Birthday parties and Christmas spreads wouldn't be complete without the sweet smell of freshly baked gingerbread – and this easy, colourful recipe for gingerbread cookies is specially designed to be easy for kids to bake themselves (with a little grown-up help from time to time).

You will need 2 baking sheets and a gingerbread man cookie cutter. We like these ones from Etersion, which have a raised grip that's perfect for children to hold securely.


  • 140g butter, softened
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 50g black treacle
  • ½ egg, beaten
  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • pinch of salt

For the decorations

  • M&M's
  • white writing icing pen
  • edible eye decorations, optional


  • STEP 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/340°F/Gas 4/Fan 170°C. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. Whisk the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, until light and fluffy

  • STEP 2

    Add the syrup and treacle and egg. Mix well. Then add the flours, spices and salt. Mix again until you have a soft dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes

  • STEP 3

    Roll out the dough on a floured work surface. Stamp out 20 gingerbread shapes. Place on the baking sheets

  • STEP 4

    Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden and firm in the middle. Cool on a wire rack.

  • STEP 5

    Decorate the cookies to give them 'people' features. Use the the M&M's to make 3 buttons down the front. Use the white icing pens to draw a mouth and mark out the arms and legs. For the eyes, either use the edible eyes (stuck on with a tiny blob of white icing) or use the white icing pen to make 2 dots above the mouth

Pic: Annabel Karmel

Recipe extracted from Annabel Karmel's new book for budding young cooks My First Cookbook