Skip to main content

  • Nut free
  • Peanut free
  • Sesame free
  • Soy free
  • Shellfish free
  • Seafood free
  • Vegetarian

This gingerbread men recipe is what you need in the Christmas season. Soft and delicious, these little treats are great as an edible gift or family snack.

  • Makes30
  • Cook time15 minutes
  • Prep time15 minutes, + 30 mins chilling time


  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup
  • 1 free range egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • Queen Royal Icing, to decorate
  • Smarties or M&M’s, to decorate

Nutritional information

Per serve: Energy: 457kJ/109 Cals (5%), Protein: 1g (2%), Fat: 4g (6%), Sat Fat: 2g (8%), Sodium: 10mg (1%), Carb: 18g (6%), Sugar: 8g (9%), Dietary Fibre: 0.4g (1%).

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and golden syrup together in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolk and beat to combine. Add flour, ginger and mixed spice. Stir to combine. Use your hands to knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 mins to chill.
  2. Step 2

    Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm-thick disc. Use a 7cm gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes and place on the lined tray. Bake for 10-12 mins or until lightly golden.
  3. Step 3

    Make royal icing following packet directions. Place icing in a piping bag fitted with a 2mm plain nozzle. Pipe icing onto each gingerbread man and decorate with Smarties or M&M’s.

Recipe tip

Use it up:
Leftover ground ginger can be used to make ginger tea, warming soups or in desserts like this poached pear crumble

Gingerbread men: a Christmas baking staple

Gingerbread men cookies are the ultimate Christmas treat. Flavoured with golden syrup and spices, our homemade recipe is soft on the inside featuring a slightly crisp edge and decorated with icing sugar and chocolate M&M’s. 

While the first records of gingerbread can be traced back to ancient times, it wasn’t until the 17th century that gingerbread became associated with Christmas and holiday traditions. It is said Queen Elizabeth I gifted dinner guests with gingerbread figures. Other accounts say that spices like ginger helped people keep warm in the winter during the holiday seasons in the northern hemisphere. Since then, gingerbread and baking with ginger have evolved, with different cultures creating their regional variations, such as lebkuchen in Germany and pepparkakor in Sweden. 

For more sweet treats and edible gifts to make this Christmas season, try our ideas for Christmas rocky road and shortbread Christmas trees, or see our collection of Christmas desserts for recipe inspiration. 

Creating cute decorated gingerbread men is so easy

When making these biscuits, it’s crucial to follow a few steps to achieve the best results. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has turned pale and creamy. When all the remaining ingredients have been combined in this recipe for gingerbread men, knead the dough until smooth and cover in it plastic wrap before placing it in the fridge to chill. When the dough is ready to roll, it should be slightly firm in texture as anything too soft will make it difficult for the cookie shape to hold its form. Be sure to lightly flour your work surface as well as your cookie cutter and rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking.

How to make gingerbread men: get the kids involved!

Now comes the fun part: decorating! Use our royal icing recipe to create the eyes and mouth, and get creative with different chocolate buttons, sprinkles and coloured icing as clothes and accessories to personalise and decorate the gingerbread men. 

The beauty of baking your gingerbread cookies at home means you can flex your creativity. Create gingerbread ice cream sandwiches by adding ice cream between two biscuits, bake a giant gingerbread person or give your gingerbread people an Aussie twist by decorating with bikinis and board shorts. You could even experiment with different flavour profiles by adding chocolate, maple syrup or pureed pumpkin to the dough. 

Fun ways to serve Christmas gingerbread men

Homemade gingerbread men make a great edible gift idea for the festive holiday season. Simply place them in cellophane bags and decorate them with a bow, or place them in paper boxes wrapped in twine. Assemble a family of gingerbread men on a serving platter at the centre of your dessert table, or you could even set up a DIY decorating gingerbread station at your Christmas party and let your guests have fun creating their masterpiece. 

For more gift ideas, create these Tim Tam, Baileys and Iced Vovo truffles, or this perfect Christmas snack, reindeer food


Christmas is all wrapped up with the range at Coles

From foodies and teachers to kids and pets, Coles has Christmas gifts sorted.

  • Christmas gifting

    Discover Christmas gifting inspiration.