How to make gingerbread from scratch
A basic gingerbread recipe is essential for Christmas baking. Nothing signals the coming of the festive season like the sweet smell of ginger, cinnamon and clove coming from fresh gingerbread in the oven.
Just the right amount of spice, buttery richness and the deep toffee flavour of brown sugar and golden syrup make this gingerbread recipe so special. It will stay fresh at room temperature for up to five days and you can freeze it too, so you can make it ahead of time.
125 g Western Star Original Salted Butter, chopped
⅓ cup (75 g) firmly packed brown sugar
⅓ cup (80 mL) golden syrup
2½ cups (375 g) plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Melt butter, brown sugar and golden syrup together in a saucepan, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly
Whisk the egg and butter mixture in a large bowl. Sift the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda over the butter mixture and mix until combined into a smooth dough. Flatten into a disc shape, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until just firm
Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C fan-forced. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Divide dough in half. Roll each half between sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Cut into desired shapes, or simply place on baking trays and bake for 10-12 minutes
Once cooled, decorate your gingerbread with icing, lollies and Christmas decorations.
Get the full recipe that you can save to your myfoodbook cookbook here:
How long does gingerbread last?
Baked gingerbread will keep for 5 days in an airtight container. If it's humid or moisture is present, the gingerbread will soften.
How to freeze gingerbread dough
You can freeze gingerbread either raw or cooked. To freeze the dough:
- Shape dough into a disc about 1 inch thick, this will help it to defrost faster
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap
- To use, defrost in fridge overnight before rolling and using as normal
You can freeze cookie dough for up to 2 months.
How to freeze baked gingerbread
Cooked, undecorated gingerbread can be frozen with the following steps:
- Ensure cookies are completely cool
- Space out cookies on a sheet pan in a single layer and freeze until hard
- Place frozen cookies into a container and freeze. You can also use a ziplock bag, but it will need to be handled more carefully.
- Thaw by placing whole container in fridge overnight, then on the counter to come to room temperature
You can freeze baked cookies for up to 2 months.
Avoid opening the container before your cookies have come to room temperature, as this can cause condensation to form that will make your cookies soft.
Ensure your cookies have come to room temperature before decorating, or it may be difficult for the icing to stick.
Decorated cookies don’t freeze as reliably - condensation can cause the icing to run, melt or become sticky. Instead, freeze cookies undecorated and decorate them after defrosting.