I LOVE Christmas time, especially all the festive food and flavours. Gingerbread men are one of THE most classic Christmas recipes and a favourite in our house, so I wanted to create a slightly lower sugar version of them for any families who are looking for lower sugar cake/biscuit options at this time of year.
You can get amazing Gingerbread man recipes so easily online or in the shops that’ll taste great, but they can often contain a fair bit of sugar, so aren’t ideal for younger kids to have in large amounts. I have a Gingerbread man recipe that contains no added sugar here, but this one I wanted to make a recipe that was a bit more versatile and had a bit more of a sweet kick to it – perhaps for older kids. I hope you love it.
These cute gingerbread men can be made vegan and gluten-free and also contain no nuts (unlike my other ones). Get your little ones helping out with some festive baking – this is a very easy recipe which requires no chilling of the dough for hours on end whilst the kids lose interest.
You can add simple facial features and buttons to your gingerbread men with a cocktail stick or opt to ice them to add a little more decoration – it’s totally up to you! The lemon icing goes really well with the ginger and you don’t need more than a smidge of icing sugar to add a bit more personality. We added icing sugar scarves and boots to some of our little biscuit men and left others uniced – get the kids involved and let their creativity go, and see what they come up with!
Prep: 15 minutes + optional icing
Cooking: 8-12 minutes
Makes: 15 small gingerbread men
- 200g plain flour (can be gluten-free)
- Half a tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 50g butter (or vegan vegetable fat spread such as Stork)
- 25g dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp (or 50ml) golden syrup
- 1 tbsp cow’s or plant-based milk
- Optional lemon icing:
- icing sugar
- a few drops of lemon juice
- Heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/gas mark 6. Line baking sheets with baking parchment (no need to grease). Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a mixing bowl.
- Melt the butter (or vegan spread), sugar and golden syrup together in a pan over a low heat. Pour the syrup into the flour and mix to combine until crumbly. Add the milk and stir again until the dough comes together cleanly in the bowl. If it doesn’t form a clean ball, add a tiny bit more milk a splash at a time and mix again until it does. Shape it into a ball with lightly floured hands.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use a cutter to cut out gingerbread men shapes and carefully transfer to your prepared tray. Reroll until you’ve used all the dough.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes (depending on the size of your cutter) until golden. Don’t worry if these lower sugar versions crack a little on top during baking. Check on them at 8 minutes to see how golden they are and bake a little longer if required. Leave for 5 minutes to cool a little and then carefully turn the gingerbread men over so the flipside is facing upwards. Decorating them on this side makes them all look nice and uniform and is the workaround for using less sugar.
- Carefully make holes with a skewer or cocktail stick for eyes, mouths and buttons whilst the biscuits are still a little pliable. Be gentle and don’t press too hard as they are still soft.
- Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. If you would then like to ice them, mix a small amount of icing sugar with a couple of drops of lemon juice until the icing is smooth and not too runny. Pipe decorations and leave to set.
Hope you love them and don’t forget to check out Emily’s other recipes on her website too!