon. Not essential but I think cinnamon lifts the flavour and adds a lovely warming spice.
Helpful gingerbread recipe tips
- Let the melted butter mixture cool down. If the mixture is too hot when combined with the dry ingredients and eggs, the dough will end up being very wet and sticky.
- You don’t need to add all the beaten egg. This gingerbread recipe calls for 1 medium egg, but you won’t need to use the whole egg. Beat the egg in a small jug and start by adding just enough to bring the dough together.
- Chill the gingerbread dough before rolling. This will improve the flavour and make sure the gingerbread doesn’t spread out too much in the oven. I recommend chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes. You can also make the dough ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- How to freeze the dough. If you want to make the dough ahead of time, you can wrap and freeze it for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature for 1-2 hours, then roll, shape and bake.
Easy Gingerbread Recipe
- 50 g Unsalted butter
- 75 g Dark muscovado sugar
- 50 g Golden syrup
- 175 g Plain flour
- 0.5 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp Ground ginger
- 1 tsp Groun cinnamon
- 1 medium Egg at room temperature
- Crack the egg into a small jug and beat with a fork. Set aside for now.
- Measure the butter, dark muscovado sugar and golden syrup into a small saucepan.
- Heat on low until the butter and sugar melt. Once melted turn the heat up and let the mixture boil for 1 minute. Remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Stir the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Now pour in the melted butter mixture and half of the beaten egg. Use a wooden spoon to fold the mixture until it starts to come together into a dough. Now use your hands to knead the dough gently until smooth and the bowl is left clean.
- If the dough is too dry add a little bit more egg, if it's too wet add a little flour.
- Wrap the gingerbread dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes*.
- Lightly dust a worktop and a rolling pin with flour and roll the gingerbread dough out to a £1 coin thickness.
- Use cookie cutters to stamp out your shapes and place on a lined baking tray**.
- Bake at 170°C (fan) for 10 minutes until golden and firm.
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