Soft Gingerbread Man Recipe with a nice blend of christmassy spices, the best cookies for the festive season. Kids will absolutely love them, and the grown-ups too. They taste a lot better than the store-bought ones, and are quick and easy to make. A must-try recipe!
Have you got a recipe that always reminds you of a special celebration, or an important day, or just a lovely memory from your childhood? When I think of gingerbread man cookies, I automatically think of Christmas, of warm spices, of cold weather, town buzzing with people getting ready for Christmas.
I don't know what it is, but it feels so peaceful though. Christmas had this effect on people, I suppose. It does make you a bit soft, isn't it? And baking, apart from being therapeutic, it can also bring you in the best christmassy mood. Plus, it's a great fun for kids too.
So, if you wondered how to make a soft gingerbread man recipe that smell and taste like Christmas, this is the best recipe for you. The cookies have just the right amount of spices, are chewy, soft, and baked to perfection. My gingerbread man cookies do not use molasses, instead they have golden syrup, but you can use any of them, or honey.
- flour - plain flour is all we need
- dark brown muscovado sugar
- butter - unsalted
- golden syrup -or honey
- bicarbonate of soda
- ground ginger
- egg - at room temperature
- icing for decorating -optional
Step-by-step photos and instructions
l must say this is the easiest dough l've worked with, it does not stick to the working surface or the rolling pin and it is very easy to shape. And it's yummy.
- First, melt the butter in a pan set over a low heat, add the muscovado sugar and golden syrup (or honey) and stir well to get a smooth runny paste.
DO NOT skip this step, otherwise the muscovado sugar will make the dough lumpy and the texture of the cookies won't be smooth. Leave to cool.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, add the bicarbonate of soda and the spices, beat an egg and add it to the flour together with the cooled butter mixture.
- Knead gently into a ball, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Once chilled, roll the dough, and use gingerbread man cookie cutters to cut up shapes.
- Have the oven pre-heated at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit). Bake the cookies for about 7 minutes, or up to 10 minutes if using a very large gingerbread man cookie cutter.
What do gingerbread cookies taste like
The spices used for these cookies give a special fragrance and taste that I can't have enough of. I can feel the heat coming from the ginger, but it is not a very strong one.
If you use muscovado sugar, you will get an even deeper aroma than if you use just light brown sugar. Again, the golden syrup will be richer than honey, so that again will make the taste slightly different.
But one thing is sure, these gingerbread man cookies are nice and soft, yet chewy at the same time. They don't really have that snap people like, which I am happy with, since I don't really like hard cookies.
How to decorate the gingerbread men
If you like the cookies plain, excellent! But, if you fancy decorating them, icing or melted chocolate are your best bet. I
f you use icing, add it to a piping bag and use a small round nozzle for perfect piping. The icing can be either plain white, or you can use any other christmassy colours.
But you know what, gingerbread men can also make some spooky Halloween cookies too. And what a fun they are! Go as creepy as you like, the spookier the better.
How to make gingerbread men that are hard and snap well
These cookies are baked just for long enough to have a soft and chewy texture. If you want crispy gingerbread men that snap well, bake the cookies for a longer - I would add at least 5 more minutes, keeping an eye on them not to burn.
Other ginger treats
Whether you like the Halloween or the Christmas gingerbread men, one thing is sure, this recipe is fail-proof, and the absolute best! Do give it a go, you will love it! The so will the little ones too. Why not baking with the kids too?
If you’ve tried my GINGERBREAD MEN COOKIES or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.
Soft Gingerbread Man Recipe
- 350 g flour
- 175 g dark brown muscovado sugar
- 100 g butter
- 80 g golden syrup (or honey)
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 ½ tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 egg
- icing for decorating (optional)
- Cut the butter in small cubes and put it in a pan over a low heat.
- Add the muscovado sugar and the golden syrup and gently stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- In a large pan, sift the flour and add the ground ginger, mixed spice, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda.
- Crack an egg and beat slightly.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg and the buttery mixture.
- Knead gently for a few minutes until it forms a dough.
- Make a ball, cover in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to the working surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough, it should have approximately ¼ cm in thickness.
- Use gingerbread cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
- Transfer them onto a baking tray lined with non-stick paper, working in batches.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 8 minutes, checking it regularly - depending on your cookie cutter size, they might take between 7-10 minutes
- Allow to cool completely, then decorate with icing if you wish.
- If you'd like to see the ingredients listed in cups and ounces, please check the US Customary Link.
- Also, the amount of ingredients changes depending on the servings, so click on the number listed to change it to the number you prefer.
- These cookies are baked just for long enough to have a soft and chewy texture. If you want crispy gingerbread men that snap well, bake the cookies for a longer - I would add at least 5 more minutes, keeping an eye on them not to burn.
Gorgeous and fun!
Lynz Real Cooking
very nice Daniela!
Thank you ?
Your little gingerbread family and Christmas tree look perfect for Christmas, Daniela. Gingerbread has only recently featured in the British Christmas celebrations. I think it's something that has caught on from the U.S. I've noticed it in some of the shops this year. i love gingerbread and would happily make it all year round! Your recipe looks a nice easy one, too. 🙂
Thank you ? I used to love gingerbread as a child, but in my country they are not a traditional Christmas desser. They are sold at any funfair though, as kids love them.
Can't wait for Christmas, looks deleicious.
Oh l love Christmas! I'm looking forward to it too!
Just made these. My little boy loves them. Thank you x
I'm very happy he liked them, my little one loves them too. x
Is this recipe for soft gingerbread men or do they have a nice snap to them?
Thank you for your comment! It depends entirely how long you bake them for. If you bake them for 7-8 minutes, they will be on the softer side. They do harden, but they won't have that much snap. If you bake them for 9-10 minutes, they will get the snap, but do keep an eye on them not to burn the edges, if they are left for too long. I prefer them on the softer side tough, so I usually bake them for 8 minutes, given my cookie cutter.
Ah thank you! I've been looking for a good gingerbread men recipe, I'll try this out 🙂
Julia // The Sunday Mode
Glad you like it, thank you!
What is the measurement on the brown sugar? All it says on either metric or US is "175".
Hi! Thank you for your comment, I have updated the ingredients now, it's about 6 ounces of brown sugar.
Such a fun recipe, thank you! One question though, for the butter mixture, must the sugar dissolve completely before you leave it to cool?
I'm glad you like the recipe. The sugar does not have to be completely dissolved, but when you use muscovado sugar, it tends to be a bit lumpy, hence why it's mixed with the butter and syrup to make it smoother. Just mix it well,and it should be ok.
Yum gingerbread. Thanks for the cool recipe adjusting tool for different batch sizes!
Glad you like it!
Hi Daniela. I was wondering if I could use light brown sugar and molasses (black treacle)? Thanks in advance!
Hi! Light brown sugar is absolutely fine. The treacle might give a darker colour, but definitely worth a go.
Hi, so I love my gingerbread men soft/chewy but I'm in UK and cannot find the recipe I've previously used so I saw yours I just wanted to ask before doing it, what is the reason for melting/the butter and sugar to Start with.im only asking because I haven't done this step before and I'm a little nervous in doing so incase I mess it up. Thanks
If you don’t mix the brown sugar with the melting butter, the dough won’t be as smooth, but quite lumpy.
Thank you for a soft cookie recipe. I love gingerbread cookies soft and chewy! I added turmeric to this recipe and it kicked up the spicy quality to a level I really like. They were delicious!
The addition of turmeric sounds delicious!
Tried this recipe and was very happy with the results! They taste amazing and the soft texture is lovely. This is now my go-to gingerbread man recipe. Thanks for sharing Daniela 😊
I am glad it worked, and you are happy with the results.
Hi how much is the syrup in tablespoons, or did you literally weigh 80g in your scales?
I weighted it on the scales, but you can use 5 tablespoons of syrup.
Perfect thanks! Sorry I didn't get an email notification to say you had replied previously
I put the dough in the fridge for well over half an hour and the cookies still spread out across the entire baking tray. I’m gutted, they were meant to be presents and I’ve now wasted so much ingredients 😕
Hi! I am sorry to hear that, it never happened to me, l actually made a huge batch today and they were perfect. When the cookies spread is because the amount of ingredients used was wrong, perhaps you swapped ingredients or used too much butter? I’d need some details to know what went wrong, as l never happen to have someone complain about the dough.
Best recipe ever! Always turns out perfect. Everybody loves them children & adults alike. Makes the perfect gift . Don’t wait till Christmas haha. Made my grandson gingerbread cats because he loves the recipe & cats! Big hit. Thank you
Thank you, l am glad you liked the recipe, we made gingerbreads often and just use different cookie cutters.
Now my go to recipie! Took me many failed attempts and scouring the internet. Now I've found this one I'm making sure I don't lose it !!
I am glad you enjoy the recipe, I make these cookies so often and with great results every single time.
hey great recipe thank you but i think 1/4cm is a little too thin for me haha i did 1/4inch thickness i like the people thick
I am glad you enjoyed the recipe - thinner ones will be more crunchy, where thicker ones softer, so it's just a matter of how you like them, both variations are delicious.