Night of the Gingerdead

Crumbs and Corkscrews - Gingerdead Men

Yay! It’s October, I’ve been waiting for it for ages. This means that it’s wedding anniversary month, birthday month and lots of other exciting things including a patisserie course at Le Manoir, and dinner at Lumiere and The Fat Duck… beyond excited! It also means that Halloween is just around the corner.

I love Halloween, not the scary horrible stuff but the nicer side of things. When we were in Florida for my birthday one Halloween, it was Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party that we headed for, rather than Universal’s Evil Movies. I’d have had nightmares for weeks if we had visited there. Honestly, I’m such a wusse; I’ll hide behind a cushion and stick my fingers in my ears when the Halloween film adverts come on.

Crumbs and Corkscrews - Gingerdead Men

Luckily for me, when it comes to Halloween baking, it tends to be less on the gruesome side and more on the Disney side… phew!

I’ve had this Gingerdead cookie cutter sat in the cupboard since Spring. I brought it on the off-chance, when I came across it on eBay. I have a feeling that Lakeland also sell them. Anyway, it’s quite cool. It’s a dual cookie cutter and embossing stamp, for the skeleton; and it ticks the cute spooky checkbox.

Look at that little gingerbready face; isn’t he cute? Awwwwww…

Crumbs and Corkscrews - Gingerdead Men

So Ian announced last week that he’d rather have biscuits and cookies to take to work, as he was making too much of a mess with cake. Seriously, how does he manage to make a mess? It’s straight in, in a couple of bites for me; no crumbs, no mess. But this Boy takes his time over cake, and the crumbs cometh!

Cue the excuse to get Gingerdead out, and test-run a tweaked gingerbread recipe. I used to make little gingerbread men to top off my white chocolate and gingerbread cupcakes, that were part of my Christmas menu, in the shop. They were more short and biscuity, as they couldn’t be too soft because of the buttercream.

This tweaked recipe has more of a snap but then goes nice and soft after a day or so, not rock hard. I’ve also upped the ginger, added a little cinnamon and nutmeg and switched the muscovado sugar for a soft light brown. You still get that golden colour, but it lets the ginger come through more.

You can make Gingerdead Men without the embossing skeleton stamp; you can ice directly on to a gingerbread man, but the embossing gives the icing somewhere to flood. The one thing to remember though, if you are using the embossing stamp, is to make sure you push down all over, else the emboss is shallow and has a tendency to bake out. Check out his little missing face… Bless!


Crumbs and Corkscrews - Gingerdead Men


Halloween Gingerbread Men
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Simple and fun for Gingerbread Men for Halloween. You can use any cutter and the number of biscuits will depend on the size and shape of your cutter.
Serves: 18 x Gingerbread Men
  • 350g Plain flour
  • 150g Soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Bicarb of Soda
  • 100g Unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 Egg, medium
  • 4 tbsp Golden syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line two large baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and bicarb of soda. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips. The rubbed-in mixture should resemble fine breadcrumbs or sand.
  3. Add the sugar to the rubbed-in mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, add the egg and golden syrup. Whisk together.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the rubbed-in mixture, and pour in the egg and golden syrup.
  6. Mix together to form a smooth dough.
  7. Roll the dough into a sausage, wrap in cling-film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of approximately 3-5mm.
  9. Using a gingerbread man cutter, cut out as many gingerbread men as possible.
  10. Gently lift onto the lined baking tray with a flat palette knife.
  11. If using an embossing stamp, gently but firmly press onto the gingerbread men; or using a small knife or cocktail stick make holes for eyes, mouth and buttons.
  12. Make sure the gingerbread men are spaced well apart to allow them to spread when they are baking.
  13. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  14. Take the gingerbread men out of the oven and slide them off the baking tray and onto a cooling rack to cool.
  15. To decorate, fill a piping bag fitted with a No. 2 nozzle, with Royal Icing and flood the embossed skeleton.
These Gingerbread Men will keep up to a week in an airtight container.

Pleased to link up again with A Mummy Too for this week’s #recipeoftheweek as well as Honest Mum for Tasty Tuesday.

I am also sending the Gingerdead Men to October’s Calendar Cakes Challenge hosted by Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly Bakes. The theme this month is Something Wicked!

Link up your recipe of the week
Tasty Tuesdays Crumbs & Corkscrews - Calendar Cakes




    • says

      Thanks. I’m not very good with Halloween; I’m more cute and spooky than scary and evil, lol! I do hate it when gingerbread goes teeth-breakingly rock hard, I prefer it to go soft. This still has a snap but isn’t too hard on the teeth 🙂

    • says

      Thank you! Do borrow it; you don’t have to do the skeleton thing. They work perfectly as normal gingerbread men with Smartie buttons and everything else.

  1. says

    These are wonderful! I love Le Manoir (Raymond Blanc even joined us for breakfast once many years ago)-love him! Thanks so much for linking up to #tastytuesdays!

    • says

      I am SO excited about the patisserie course, and I love Le Manoir and RB. I can’t wait; will definitely be posting about it 🙂 Pleasure to link up too x

    • says

      Thank you 🙂 Perfect for Halloween or can be decorated for Christmas without the skeleton; I’ve a couple of ideas in min, but it’s a bit too early just yet.

  2. says

    LOVE these. Just so cute and really effective. I want those cutters!

    Thanks for linking up to #recipeoftheweek. I’ve Pinned and Stumbled this post, and there’s a new #recipeoftheweek linky just gone live. I’d love you to pop over and join in again with another fab recipe post 🙂

    • says

      Thanks Emily! I can’t believe I left it so long to try the cutter out. I checked and they do have them in Lakeland 🙂

      All linked up again this week, with my latest post.

    • says

      Thank you 🙂 I think with freehand the key is making sure the royal icing is the right consistency. I’ve some different ideas I want to do with them that I’ll need to do freehand, which I hope will work too. Let me know how you get on with them!

    • says

      Thanks Jo! Really glad you like them. I’ve got some Christmas ideas for them and gingerbread house in mind that I’m looking forward to trying out 🙂

  3. Trish says

    What can I sub golden syrup with? I read I can use corn syrup and sometimes even honey but I’m worried it would ruin the texture or the flavor. Has anybody made this with a sub for the golden syrup?

    • says

      Hi Trish

      You can substitute Golden Syrup with corn syrup. It is slightly thinner but you can substitute it without having to change the quantities. Dark corn syrup is probably better for gingerbread, for the taste, but I couldn’t see using light corn syrup making that much difference. I would think that honey would add a more distinct flavour, but could still be used.

      Hope that helps.

      • Trish says

        I love gingerbread cookies but most recipes I’ve seen in the past call for molasses and oddly in my part of the world they sell molasses by the gallon and I don’t exactly have much use for that quantity hence I’ve always ended up buying from Starbucks especially round the holiday season. Thanks for the response Louise. Can’t wait to try it out!

        • says

          My pleasure. Hope that they work well for you, and a gallon of molasses is rather a lot to get through, hehe! I’ve a couple of ideas I want to try with the recipe for Christmas. Will pop them up if they work.

          Good luck 🙂


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