Gingerbread is a popular Christmas treat all over the world. It first appeared in central Europe in the Middle Ages, made from sugars and spices that had been brought back from the Middle East by soldiers returning from the Crusades.

It is said that Queen Victoria, and her German-born husband Prince Albert, brought gingerbread cookies in vogue when they included it in with the other German Christmas traditions they adopted, like the Christmas tree and the Yule log, in the mid-nineteenth century. It was at this time that gingerbread cookies became associated primarily with Christmas.

Why not make these tasty treats with the family and hang them on your tree or give them as a Christmas gift to relatives and friends.


350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g/4½oz butter
175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg
4 tbsp golden syrup


Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor.

Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together.

Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface.

Using cutters, cut out the Christmas decorations, make sure you cut a small hole for a ribbon so you can tie them to the tree, and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.

Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

When cooled decorate however you wish with icing and biscuit decorations.