Kim’s Gingerbread Folks

Kim is a regular host of the Big Cake Bake at Red Cross’ Melbourne office. It’s always a fun event that brings everyone together. Their last Big Cake Bake raised over $500 from gold coin donations for each item.  Kim’s gingerbread folks are always popular and she regularly has people asking her for the recipe. She enjoys making them – and eating them – because they are spicy and delicious. Enjoy! 


125g butter (room temperature)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup golden syrup

1 egg, separated

2 1/2 cups plain flour

1-1.5 tbsp ground ginger, depending on how spicy you like it

1 tsp mixed spice

A couple of pinches of fennel, crushed in a mortar and pestle (optional)

1 tsp bicarb soda

1 cup icing sugar, sifted

Smarties to decorate, or licorice etc


Preheat oven to 180°C 

Beat the butter and sugar until they’re creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in flour, spices and bicarb soda. Turn onto a bench that’s got a light dusting of flour and knead the dough until smooth. Press dough into a blob, cover lightly and then put it in the fridge to rest – this will make it easier to work with. 

To make the icing, put the egg white in another bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the icing sugar until stiff peaks form and then put this mixture in the fridge while you make the shapes.

Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a 9cm (approx.) gingerbread person cutter to cut out shapes. Place on trays a couple of cms apart. 

Bake in oven for about 7 minutes.  If you want the folks to be a bit crunchier, give them a couple more minutes, but be watchful because they really don’t take long to cook (or to burn!). Remove from oven. Cool them on a rack.

To decorate, I just use a knife but you can use a piping bag if you’re a bit more pro.  Add as many smarties as you fancy to make them colourful.