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How to make gingerbread from scratch

This classic gingerbread recipe has just the right amount of ginger, cinnamon and clove, with buttery richness and great toffee flavours. Try baking gingerbread people, gingerbread houses, gingerbread trifle, rocky road and more. Learn how to make gingerbread from scratch, how to freeze it and enjoy it with your family and friends this Christmas!

In partnership and featuring recipes from Western Star.

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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.
This recipe for gingerbread is incredibly versatile. It’s all you need, whether you’re making classic gingerbread people and gingerbread houses, or something with a modern twist like gingerbread trifle or gingerbread rocky road.
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.

Gingerbread recipe

125 g Western Star Original Salted Butter, chopped
⅓ cup (75 g) firmly packed brown sugar
⅓ cup (80 mL) golden syrup
1 egg
2½ cups (375 g) plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1. Melt butter, brown sugar and golden syrup together in a saucepan, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly
2. 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
3. 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: Basic Gingerbread
See tips and 8 different ideas for using this gingerbread below!

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:
  1. Shape dough into a disc about 1 inch thick, this will help it to defrost faster
  2. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap
  3. Freeze
  4. 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:
  1. Ensure cookies are completely cool
  2. Space out cookies on a sheet pan in a single layer and freeze until hard
  3. Place frozen cookies into a container and freeze. You can also use a ziplock bag, but it will need to be handled more carefully.
  4. 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.

How to make a gingerbread house step-by-step

Get the recipe: Gingerbread House



How to make a gingerbread Christmas tree

Get the recipe: Gingerbread Star Trees

This gingerbread cookie stack makes a statement edible Christmas table centrepiece. Make one to stand next to a gingerbread house, or make a few for a gingerbread tree forest.


Gingerbread trifle with caramel

Get the recipe: Gingerbread and Caramel Trifle

Make your trifle extra festive by using crumbled gingerbread instead of the usual cake rolls!  


More gingerbread recipes

Discover more gingerbread ideas below! Whether you make classic gingerbread people or try something different, there's a gingerbread recipe for everyone.


*DISCLAIMER: Western Star is a contributing recipe Partner at This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Western Star and our own opinions. Find out more about the full range of Western Star products.

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