Gingerbread men/women/witches....whatever you fancy!

My favourite gingerbread cookie recipe comes from the book The Witch In The Cherry Tree,


by Margaret Mahy. It's a cute little story and inside the back cover is a recipe for gingerbread witches. It never fails and is great for making a double batch of dough with, the dough freezes well and so do the baked cookies.

Gingerbread Witches
(obviously you can cut them into any shape you like)

115gm/4oz butter
1/2 (packed) brown sugar
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb soda)
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 cup warmed golden syrup or molasses

  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in dry ingredients and syrup till you have a dough.
  • Knead till smooth.
  • Roll out on a floured bench, cut into shapes.
  • Place on greased tray and bake at 175c / 350f.
These can be kept simple for every day use, or dressed up with decorations and icing for special occasions. My four year old loves to help me make these, as he tries to snaffle up any off cuts before I see him....he doesn't yet know that mums have eyes in the back of their heads!


  1. So do you freeze dough in one big lump and then just defrost it, roll it out and cut it? Or freeze unbaked shapes?

  2. Freeze it in one lump wrapped in plastic wrap, defrost on the bench, roll and cut as usual. Now, don't eat them all yourself, as I am tempted to do...

  3. The other thing I do now, when I realise I'm out of cookies and want to add one to a snack box I'm packing in the evening, is take out the frozen dough, hack off bits that are approx the same thickness, put them on a greased tray and bake as per normal. And I hack off a hunk to snack on while I do this...

  4. We love this book, but have mislaid it at the moment and I need the recipe to make gingerbread today (no other recipe will do!), so thanks very much for saving my bacon!

  5. That sounds delicious but I'll have to think of a sugar substitute as it makes my daughter sick.... :(