Gingerbread dough is always lots of fun – whether you want to make biscuits, men or even a Gingerbread house then a good dough recipe is the place to start.  The resting of the dough and chilling is an important step for the very best in gingery spiced flavoured biscuits so try not to miss it out if you can.


75g soft brown sugar

40g golden syrup

20g black treacle

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cinnamon

110g butter

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

225g plain flour

In a pan place the sugar, butter, syrup, treacle and spices.  Heat them over a gentle heat whilst stirring until the butter melts and it’s mixed together nicely.

Take it off the heat and add in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and stir it up well into a soft dough.

Place the whole lot in a plastic bag, let it cool to room temperature and then bob it in the fridge for 2 hours to chill.

When you’re ready to use it, take it out of the fridge, it will be hard and crumbly.  Working with a portion at a time knead it with your hands on the worksurface until it is smooth and pliable.

Roll it out on a lightly floured worksurface, or between 2 sheets of baking paper and cut out your biscuits.

Preheat the oven to 170c (fan)/190c/Gas Mark 5.

Place the biscuits on a well greased or lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 8 minutes until lightly golden around the edges.  Allow to cool on the tray for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

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This entry was posted in Biscuit, Biscuits, Children, Christmas, Decorating, Egg-free, Gifts, Ginger, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas. Bookmark the permalink.

103 Responses to Gingerbread

  1. Pingback: Gingerbread Sleighs | Baking, Recipes and Tutorials - The Pink Whisk

  2. Pingback: Giant Gingerbread Man | Baking, Recipes and Tutorials - The Pink Whisk

  3. I love making gingerbread and this looks great – I’m looking forward to seeing what you make out of it!

  4. Diana Tucker says:

    Fantastic! I would love to make these with my step son at the weekend. Thanks.

  5. Leanne Fawcett says:

    Mmmm gingerbread men!! Great for young and old!!

  6. Sandy says:

    Fantastic, I can’t wait to make these with my little girl as it will be the first time we wil have made gingerbread men! Thanks ; 0)

  7. Ceri Garthwaite says:

    Proper love ginger bread! Well christmassy!

  8. Aimee Smith says:

    i’m having a bash at my first gingerbrread house with my girls this year,,,,but may have to buy one from the shop as a plan b!

  9. Lindsey cummins says:

    Love gingerbread, I made a gingerbread house for my best friends birthday last yr and it was a challenge! Might attempt the sleighs this yr 🙂

  10. Belinda says:

    Was planning a gingerbread house this year so here goes!

  11. Petra Curtis says:

    I love making gingerbread with my kids who are going to help me make another gingerbread house
    , maybe we are going to get some more great ideas from you this X-mas 🙂

  12. Alison Green says:

    Love doing gingerbread. The girls and I did a house last year and although pretty wonky, with plenty of icing sugar “snow” over the top it looked really christmassy 🙂

  13. Amanda says:

    I love gingerbread!!

  14. Hayley scales says:

    I cheat and buy a pack from the supermarket to build and decorate a house, but I’m gonna give this a go,,,

  15. Helen Russell says:

    That’s this afternoon’s activity sorted. 🙂

  16. Silke says:

    Hi Ruth – could you make this dough 2-3 days in advance and keep it in the fridge until needed? Thanks!

    • Yes! It gets better if allowed to rest in the fridge – the flavours just get better x

      • Silke says:

        Great, thanks! Love recipes that cater for busy schedules and doing things in ‘parts’. Will mix up tonight to bake Friday evening. 🙂

        • Silke says:

          This recipe will become one of my staples at Christmas time! I made the recipe x 4, and had enough dough for 3 mini gingerbread houses plus a fair few gingerbread-people cookies. Was a bonus that no egg in the dough, as it meant the kids could sneak a taste. Thanks!

  17. kathy says:

    Brings back happy memories!

  18. Ali says:

    You make it look easy! My gingerbread is generally rock hard!!

  19. Milica says:

    This is really odd: I open the browser to google the recipe for gingerbread, but my homepage is webmail, and on the top of it – mail about this post!! 🙂

  20. nicola says:

    Ashamed to say I have never made gingerbread but would love to make some little men to hang on the tree this year!

  21. lisa dolatowski says:

    Gingerbread cake is the best in the world!

  22. Claire Carter says:

    Another task, my you are keeping me busy!

  23. Becky Lewis says:

    I love your fabulous step by step photos and instructions. My girls aged 8 & 10 will be having some fun this weekend making some great gingerbread creations – thanks to your inspiration !!
    P.s – the chocolate cake recipe in your book is the best ever !! x

  24. Careen says:

    Wow… I love to eat Gingerbread cookies. This recipe is great & very creative design….Marvelous …

  25. Oh if only mine would look that good! Amazing work Ruth! X

  26. Linda Thompson says:

    I’m planning to make a gingerbread house for my grandsons at Christmas, I will be using your recipe it sounds fab!

  27. Kirsty says:

    Love gingerbread!

  28. Annie T says:

    I would love to make a successful gingerbread house. We’ve bought numerous kits over the years, and they keep collapsing! Maybe if I try to make my own it will be more successful. Can’t make gingerbread men – can’t bear to bit their heads off!

  29. Jackie says:

    Santa sleigh’s a great idea. How long would the gingerbread keep unwrapped? I love the idea of putting gingerbread on the tree but wondered how long before they become too soft to eat.

    • Unwrapped and open to the air the gingerbread will dry out fairly quickly rather than going soft, it doesn’t stop my boys eating them even after they’ve been on the tree for a fortnight though!!!

  30. Louise Laggan says:

    that sleigh is incredible!

  31. Donna Allgrove says:

    We have templates for a house and train this year, the boys can,t wait to decorate them.

  32. S Hall says:

    I’ve never thought of using ground cloves when making gingerbread dough, It’s sounds extra fragrant and yummy – I shall be giving this a go!!!

  33. TracieB says:

    Mmm gingerbread…

  34. Patsi says:

    I love the Cornish ware. They would look lovely on my work top too!

  35. Maria Prosser says:

    I love the look of the sleighs… Is it really as easy as you make it look?

  36. Amanda Scott says:

    Will need to try these out with my two boys, although they will probably do star wars characters 😉

  37. Vanessa Belcher says:

    Ginger, yum one of my favourite Xmas flavours 🙂

  38. Liz says:

    These look brilliant, and they don’t spread when cooked as well – perfect!

  39. Michelle Wilson-Taylor says:

    Looks scrummy and the santas sleigh looks amazing. You are a very talented lady!!

  40. em says:

    I love this idea. I have tried making gingerbread men before, but they spread and looked like blobs. I never knew you had to chill the dough first. I will be using this recipe at the weekend. Clever you !

  41. Andree says:

    Looks far too good to eat – these will look great hanging from my tree, are there any child proof bags available to put them in?

  42. Sarah Gosling says:

    Yummy. Can’t wait to try it out x

  43. Bushra Rashid says:

    I will definitely be trying this recipe!

  44. Helen G says:

    These are simply too cute andi bet they taste delicious too!

  45. Jules H says:

    What a brill idea to do 1 x giant gingerbread (wo)man! A fab idea for pressies! What would we do without your fab inventive brain, Ruth! Stonkin’ ideas!

  46. Elaine Davies says:

    I’ve been looking for a ‘go to’ gingerbread recipe…thank you.

  47. Grocery Gems says:

    Lovely recipe, I’ll be trying this out for sure!

  48. Sharon says:

    How long will the gingerbread keep? If it not eaten straight away !!

    • If you keep the baked pieces in an airtight container they will last upto a month. Once you’ve made them up as long as they are wrapped up and not open to the air they’ll last 2 weeks. They will of course last much longer than that but they would taste stale x

  49. Shonaigh says:

    Such a delicious smell baking gingerbread. Be a very warming winter treat with some hot chocolate.

  50. Janine Bailey says:

    I think that all these recipes etc look delicious x

  51. Cristina says:

    can’t wait to try this recipe – I am still looking for a recipe for sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies that is easy to work with and come out. With the success of your other recipes that I’ve made, I’m hoping this one works for me.

  52. joanne says:

    I’ve just made my gingerbread house and snowmen so this will look fantastic along side my gingerbread village x love it xxx

  53. Megan Heffer says:

    Yummy !!! will definatly try this for christmas !!!

  54. Samantha says:

    This looks a far better recipe than the one i’ve been using for years!! i will definitely be trying it for our annual gingerbread house monstrosity!!! which might have a sleigh outside this year….!!!!! love it!

  55. Margot Cox says:

    What a simple recipe.. will definately be doing this with the kids :o)

  56. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this recipe – I ruined our gingerbread house last year by guessing! It was revolting :-/

  57. Emma says:

    A great simple recipe. Something my kids will love.

  58. Lisa Cann says:

    Def making gingerbread this week

  59. Jennie says:

    I am determined to make some gingerbread this year! xx

  60. Liz Day says:

    Might have to give this a go sometime!

  61. Alice Hassett says:

    christmas favourite for me yummy

  62. Stephanie Carr says:


  63. Slowlygoingmadukmum says:

    Me a the kids love to make a house and decorate each year but I’ve yet to find 1 I like to eat. Will give this recipe a try. Got my stencil ready for the house

  64. Adam says:

    BEst ginger bread is from Grasmere

  65. Sara Harrison says:

    I have some ‘ninja bread’cutters, such fun!

  66. Stella Bailey says:

    Love the taste of this gingerbread

  67. Julie says:


  68. Karen Mottram says:

    Excellent gingerbread recipe, some just spread hopelessly but this is fab. Thanks Ruth.

  69. sheila daniell says:

    love gingerbread

  70. Sez says:

    Lovely simple to follow recipe

  71. Gillian Greathead says:

    A staple in my house.Lovely recipe x

  72. Kate Cook says:

    the kids LOVE gingerbread – I’ll have to try this!

  73. Aly Makin says:

    Ooh I’ve made some lovely gingerbread – I’m very excited!

  74. Claire Humphreys says:

    Thanks Ruth, another amazing recipe!

  75. Sophie says:

    Will it be ok if left overnight? I can make before bed & then roll out with my daughter the next day?

  76. Lucy says:

    Your pics make it so easy to follow

  77. Joanna says:

    thanks for the recipe.

  78. Cenders says:

    Great….I will be busy!

  79. Liz says:

    It’s just not Christmas without gingerbread

  80. Anna Marie says:

    I love ginger so much!

  81. maggie pearson says:


  82. Jayne says:

    Think I’ve been entering my comments in the wrong place 🙁

  83. Amanda Whitmarsh says:

    What a fantastic sleigh.

  84. Rachel F says:

    Never made ginger bread before, looking forward to it!

  85. All4meggymoo says:

    I’ve never found a good gingerbread recipe up until now! Thank you for sharing yours

  86. Elspeth Woods says:

    This looks so easy. Will definitely give it a go.

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  89. Louise says:

    I think I will give it a try. Question: what is treacle and can I replace it, if I cannot find any? Thank you!

  90. Allyson says:

    Wow! I was a bit concerned about having to buy 850g of treacle to use just 20g of it, but the gingerbread has come out of the oven perfectly! What else can you use treacle for?

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