Christmas gingerbread families


  • 125g butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 3-4 food colours OR bought writing icings


Preheat oven to 180°C and line baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

Using a stand mixer or hand held electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in golden syrup and egg yolk, then stir in sifted flour, ginger and bicarb in two batches.

Knead mixture on lightly floured surface until smooth, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Cut out people and place 3cm apart on prepared baking trays.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

To make the icing, whisk egg white in a small bowl and gradually whisk in sifted icing sugar. Divide the mixture into 3-4 small bowls and add colours. Spoon the icing into small plastic resealable bags, snip off a corner and let the kids create their people. For a quicker, cleaner option do try using bought writing icings.


  • If you are in a hurry, or the kids are impatient (not unusual, I’m sure you will agree), three small dollops of icing with a smartie pressed into each one does the job admirably.
  • If you have more time, encourage the kids to draw in the faces and some clothes. Younger kids might not have the coordination or control to pipe the icing slowly, so perhaps give them the lofty job of smartie-pressing.
  • This recipe was created by Melissa Hughes for Kidspot, New Zealand’s best recipe finder.

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