How To Make A Gingerbread Man (& more!) | Day Out With The Kids

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Jolly Gingers: How to make a gingerbread man (and other shapes!)

Rachel Brady

01 December 2017

Time to Read

3 minutes

It's not a bake we often think of doing with kids, but once you've made gingerbread men– or stars, trees, anything you can cut out, really – you will realise how easy they are, and also how much better homemade gingerbread is than shop bought (which I think tastes like cardboard in comparison).

Christmas is a great time to make this easy gingerbread man recipe, as it's a lovely gift for teachers, relatives or friends – or it would make a nice item to take to a Christmas fair or bake sale. Plus the spice makes it festive too. I make gingerbread men (unfortunately I have no gingerbread 'lady' cutter, as in one with a skirt! Doesn’t that seem terribly old-fashioned now?), stars, trees, snowflakes, and snowmen but you are free to make whatever – hey, you could even go freehand or use this to make a gingerbread house!

A homemade gingerbread snowflake decorated with icing

I decorate with shop bought standard decorating items like writing icing, silver balls and ready-made royal icing. But I do prefer the taste without so we only tend to decorate a few – it is a really fun activity though; the kids always enjoy it.

Top tips for making the gingerbread man recipe even easier:

  • Do make it in advance and chill. One hour is all you need.
  • 'Work' the dough a little – it will feel crumbly and you might panic. By working it (lightly kneading, and just squashing and rolling it a bit, you'll easily get a nice, pliable dough.
  • Do use fresh ground ginger – if you use one that's been in the cupboard for 10 years it won't taste very gingery!
  • Use liberal amounts of flour when rolling out.

Cutting out gingerbread shapes using cutters

Ingredients for the Gingerbread Man Recipe:

  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 125g cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 egg, beaten

A little decorates her homemade gingerbread

How to make gingerbread:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line 3 trays with baking paper (or if you only have one then use it 3 times).
  2. Sieve flour, spices, bicarb and salt, then rub in the cubed butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Tip in sugar and mix. Add beaten egg, syrup and mix with a spoon.
  4. Do your best to form a ball (it's crumbly) - what I do is squish several lumps of crumbly dough together and put them on the cling film then wrap it tight. Once chilled – about an hour will do – it'll become easier to handle.
  5. Cut the chilled dough in two. Work the dough, squash it and warm it up a bit. Liberally flour the worktop and roll out – not too thin, about 1cm thick is perfect.
  6. Cut out and pop on a lined sheet. You'll need about 3 – give them space as they spread a little.
  7. Bake for 10 mins. Let them chill then decorate if you want to!

A boy holds up his homemade gingerbread man

Love this gingerbread man recipe? For more ideas check these out:

Easy pancakes recipe | 5 tips for baking with kids | Rainbow cupcakes recipe | Easter nest fairy cakes Picnic hacks for parents | Best places to eat out with kids in the UK | Healthy snacks for kids | Christmas turkey traditions | 10 FREE Christmas Days Out | 100 Great Indoor Activities



Rachel Brady

01 December 2017

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Rachel Brady lives a mostly peaceful but very muddy life in the Peak District with her husband, 2 young kids, 2 cats and 1 naughty chocolate lab. Rachel is one of our much loved Trusted Explorers, which means all content has been written exclusively for in exchange for a contribution to their family piggy bank. All posts are first hand, honest and based on real experiences.

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